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Spillane tournament in Taupo and pre-season rugby starting in Wellington this weekend

UPDATED: The 90th New Zealand Marist Federation Spillane tournament is being hosted by Taupo Marist at Owen Delany Park his weekend.

The tournament features 16 club teams, split across four competitive divisions, and a Presidents match.

The top tier Spillane Cup is between the top four seeded teams based on last year’s results.

Saturday’s semi-finals see Hamilton Marist and Hastings Rugby & Sports clash on the number one ground at 1.30pm, followed by defending champions Napier Old Boys Marist and Hutt Old Boys Marist at 3.00pm.

The Division 2 semi-finals for the Ham Cumming Cup over on the number two field see North Harbour Marist and Palmerston North Marist meet in the first game and Rotorua Marist and Marist St Pat’s contest the second fixture.

Division 1 and 2 matches on Sunday see the winners play the winners and losers play the losers. The Ham Cumming Cup winners earn promotion to the main draw at the expense of the fourth placed top tier finisher. MSP finished fourth last year, hence why they are in the Division 2 this year.

Whanganui and Masterton Marist vie on Saturday for the division 3 Brennan Cup.

There is also a four team Colts section for the Moran Cup, with day one games between North Harbour Colts and Hutt Old Boys Marist Colts and Marist St Pat’s and Taupo Marist Colts.

The other match on Saturday is a one-off fixture between the Hutt Old Boys Marist Presidents and the Taupo Marist/Greerton Marist Presidents.

About the Spillane Cup:

The Spillane Cup was donated in 1926 by the late Mr. C. I. Spillane and from 1926-1929 and was contested annually between Whanganui and Wellington. In 1930 Hamilton issued a challenge to then holders Wellington and the Spillane tournament was started – Wellington beating Hamilton 29-21. Auckland entered in 1931, Napier in 1932 and Gisborne in 1933. In 1935, eight teams entered and the following year it was split into two sections, the first section of four playing for the Spillane Cup and the second section for the Brennan Cup. The Moran and Ham Cumming Cups were subsequently instituted. The Spillane tournament was originally played over the long Easter Weekend.

The last 10 Spillane Cup winners have been:

2011: Hutt Old Boys Marist
2012: Hutt Old Boys Marist
2013: Hutt Old Boys Marist
2014: Hutt Old Boys Marist
2015: Auckland Marist
2016: Marist St Pat’s
2017: Napier Old Boys Marist
2018: Napier Old Boys Marist
2019: Hutt Old Boys Marist
2020: Napier Old Boys Marist

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There are also several matches on Saturday involving Wellington clubs and teams, heading towards the start of the Premier and Premier Reserve club competition season on 10 April.

Defending Jubilee Cup champions Old Boys University step out for the first time in 2021, the Billygoats travelling to Palmerston North to play their annual match against Massey University, Kick-off on campus is 2.00pm.

The OBU Premier Reserves play the curtain-raiser against the Kia Toa Premier Reserves at the same venue at 12.00pm.

The Wainuiomata Premiers are also in the Manawatu, playing Te Kawau.

The Paremata-Plimmerton Hammerheads Premiers travel to Foxton to play the home side in their pre-season match at 12.30pm and the Paremata-Plimmerton Colts face Feilding Old Boys Oroua.

In Wellington, there are two venues for pre-season Premier club rugby on Saturday.

The Tawa and Wellington Axemen Premiers meet at Lyndhurst Park at 1.00pm.

The Ories Premier and Premier Reserve squads host their Avalon Wolves counterparts at Rongotai College from 1.00pm.

At Maidstone Park, the Upper Hutt Rams and Avalon Colts sides play each other at 11.00am.

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