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The Monday Wrap 30 May (some news and information to start the week)

HOBM Eagles fullback Zane Ainslie sets sail against Poneke on Saturday. Poneke won 29-25. PHOTO: Caroline Lewis.

Breakfast edition: Another kind afternoon weather-wise for rugby this Saturday just gone, but unfortunately we could be in for a bout of angry weather. Wednesday is not looking good and Saturday not much better HERE (this can change, but this is the most accurate forecasting site)

There are three First XV fixtures scheduled for Wednesday, these being: St Pat’s Silverstream v New Plymouth Boys’ High School, St Bernard’s College v Mana College and St Pat’s Town v St John’s Hastings. Update: the SPC v St Johns’s game has been postponed owing to Covid protocols and a future date for this traditional for this . It is also the opening round of Wellington schoolgirls competition rugby, with St Mary’s College and Wainuiomata HS meeting in the their Premier 1 opener.

A full preview at the end of the week as always, but Premier club rugby fixtures at a glance this Saturday (home teams first): #1 – Norths v Marist St Pats / #2 – OBU v J’ville /#3 – Ories v Pare-Plim / #4 – Petone v Tawa / #5 – Upper Hutt Rams v Poneke / #6 – Wainui v Avalon /#7  – Wellington v HOBM

Queen’s Birthday Weekend this coming weekend, so no Colts or Reserve grade rugby this Saturday.


The ongoing saga of the two Premier matches that remain un-played due to Covid outbreaks with teams remains seemingly unresolved. The latest event is that clubs are being asked about whether amateur players should be required to play three times in a week in order to facilitate these matches being played, seemingly as a result of the decision in Tawa’s appeal against the decision to only award three points from their scheduled round two match against Paremata-Plimmerton.

While acknowledging it has happened in the past, there needs to be some recognition that rugby isn’t the be-all of players lives and in particular in these Covid times.


Wes Goosen is heading to Scotland shortly to play for Edinburgh:


The Tawa Premier Reserves are on a 23-game winning streak, last succumbing in September 2020 in a HD Morgan Premier 2 knockout match.


The Poneke Premiers have won 15 of their last 16 matches.


A further update on a sadly reoccurring theme. Following three suspensions handed down by WRFU two weeks ago for referee abuse, a player and coach from a senior team were each given seven-week bans for actions during and after a match last weekend.

Further two that, we are aware of at least one serious incident from a Premier match on Saturday that in our view constitutes assault, and one college game that saw no fewer than five yellow cards issued from one incident.


Peniasi Tokakece with the halftime team talk vape on Saturday. Whatever was in that pipe did the trick, he went on to have a storming second half and scored the match and title sealing try at the end.


Also in the veteran category, flank-forward Josh Hunt had a busy game for the Upper Hutt Rams against Tawa in the main game at Lyndhurst on Saturday.


Two Wellington referees on exchange to Canterbury on Saturday, Daniel Mangin and Jean Terblanche

One item we missed in last week’s column was acknowledging the return of Hamish Mexted to Premier rugby with the Johnsonville vs MSP match. Mexted whistled 87 Premier games up to controlling the 2013 Jubilee Cup Final which saw Tawa beat Oriental Rongotai for their first title but then walked away from the game to pursue other ventures, before returning last year.


Three tries for Logan Henry for Petone in their 69-10 win over Paremata-Plimmerton on Saturday, in his last game before departing for Manawatu for the rest of the season.


Two tries for Tawa tighthead prop Ben Aumua-Peseta on Saturday (initially reported as one), so three tries in two games for him.


A rollicking early fixture at the Petone Rec on Saturday, with Paremata-Plimmerton holding on to beat Petone 46-41 – at one stage the Hammerheads led 41-12.


The Wellington Axemen presented James Coburn with a cap for his 150th Premier start. A great gesture and a nice touch by adding the Norths and Tawa emblems alongside the Wellington one on the cap.


The Levin College Old Boys Rugby Football Club is celebrating its 75th anniversary this weekend. Check their Facebook page out for more HERE (we can’t link to anything as it contains copyrighted music).

They play Rahui this Saturday at home, in the only Horowhenua-Kapiti club rugby fixture this Queen’s Birthday Weekend.


The Hurricanes to Canberra on Saturday:


This is appalling language to show on the television on a Friday night. Perhaps a greater travesty though is that this traditional match between Christ’s College and Christchurch Boys’ High School was being played on a Friday night as a made-for-tv curtain-raiser to a professional match, and not in the daytime at one of the schools with all the associated fanfare and tradition. For the record, CBHS won the game 47-33, to be the competition leader after four rounds of the Crusaders First XV competition that is in for changes next year, as announced last week.


The Ories Vatos are a perfect four from four on 20 points at the top of the Reserve Grade Division 1 Mike Copeland Cup standings following their 22-12 win on Saturday over the Johnsonville Cripples.

The MSP Internationals are on 24 out of a possible 25 points in the Reserve Grade Division 2 competition, winning their latest match by default against the OBU 69ers.


The Super Rugby Under 20s tournament concluded in Taupo on Saturday with the New Zealand Barbarians selection the only unbeaten side. Their lock Tahlor Cahill was named Player of the Tournament. Unfortunately, the Hurricanes were a let-down, conceding more points (141) than any team. They did beat the Blues 35-27 last Sunday.

Day 3 Results

Blues 48 (Chlayton Frans, Sam Hainsworth-Fa’aofo 2, Wallace Sititi, Allan Craig, Jordan Hutchings, Quinton Nichols tries; Byron Smith 4 con, Cameron Howell con, pen) Crusaders 27 (George Bell, Nikola Vikena 2, Macca Springer tries; Jack Parker con pen, James White con) HT: 19-3

Barbarians 56 (Keegan McGregor, Sean Ralph 2, Bryn Gordon, Joe Cobb, Karl Ruzich, Tahlor Cahill, Alfred Nonu tries; Josh Jacomb 8 con) Hurricanes 40 (Dominic Ropeti, Epeli Waqa-Nalaga 2, Peter Lakai, Cooper Flanders, Matt Monagham tries; Harry Godfrey 5 con) HT: 21-21

Highlanders 26 (Noah Hotham, Semisi Tupou-Taeiloa tries; Cameron Miller 3 pen, 2 con, Finn Hurley pen) Chiefs 5 (Austin Anderson try)

Day 2 Results

Barbarians 17 (Sione Ahio, Nikora Broughton, Tupou Faiana-Lea’aemanu tries, Josh Jacumb con) Crusaders 15 (George Bell, Fletcher Anderson, Jack Parker tries) HT: 5-5

Chiefs 58 (Taha Kamera 2, Cody Nordstrom, Veveni Lasaqa, Sam Tuifua, Thor Manase, Curtis Palmer, Quinnlan Tupou, Taine Kolosi tries; Tevita Ofa 5 con, Kamera pen) Hurricanes 26 (Cooper Flanders, Matt Monaghan, Chicago Doyle, Harry Godfrey tries; Godfrey 3 con) HT: 39-12

Highlanders 40 (Hayden Michaels, Noah Hotham, Jack Taylor, Jeremiah Asi, Edward Whyte tries; Cameron Millar 3 con, 3 pen) Blues 29 (Liam Brady, Luron Iosefa, Cephus Salaivao, Che Clarke, Essendon Tuitupou tries; Byron Smith con, Cameron Howell con) HT: 20-12

A Form XV. Do you agree?

15. Macca Springer (Crusaders
14. Joe Cobb (Barbarians)
13. Jona Rova (Crusaders)
12. Albert Nonu (Barbarians)
11. Nikola Vikena (Crusaders)
10. Taha Kemara (Chiefs)
9. Noah Hotham (Highlanders)
8. Wallace Sititi (Blues)
7. Karl Ruzich (Barbarians)
6. Nikora Broughton (Barbarians)
5. Tahlor Cahill (Barbarians)
4. Fabian Holland (Highlanders)
3. Seb Calder (Crusaders)
2. George Bell (Crusaders)
1. Mason Tupaea (Chiefs)

Honorary mentions: Joe Brial (Crusaders), Harry Godfrey & Cooper Flanders (Hurricanes)


A top of the table Hawke’s Bay Premier club rugby Nash Cup fixture on Saturday, with Napier Tech beating Taradale 23-21 to put one hand on the first round spoils. For Napier Tech, hooker Tyrone Thompson scored two tries and halfback Sheridan Rangihuna kicked two conversions and three penalties.


The Rugby Jamboree is a gathering of like-minded rugby tragics’ that happens biannually at the Rugby Museum in Palmerston North. Collectors, historians and commentators gather to discuss all things about the game. Did you know that the Wallabies have had 33 different jerseys in 124 years and that includes multiple colours. Including subtle changes for placement and advertising they had seven jerseys last year alone. Richard Kelly is New Zealand’s most capped Sevens referee with 312 games on the World Sevens Series Tour.


The Hutt Valley Sports Awards were held this past Thursday night and former Petone and Hutt Valley High School lock Ross Filipo was named coach of the year after guiding Waikato to a Premiership victory in the 2021 NPC. Waikato beat twice-reigning champions Tasman 22-20 in the final and won their last four games by 11 points.

Ten-time New Zealand Heavyweight boxing champion Bill Byrne was inducted into the Legends Hall. Byrne won 133 of 142 fights, including a silver medal at the 1974 Commonwealth Games. He was unable to fight the final because of an eye injury sustained in the semi-final. He was a very fine loose forward, playing a decade of senior footy for Hutt Valley Marist. In 1982 Hutt Valley Marist were runners up in the Jubilee Cup behind Wellington.


How valuable is rugby? Seen last week, a current list of the most valuable football clubs globally:

  1. Barcelona:$4.76 billion (+18% two-year change)
  2. Real Madrid:$4.75 billion (+12% two-year change)
  3. Bayern Munich:$4.21 billion (+39% two-year change)
  4. Manchester United:$4.2 billion (+10% two-year change)
  5. Liverpool:$4.1 billion (+88% two-year change)
  6. Manchester City:$4 billion (+49% two-year change)
  7. Chelsea:$3.2 billion (+24% two-year change)
  8. Arsenal:$2.8 billion (+23% two-year change)
  9. Paris Saint-Germain:$2.5 billion (+129% two-year change)
  10. Tottenham Hotspur:$2.3 billion (+42% two-year change)

Also, most valuable sports franchises globally

  1. New York Yankees (MLB): $6.75 billion
  2. Dallas Cowboys (NFL): $6.43 billion
  3. New York Knicks (NBA): $5.42 billion
  4. Golden State Warriors (NBA): $5.21 billion
  5. Los Angeles Lakers (NBA): $5.14 billion
  6. New England Patriots (NFL): $4.97 billion
  7. Boston Red Sox (MLB): $4.8 billion
  8. Barcelona (Soccer): $4.76 billion
  9. Real Madrid (Soccer): $4.75 billion
  10. Los Angeles Dodgers (MLB): $4.62 billion


The suspense ended with their first European Champions Cup star! With the full support of the Stade Vélodrome in Marseille, La Rochelle won the rugby European Champions Cup final against Leinster of Ireland by 24-21 on Saturday May, 28. After an interminable trial of strength in front of the Irish line, Arthur Retière’s last-second try helped the French side win its first European title. Read more HERE


Australia earn stunning gold in London as HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series title race goes down to the wire. Australia claimed their first Series gold medal since 2018 with a golden point victory over the All Blacks Sevens, while Fiji bagged bronze and South Africa reclaimed top spot in the Series standings despite finishing fifth. Read more HERE

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