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The Monday Wrap 20 June (some news and information to start the rugby week)

Breakfast edition: Welcome to the darkest week of the year.

It’s also a short week.

Most importantly, it’s another busy several days coming up for rugby.

It resumes on Wednesday with three scheduled boys First XV matches and a full round of schoolgirls fixtures. In boys rugby on Wednesday, Upper Hutt College and Aotea College meet in a Co-ed Cup fixture at Upper Hutt College at 3.30pm, Bishop Viard College defend the Beard Trophy against Porirua College at Porirua Park at 6.00pm and Rongotai College and Wellington College meet at Rongotai College at 1.30pm in their traditional.

In club rugby at the end of the week, the Division 1 Women’s final is set down for Rugby League Park at 1.00pm on Friday, between Marist St Pat’s and Northern United. More details to come.

Moving on to Saturday, and the Swindale Shield is either going to be presented to Petone at William Jones Park (they play their last round game away to Wainuiomata) or to the HOBM Eagles at the Hutt Rec (the play their last round game at home against MSP). Petone and HOBM are both on 50 points. The Swindale Shield can’t be shared. More details to come.

Plus there is a full round of remaining college and club games on Saturday – except for the Colts grade which has the holiday weekend off and resumes next weekend.

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150 Games does not come around often, but with Valentine Meachen reaching that number for MSP on Saturday the Scarlets now have three players who have gone past that mark; Meachen, Ryan Setefano, and Isaia Petelo, as well as the seemingly ageless Fa’atonu Fili and his 200+ should he feel the need to pull the boots on for a game again

Read our story with Valentine Meachen in 2016 HERE

Meachen’s father Tony also played many games for both Marist St Pat’s and Athletic in the 1970s and 1980s. It got us thinking who would be the most capped father-son combination in Wellington club rugby? For MSP, JP and Murray Tocker have 250 + Premier caps between them.  Other current players include Ben and Doug Power at HOBM, A father-daughter combination at Ories would be Fa’avae and Timena Tuma’ai. In the past there have been the likes of the Nicholls and the Tindills. It would be an interesting exercise to collate this list!

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Congratulations to Napier Tech for sweeping the Hawke’s Bay first round Nash Cup competition. Napier Tech won all 10 first round games, scoring 395 points and conceding 177.

On Saturday they beat bottom placed Tamatea 52-21 in the last round. Napier Old Boys Marist were second in the Nash Cup, on Saturday beating Central 79-19 and with former MSP wing Mike Buckley scoring six tries.

Taradale’s Iakopo Petelo Mapu (11 tries) and Napier Tech’s Sheridan Rangihuna (120 points) were the Nash Cup’s top try and point scorers.

The Maddison Trophy starts this coming weekend.

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Its not often that teammates reach 100 matches in the same game, but that’s what happened for Ories Womens pair Raylene Lolo and Annie Mativa on Saturday. Things didn’t quite go to plan, as the defending Women’s champions lost to MSP, and ended their remarkable streak of having played in the Final every year since 2013.

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Also great to see some club centurions contributing to their second sides as well. HOBM’s Glen Walters has been a regular for the Eagles’ B squad this year, but others who have include Avalon duo Jordan Aquila and Thomas Kiwara, Upper Hutt’s James Norman and Ainsley Mei, Tawa’s TJ Fermanis, and Poneke’s returning Cole Stewart while Pare-Plim’s Danny Herewini played 40 minutes for his clubs B’s on Saturday as well.

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Former Old Boys Boys University captain Jonathan Fuimaono playing for Rahui on Saturday in the Horowhenua-Kapiti competition. The tighthead prop was an instrumental figure in the top of the table match against Waikanae at Waikanae Park in extremely wet conditions. Rahui scored a try in each half and won 17-5 to take the lead at the top of the standings of the Ramsbottom Cup.

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Saturday’s home loss to the Upper Hutt Rams didn’t dampen the mood much at Paremata-Plimmerton’s Old Timers Day, with the club acknowledging several players afterwards. Blazers were presented to Women’s players Tawny Burgess and Mary Kalina Va’a along with a 50-game badge to Toye Lotoaso, and tankards to Blake Neve – who recently went past 500 points scored in Premier rugby – and centurions James Corcoran and Danny Herewini.

Paremata-Plimmerton only won 8 of 86 games in the Swindale Shield between 2015 and 2021. They conceded 3,848 points.

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Expect to see a change at the top of the Under 85kg JC Bowl leaderboard this week. Johnsonville’s earlier unplayed match against Western Suburbs has now been recorded as a default by the Roosters, which combined with their one from Saturday when Petone were unable to front will take them two points ahead of the Upper Hutt Rams. The two are scheduled to meet in the final round of matches in three weeks time.

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Curiosity corner. How were Naitoa Ah Kuoi and James (Veikoso) Poloniati able to play for MSP and OBU respectively on Saturday? While acknowledging Ah Kuoi’s links to MSP, he’s currently contracted to the Chiefs and Bay of Plenty while Poloniati played for Moana Pasifika and was recently re-announced in Manawatu’s squad for the NPC though its also rumoured that he’s off to France. Ditto Henry Time-Stowers last week playing for Wainuiomata, being a Moana Pasifika player and last year a Canterbury NPC player. By contrast the rules are clear when it comes to the eligibility of Hurricanes-contracted but non-Wellington NPC players like Salesi Rayasi, Pasilio Tosi, and Isaia Walker-Leawere to play in the Premier competition.

If Ah Kuoi, Poloniati and Time-Stowers can turn up and make guest appearances, then just how that can happen needs to made very clear.

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A question received about Alex Fidow, both playing at No. 8 and kicking Ories’ two conversions on Saturday and asking if it was perhaps his last game? Club Rugby understands he has signed with North Harbour for the NPC, with rumours of him joining the NRL just that – rumours – for now.

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Whanganui Collegiate School is celebrating their 150th Anniversary in 2022 and will host the annual Quadrangular Tournament, New Zealand’s oldest secondary school rugby tournament, featuring Nelson College, Christ’s College and Wellington College from June 27 to 29. Whanganui has produced 14 All Blacks which could soon be 15 with Stephen Perofeta being named in the All Blacks squad on Tuesday to tackle Ireland. If Perofeta gets on the field he will become Collegiate’s first All Black since 1987 World Cup winning captain David Kirk.

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Feilding Old Boys Ōroua beat Kia Toa 20-5 in the Manawatu Prue Christie Cup senior women’s championship final yesterday. Former Black Ferns halfback Kristina Sue led the charge. FOB also won in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2018. This year they are playing for the memory of their late team-mate Ashleigh Knight, who died after falling from the back of a utility vehicle near Kiwitea in December. Prue Christie was an avid promoter of the women’s game in the Manawatu working for the Union in an office role for several years.

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Ayesha Leti-Iiga scored three ties in the Black Ferns 50-6 win against the USA on Saturday. She is the first Black Fern to score a hat-trick in a test since Renee Wickliffe in a 28-13 win against England in 2019. Ironically Wickliffe also scored a try in the USA test yesterday. The most tries by a Black Fern in a test against the USA is six by Tammi Wilson in a 65-5 win in Palmerston North in 1999.

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Chelsea and Alana Bremner became the fifth pair of sisters to play a test for the Black Ferns in the Pac4 series. The others are discussed in this feature: https://www.allblacks.com/news/bremners-join-special-black-ferns-sisters-group/

It should also be noted Jude and Gayle Broughton, sisters from Wellington, both appeared for the New Zealand XV at the 1990 World Rugby Festival in Christchurch. The four fixtures in that series aren’t counted as test matches due to unreliable record keeping. However, players who appeared in that series are numbered Black Ferns.

Sisters Harriet (England) and Bridget (Scotland) Millar-Mills opposed each other in a test match in 2013 which England won 76-0. They are widely recognised as the first sisters to oppose each other in a test. The two grew up in Manchester but Bridget chose to represent Scotland owing to their mother, who grew up in Hamilton. In 2019 they were subject of a Guinness commercial ‘Sisters’ which celebrates the rivalry of two sisters in a unique situation, playing for opposing national teams. Guinness had become the official sponsor of the women’s Six Nations. Harriet has played 60 tests for England and featured in both wins against the Black Ferns in 2021.

Romane and Marine Ménager were twin sisters who played for France.

Poppy and Bryony Cleall are leading sisters in the England team at present.

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Black Fern Patricia Maliepo kicked a last-play penalty to win Marist the Auckland Coleman Shield senior women’s final against Ponsonby, 13-10. Chris Coleman was a major sponsor and supporter of women’s rugby in the 90s who later served on the Auckland Rugby Board. He owned the 24hr bar and sponsored a lot of Police sports. This was their first win since 2019, also winning in 2017, 2012, 2003, 1999-01 and 1993 (shared).

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Super Rugby Final

A surgical demolition by the Crusaders to win their 13th Super Rugby title, suppressing the Blues 21-7 at Eden Park. It was just the hosts’ second loss on their home field in a Super Rugby playoff fixture since Super Rugby started in 1996. The third longest winning streak in Super Rugby was snapped after 15 matches. The Crusaders played with superior pace, aggressiveness and efficiency as the Blues attacking totara’s collapsed lamely and their lineout imploded; Sam Whitelock grinning beneath his chiseled beard in a man of the match performance Stuff rated 10/10.

In The Moment Observations 

20th minute: Is Sean Fitzpatrick around?

Halftime: The only thing colder on TV right now is on CI.

Halftime: The Blues were held scoreless in the first-half at Eden Park for the first time since 2015.

43rd minute: A Freudian slip of the tongue by Tony Johnson. Richie Mo’unga kicked his third penalty. He meant to say Richie Mo’unga without hesitation but if you listen closely it sounds like Richie McCaw before a swift correction.

58th minute: An epic break by All Blacks flanker Dalton Papalii finally gives the Blues some impetus. An old bugger in the grandstand: “We needed him to score like Peter Jones.” “Mate he runs faster than he drives.”

59th minute: Christie has more Grace. Blues halfback Finlay latches onto a fumble by Crusaders No.8 Cullen to score the Blues only try.

75th minute: Pablo Messi. What a kick by Argentina’s Matera to set up wing Sevu Reece for the final Crusaders try.

Full Time Thoughts

The Crusaders dynasty is double the length of Covid.

It’s over at last. The Crusaders won’t win another game for at least six months

House prices just went down a quarter in Remuera.

Did the Blues lineout get the Razor variant?

What’s worse? Being a Blues lock last night or finishing 146th in yesterday’s Wellington Marathon?

Man up Razor, coach the Warriors.

I can’t believe the Hurricanes only beat this mob by one.

Even Ned Flanders is angry at the Blues.

If the Crusaders changed their name when they had the chance the Blues would still have as many Super titles.

Richie Mo’unga has been accused of playing behind the Rolls Royce forward pack. It looks more like the Hyundai forward pack.

Crusaders openside Tom Christie made 236 tackles in Super Rugby. He was the only player to pass 200 tackles, despite not being a guaranteed starter.

The Crusaders lead the Blues 28-12 in all head to head matches.

Sam Whitelock has played 23 Super Rugby playoff matches, the same as Richie McCaw.

Scott Robertson is Crusader 26. He played 86 games as a player from 1996 to 2002 and won four titles. He has won 86 of 101 games and six titles as a coach.

Robbie Fruean holds the record for most games (66) for the Crusaders without winning a Super Rugby title. Zac Guildford played 61.

A Crusaders All-Time XV

15 Will Jordan, 14 Sevu Reece, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 Aaron Mauger, 11 Caleb Ralph, 10 Daniel Carter, 9 Justin Marshall, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw, 6 Reuben Thorne, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Chris Jack, 3 Greg Somerville, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody

The most capped Super rugby player of all-time Wyatt Crockett with 203 appearances doesn’t make the cut at loosehead prop, Moody is a far more damaging all-round player. Greg Somerville played 115 games for the Crusaders and won six titles. Owen Franks was a better All Black but only won three Super Rugby titles late in his 153 game career. Richie Mo’unga on his Crusaders resume alone with six titles could command the ten jersey ahead of Daniel Carter who only won three in 141 games. Carter however is the best fly half to play the game so he gets the nod. Aaron Mauger was a star in the only prefect Crusaders team that won all 13 games in 2002 so he edges the dependable Ryan Crotty. The Crusaders haven’t produced a Tana Umaga, Conard Smith, Eroni Clarke type center so the versatile champion Jack Goodhue holds the fort in the 13 jersey. Daryl Gibson (77 games, 4 titles) and Mark Mayerholfer (53 games, 3 titles) mostly played second-five and were considered centre options as was New Zealand Rugby CEO and All Black Mark Robinson who played 23 games for the Crusaders at centre and won two titles.

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Nelson College beat Christchurch Boys’ High School 20-7 in Round 7 of the Crusaders First XV competition. There are no unbeaten teams in the fiercely competitive competition.

King’s College beat Auckland Grammar School 15-3 in the 212th game between the two Auckland heavyweights on Saturday. It was 3-3 at halftime but King’s pulled clear with two second-half tries to first-five Harry Kaveriri and fullback Trey Alatini (son of former All Black Pita Alatini). It’s the first time since 2018 King’s have won the Cooper-Greenbank trophy. Auckland Grammar leads the head to head count 135-61 with 16 draws. St Peter’s College leads the 1A First XV competition with five wins on the trot. They are the only unbeaten team at the halfway stage of the competition.

Hastings Boys’ High School beat Napier Boys’ High School 25-14 in their Hawke’s Bay First XV derby Super 8 match on Saturday.

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Found this below on our feed late last week. Interesting, but the campaign could just as easily be expanded and called ‘Affordable Living for Greater Wellington.

Facebook link to the above screenshot: https://www.facebook.com/AffordableSportsWgtn 

Link to the NewstalkZB story HERE

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Rest in peace Don Neely. A local legend in the cricket space and am author and historian of high repute. In today’s world of articles such as “Six All Blacks who wear orange boots and what it suggests about their pre-test routines”, these are qualities to admire and strive to emulate.

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Got news and information to share? Email editor@clubrugby.co.nz for more. 

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