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The Monday Wrap 11 July (some rugby news and updates for early in the week)

Morning updates: It’s the 2022 Jubilee and Hardham Cup semi-finals this coming Saturday – and everything else other than club rugby being played this weekend is either a distraction or unfortunate timing!

The semi-finals at a glance are:

  • Jubilee Cup: Petone v Tawa and Hutt Old Boys Marist v Northern United
  • Hardham Cup: Old Boys University v Upper Hutt Rams and Oriental-Rongotai v Wainuiomata

Kick-off times to be confirmed, but in past years when there’s been international rugby on the same night these have been brought forward at least half an hour. So 12.30pm and 2.15pm kick-offs for senior club rugby this coming Saturday – but to be confirmed.

A bit quieter on the local rugby front this week, with school holidays for the next two weeks and no midweek college rugby. That resumes on Wednesday 27 July, with, among other games, the two St Pat’s First XVs playing their midweek traditional.

The Wellington Pride open their Farah Palmer Cup season on Saturday against Canterbury at Porirua Park at 12.05pm.


The 2022 Wellington Lions squad was unveiled in full this morning:

Wellington Lions announce 32-player squad for upcoming NPC


Nine players from the Hurricanes, including Wellington players Caleb Delany (OBU). TJ Perenara (Norths), Connor Garden-Bachop (Norths), Leni Apisai (Norths), Ruben Love (Wainuiomata) and Billy Proctor (MSP) in the New Zealand Maori team to play Ireland on Tuesday night, kick-off 7.05pm.


As the post below says, the end of an era for the Upper Hutt Rams and some pending changes to the Far Side Boys’ crew:


Before Saturday, the last All Blacks home loss was 43 tests ago to South Africa, 36-34 in Wellington in 2018.


One perhaps forgotten interclub trophy made its return on Saturday. Petone against Western Suburbs used to be one of the big clashes of the season, but since the fall from the Premier ranks of the Roosters the Gareth Head Memorial Trophy has seldom been seen, as the two clubs have rarely had teams in the same grade in the past decade. That changed on Saturday as the two clubs met in a lower-table U85kg clash, with Petone reclaiming the trophy with a 41-7 win.

Head was a rugby identity of the 60’s through 90’s who began his career with Onslow (one of Wests’ forerunners) before joining Petone and amassing over 100 Senior games there as well as becoming Lions centurion, all in uncompromising area of the front row. Post-playing, he served as Wests inaugural head coach following the merger, before returning to Petone as their senior coach alongside Andy Leslie. Along with his former front row partner Ken Gray he established the Academy in the latter’s name and ran it until his untimely passing in early 1997 at just 54 years old.


New Zealand has regained the Oceania Under-20 Championship with a record 69-12 victory over Australia on the Gold Coast on Sunday. New Zealand’s success in winning the Oceania crown for the fifth time passed the 62-17 they beat Australia by in the 2010 World Cup final. Telusa Veainu scored three tries in that game. For New Zealand in the final George Bell (3), Wallace Sititi, Riley Higgins, Noah Hotham, Lucas Cashmore, Jake Te Hiwi, Macca Springer, Josh Beehre and penalty try were the try scorers. Cashmore kicked seven conversions. New Zealand scored 175 points and only conceded three tries in a successful campaign. Higgins and Bell started all three matches and are likely to feature in the NPC next month. Te Iwi ran powerfully and showed versatility by operating in midfield too. Springer looks like a very polished player. Locks Fabin Holland, Jamie Hannah, and Taylor Cahill all grew in stature.


As above, will New Zealand U20 players Riley Higgins and Peter Lakai feature for Petone in the Jubilee Cup semi-finals? We will find out later this week.


Congratulations to the Johnsonville Terrahawks for winning the first round JC Bowl U85kg competition with an 11/11 record – we will have a team profile with them on this website in the next couple of days.

The National Knockout Cup U85kg qualifying series needs to be moved along fast, which will reflect the second round Wellington U85kg draw being confirmed early this week.

Wellington are guaranteed two quarter-final places, but not a semi-final place.

In one bracket the games to be played are the Johnsonville v Avalon and Eastbourne v Upper Hutt Rams, and the winners of those will meet for a last eight place where they’ll meet a northern region opponent.

In the other the games are OBU Scallywags v Wellington, with the winner to play Poneke. The winner of that will play the team that comes out of the southern region in the last eight.


The Farah Palmer Cup starts on Saturday with Wellington hosting Canterbury at Jerry Collins Stadium, Porirua from 12:05pm. Canterbury beat Wellington 23-22 following a try to Black Ferns prop Amy Rule with the last play of the game in Christchurch last year. One of the more thrilling Pride games in recent years (and there have been a few) was against Canterbury at Porirua in 2018 when Wellington won 32-29 and Ayesha Leti-l’iga scored a couple of memorable tries. Canterbury have won 27 of their last 28 games. The last regular season match Canterbury lost was 43-38 to Wellington at Jerry Collins Stadium. Monica Tagoai scored two tries.


An entertaining game by all accounts in the Reserve Grade Division 1 John Davies Cup on Saturday between neighbouring rivals the Ories Vatos and the Poneke Ruffnuts. The Vatos won 33-24, to maintain their winning streak.


The Māori All Blacks host Ireland at Wellington Stadium on Tuesday. It’s 100 years since the Māori All Blacks first played in Wellington.  On August 19, 1922, they played the All Blacks at Athletic Park and were beaten 21-14. All Blacks wings William ‘Jockey’ Ford and Jack Steel were elusive, each scoring two tries. Matiu Love (relation of current Māori All Black Ruben Love) featured in the game.

In 1974, before the second-test against Fiji in Wellington, two Fijian locks entered the Maori dressing room and offered Maori coach Waka Nathan a bottle. Nathan said  “We took the wind and won.”

Interestingly Fijian No.8 Vilikesa Mocelutu scored three tries in the game and threw the ball into the lineouts. He was named as one of the five Players of the Year in the 1975 Rugby Almanack.

The last time the Māori All Blacks played in Wellington was on June 26, 2021 when they beat Samoa 35-10 in atrocious conditions. Shaun Stevenson, who scored a try in Hamilton, dotted down twice in this game as did the late Sean Wainui.

The Māori All Blacks have won 80 of their 126 international fixtures, including both fixtures against Ireland in 2010 (31-28) and 2022 (32-17).

Māori All Blacks Internationals in Wellington

  • 1921: All Blacks, 14-21
  • 1929: All Blacks, 18-37
  • 1930: British & Irish Lions, 13-19
  • 1950: British & Irish Lions, 9-14
  • 1951: Fiji, 14-21
  • 1952: All Blacks, 22-28
  • 1957: Fiji, 13-36
  • 1965: South Africa, 3-9
  • 1974: Fiji, 39-25
  • 1993: British & Irish Lions, 20-24 (Maori were up 20-0)
  • 2021: Samoa, 35-10


Prop Aidan Ross (All Black #1203) had one of the most unfortunate test debuts on Saturday, arriving on the field when the All Blacks were down two props and briefly reduced to ‘golden oldies.’ Later he fumbled the ball in front of Irish captain Peter O’Mahony who kicked a 50/22! Utility back Marty Berry’s (All Black, #878) test debut lasted 18 seconds in a 9-22 defeat to Australia at Eden Park in 1986.


The Finalists have been found for next weekend’s Manawatu Senior 1 [Premier] Hankins Shield final. Old Boys Marist will play College Old Boys in the decider. In Saturday’s semi-finals, Old Boys Marist beat three-time defending champions Feilding 26-8 and College Old Boys beat Varsity 14-5.


The finalists have been found for the Hawke’s Bay Maddison Trophy after two close semi-finals on Saturday. Napier Tech  and Taradale will meet at McLean Park, after Napier Tech beat Havelock Norths 29-22 in one semi-final (Sheridan Rangihuna 14 points including one of four tries and Tamati Samuels a try) and Taradale beat Napier Old Boys Marist 22-19 in the other.


Three tight matches in the Horowhenua-Kapiti Ramsbotham Cup on Saturday. Foxton beat Shannon 33-26, Waikanae beat College Old Boys 17-14 and Rahui and Paraparaumu drew 17-17.

This coming weekend’s semi-finals  on the Kapiti Coast see Waikanae (1) play College Old Boys (4) and Rahui (2) meet Shannon (3).


Ireland first played New Zealand in New Zealand on June 5, 1976 in Wellington. Their win in Dunedin on Saturday was their first in 14 matches in this country. The Prime Minister in Ireland at the time was Liam Cosgrave. Rob Muldoon presided over New Zealand with an iron-fist. The number one song on the Billboard Top 100 charts was Don’t Go Breaking My Heart by Elton John and Kiki Dee. Bay of Plenty won the first official National Provincial Championship and Kiwi horse Van der Hum won the Melbourne Cup on a wet track. Van der Hum is also a unique tangerine flavored South Africa liqueur. The All Blacks won 360 of 451 tests between 1976 and 2022, Ireland 206 of 392. Ireland and New Zealand have had nine Prime Ministers in that time. Sir Graham Henry was 49-2 against Northern Hemisphere opposition and never lost to Ireland.


Is Angus Ta’avao the first person in rugby history to be sent off unconscious? Possibly not. Welsh lock Huw Richards punched Buck Shelford in the 1987 World Cup semi-final and then got knocked out himself, red-carded for provocation HERE


Ireland coach Andy Farrell had a good plan: beat New Zealand playing rugby league.


Will Jordan has scored 18 tries in 14 tests.


When the world rankings are officially updated today, the All Blacks will drop to fourth. That is New Zealand’s lowest-ever position on the chart, since they were introduced in 2003.


The All Blacks’ losing margin of 11 points was their biggest home defeat in 29 years. You have to go all the way back to France’s 22-8 win in Christchurch in 1994 to find the last time New Zealand were beaten on home soil by more than 10 points – exactly 150 home tests ago.


Ian Foster’s win rate as All Blacks coach has now dropped below 70% (69.6%).

“The game’s gone out of control. We saw the New Zealand-Ireland test, at one stage the commentators couldn’t count how many players were on the field. Seriously. And they had three backs packing the scrum. We’ve gone the full hog, where everything is a yellow card, everything is a red card. There needs to be some common sense come back into the game.” Eddie Jones, winner of 124 test matches.


The All Blacks last won at Wellington Stadium in 2016. The past four results have been:

  • 2017: British & Irish Lions, 21-24
  • 2018: South Africa, 34-36
  • 2019: South Africa, 16-16
  • 2020: Australia, 16-16


Damian McKenzie returned from his stint in Japan to play club rugby on Friday night in Southland, helping his team Woodlands to a 55-17 win over Star. McKenzie is a Woodlands junior and was making his senior debut for the club. He is joining Waikato for the NPC.


There were also wins for Northern Hemisphere teams over their southern rivals this weekend, with Wales beating South Africa 13-12, England defeating Australia 24-17 and the Scots beating Argentina 29-6. Plus on Monday morning Romania took down Uruguay 30-22.

Some spectacular rugby here – USA beat Chile 22-21.

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