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The Monday Wrap 29 August (Tuesday updates)

UPDATES TUESDAY:

Asafo Aumua has re-signed with the Hurricanes and the Wellington Lions until 2024, it has been announced this morning.

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The St Mary’s College U15 girls have won the Hurricanes U15 tournament title in Levin on Tuesday afternoon.

St Mary’s beat Manawatu rivals MANUKURA 40-19 in the 12-a-side final played in 25-minute halves at Playford Park. St Mary’s revered a 19-22 loss to them on Monday, although MANUKURA had also lost to Ngati Porou East Coast on Monday as well. East Coast beat Wainuiomata High School 29-12 in the 3 v 4 match.

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UPDATED Monday: The All Black Sevens toppled Fiji 28-21 to win the World Rugby sevens tournament at Los Angeles this afternoon NZT. This is their first victory of the series in the last event of the season.

Earlier, New Zealand pipped Samoa 28-26 in a last-gasp win in their semi-final, overcoming two yellow cards and coming back from 0-14. They had also beaten Ireland 29-14 in their quarter-final.

There are four school rugby tournaments this week, three in Wellington/Hutt Valley and one in Levin.

Invitational U14 tournament, at Wakefield Park. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. Featuring: St Pat’s Town, Rongotai, Scots, St Bernard’s, Silverstream, Wellington College, Rosmini (NH), Feilding (MRU), Orewa (NH) and St Thomas’ (Canty).

Hurricanes U15 Boys tournament, at St Pat’s Silverstream, Fraser Park (art), Trentham Memorial Park and Maidstone Park. Featuring 16 schools from North Harbour, Auckland, Taranaki, Poverty Bay, East Coast, Whanganui, Manawatu, Horowhenua-Kapiti, Canterbury, Otago and Wellington (St Bernard’s, Silverstream, Rongotai and Aotea Colleges). This goes all week, with the final on Saturday. Draw here Draw – 2022 Hurricanes U15 Tournament (draft) (1) (subject to change if it rains).

Hurricanes U15 Girls tournament, at Playford Park, Levin. Monday and Tuesday. Teams and draw TBC.

WRFU (inaugural) U85kg tournament, at Fraser Park fields 1, 2 and 3. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Featuring:  Wellington College, St Pat’s Silverstream, St Pat’s Town, Newlands College, Sacred Heart College (Auck), King’s College (Auck) and Aotea-Mana Colleges (combined).

St Pat’s Silverstream versus Napier Boys’ High School in the Hurricanes Boys First XV Final this weekend. Venue and time to be confirmed, but we have heard that this is going to be the curtain-raiser to the Manawatu v Tasman match on Friday night at Palmerston North?

Moving on to Saturday, and a heavy programme of representative matches:

U19s Central Region Shield Round 2

  • Wellington U19s v Hurricanes Heartland U20s, Lyndhurst Park, 1.00pm
  • Manawatu 19s v Hawke’s Bay  U19s, Arena Manawatu #4, 1.00pm

Men’s

  • Wellington Māori v Wairarapa-Bush B, Masterton, TBC.
  • Wellington Samoa v Whanganui B, Petone Rec, 1.00pm
  • Wellington Centurions v Manawatu Evergreens, Arena Manawatu #3, 1.00pm

U18s HYRC U18 competitions

  • Centurions U18s v Wairarapa-Bush U18s, Masterton, 12.00pm
  • Wellington Māori U18s v Whanganui U18s, Playford Park, Levin 12.30pm.
  • Wellington Samoans U18s v Horowhenua-Kapiti U18s, Playford Park Levin, 2.00pm.
  • Poverty Bay U18s v Hawke’s Bay Saracens U18s, Gisborne, TBC
  • Horowhenua Kapiti U18s v Wellington Samoa U18 Girls, Paraparaumu Domain, 12.30pm
  • Wellington Māori U18 Girls v Centurions U18s Girls, William Jones Park, 12.30pm

NPC

  • Manawatu Turbos v Tasman, Arena Manawatu, Friday, 7.05pm
  • Southland Stags v Wellington Lions, Invercargill, 4.35pm
  • Wellington Pride v Canterbury, Christchurch, TBC

Heartland Championship

Wairarapa-Bush v Horowhenua-Kapiti, Masterton, 2.30pm

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Was Gus Sowakula playing for Taranaki or Wellington? The All Black No.8 got dominated by Wellington youngster Peter ‘Mini Gus’ Lakai in the Lions 31-25 win over Taranaki on Sunday. Who is more popular in Petone? Peter Lakai or Sam Blackburn?

Peter Lakai is only the sixth forward to score a hat-trick for Wellington in an NPC match. Taine Plumtree achieved the feat against Northland in a 54-7 win in 2021.Those who went before him are: Paul Quinn, against Bay of Plenty at Rotorua in 1977, Murray Mexted (Hawke’s Bay at Wellington in 1984), Brian McGratten (North Auckland – now Northland – at Wellington in 1984), Jeremy Thrush (Southland at Invercargill in 2015 and Asafo Aumua (Northland at Whangarei in 2016).

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In one result we missed on Saturday owing to the game being brought forward from this Wednesday was the Hurricanes Youth Council’s ‘Life Members Cup’ final. This resulted in Lindisfarne College beating Bishop Viard College 45-7 in a fixture played in Bulls.

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Feilding High School won 13 out of 17 games this season and scored 561 points, capturing the Central North Island title for the first time since the competition started in 2012. A fine rugby school, they won 182 out of 205 games between 2002 and 2011 and produced three Whitelock All Blacks, Aaron Smith, Codie Taylor and women’s stars Sarah Hirini and English hooker Amy Cokayne. Manager Blair Rogers helped set up the A-Z of the All Blacks and Black Ferns on AllBlacks.com.

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Horowhenua-Kapiti lock and captain Ryan Shelford became the eighth H-K player to play 100 games for the union last week against East Coast. He played his first match at home as a centurion on Saturday H-K losing 20-53 to South Canterbury.

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In the same game (above) in Levin on Saturday, Horowhenua-Kapiti first five Hamish Buick took a heavy head knock to the ground as he was being tackled by South Canterbury’s No. 8 Siu Kakala in the act of attempting to dart in for a try. Buick was down for some time, so it was with significant relief when he sat up and walked off the field, aided by medical staff. We wish Buick all the best.

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The semi-finalists have been found in the Farah Palmer Cup, the Black Ferns returning to the competition following two wins against Australia. In the Premiership defending champions Waikato host Auckland while Canterbury, winners of all six regular season matches, host Wellington. In the Championship, Otago hosts North Harbour while Hawke’s Bay will look to repeat their earlier season success over Auckland.

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The WRRA held its awards this weekend, winners being as follows. Most Promising Level 1 – Ethan Loveridge Most Promising Level 2 – Ollie Michie Most Improved Level 3 – Danny Cameron Most Promising 2nd Year – Jean Terblanche Dilnott Trophy – Dennis Sharman Joe O’Brien Service Award – to be presented at a later date.

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With the defeat at the hands of the #LosPumas, the All Blacks lost four matches so far into 2022, a figure they have only surpassed twice in their history.
6⃣ in 1949
5⃣ in 1998
4⃣ in 2009
4⃣ in 2022

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The National Top Four First XV Regional finals this coming weekend are.

  • South Island: Nelson College v John McGlashan College
  • Hurricanes: Napier Boys’ High School v St Patrick’s College, Silverstream
  • Chiefs: Hamilton Boys’ High School v New Plymouth Boys’ High School
  • Blues: Kelston Boys’ High School v Westlake Boys’ High School

In the girls, Christchurch Girls’ High School will represent the South Island after beating St Hilda’s Collegiate 60-10 on Saturday and MANUKURA will be the Hurricanes team after beating St Mary’s College 24-17 last week. The Chiefs and Blues qualifiers are TBC.

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Auckland beat Otago 35-18 yesterday in the NPC, at one point leading 35-5, which included Salesi Rayasi’s customary try. But one one young player who could be talked about as an end of year tourist is young Otago lock Fabian Holland. It remains to be seen how the All Blacks finish their TRC season and what, if any, small or drastic changes will be made.

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Good to see Peter Umaga-Jensen running into some good form again.

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A bit concerned about the Lions goal-kicking in tight matches coming up though. Aidan Morgan and Ruben Love need to keep at it. Who else can kick goals?

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Another top game by Lions hooker Asafo Aumua – until he got sin-binned. Hopefully he can improve his tackling technique and work his way back into the All Blacks in the future.

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A good news story in girls rugby from the Tasman region last week, with the combined Nayland College – Stoke Rugby Club team – Tasman SSG 2022 Champions.

They completed an unbeaten season and won their maiden title with a 33-20 victory over Motueka High School in the final on Wednesday night. This is a combined college-club team. It’s Nayland College and the Stoke club, comprising players from six schools who play under the combined team banner. This allows those players who go to smaller schools and area schools to play the game they love. They have girls traveling up to three hours each way to train and play.

This is a model that should be encouraged and replicated elsewhere. What’s more, there could be a second tier ‘Top 4′ for these combined school and club teams, particularly in the schoolgirls game where each region is still dominated by the big single schools, i.e. St Mary’s in Wellington, Hamilton Girls’ High School, MANUKURA, Christchurch Girls’ High School. With no Co-ed Cup anymore in the Top 4 tournament perhaps an opening for this could be found?

Alternatively, in the girls space, perhaps teams competing in the Top 4 could be allowed to field one or two guest players from other schools, freeing up their eligibility? For example, a few years ago current Black Ferns prop Amy Rule attended small Riverton High School but in this scenario could have played for Southland Girls’ High School as a guest player and perhaps made a difference. Another example is this year in Dunedin, where Otago Girls’ High School beat St Hilda’s Collegiate in their Otago final but forfeited a spot in the South Island final because they declared fielding an ineligible player. That ineligible player was talented first five Abigail Paton, of East Otago High School [In Palmerston, some 50lm north of Dunedin]. East Otago does not field a team in the competition, so if Paton wanted to play, it had to be for a different school. She joined Otago Girls’ and has played every game and attended every training.

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Eight players with the first name “J” took the field in Southland’s team against Northland yesterday. In 2017 Otago also fielded a team stacked with players with the first name “J”, reaching double figures on a couple of occasions. So if you’re a player named Jack, Jona, John, Jacob, Joe, Jono, Joketani Josh or James looking for a break perhaps move south to the  ‘Jighlanders’ region.

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Razor Sharp Pumas Blunt Fozzy All Blacks.

Did the Pumas win because they wear St Patrick’s College, Silverstream colours? Ten finals, ten wins in winter codes for the lads from Silverstream.

Former Black Fern and Sky TV pundit Honey HiremeSmiler boldly predicted Argentina would win the test. Great insight for Hireme-Smiler in contrast to NRZ apologist Jeff Wilson who suggested the All Blacks would win by 13 plus.

Michael Cheika has won four of 15 tests against the All Blacks and joins Eddie Jones to have beaten the All Blacks as a coach of two countries. It became fashionable in New Zealand to dump on Cheika but he seems an authentic, passionate, smart rugby man who doesn’t speak in groans, cliches, jargon and riddles

New Zealand have had 25 Prime Ministers since the All Blacks played their first test on August 15, 1903. Sir Keith Holyoake is New Zealand’s longest serving PM. He had two tenures in office from September 20, 1957 to December 12, 1957, and again from December 12, 1960 to February 7, 1972. The All Blacks won 36, lost 7 and drew three matches in that period. Sir Robert Muldoon was in office from December 12, 1975 to July 26, 1984. The All Blacks record was 33 wins, 14 defeats and a draw in that time. David Lange led the country from July 26, 1984 to August 8, 1989 and the All Blacks won the first World Cup in 1987 and 25 out of 30 tests. Helen Clark was Prime Minister from December 10, 1999 to November 19, 2008 and in that period the All Blacks won 88 out of 106 tests. John Key, Prime Minister from November 19, 2008 to December 12, 2016 got it good with 97 wins, two draws and just 11 defeats in 110 tests. The All Blacks haven’t been so flash under Jacinda Ardern since she assumed office on October 26, 2017 the record is 40 wins, 13 defeats and 3 draws in 56 tests.

David Kidwell, Argentina’s defence coach was born in Christchurch. He presided over one of the most embarrassing errors in Kiwi league history, losing a World Cup quarter final 4-2 to Fiji in Wellington in 2016 and then having to deal with the fallout of a coke scandal following a heavy defeat to Australia in 2017. He only won 3 of 10 tests but was a champion player and obviously a very capable observer and coach of Union.

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Springboks halfback Faf de Klerk got yellow carded for a rather innocuous slap off the face on opposite Nic White in South Africa’s 25-17 loss to Australia at the Adelaide Oval. De Klerk was  just flailing his hands around at the scrum, as he often does, accidentally clipping White. Former All Black Andrew Mehrtens with an excellent commentary line, “Maybe he was trying to knock his moustache off.”

Such a shame the outrageously gifted South African centre Lukhanyo Am doesn’t touch the ball more often: Lukhanyo Am: Ten things you should know about the Springboks centre (rugbyworld.com)

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The Black Ferns 22-14 win over Australia in Adelaide was the closest test between the two countries since the Black Ferns beat Australia 22-16 in Canberra in 2008.

In 108 Tests the Black Ferns have scored 4105 points but never kicked a dropped goal. Did you know in 1980, Wayne Smith in the second of his 35 games for the All Blacks kicked a dropped goal in a 75-3 win against South Australia where the Black Ferns beat Australia 22-14 on Saturday?

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Canada beat Wales 31-3 in a Women’s World Cup warm-up test match.

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Bemused to hear of the New Zealand Herald decrying the fact that both schools that contested the Auckland 1A First XV Final shut out ‘media’ throughout last week leading up to the final on Saturday at Eden Park.

Whilst this is precious of both Kelston Boys’ High School and St Peter’s College, the New Zealand Herald are, of course, hypocrites here. Putting schoolboy rugby coverage behind a paywall is poor. The quality of college sport coverage in Auckland really suffered when the excellent Campbell Burnes was cut. The media coverage generally of college sport in Auckland leaves a lot to be desired, and if the New Zealand Herald and a paywalled publication at that is all there is left in Auckland then a gaping hole exists to fill that void.

For the record, Kelston BHS beat St Peter’s 26-24 in the final.

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