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The Monday Wrap 3 October (some community rugby news to start the week)

Du’Plessis Kirifi and the Wellington Lions are back home this coming Saturday at 2.05pm to host the Hawke’s Bay Magpies in their NPC quarter-final. 

The Hurricanes U16s tournament is this week. The draw for the first two days is below, Finals Day on Thursday.

Division 1:

Monday Wellington A v Hawke’s Bay, CIS 2, 11.00am / Manawatu v Wellington B, CIS 2, 2.30pm

Tuesday Manawatu v Wellington A, CIS 2, 1.30pm / Wellington B v Hawke’s Bay, CIS 3, 2.30pm

Division 2

Monday Ngati Porou East Coast v Wairarapa-Bush, CIS 3, 11.30am / Horowhenua-Kapiti v Poverty Bay. CIS 2, 12.30pm / Hawke’s Bay B v Whanganui U16, CIS 2, 1.30pm (non-competition match)

Tuesday Ngati Porou East Coast v Whanganui, CIS 2, 11.00am / Horowhenua-Kapiti v Hawke’s Bay B, CIS 3, 11.30am / Wairarapa-Bush v Poverty Bay, CIS 3, 12.30pm (non-competition match)

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The Wellington Lions have won seven games in a row for the first time since 2017. In 2013 they won nine games in a row. In 1986 won all 10 NPC games and were 18-3 for the whole year.

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Asafo Aumua scored four tries off the bench in Wellington’s 64-31 win over Counties Manukau. Wing Hosea Gear scored four tries against Counties in a 62-19 win in 2009, before getting dragged in the 60th minute with Ron Jarden’s 6-try record from 1953 in danger.

No.8 Emosi Koloto holds the Lions record for most tries in a game by a forward. He scored five tries in a 100-12 win against Horowhenua-Kapiti in 1988. Nigel Geany holds the record for most tries in a game for Wellington with seven in an 80-11 win against Whanganui in 1991. He scored four in the Koloto game too. All Black hooker Dane Coles scored four tries off the bench in a 57-23 win against Fiji in 2021. Aumua scored a hat-trick on his debut against Northland in 2016.

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Tough end to the season for James O’Reilly, who went down injured in the opening minutes against the Steelers, with what appeared to be a serious leg injury. O’Reilly has shoulder surgery planned immediately after the NPC and a planned several months on the sideline rehapping as it is. So he might need more than that done.

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The Manawatu Turbos have completed their first season without a win since 1919, missing out to the Taniwha on Sunday.

Some issues at the MRU, as this article points out HERE . This comment “Already this season, nine young players are shipping out including six from Palmerston North Boys’ High School who weren’t spoken to until it was too late.” Perhaps that is why the MRU couldn’t field an U18 team in the Hurricanes competition this year? Many are off to Hawke’s Bay and Canterbury so weren’t considered?

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Bay of Plenty blew a 34-14 lead to lose 35-34 to Waikato who will host the Steamers in an NPC quarter-final on Sunday. Northland beat Manawatu 41-24 to secure their place in the quarters. Northland are the most improved team in the competition, jumping from one win in 2021 to six in 2022. Unfortunately they have to travel to Christchurch to tackle table-toppers Canterbury on Saturday.  North Harbour, a potential title dark horse, hosts Auckland on Friday night and Wellington hosts Hawke’s Bay on Saturday. The Magpies ended Tasman’s season with a 25-17 victory on Friday night in Napier. Tasman have missed the finals for the first time since 2011.

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As has been pointed out by some Twitter commentators, we were wondering why the NPC quarter-finals pit teams playing against opposition from their same pool? Cross-pool matches with different opposition might hold more interest. But we weren’t aware there were quarter-finals at all until last week, so perhaps we just sit back and enjoy the extra week’s rugby!

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RIP Sam Doyle. A tribute to him on the Hurricanes Youth Council’s website here:

http://www.hyrc.org.nz/news/council-remembers-sam-doyle-hurricane-no-11.html 

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This week sees the five Super Rugby U18 high performance camps, with the schools squads from the Blues, Chiefs, Hurricanes, Crusaders and Highlanders regions coming together.

The Hurricanes U18s are in Taupo, and they play Fiji Schools there on Tuesday.

It is understood that New Zealand Schools and Barbarians team/squad selections are imminent – watch this space.

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The Black Ferns open their World Cup campaign against Australia at Eden Park in Auckland this coming Saturday. The Black Ferns have won all their World Cup openers by an average score of 74-6. The Black Ferns have never lost in eight tests at Eden Park and have won 32 of 34 home internationals. In their first game of the last World Cup they beat Wales 44-12. Fullback Selica Winiata with three tries and wing Portia Woodman with a double sounded an ominous warning to their rivals.

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We have a date for the Wellington Rugby awards – 11 October. We may yet have a Best & Fairest competition leaderboard.

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Some Sevens Tournaments coming up at a glance:

The Sevens season is fast approaching. Some tournaments/dates we are aware of that we can help promote and cover:

  • 22 October: Wellington Samoan Rugby Union 50th Year celebrations and matches at Porirua Park (15s rugby, not sevens).
  • 24 October (Labour Day Monday): College Sport Wellington Condor 7s.
  • 29 October: WRFU U21/Colts 7s tournament
  • 5 November: WRFU Men’s/Women’s American Ambassador’s 7s Leg 1
  • 12 November: WRFU Men’s/Women’s American Ambassador’s 7s Leg 2

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182 – Jackson Garden-Bachop
181 – David Holwell (Northland and Wellington combined)
168 – Fletcher Smith
159 – Matthew Cooper
139 – Marty Banks (Tasman and Southland combined)

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South Canterbury extended their unbeaten streak to 21 games with a convincing win over Mid Canterbury in the Heartland Championship. Since 2015, South Canterbury have won 46 out of 62 games.

One more round in the Heartland Championship before the top 4 Meads Cup semi-finals and 5-8 Lochore Cup semi-finals. The Meads Cup semi-finalists appear to be locked in, with South Canterbury and Whanganui guaranteed to finish one and two and Mid Canterbury and Thames Valley with the other two spots. The Lochore Cup teams not assured though, so a big last round for these teams.

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The New Zealand U19s play their fourth and final match of their South African tour Tuesday night (NZT) against a Lions side in Johannesburg.

The team will be hoping for an unbeaten tour, although the weather forecast is for hot and sunny conditions and a scheduled 1.00pm kick-off. They pushed their last game back a few hours because of heat, so perhaps they will do the same here.

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The opening round of Sky Super Rugby Aupiki will kick off on Saturday 25 February with the Hurricanes Poua hosting Chiefs Manawa at 2.05pm in Levin, while Matatū will welcome the Blues to the deep south, hosting in Dunedin at 4.35pm. Teams will play a round robin format for the first three weeks of competition before heading into play-offs. Semi-finals on Sunday 19 March will determine the two teams in the Final and third/fourth play-off, both of those matches to be held on Saturday 25 March. The Hurricanes Poua will be coached by two-time Black Ferns World Cup winner and captain Victoria Grant. She scored 41 tries in 40 games in an impressive Auckland career.

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Olympic Sevens gold medalist Gayle Broughton played in the women’s NRL grand final which her Parramatta Eels lost 12-28 to the Newcastle Knights. Former Wellington representative and Black Ferns Sevens gun Lavinia Gould scored tries in two Grand Final wins for the Brisbane Broncos in 2018 and 2019.

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Cool photo:

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