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The Monday Wrap for 31 October (some rugby news to start the week in rugby)

A good venue for this past Saturday’s Hurricanes Schools Sevens tournament at Gladstone Rugby Park south of Masterton. PHOTO: Andy McArthur. Sevens photos HERE

Fright night tonight – stay safe out there!

We are building towards the two-leg WRFU American Ambassador’s Sevens series, which kicks off this coming Saturday at a yet to be confirmed venue.

It is hoped there will be sufficient entries for a decent fortnight of sevens, and a shame if several clubs aren’t there. No Marist St Pat’s men’s side, they are serving the first year of their three-year ban from the tournament, which is resuming after a year’s hiatus in 2021.


Credit to the five rugby clubs that made appearances at Evans Bay Park on Saturday for the WRFU Colts tournament. Ories, OBU, HOBM, Avalon and the Upper Hutt Rams braved wet conditions in the five-hour tournament. Perhaps disappointing at least a couple more clubs couldn’t make the starting line for this one.

A large group of players involved who plied their trades in the Colts competitions this year, plus several established Premier players such as Dom Ropeti (playing for Ories), Ethan Webster-Nonu (Ories), George Sims (playing for OBU), Toby Crosby (Upper Hutt Rams), Tyrone Maraku (Upper Hutt Rams), Zane Ainslie (HOBM)  and a Wellington Lion, Sione Halalilo (Ories).

The teams played a round-robin, then a straight final at the end. Ories beat OBU in the opening match of the day, before meeting again in the final. Ories had too much firepower, leading 24-0 at halftime and then 36-7 by game’s end.


Likewise, the annual Hurricanes Youth Council’s Schools tournament was this Saturday in the Wairarapa.

Feilding High School beat Palmerston North Boys’ High School 24-12 in their all-Manawatu final. Bizarrely, the two schools don’t meet during the 15s season, so good bragging rights for Feilding. These two schools and St Pat’s Silverstream all finished the round-robin equal on 12 points, but Silverstream missed out on the final on points differential.

St Mary’s College beat Feilding High School in a two-team girls series.

It is hoped more schools enter this tournament next year.


More recent club rugby coaching appointments, such as below:

We are excited to welcome back Justin Wilson to the Eagles after some time away. Justin returns with an extensive CV which includes multiple seasons coaching Premier rugby and as the current Head Coach of the Wellington Maori. He comes with fresh ideas and plenty of enthusiasm to add significant value to our rugby programme.

We are also pleased to retain the services of 2022 coach Simon Malaeulu. Simon has grown rapidly in to his role and has played a key part in the recent success of the club. As an established legend of the club, we look forward to seeing his footprint on the forwards develop throughout the season.


The 2022 College Sport Wellington Sports Awards are next week. The Boys rugby winner is straightforward, being Wellington College’s Stanley Solomon who recently made the NZ Schools side. Based on the criteria, he will win this ahead of St Pat’s Silverstream’s Senio Sanele who was selected in the NZ Barbarians Schools side (effectively the B team). The Girls rugby winner could be less straightforward, with two St Mary’s players alone playing for the Wellington Pride this year, first five Arene Landon-Lane and midfielder/wing Justine McGregor.


Club Rugby understands that Jordan Chapman is heading to the Canberra Raiders next year. The 2022 St Pat’s Town captain and loose forward has been playing the northern game lately, selected in some NZRL representative teams.


Is this the end of the line for Dane Coles as an All Black?


The All Blacks longest midweek unbeaten streak is 84 games (1 draw) between 1963 and 1972. They won 52 on the trot in the 80’s, 32 in a row in 1924-25 and 31 in a row between 1905 and 1907.



On to Wales for the All Blacks, where it is the 50th anniversary of the Keith Murdoch affair.


Super Rugby squads announced last week – who were the players that missed out that perhaps could have or should have got a contract?

Only a handful of Wellington players named in non-Hurricanes Super Rugby squads next year – but this is a good thing as we want as many players as possible playing in the Swindale Shield, not training fulltime in Dunedin or Hamilton etc.


Women’s Rugby World Cup semi-finals this coming weekend. New Zealand v France and England v Canada.


A male streaker at the NZ-Wales quarter-final Women’s World Cup match.

This guy should be thrown a $20,000 fine and a lifetime ban from all sporting events and be put in the stocks for a week. But the actual punishment will likely be something much, much weaker.


1A First XV ban questions 

Why are traditional and responsible media being cast alongside social media trolls and other outlets who don’t do due diligence?

Does this stance set a future precedent for other schools and sports to follow?

Does the pressure go away? What’s the difference between an 18 year old playing a big high school match and a 19 year old (not uncommon these days) playing in the professional NPC? The crowds will still turn up to the traditional, a pressure and scrutiny itself and the NPC is a higher level of rugby?

Will the schools stop offering scholarships which are subject to a scrutiny to preform and failure to do so could lead to a demise is esteem from the individual recipient.

Would clubs or alternative solutions for competitions be a healthier environment for striking the tricky balance between enjoyment for players who play rugby for rugby’s sake and those ambitions to became professional?

What implications on team sponsorships will censorship of coverage have?

Does the ban extend to radio and audio commentaries not mentioned in the statement and not able to be consumed visually?

Is photography banned?

Were players consulted. College Sport Media founded in 2015 and Club Rugby founded in 2005 has profiled over 500 high school athletes nationwide and would have been turned down for an interview only a handful of times. The kids love the attention, don’t they?

Hamilton Boys’ High School has been consistently the best First XV in New Zealand for the last decade subjecting them to an unusually high burden of expectation. Why do they remain open to the media?

Are the schools themselves not responsible for creating an environment of undue scrutiny by appointing fulltime rugby directors, aggressively recruiting talent through scholarships, and having rugby academies and classes?

Can you regulate social media or make bad press go away? Dealing with the pitfalls of social media surely requires a more thoughtful response from our educational leaders than an arbitrary ban?

What happens to someone [a parent] caught filming at a game? Are they evicted from school grounds, banned from attending games again?

Parents are often the biggest promoters of their children. What happens to a player who speaks to the media contrary to the rules of the school? Are they banned from the team? Are YouTube video highlights packages accepted?

Sky Sport appointed senior commentators to First XV matches. Are announcers like Ken Laban guilty of commentating games with a lack of empathy, responsibility, and accuracy? Did they assist creating undue hype and criticising players too harshly?

Why not introduce a charter from broadcasting like College Sport Wellington has? CSW-Broadcast-Charter.pdf (

St Peter’s College, Auckland published a 90 page booklet in 2019 to promote the achievements of their 2018 National Championship winning team and to fundraise for their Japan tour. Over 40 pages of advertising was featured in this magazine. A bit of an about face to ban all media? Same goes for MAGS who had a full page spread in Rugby News to promote their centenary. Auckland Grammar School and King’s College made an exclusive deal one year to broadcast their match separate from Sky.

Can we have examples of some of the worst consequences of the “scrutiny” that the 1A rugby/media environment is causing?

 Black Ferns & All Blacks Tests on the Same Day

The Black Ferns and the All Blacks have played Tests on the same day on 17 occasions. The Black Ferns have won 13 times and the All Blacks 10. The first occasion they played on the same day was on 22 July 1995. The Black Ferns beat Australia in the first women’s Trans-Tasman Test in New Zealand 64-0 at the Waitemata RFC. Wing Vanessa Coutts scored four tries on her debut and would go onto score a record 43 Tries in 16 Tests. The match was supposed to be a curtain raiser to the All Blacks Bledisloe Cup Test at Eden Park but was instead transferred West because of  inclement weather. The All Blacks won their Eden Park encounter 28-16. It was their first match since the 1995 World Cup final loss against South Africa in Johannesburg. Jonah Lomu scored the solitary All Black try and Andrew Mehrtens kicked 23 points.

During the World Cup there was a furore when the Black Ferns quarter final at the World Cup against Wales overlapped with the All Blacks Test against Japan in Tokyo. On October 11 2003 the Black Ferns and All Blacks played on the same day. The All Blacks opened their World Cup campaign with a 70-7 win over Italy in Melbourne while the Black Ferns beat a World XV 38-19 in Whangarei. That fixture was a curtain raiser to a NPC match between Wellington and Northland which the Lions won 31-9.

Other famous events that happened in Black Ferns and All Blacks matches on the same day are on August 29 Xavier and Annaleah Rush became the first sisters to play an international match on the same day in Sydney. The Black Ferns, wearing grey jerseys soon discarded, for the first time in their history beat Australia 27-3. The All Blacks were beaten 19-14 by the Wallabies after a last play try to fullback Matthew Burke, capping a horrible year where the All Blacks lost five tests in a row.  John Eales kicked 14 points for Australia and Christian Cullen scored for the All Blacks. The All Blacks lost six tests in a row in 1949. This day was the first occasion in rugby history where a brother and sister played an international on the same day. Annaleah Rush featured in the Black Ferns when at centre wow her brother Xavier Rush was number 8 for the All Blacks.

On June 19 2004 the Black Ferns beat England 38-0 in Canada in a performance that World Rugby Hall of Fame inductee Anna Richards labelled the Black Ferns best win. The All Blacks beat England at Eden Park. Simon Shaw was sent off  after kneeing fellow lock Keith Robinson in the head. Joe Rocokoko scored three tries and Daniel Carter 16 points in a resounding win.

On July 22 2008 the Black Ferns battled to their closest victory 22-16 against Australia in Canberra while the All Blacks were beaten in the first match of Robbie Deans tenure 34-19. Deans had applied for the All Black position but was controversially overlooked for Sit Graham Henry. Deans won 43 of 74 Tests as Wallabies coach but lost 17 times in 21 Tests against the All Blacks.

On December 1 2012 the All Blacks and the Black Ferns were defeated on the same day. England swept their series against the struggling tourists 3-0 with a 32-23 win. Tries from Katherine Merchant (2), Emily Scarratt, Roz Crowley and Jo Watmore secured the win, while Scarratt added seven points with the boot. Despite two tries from Julian Savea the All Blacks were beaten by a record score of 38-21. The ironically named  Manu Samoa Tuilagi ran rampant scoring a try as did wing Chris Ashton diving with intolerable extravagance.

On August 26 017 the All Blacks beat Australia 35-29 in Dunedin with Beauden Barrett scoring a last-play try, his second of the match to go with five conversions. The Black Ferns won the World Cup final against England in Belfast 41-32. Prop Toka Natu scored a second half hattrick and fullback Selica Winiata two tries.

The Black Ferns have won a Test match six times by the same score as an All Black Test win.

  • 2002: Black Ferns beat Australia, 36-3, All Blacks beat England, 36-3 in 2004
  • 2007: Black Ferns beat Australia, 40-0, All Blacks beat Scotland, 40-0 in 2007
  • 2014: Black Ferns beat Australia, 38-3, All Blacks beat Australia, 38-3 in 1972
  • 2022: Black Ferns beat Canada, 28-0, All Blacks beat South Africa, 28-0 in 1999.
  • 2022: Black Ferns beat Scotland, 57-0, All Blacks beat South Africa, 57-0 in 2017


Six Nations Rugby will introduce Sportable’s smart rugby ball into its competitions as part of a multi-year partnership, beginning with the Autumn Nations Series that starts on October 29 with a match between Australia and Scotland.

Sportable and ball manufacturer Gilbert have collaborated to develop a chip-enabled rugby ball that tracks such metrics as passing and kicking distances, speeds and hang time, as well as the prospect of officiating support. That data is then analyzed and made available to broadcasters, sportsbooks and the participating teams with less than 400 milliseconds. Read more here


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