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The Rugby Wrap 14 November (some rugby news and happenings to start the week)

And that is that.

The concluding weekend of rugby in Wellington for 2022 was a surefire blockbuster, with some thrilling sevens rugby played in at times testing conditions at Trentham Memorial Park on Saturday.

Thankfully the skies cleared and the heavy rain stayed away for much of the tournament, and the field dried out. Ories and the Upper Hutt Rams fought out a fitting final and these two clubs share the 2022 WRFU club sevens series.

Kudos to the Wellington Axemen for fielding three teams too, perhaps the start of a resurgence at Hataitai Park for 2023?

Frankly disappointing that a group of Wellington’s biggest clubs didn’t enter this year’s American Ambassador’s series. Northern United, Tawa and Hutt Old Boys Marist have all won this series over the past decade. Poneke, Petone and Johnsonville (plus suspended Marist St Pat’s) the other Premier clubs being a no-show.

Perhaps next year the WRFU needs to open this tournament up. Expand it to three tournaments and invite composite teams or teams or sides from other unions such as Manawatu to enter.

Alternatively, for NZR to reinstate the Provincial Sevens tournament, preceded by the three zonal qualifiers, in this case the Lower North Island tournament. Or if they won’t do that for the Hurricanes to start the inaugural Hurricanes Provincial 7s tournament next year – and back it and support it. Either way, bring back a sevens rugby representative programme!

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Link here: https://mlpictures.co.nz/rugby/the-alex-fidow-gallery/

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Great to see two players from the same club win the World Cup on Saturday:

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Check out our post-RWC story in another thread on this website by Club Rugby’s India correspondent Adam Julian:

O For Awesome – Ayesha and Joanah are Ories World Champions

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The All Blacks turned around a 9-point deficit to beat Scotland 32-23, scoring 17 unanswered points.

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The Barbarians beat the All Blacks XV 35-31 in their international in North London on Monday morning.

The Barbarians were captained by Luke Whitelock and also included New Zealanders George Bridge, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Charles Ngatai and Ihaia West.

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Italy beat Australia 28-27 in their international this weekend – Italy had lost all 18 previous contests with Australia dating to 1973.

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South Africa lost 30-26 to France, conceding a late try that referee Wayne Barnes awarded after going upstairs only for the TMO to have technical issues and unable to assist ruling a possible double movement.

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Club sevens around the country – a four-peat in the BoP by Te Puna.

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Re – signed for The Manawatū Turbos – 2023 & 2024 Bunnings NPC season 🟢🟢
We are pleased to announce that proud Manawatū man and true master of the game – co-captain Brayden Iose has re-signed with the Mighty Manawatū Turbos for his 7th season & 8th NPC seasons! 🎉
We asked Brayden to comment on his signing and what he is looking forward to next season:
“I believe in what we are building here and I’m excited for the growth that we can make in the near future. I love this region and want to do all I can to help us win both on and off the field.
It means a lot for me to represent Manawatū. The Turbos gave me an opportunity at a young age and have helped me grow into the player and person I am. I owe a lot to the union and want to do all that I can to add to the proud history that the players before me have paved.
We have a young exciting group next season and I want to continue to grow and develop my game alongside them.”

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Horowhenua-Kapiti union award winners, from last week: 
De Castro/KB Swain Cup: Paraparaumu
Robinson Rosebowl: Waikanae
Club Referee of the Year: Randal Peni
Supporter of the Year: Peter Gully
Saturday Morning Volunteer of the Year: Bonnie Petersen
Club Volunteer of the Year: Aunard Barlow
Club Coach of the Year: Simon Fifield
Representative Awards:
Blazer Presentation: Dean Thomas – Under 20’s Manager
Under 20 Player of the Year: Darren Falaniko (pictured below, playing for Paremata-Plimmerton on Saturday) 
Māori Colt of the Year: Kale Eriksson
Māori Player of the Year: Joel Winterburn
Heartland Most Improved Player of the Year: John Macneilage
Heartland Most Promising Player of the Year: Louis Northcott
Heartland Player of the Year: Joel Winterburn
Representative Coach of the Year: Chris Wilton
Representative Team of the Year: Heartland

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