Some of St Bernard’s College’s Intermediate students had their last session at the Gareth Head Leadership Rugby Clinic on Sunday and were able to get a photo with some legends. Ken Laban, Yogi Roger’s, Norman Hewitt and Christian Cullen with the Ranfurly Shield and NPC Trophy. PHOTO: https://www.instagram.com/sbc183sport/
Monday 10.45am edition: Two more weekends of club rugby pre-season and then it’s showtime on Saturday 1 April.
A number of pre-season fixtures coming up throughout the lower North Island this coming Saturday, so look out for a preview here at the end of this week promoting what’s on as best we can.
Some inter-club pre-season matches coming up on Saturday at a glance:
- Tawa v Hutt Old Boys Marist, Lyndhurst Park.
- Massey v Old Boys University, Palmerston North
- Oriental-Rongotai v Paremata-Plimmerton, Rongotai College
- Marist St Pat’s v Avalon, Evans Bay Park
- Northern United v Upper Hutt Rams at TBC
- Petone Women v Marist St Pat’s Women, North Park
- Petone U85kg v Hutt Old Boys Marist U85kg, North Park
- Greytown v Palmerston North College Old Boys, Greytown
- Hutt International Boys’ School v Palmerston North Boys’ High School, NZCIS
To add more games to this fixtures list email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Hurricanes host the New South Wales Waratahs on Friday night and the Hurricanes Poua play the Chiefs Manawa in their Super Rugby Aupiki semi-final at North Harbour on Saturday.
We are currently putting together the annual ‘Gains & Losses’ for each club for the upcoming club season. Some responses already (thank you) and hopefully several more over the next week or so before we move to publish.
As seen in pre-season trainings and matches so far, there is already some movement in this space, so look out for some interesting names in new club colours this year.
The 91st Spillane Cup tournament was played this past weekend in Taupo.
In the top division, Marist St Pat’s missed out on day one to Hamilton Marist 14-54. Hamilton Marist went on to beat Napier Old Boys Marist 25-14 in the final, to win the tournament for the first time in 23 years, while MSP met Hastings Rugby & Sports in the 3 v 4 match (result TBC).
Hutt Old Boys Marist won the Division 2 Ham Cumming Cup, to earn promotion to the top tier for the next tournament. HOBM beat North Harbour Marist 45-19 in their final, after defeating Auckland Marist 52-0 on Saturday.
Petone competed in a knockout tournament hosted by Hamilton Old Boys on Saturday, with Auckland’s Manukau Rovers taking the win:
The first OBU Billygoat try-scorer on their new home ground, Rugby League Park? None other than Taine Plumtree. The No. 8 crashed over after running from an attacking scrum for the Blues Development team. Worryingly, Plumtree subsequently left the field injured in the second half after sustaining a neck/shoulder injury from a ruck near the same spot in the 22. He was walking unaided, so hopefully not too serious.
Another former Wellington No. 8 playing at Rugby League Park on Saturday was former Scots College’s Cody Lokotui. The son of the former Samoan international and Marist St Pat’s Jubilee Cup winner Lua Lokotui played much of the match for the Crusaders U20s in a roller coaster 33-33 draw with the Hurricanes U20s. Sister Paris is a recent Pulse netballer and is now playing in Christchurch too.
The Super Rugby U20s tournament is in Taupo with games on Sunday the 19th, Wednesday the 22nd and Saturday 25 March. The Hurricanes U20s play Moana Pasifika on day one.
It is an eight-team competition, so the five traditional NZ franchises are playing, plus Moana Pasifika and Fiji Drua and a NZ Barbarians side – so it will be interesting to see who is in their squad when its revealed.
The Blues A side was captained by Anton Segner, the then German exchange student who took to rugby whilst at Nelson College a few years ago. Segner has a busy match at openside flanker.
A another eye-catching game on Saturday night by Peter Lakai – considering he only turned 20 last week. Devan Flanders returned to top level rugby with a great game.
Do the Hurricanes need more speed on the right wing? Julian Savea is strong and vastly experience and still playing well, but express pace would have served them well on a couple of occasions. Similarly, Salesi Rayasi could channel Earle Kirton and show his gas more often.
Note to home teams using Rugby League Park this season, including the Hurricanes, Old Boys University and Wellington Rugby. Can you please get a scoreboard up and running? Poor form that there’s matches there open to the public and there’s no scoreboard in operation. Two consecutive draws there on Saturday and the couple of hundred spectators at each game had to keep the scores in their heads.
We are Dane Coles’ biggest fan and have been for a decade and a half, but is it time for Asafo Aumua to be starting games?
Will Old Boys University be tethering a live goat on the slopes of Rugby League Park this season? Just so it doesn’t slip its peg like USDC did this weekend and wander away.
The world’s most experienced waterboy?
It would be hard to past Petone’s Tana Umaga, the 74-test former All Blacks captain ran water for the Blues in both their matches on Saturday, at Rugby League Park and Wellington Stadium. Warming up with the team at the former venue, Umaga looked as fit as fiddle and probably could have played.
Another returnee to Wellington with the Blues squads was coach Paul Tito, who spent much of the recent off-season in Tibilisi in Georgia following helping the Wellington Lions to their Ranfurly Shield and NPC wins.
Tough ending in Fiji pic.twitter.com/pwK9OmrNch
— Crusaders (@crusadersrugby) March 11, 2023
“The crunch is blue”
Maidstone Park is taking shape: