You are here
Home > Club Rugby > Barrett and Rams Bonding Strong 

Barrett and Rams Bonding Strong 

Tynan Barrett lining up a kick a fortnight ago against Poneke. Photo: Upper Hutt Rams.

  • By Adam Julian

The Upper Hutt Rams appear to be a different beast in 2023. The Rams have won three consecutive matches to start the Swindale Shield. They won four matches in each season between 2019 and 2022.

“Upper Hutt is booming, it’s the place to be,” Tynan Barrett enthused.

“The new field is in great nick, the new clubrooms will be amazing when finished, and we’ve got Brewtown and NZCIS next door. We had a great pre-season with large numbers. The vibe is great,” the Rams first-five continued.

On Saturday Upper Hutt was both ruthless and vibrant in accounting for the Wellington Axemen 76-10. A week earlier they overcame an inaccurate start to punish Poneke 42-16. The most telling result of the season to date was a 35-34 victory in round one over vastly improved Paremata-Plimmerton. Barrett kicked the winning penalty after the Rams were forced to dig deep.

“We held the ball for five minutes and tried to work up field. We were cautious because we didn’t want to give it back.

“The penalty was about 40 metres out in front. It’s probably the best kick I’ve ever done. It won the game and got our season off to a good start. It would have been a real downer to lose it.”

Upper Hutt lost four games by five points or fewer in 2022. Barrett believes greater fitness will help the Rams flip similar heartbreaks in 2023.

“We were lucky to have Ayrton Yarrell from the Hurricanes work with us most of the pre-season. He really blasted us, and all the boys are felling much fitter. We want to play a high-tempo game. We’re not the biggest team so it suits our skills.

“We don’t have full access to the New Zealand Campus of Innovation and Sport, but we’ve been lucky to have it four or five times. The green room is a great place to work when the weather is bad, and all the facilities are amazing so to have any access to it is a privilege and an advantage.”

Upper Hutt gained an advantage in 2021 when Barrett became a goal kicker out of necessity. In the Swindale Shield last year he scored 135 points second to Old Boys University’s Callum Harkin who scored 142. Barrett tops the points-scoring count this year with 48.

“It was against Avalon in 2021 I became a kicker. All our kickers were injured so Eli Hunt was trying to claim it and that would have been ridiculous. I kicked seven out of eight that game and stuck with it.

“I don’t practice too much, but I do like to knock over a few before the game to get into my rhythm. It’s one of those things I try to keep simple and not over think.”

For a while, Barrett didn’t think about the Prems. In his first season out of St Patrick’s College, Silverstream he played Colts. In 2018 and 2020 he was part of the Upper Hutt 85’s that won the Paul Potiki championship. A new coaching staff has Barrett engaged and playing the best rugby of his career.

“Adam Campbell was my first coach in the Swindale Shield. He’s a school headmaster and gets his point across short and sharp. Matt Lee has been great with the backs. He’s a real skills-oriented coach.

“The other guy that’s been huge for us is Game Development Officer Henry Gray. He’s in the schools all the time attracting boys to the club. He’s got a great way with people and if he gets one boy often a whole bunch of his mates come to which is big.”

Toby Crosby is a promising prospect that was lured to Maidstone Park by Gray. The hulking loose forward has scored eight tries in his last five games. Barrett is in awe of ‘Protein.’

“He’s a freak of nature. He can run through anything. I was surprised he missed the New Zealand 20s. That’s bad for him but good for us.”

The Rams travel to William Jones Park to tackle Wainuiomata this Saturday. The Rams plan to run the hosts ragged with Barrett suggesting Wainuiomata, winners of two games, will be “really physical.”

Barrett is a qualified electrician employed by Advanced Electrical Wholesalers, a sponsor of Hutt Old Boys Marist.

Upper Hutt /Rams notable winning streaks:

  • In 2005 Upper Hutt won the Swindale Shield by winning 10 matches in a row, before losing their last match at home to Marist St Pat’s 12-11 to blemish an unbeaten campaign.
  • Upper Hutt won four in a row between rounds 3-6 in the 2014 Swindale Shield.
  • Between rounds 9 and 13 of the 2016 Swindale Shield, the Rams were unbeaten, which included one draw against HOBM. In the first round of the Jubilee Cup that followed, they beat defending champions OBU 20-18.
  • In 2021 the Rams won their first three games of the season, beating Avalon 49-28, Johnsonville 23-19 and Paremata-Plimmerton 45-22. They then faded and won one and drew one of their next 10 games.

Barrett running in a try against Paremata-Plimmerton in 2021. 

Similar Articles

Leave a Reply