- By Scott MacLean & Steven White
Just in. Scots College have defaulted tomorrow’s First XV Hurricanes Cup Final owing to injuries/unavailability. So PNBHS through to Top 4 semi-final next Friday.
— ClubRugby (@ClubRugby) August 25, 2023
With the club and college competitions now over, the focus on the field now shifts totally to representative action for the next few weeks before the international game and the Rugby World Cup takes over in earnest.
Rugby being played tomorrow is below.
There is however, still one club team going. The OBU Scallywags have ridden into the last eight of the National Club Cup knockout competitoo, and tomorrow take on Auckland’s Pakuranga Black Panthers at Nairnville Park.
The “Scallys” earned their spot here after beating Tawa for the second week in a row last Saturday, while recent Auckland runners-up Pakuranga ended the run of the Morrinsville Majestic Pukeko. The winner here will progress to a semi-final against the victor of Takapuna Bombers vs Patumahoe clash, while the other side of the draw sees the last southern region side – Christchurch’s High School OB – host the Auckland University Squids with New Plymouth OB taking on another Auckland side in Grammar TEC.
Kick-off is at Nairnville Park at 1.00pm.
After Wednesday’s remarkable 7-0 win and Ranfurly Shield defence against Tasman, the Wellington Lions face a tough end to “storm” week by heading south the take on Canterbury in Christchurch on Sunday afternoon and looking to keep their unbeaten start to the competition and 16-match winning streak intact.
The Lions are playing Canterbury for the Harry Saundercock Memorial Trophy, which Canterbury holds having beaten Wellington 43-10 in this match last year. The Lions reversed that result in the NPC final with a 26-18 victory.
This silverware on offer here was presented by the Saundercock family in 1965 in memory of Harry Saundercock who was the first member of the CRFU to represent Canterbury Rugby sub unions in 1935.
Canterbury are also unbeaten through three rounds (one fewer match played) and scored 10 tries in beating Manawatu 68-26 last weekend.
The Wellington Pride are in action at the same time, and with relegation to the Championship already confirmed will be looking to put a positive end on a difficult campaign in Hamilton against a Waikato side already confirmed for the playoffs.
Teams for both these matches aren’t expected to be named until Saturday, but in the case of the Lions we would expect some changes to be made following their bruising affair with the Mako on Wednesday.
Elsewhere the Wellington Centurions side is in New Plymouth to face the Taranaki Development team.
The Centurions are coming off home and away wins over the Manawatu Evergreens, while their Taranaki opposition has played two games against the Hawke’s Bay Saracens and North Harbour Development and have lost both. Taranaki are playing in the northern regions competition which includes all northern teams except for Waikato.
The Maori-Te Upoko are also heading north to Danniverke for a clash with their Hawke’s Bay counterparts, in the first of two inter-region clashes, the second of which will be against Canterbury Maori.
Update: This match has now been cancelled:
The Wellington U19s get their Hurricanes Central Region Shield competition underway against the Hurricanes Heartland U20 side at the NZCIS campus at 1.00pm.
The E Tu Whānau Footy Show will carry live commentary of the U19s match. They are on air from 12:50 with build up. As well as being on 1161AM and 87.6FM around the city they are live streaming on iHeart Radio and Whare Kōrero – or visit their website www.teupoko.co.nz
The Manawatu and Hawke’s Bay U19s meet in the other first round match in Palmerston North.
There are also two Hurricanes U18s/U16s warm-up fixtures in Wellington on Saturday. The Wellington Centurions U18s and the Tawa Colts meet at Lyndhurst Park at 1.00pm and the Wellington Maori U18s and the Wellington U16s meet at Porirua 2 at 1.00pm.
College – now cancelled
Scots College and Palmerston North Boys’ High School will meet in the Hurricanes Boys First XV Final in Palmerston North.
Palmerston North Boys’ High School will come into this final as clear favourites, having beaten last year’s winners Napier Boys’ High School 19-10 in last week’s semi-final at Napier, and they return to play this match on home soil despite it being a neutral match. Club Rugby also understands that Scots won’t be at full strength, with potential injury concerns in both backs and forwards.
Last Saturday Scots College skipped out to a big lead against Feilding High School and held on to win 43-35. They have also had to contend with judicial matters this week that have been documented elsewhere but the upshot is that they were found guilty of not suppling the correct team sheet prior to the game and will receive a written warning.
Kick-off at Arena Manawatu is at 2.oopm.
The winner of this decider will play South Island champions Southland Boys’ High School on day one of the Top Four tournament at Massey University next Friday.
Teams (as received):
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