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Wellington Gold and Hawke’s Bay A win U16s openers as Hawke’s Bay wins U18s feature match

The Hurricanes U16s competition opened today around the region.

In two Division 1 games, the Hawke’s Bay As beat Manawatu 12-5 at Ongley Park, Palmerston North and Wellington Gold defeated Wellington Black 22-10 for a bonus point win in their intra-union match at Tawa.

In Division 2 U16 tournament openers, Whanganui beat Horowhenua-Kapiti 33-24 and the Hawke’s Bay Development team defeated Wairarapa-Bush 43-24 in Dannevirke.

In the second leg of the New Zealand Universities Women’s internal tour, they beat the New Zealand Defence Force 75-19 in their match at Davis Field, Upper Hutt.

In Heartland Championship fixtures involving Hurricanes region teams this afternoon, both Wairarapa-Bush and Horowhenua-Kapiti suffered away losses. Wai-Bush lost 20-27 to Buller and Horo-Kapiti were beaten 31-27 by King Country. Whanganui beat Ngāti Porou East Coast 40-24 at home and Poverty also lost at home, missing out 43-50 to North Otago.

In three Hurricanes region U18s games today, the Wellington Centurions U18s beat the Wairarapa-Bush U18s 67-7, the Whanganui U18s beat the Horowhenua-Kapiti U18s 34-12 and the Hawke’s Bay Saracens U18s beat the Wellington Samoan U18s 31-12 – more on this third game below.

Christchurch’s High School Old Boys beat North Harbour’s Takapuna Bombers 45-17 in the final of the National U85kg Knockout Cup this afternoon – more on this final below. 

The Centurions U18s found plenty of open space in their match at Tawa. Photo: Chainsaw Photos.

A third match saw the Wellington Maori U18s meet the OBU Colts at Te Whaea.


The Hawke’s Bay U18s beat the Wellington Samoa U18s 29-12 at a windswept Ongley Park in Palmerston North this afternoon.

The match was scheduled to be played in Ashhurst but an unsatisfactory field forced a late change and a delayed kick-off.

Hawke’s Bay won the match five tries to two after leading 10-7 at half time and playing into the strong wind in the first spell, which was more of a crosswind. They won the game through their outstanding defence against a bigger, more physical Samoan team.

Hawke’s Bay tackled well and forced a number of turnovers throughout the match which stemmed the Samoans’ momentum.  For their part, Wellington Samoa created several moments of ascendany but handling errors let them down.

Hawke’s Bay second five CJ Mienie broke the game open early in the second half when he scored an outstanding 80 metre solo try from a scrum. He burst into the clear and went on to beat the last line of defence with a sidestep off his right foot to score under the posts. He converted his own try to put Hawke’s Bay up 17-7.

Second five CJ Mienie scored one outstanding try and helped set up another.

A few minutes later, Hawke’s Bay scored their fourth and match-winning try following a turnover deep inside their territory and a booming kick into touch inside the opposing 22 which was a “50/22” and gave them their own throw-in to the lineout. Several phases later Hawke’s Bay prop and captain Tasman Soanai Oeti burrowed over the line to put his team up 24-7.

Both sides made several changes off the bench which led to the Samoans finally breaking through to score. They attacked off a scrum inside the 22 and went wide to replacement left wing Chris Taulogo who scored in his corner.

Any hopes of a comeback were short lived, as with several minutes remaining Hawke’s Bay first five Izaiah Tuliau intercepted a short pass as the Samoans were running the ball out from their own territory and scored the final points of the afternoon.

Earlier, Hawke’s Bay had opened the scoring in the fifth minute when second five Mienie counter-attacked up the middle of the field off a turnover and passed to first five Tuliau who scored the first of his two tries of the afternoon.

The Samoans briefly went ahead when Hawke’s Bay’s backline broke down in mid field and second five Setu Fa’avae kicked ahead for right wing Josh Semu to run on to and score to put his team up 7-5.

The only other scoring in the first half was Hawke’s Bay’s second try which was scored by hooker Juan Ross off a penalty and lineout drive to double their score to 10-7.  Hawke’s Bay were almost in again from a penalty and lineout drive in the same corner, but conceded a technical penalty and their chance was lost.

The chase for the loose ball.


High School Old Boys Light Bears are lightweight champions of New Zealand defusing the Takapuna Bombers 45-17 in the National Under 85kg final this afternoon.

At a sun-drenched North Harbour Stadium, the occasion was magnified by the performance of the national anthem prior to kick-off.

The Light Bears started well. Two Takapuna lineouts went astray enabling the southerners to dictate territory. In the sixth minute halfback Taine Cordell-Hull opened the scoring when he collected a bobbling ball, pivoted past a would-be defender, and skipped gleefully clear.

The Bombers’ prospects of victory would be shattered in the ninth minute. Nate Archibald was red-carded at the re-start. The centre was involved in an accidental and nasty collision with the High School Old Boys receiver.

The Light Bears, with six premier backs, ruthlessly seized the initiative and scored three tries in a blistering quarter-hour burst. Canterbury B fullback George Coul was eager and clinical while first-five Jarred Percival and second-five Freddie Gibson combined with flair and authority as holes opened regularly.

Coull’s second try where he received an audacious offload from Percival was jaw-dropping and will no doubt endure long after it happened. It was almost irreverent, a stark contrast to brutish blindside Ryan McNulty who clattered through fatigued shoulders and arms in his violent surge to the posts.

Down 26-0 in as many minutes, the Light Bears incurred the wrath of the Bombers scrum and blindside Luke Rutledge-Harding eventually rumbled over after a trifecta of penalties.

Thoughts of an improbable comeback were short-lived. A charge down by hooker Jose De Sousa saw the Light Bears turn with a 33-7 advantage at the interval.

Takapuna was remarkably resilient and achieved parity on the scoreboard (12-12) in the second half. Lock Brayden ‘Big’ Red’ Smith and loosies Rutledge-Harding and Matt O’Brien were tenacious and tireless.  Halfback Jackson Ephraims showed moments of real quality and a lot was asked of versatile replacement Akuso Vae Lua.

The Light Bears always had another level though and captain Percival was delighted that the red card didn’t deviate them from their initial strategy.

The South Island has captured three of the four National Under 85kg titles. Takapuna finishes an outstanding season with a 16-1 record.


The rugby continues on Saturday with the BoP Steamers hosting the Wellington Lions in round seven of the NPC:

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