For Wellington clubs, this coming Saturday 16 March is the penultimate round of pre-season fixtures before the first round of the Premier Swindale Shield and Premier Reserve Harper Lock Shield competitions.
For others around the Hurricanes region, it is the opening round of the season proper. Both Manawatu and Hawke’s Bay start their Championship seasons on Saturday.
The Hurricanes Development and Hurricanes U20 squads also play against the New Zealand U20 trialists at Massey University on Saturday, involving a number of players from the various club teams around the region.
Matches on this weekend involving Wellington Premier club teams include:
- Upper Hutt Rams v Petone at Upper Hutt College. Premier Reserves from 1.00pm (30 minute halves), Premiers from 2.15pm.
- Paremata-Plimmerton v Wellington at Aotea College. Premier Reserves at 1.oopm, Premiers from 2.45pm.
- Tawa v Marist St Pat’s at Lyndhurst Park. Premier Reserves at 1.00pm, Premiers at 2.45pm.
- Old Boys University v New Plymouth Old Boys/Coastal at Vogeltown Park, New Plymouth at 2.30pm.
- Poneke v Tukapa at Sanders Park, Sanders Park, New Plymouth at 2.30pm.
Johnsonville, Wainuiomata, Northern United, Oriental-Rongotai, Hutt Old Boys Marist and Avalon all have internal camps/practice days.
Matches on this weekend involving Wellington Colts and Women’s club teams include:
- Paremata-Plimmerton Women v Old Boys Boys University Impalas v Hutt Old Boys Marist at Aotea College 2, 11.30am.
- Oriental-Rongotai Women v Marist St Pat’s v Petone Women at Rongotai College at 11.3oam.
- Avalon Wolves Colts v Paremata-Plimmerton Colts, Fraser Park Artificial, 10.00am.
- Tawa Colts v MSP Colts, Lyndhurst Park, 12.00pm
- Upper Hutt Rams Colts v Petone Colts, Upper Hutt College, 11.30am.
- Wainuiomata Colts v Hutt Old Boys Marist Colts,William Jones Park, 1.00pm.
Old Boys University’s match with leading Taranaki sides NPOB and Coastal and the two pre-season women’s matches are ‘game of three halves’ encounters.
Poneke and Tukapa meet at Sanders Park, New Plymouth for the Zemba Cup.
The Zemba Cup is now in its 80th year, presented in 1939 by M. Zemba, sen, for yearly competition between Poneke and Tukapa and Tukapa became the first winner, prevailing 20-5. For many seasons, the two clubs played for this on an annual basis, usually alternating between Wellington and New Plymouth.
Old Boys University also holds its annual 10s tournament among its social teams this Saturday.
The Hurricanes play the Chiefs tonight in Hamilton, from 7.35pm. The Hurricanes haven’t beaten the Chiefs in Hamilton for a decade, so this should be a gripping fixture.
The first round of the Hawke’s Bay club rugby competition is below and HERE
The opening round of the Manawatu Senior 1 competition draw is (all games kick-off at 2.45pm):
- Kia Toa v Freyberg at Bill Brown Park
- Linton Army v College Old Boys at Linton Army Camp
- Te Kawau v Massey University at Rongotea Park
- Old Boys Marist v Feilding Yellows at Arena Manawatu 4
- Feilding Old Boys Oroua BYE