Short Passes – 1 April



Above: HOBM edged Twa 25-24 on Saturday in one of several close games in hot conditions. PHOTO: Warwick Burke.

Two weeks into the Premier season, and there are eight unbeaten teams of 28 in the Premier and Premier Reserve grades that have been in action so far. View the Draws & Results HERE

More grades start up this coming weekend, including the Colts and Women’s grades. For the second consecutive year, there is a Women’s Gala Day start at Ngati Toa Domain.The WRFU is expected to release the draws this week – as soon as Tuesday.

The Hurricanes have announced that the Northern United v Oriental-Rongotai first round women’s fixture will be played at Westpac Stadium as a curtain-raiser to a Hurricanes match. The date for this is 17 May.

The Paremata-Plimmerton Colts won the Daniel Baldwin Memorial Trophy on Saturday, beating the Wellington Axemen Colts 17-10.

There were some familiar faces watching on at Fraser Park on Saturday, including Avalon’s Hurricane Asafo Aumua and his Ories counterpart Ardie Savea. But more notable was the sight of current Crusaders and Otago – and former Avalon – prop George Bower helping out his old club by running the water on what was a very warm afternoon on the artificial turf.

Shaun Treeby has been an interested spectator at Lyndhurst Park over the opening two weeks, before he heads back to Japan, while current Hurricane Wes Goosen was in the stand at Porirua Park watching both matches on Saturday.

Speaking of Fraser Park the new Ricoh Sports Centre is an impressive facility. However there will be one last send off for the old Avalon clubrooms on their Old Timers Day this Saturday following their Swindale Shield clash against Wainuiomata.

Congratulations to former Johnsonville Hawk and Ories Magpie Kane Le’aupepe who made his Super Rugby debut on an otherwise forgettable night for the Hurricanes on Friday. Now based in the Bay of Plenty, Le’aupepe converted from a back into a lock/loose forward on his return to rugby after suffering a neck fracture in an off-field incident, and made over 50 Wellington Premier appearances across the two clubs before heading north after the 2016 season.

Poneke have announced that they will be joining Tawa in livestreaming their Premier matches throughout the remainder of the season.

The Hurricanes play the Highlanders this coming Friday night in Dunedin in their next match.

Some discussion on Twitter on Saturday evening about the quality of the club rugby on show and the viability of having 14 clubs when the player pool has shrunk over the past few years. Depth was indeed tested on Saturday, with a group of players in several teams backing up from playing close to or almost full game games for their Premier Reserve sides and then benching it for their Premiers. That has always been an issue, especially at this time of year, but perhaps it is getting more pronounced.

Lots of guys out this past weekend for various reasons, but it also doesn’t help when about a dozen players in the Wellington club competition played for the Hurricanes Development side on Friday instead of club rugby on Saturday.

In a related subject to the above, right: recognisable by his grey headgear, Dynasty Sport’s Paul Latham was wearing his own kit on Saturday. Latham played 30 minutes for the Paremata-Plimmerton Premier Reserves at openside flanker. Great to see him lacing up his boots in the club’s 60th year!

Below. Short Passes received some questions about the WCC’s latest cycleway development along Evans Bay Parade and how this may affect the availability of carparks once complete given that carparking is already at a premium for junior and senior sports teams and supporters on weekends at Kilbirnie and Evans Bay Parks and St Pat’s College. As well as all the carparks under development on the Evans Bay Park side of the road, there is a new bus stop on the Kilbirnie Park side. A potential loss of carparking could cause a lot of disruption for team sports users and watchers in this area when cyclists could have just cycled along the grass edge of Kilbirnie Park or taken themselves up to the Hataitai Velodrome for spin.

The following answer from Eastern Ward Councillor Sarah Free was:

“Once the project is finished  there will be 57 car parks on the Kilbirnie Park side on the permeable grass paving.

There will be 15 spaces on the St Patrick’s College side. I believe at least one of the bus bays is designated for school buses only so that will also be available for parking at other times.”

Big win for the MSP Premier Reserves on Saturday at the aforementioned venue:


In 2019, “Glenbeigh Books” will be publishing a limited edition of “Ghost Rugby Clubs Of Wellington”.

Only 140 numbered copies will be printed, (one for each of the 140 years that the Wellington Rugby Union has been in existence).

The book is the “second of a trilogy”, which commenced with the publication of “The Rugby Patricians”, in 2016.

Advance expressions of interest, are welcome. Please email for more.

The Wellington Rugby Football Union is seeking applications for the following  representative coaching roles for the 2019/20 seasons.

Head & Assistant Coaches – Mens Sevens
Head & Assistant Coaches – U18 Girls
Head & Assistant Coaches – U16 A
Head & Assistant Coaches – U16 Development

For more email:

Is Super Rugby insulting the fans? Radio New Zealand’s Hamish Bidwell asks this question HERE

And sums up what many are thinking with this line here:

“All you can say is that Steve Hansen and the All Blacks better win the world cup, because rugby fans are being asked to forgive quite a lot in the meantime.”

The Ball Recovery Specialist comes into their own on windy days.

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