Short Passes – 29 April


Another hotly contested round of rugby across all grades on Saturday, and the promise of more to come this coming Saturday as we move into May. Swindale Shield matches this coming weekend HERE 

The college rugby season kicks off this weekend. Last year’s top four sides are again involved in the Hurricanes region pre-season series, taking place in Masterton, Gisborne, and at Porirua Park over the next three weeks. The remaining six places in the Premiership will be determined over the same period through the qualifying series. Look out for a preview of the school rugby season later this week on this website.


Who are the Hurricanes aiming this Saturday’s match against the Rebels at from a crowd perspective? Kick-off is at 5.15pm in Wellington, which means it is not the active rugby community they want attending this game. Swindale Shield kick-offs are at 2.15pm, but what difference does that make? Who made the decision to host a Super Rugby match at 5.15pm on a Saturday in Wellington during the club rugby season? How did they get a job working in rugby?


As well as Norths’ Helen Collins, two other players brought up 150 Premier games for their clubs on Saturday. The Upper Hutt Rams’ Apa Heemi – who debuted in 2007 – was able to celebrate with a win as well as reaching the milestone on the clubs Old Timers’ Day. It wasn’t quite the same for Avalon veteran utility back Cameron Cross who came off the bench for the Wolves in their loss to Poneke; accounting for the years that Avalon spent outside of the Premier grade its likely Cross has played over 220 first-team games since debuting in 2004.

Kemera Hauiti-Parapara celebrated his 50th start for Tawa with a win over Wainuiomata, while Piri Paraone was unable to help Petone to victory over HOBM in his 50th match.


A couple of weeks ago we asked in this space when the last time a lock scored a hat-trick at the Premier level in Wellington when OBU’s Caleb Delany did so against Avalon. On Saturday two locks managed the feat; Upper Hutt’s Lui Luamanu against Pare-Plim, and Wellington’s James Poliniati in the Axemen’s rout of Johnsonville. So, when was the last time that happened?


Observers could have been forgiven for wondering what year it is with Paula Kinikinilau and Paulo Aukuso forming the midfield pairing for Ories on Saturday. The last time the two started a match together was also against Norths – the 2011 Jubilee Cup final – which was before their teammate Malo Manuao had even started at college.


Speaking of Ories, one of their number is going well overseas. Outside back Andy Ellis has been playing in Ireland over the northern winter with Naas in Division 1B of their All-Ireland League scoring 11 tries for the side across their campaign. Naas – who are in County Kildare just west of Dublin – finished their season with an extra-time 17-20 loss in the playoffs for promotion to the 1A tier.

Meanwhile, on the right wing for the Ories Premier Reserves on Saturday was Fa’avae Tuma’ai (pictured right). Tuma’ai last played for the Ories Premiers just over nine years ago. His daughter Mena was named at first five-eighth in the Ories Women’s team on Saturday but they were defaulted to by Wainuiomata.


A swift debut for the Hurricanes on Saturday night by Hutt Old Boys Marist wing Salesi Rayasi, coming off the bench and scoring his maiden Super Rugby try soon after.


Points for and against is usually a good indicator of a teams standing on the table. HOBM have scored the most points and are top, while behind them Ories have conceded the fewest. At the other end Johnsonville have both scored the fewest and conceded the most, with Paremata-Plimmerton second in each.

And then there is MSP, who have scored the seventh-most points and conceded the second fewest; yet they go into this weekend sitting 10th.


Old Boys University and Marist St Pat’s contested the Jack Lamason Cup on Saturday.

Jack Lamason was a leading figure in Wellington sport before and after the Second World War. He played senior cricket for Wellington College Old Boys for 20 years and represented Wellington and toured England with the New Zealand cricket team in 1937. He played senior rugby for WCOB, being captain and later coach. He represented Wellington from 1929-36 and was part of the 1930 Ranfurly Shield winning team coached by the renowned Norman Millard.

Perhaps of greater note is that he was never in the 1st XV or 1st XI whilst at Wellington College.


Poneke are holding their Old Timers’ Day on Saturday 18 May against the Wellington Axemen.

As part of this, the club is having a display of Poneke FC Memorabilia (the club’s Taonga) all day at the clubrooms at Kilbirnie Park. So if anyone has anything Poneke FC related sitting in a Cupboard that is suitable for display they are welcome to contact them at and they will take good care of it for them.  There is also the traditional luncheon at 12pm ($25) so anyone wishing to get a seat to that can also reach them at that email address or via Poneke on Facebook.


Marist St Pat’s will be hosting their 50th anniversary on 29 May – 1 June 2020. A page on the club’s website has been set up for this HERE 



Nominations are open until the end of today  for the Wellington Sports Awards, with the finalists announced on 10 May.

Alongside the award categories, the Wellington Sports Awards also acknowledge members of the sporting community by presenting titles such as Lifetime Contribution award and the Personality of the Year award. Previous winners included rugby players Ardie Savea and Asafo Aumua. The winners will be announced at a special event at the TSB Arena on 19 June. Nominate someone at


The Hurricanes announced three signings last week.

Lock Liam Mitchell (23), utility back Chase Tiatia (23) and utility back Danny Toala (20) have joined until 2021.
Their decision follows closely on from promising prop Xavier Numia (20), openside flanker Du’Plessis Kirifi (22), and lock James Blackwell (23) also committing to the Hurricanes for the same period with Vince Aso (24) and Alex Fidow (21) signing on until at least the 2022 Super Rugby season.


Scots College competed in the annual ???????????? ???? ?????????? last week in the Hawke’s Bay.

After beating St Andrew’s College 36-12 on Wednesday, they met Auckland’s St Kentigern College in the final on Friday:


Former Wellington and Athletic club captain and All Blacks lock Neven MacEwan has written a book called When The Crowd Stops Roaring which will be published this week on his 85th birthday.

Read Club Rugby’s Adam Julian’s interview with MacEwan in 2015 in his Beer with an All Black series: 


The club rugby scene at Lyndhurst Park, Tawa on Saturday. Photo by Barry Stead. More photos of Tawa vs Wainuiomata HERE 

Comments 2

  1. steven robertson

    Genuine rugby fans aren’t being targeted by the Super Rugby franchises – with loud music blaring out during breaks in play, various big screen cam shots providing distractions during the match and worst of all Mexican waves being started from the big screen. It is now an ‘entertainment package’ rather than a game of rugby … a house built of straw which will be blown away sooner or later.

    This inconsiderate kick off time for those of us interested in club rugby against the Rebels is just the latest slap in the face. Administrators are out of touch with the grassroots. WRFU is not blameless – last year the Lions played a Sunday match the same day as the Wellington First XV Premiership Final with times too close to watch both and this year the culmination of the Wellington club rugby season – finals day – will have to play second fiddle to the All Blacks test in Wellington on the same day.

    • clubrugby

      Absolutely spot on and we agree with you.
      Plus two weeks ago, the Hurricanes Development team AKA the ‘Hunters’ took 18 players out of Wellington club rugby to Japan to play Japan A. Great trip for the players. But not good for Wellington club rugby. One could also look at who is one of the Japanese national team coaches and see it is John Plumtree. So a run for his fringe boys.

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