Short Passes 5 August

05/08/2019

Above the Wellington Axemen U85kg side – back-to-back Division 2 U85kg division champions.

The men’s National Provincial Championship starts this Thursday when Southland host Northland but Wellington fans could be forgiven for barely knowing this given the Wellington media’s general rejection of rugby and the closed shop nature of professional rugby.

The Wellington Lions open their account on Saturday at the very Lions-fan unfriendly time of 2.35pm against the Tasman Mako in Blenheim.

This is followed by their second round encounter against the Hawke’s Bay Magpies the following Friday night in Napier, ahead of their opening home match on Friday 23 August against Canterbury for the Harry Saundercock Memorial Trophy.

NPC draw HERE

A Wellington Lions XV was involved in the a ‘Game of Three Halves’ contest against Counties Manukau and Bay of Plenty on Friday. Wellington played the first 40 minutes of this game against Counties Manukau and drew 5-5. They then met Bay of Plenty (result unknown).

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R.I.P Sir Brian Lochore.

Club Rugby’s Adam Julian met and interviewed the great man as part of his ‘Beer with an All Black’ series in 2015.

Read Adam’s story HERE

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The Hurricanes Youth Council’s U20 Cup got underway this past weekend.

Having travelled to Rugby Park in Gisborne, the Horowhenua-Kapiti Under 20 side made a decisive statement concerning their intentions to defend the Hurricanes Under 20 Cup, with a convincing 41- 13 victory over Poverty Bay.  In Masterton, Wairarapa-Bush beat Wanganui by 57-12.

Both Horowhenua-Kapiti and Wairarapa-Bush will carry maximum points into their double-header matches next weekend in Palmerston North, with their fixture on Sunday 11 August potentially the match which will decide this year’s champion team.

At the conclusion of the Under 20 Development Series this coming Sunday, the Hurricanes Heartland Under 20 Team to play Hawkes Bay, Manawatu and Wellington will be named. Read more HERE

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Stat of the week. Marist St Pat’s Premiers Played: 18 Won: 12 (Same Number of Wins as Norths, Lost: 5 (By a combined margin of 23 points) Drawn: 1 Points For: 662 Points Against: 302 Tries: 98 Conversions: 65. Note: Beat Norths, Ories and Tawa who were in the Jubilee Cup semis, but didn’t play Wainuiomata. Won 11 of their last 12 games.

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Congratulations to Whiti Te Ra for making Wellington Rugby League history by becoming the first team to win Premiership Grand final 4 years running, defeating Wainuiomata Lions 28-20. The trophy they play for is impressive and would dwarf the Jubilee Cup in size.

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The Wellington Samoans squad was named on Friday – see below.

This week, Club Rugby will be publishing its annual college post-season and representative season calendar.

The Wellington Samoans play the Wellington Maori and the Wellington U19s play the Centurions Development in a double header this coming Saturday at Porirua Park. Both these matches are warm-up fixtures for competition matches to come.

The Wellington Development team meets the Wairarapa Bush Heartland squad at the Hutt Rec at 1.00pm this coming Saturday.

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Below are the two First XV Premiership semi-finals this coming weekend.

In Premier 2, Tawa College and the St Pat’s Silverstream Second XV will meet in one semi-final and the St Pat’s Town Second XV and Porirua College will contest the other.

Except for the lost points, Scots finished top of the Premiership and scored a 4-try bonus point in every game. Silverstream managed that in 2017.

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Avalon used 54 players this season in the Premier grade.

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Below: The Old Fraser Park grandstand bathed in sunshine on Saturday…why hast thou forsaken me.

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Brad Shields faces a race against time to prove his fitness for the Rugby World Cup, with the Wasps forward will be sidelined for up to six weeks – the day England begin their training preparations in Japan.

The flanker suffered foot ligament damage during England’s first day of training in Treviso for their two-week Italian camp, and was forced to fly home for treatment. England’s squad is named on 12 August. Read more HERE

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This month’s Rugby News magazine – see page 79 for the good oil.

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