Short Passes 14 October (lunch edition)

14/10/2019

Pepesana Patafilo in action for the Lions on Saturday. Short Passes thinks that he could be in a Super Rugby squad and not in Tawa’s next year. PHOTO: Hugh Pretorius.

A big weekend of rugby to look forward to this coming Saturday.

There are three sevens tournaments – details, teams and draws to be published later this week. These tournaments are:

WRFU American Ambassador’s Leg 1, Mary Crowther Park
CSW U15s and Hutt Cup Sevens tournaments, Naenae Park
Hurricanes Youth Council Sevens, Rathkeale College

There are two National Provincial Championship semi-finals involving Wellington teams, these are:

Men’s NPC Premiership: Wellington Lions (2) v Canterbury (3), Wellington Stadium at 7.05pm Saturday.

Women’s NPC Premiership: Auckland Storm (2) v Wellington Pride (3), Eden Park at 12.05pm Saturday.

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Ayesha Leti-L’iga watch. Five tries for the left wing on Saturday against Manawatu. She has now scored 34 tries in 29 Women’s NPC games and must be the most exciting player in the women’s 15s game today?

Watching Wellington versus Manawatu on Saturday, it got us thinking that a Hurricanes Women’s team would be a handy side. Combining Wellington, Manawatu and Hawke’s Bay, what would be your current Hurricanes Women’s match-day squad?

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Spare a thought for Upper Hutt Rams No. 8 Murphy Taramai, who was stretchered off in the 8th minute of North Harbour’s unsuccessful Ranfurly Shield challenge match with Canterbury on Sunday with what looked like a serious leg injury. The Hurricanes might have to find an injury replacement for some of the 2020 season for their new signing, and the Wellington No. 8 Teariki Ben Nicholas would be a worthy replacement if not bequeathed already to another franchise.

Also spare a thought for regular Club Rugby correspondent Kevin McCarthy, who files the regular Aisle be Back column. Last week Kevin moved to the Falkland Islands to take up a communications role with the local administration. No sooner than he had settled in to his new South Atlantic office his partner developed a freakish and nasty eye infection, and with no specialist care in Port Stanley had to be medevaced to Chile for care. Short Passes wishes them both well and we look forward to a resumption of his rugby column when he is back in his new digs and settled down!

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News last week that Spark has secured the broadcast rights to New Zealand domestic and international cricket.

As a consequence, Sky’s share price dropped 20.7 percent in a day.

Why doesn’t Spark start buying up Sky shares?

Update Monday morning: New Zealand Rugby (NZR) and Sky have agreed a revolutionary new broadcast deal that will see Sky deepen its investment in all levels of rugby and NZR become a shareholder in Sky.

NZR and Sky today announced the new broadcast agreement which extends Sky’s existing SANZAAR broadcast rights to 2025.  The five-year agreement includes:

•    The rights to broadcast rugby in New Zealand from 2021 to 2025
•    A record investment in New Zealand and SANZAAR rugby
•    New Zealand Rugby becoming a 5% shareholder in Sky

The broadcast rights include exclusive coverage of all Investec Rugby Championship, Steinlager Series,  Super Rugby, NPC and all New Zealand’s other domestic competitions, including women’s competitions like the Farah Palmer Cup.

They can’t own community rugby though!

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If World Rugby was running Bathurst would the safety car have been on for the whole race?

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Dwayne Sweeney was the only survivor in the Wellington versus Waikato game on Saturday from the 2006 NPC final between the same two teams, won 37-31 by Waikato. That match featured 28 All Blacks.

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Vaea Fifita is a shadow of his former self. Would a switch to sevens for next year’s Olympics be a possible source for a career resurgence? He has the athleticism, skill and history (a national champion with Wellington) to be highly effective.

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West Coast lost their 50th Heartland Championship game in a row on Saturday.

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Below: You know when the football season has started with the blanket coverage of it, at the expense of rugby and most other sports.

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