Short Passes 11 March



The anticipation for the opening round of the Swindale Shield is gathering momentum. Wellington Premier club rugby kicks off on Saturday 23 March. View the draw HERE 

Some encouraging pre-season hit-outs this past weekend, at home and away. Local clubs Tawa and Paremata-Plimmerton, Wainuiomata and Poneke and Wellington and Oriental-Rongotai met in full squad practice matches.

Visiting Taranaki club Spotswood impressed in beating Johnsonville 36-5 at Helston Park. The ‘Spotty Dogs’ were dominant in the forwards, with a strong scrum in particular, while Johnsonville’s penalty count was alarmingly high. The match was played in quarters, with Spotswood leading 7-0 after 20 minutes, 12-5 at halftime, 17-5 at three quarter time and then more than more doubling that by the end.

The Northern United Premier and Premier Reserve  and women’s squads reported a fruitful visit to Palmerston North to play Kia Toa. Although their Colts weren’t able to take the field with the home club falling short of Colts players to oppose them.

Meanwhile in Taranaki, Hutt Old Boys Marist re-claimed the New Zealand Marist Federation Spillane Cup, beating cross-town Wellington rivals Marist St Pat’s 39-35 in the final.

In the first round in the morning, HOBM had defeated last year’s winner Napier Old Boys Marist 21-17 and MSP had beaten Hastings Rugby & Sports 28-3.

Hastings defaulted their 3 v 4 match to NOBM, owing to injuries and three concussions to key players sustained against MSP earlier in the day.

Club Rugby returns to the radio this year, with coverage every week on Te Upoko starting at 2.30pm and on Radio Sport from 3.05pm. Round one commentaries on 23 March have been confirmed, with Gordon Noble-Campbell on Radio Sport at Lyndhurst Park between Tawa and Petone and JP Tocker on Te Upoko from Evans Bay Park between Marist St Pat’s and Poneke for the Horan-Millar Trophy.

Tawa TV will be back bigger and better in 2019 to stream live all  Tawa Premier games during the season. They now have an official Commentary box/ scoreboard at Lyndhurst Park.

Photos. As well as going up on social media, most of our photo galleries are posted online for the next couple of decades or so. There are now more than 13 seasons of galleries online. Bookmark the page and look through past galleries HERE 

We are working on the annual Gains and Losses article. It is hoped most clubs will help us out here. Approximately half have already been received (as of Monday morning) and it is obvious already that the gap between the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ is not narrowing anytime soon. For example, Paremata-Plimmerton will take the field on 23 March for their season opener with 323 caps of Premier rugby experience gone from last year.

Leo Crowley joins Wellington coaching team. Experienced assistant coach Leo Crowley has joined the Wellington coaching team for the 2019 Mitre 10 Cup [NPC] season.

Crowley, who has worked previously as an assistant with Canada, the Melbourne Rebels, Tasman and long-term with Taranaki, as well as coaching the Chiefs Development squad, joins head coach Chris Gibbes, defence coach Cory Jane and scrum coach Greg Halford for the Premiership season.

Rodney So’oialo joins Sri Lanka:

Two tries to Petone loose forward Brad Shields in England’s 57-14 win over Italy over the weekend.

The Chiefs woes continued this weekend, thrashed 57-28 by the Crusaders on Saturday evening. They haven’t got around to posting their 2019 club rugby draw online yet and don’t answer emails, three weeks from the start of the season, but they sure love their Super Rugby in Christchurch!

This coming Friday, the Hurricanes play the Chiefs in Hamilton. The home side will be wearing retro 1996 jerseys. Despite consecutive defeats, the Chiefs will be a dangerous beast for the Hurricanes. Any pack with Brodie Retallick in it is to be respected.

Hurricanes second five-eighth Ngani Laumape, aka the Highbury Hitman, scored another two tries on Friday in the 22-21 win over the Highlanders.

How does Laumape’s try-scoring rate compare with other Hurricanes players?

Player Tries scored Games Played
Christian Cullen 56 85
Julian Savea 50 116
TJ Perenara 49 115
Ma’a Nonu 48 126
Tana Umaga 47 122
Ngani Laumape 34 49

Last year Ben Lam and Laumape became the 15th and  17th players to score 4 tries in a Super Rugby match. On Saturday, Reiko Ioane became the 18th player to do so by scoring 4 tries for the Blues against the Sunwolves.

A couple of big head-to-head blows this past weekend in Super Rugby matches involving former first XV teammates. On Friday night, Alex Fidow and Thomas Umaga-Jensen met head-on in a Scots College reunion, while on Saturday former Hamilton Boys’ High School players Sevu Reece and Solomon Alomoana had a nasty clash in the Crusaders vs Chiefs game.

As World Rugby officials prepare to meet in Dublin this week to lay out plans for the proposed global competition, the game’s minnows are staking their claims for involvement.

Among them, Georgia. With a billionaire backer and a Kiwi coach, European rugby’s potential sleeping giants want to make their mark. READ MORE HERE


Short passes is Club Rugby’s  news in briefs and noticeboard column for 2019.

If you have news, notices or want a shout-out for anything email or send us a message on social media. Club Rugby also welcomes assistance in putting this together, so if you want to help in the news in brief-gathering process please get in touch.

Comments 2

  1. stephen atkin

    Good summary. Are you going to post players leaving and joining each club since the season?

    • clubrugby

      Yes – some articles coming next week around all this. As of the end of this week we are waiting for a handful of clubs to give us this information.

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