Short Passes – 20 May

20/05/2019

Above: Like a rare bird sighting, Johnsonville tries have been few and far between this season so far. Here Hawks right wing Rohan Rawlings dives through to score on Saturday against the Upper Hutt Rams. The Rams won 34-17. PHOTO: Peter McDonald. 

A massive Saturday coming up in the Swindale Shield. While Hutt Old Boys Marist have already annexed the trophy, the race for the remaining five places to join the Eagles and Norths in the Jubilee Cup will go down to the wire.

There are no scheduled mid-week matches this week, with all school First XV teams gearing up for the start of the Premiership and Premier 2 and 3 competitions this coming weekend. The DRAW is expected to be released early this week.

The exception is a ‘catch-up’ Women’s match on Tuesday night at Ngatitoa Domain at 7.00pm between the Paremata-Plimmerton and Wainuiomata/Avalon team.

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Best of luck to Hutt Old Boys Marist halfback Sheridan Rangihuna in his upcoming stint in Japan. Details to be confirmed soon.

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Scoring ran hot on Saturday around the Wellington region. But not in the U85kg JC Bowl clash between the Johnsonville Terrahawks and the Upper Hutt Light Rams. The run of play was testing and willing and the Terrahawks won 7-3.

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Marist St Pat’s wore black arm bands and honoured their recently departed friend Pua Magasiva against Northern United with a 48-31 win on Saturday.

Another storming game from MSP lock Tom Martin on Saturday. He has played every game of the season so far for MSP and surely a player to watch for the future.

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Up the line in the Manawatu, College Old Boys stamped their mark on the Hankins Cup competition by crushing rivals Feilding Old Boys-Oroua 50-17 in Kimbolton. Meanwhile there were three close matches to open the second round of Horowhenua-Kapiti‘s Ramsbottom Cup; Waikanae edged Toa 26-22 in a top-three clash, Foxton held off Paraparaumu 22-21, and Shannon scored a pair of late tries to see off Levin College Old Boys 41-25 on the latters Old Timers’ Day.

In the Hawke’s Bay, Napier Old Boys Marist beat Taradale 34-29, ending the latter’s 10-game streak. More HERE 

Some big margins in Auckland’s Premier competition on Saturday. Ponsonby beat Waitakere 61-7, Eden beat Te Papapa 79-14, and Marist blitzed Mt Wellington 80-0. But there was one bigger eye-popping result, with College Rifles racking up a 126-3 flogging of East Tamaki.

In Canterbury, University are on track to concede 500 points by the end of May, missing out 7-44 to Belfast on Saturday in what was a bottom-of-the-table clash. Christchurch and Lincoln University and joint leaders after eight weeks of the first round competition. More HERE

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A superb moment of respect at Nairnville Park on Saturday with a group of current and former Wainuiomata High School 1st XV performing a haka for Old Boy Bevan Clark on his 100th appearance for the club’s Premier side. With Wainuiomata then going on to topple OBU, who knows what effect that had.

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Four more players have confirmed their future is with the Hurricanes. Experienced loose forward Reed Prinsep has extended his contract through until at least 2021. Former Johnsonville and Oriental-Rongotai lock Kane Le’aupepe has also agreed terms with the club and also signed on until at least 2021. The pair are joined by first five-eighth Jackson Garden-Bachop and outside back Jonah Lowe who have signed until at least the end of the 2020 Super Rugby season. Garden-Bachop, 24, has made six appearances for the Hurricanes since his debut against the Jaguares last year. Lowe, 23, has been sidelined with injury for most of the 2019 campaign after a solid pre-season.

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First XV coverage on television has seemingly gone up a notch this year. Not only has Sky Television moved its First XV coverage from the Rugby Channel to its Sky Sport Channels, TVNZ is now in on the action. On Saturday there were two matches broadcast live, a Central North Island fixture on Sky and an Auckland 1A contest on TVNZ.

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Winners are grinners:

Below: Nice try by the Scots College No. 8 on Saturday, which came from a lineout turnover. Scots won the match 50-0 – although several players from the Gisborne Boys’ High School team were injured or otherwise unable to make the trip to Wellington this past weekend. 

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