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23 March: Matt Todd signs on

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) and the Crusaders have secured the services of loose forward Matt Todd for another year, re-signing him to the end of the 2018 season. 28-year-old Todd has been a consistent performer for the Crusaders and All Blacks since making his Super Rugby debut in 2011 and Test debut in 2013. He has played eight Tests to date and is only a few games off reaching his 100th cap for the Crusaders, but has proven over the last couple of years that he is only getting better and better with age and experience.  Todd acknowledged that there had been interest from overseas clubs but said the decision to stay and play his rugby in New Zealand and Christchurch for 2018 was relatively straightforward in the end.

20 March: Has failure become a habit for the Blues?

After beating the Crusaders in every facet except the scoreboard, has losing become a habit for the Blues? Read more here

20 March: Defending champions Rangataua edge Mount in BoP opener

In the game of the round featuring last year's Premier grand finalists, defending champions Rangataua Sports dominated large chunks of territory and possession but could not shake off the resilient Mount Maunganui Sports on the scoreboard in their Baywide competiton opener. Results: Tauranga Sports 28 Arataki 16, Rangataua 11 Mount Maunganui 3, Te Puke Sports 54 Greerton Marist 12, Rotoiti 51 Poroporo 7, Paroa 37 Whakatane Marist 18, Whakarewarewa 24 Te Puna 20. Read more here

15 March: Kerr-Barlow off to France

All Blacks, Chiefs and Waikato halfback Tawera Kerr-Barlow will bid adieu to New Zealand at the end of 2017.  The 26-year-old has signed a three-year deal with French Top 14 Club La Rochelle. Melbourne-born Kerr-Barlow arrived in New Zealand in 2004 as a 13-year-old and attended Hamilton Boys High School. The hard-working halfback made his debut for Waikato in 2009 and in 2010 he was part of the New Zealand Under 20 side that won the Junior World Championship in Argentina.

14 March: Waldrom eyes improvement for NZ men's sevens team

The New Zealand men's sevens team have conceded the fact they won't be claiming the overall title this year. With a fifth placed finish at the Vancouver tournament at the weekend, the best the New Zealand team can hope for is to finish second - and they still have a lot to do if they want to achieve that. he team's chances of staying alive in the overall title hunt plummeted when they lost to England 14-12 in the quarterfinals. England went on to win the tournament. Speaking to Radio Sport, New Zealand coach Scott Waldrom said after good performances on the opening day of the tournament, his side had high hopes for the pressure stages Read more here

 

12 March: Napier OBM win Spillane tournament

Napier Old Boys Marist have won the 2017 NZ Marist Spillane Cup, beating Wellington's Marist St Pat's 22-3 in the final this afternoon in Palmerston North. MSP started a second string side and failed to fire, while NOBM were well led by early replacement halfback and former Wellington St Pat's Town college player Zac Donaldson. He sealed victory with the final try of the final, an 8-9 move near the whitewash. Wellington's Hutt Old Boys Marist beat hosts Palmerston North Old Boys Marist 49-19 in the playoff for third and fourth. 

11 March: Pirates withdraw from Otago Premier competition

Pirates has pulled  out of the Dunedin premier rugby club competition this season, saying it did all it could to get players. The club announced its decision yesterday. The  135-year-old club had a pre-season match last Saturday against Dunedin where it had only 18 players available for both the premier one and premier two teams. The premier competition would now be a nine-team competition with  a bye  every Saturday. Read more here

7 March: NZ rugby concussion study to go global
3 March: NEW Canterbury club rugby Facebook page

NEW Canterbury club rugby and First XV rugby Club Rugby Facebook page now live, follow for draws and results and news. View here

3 March: NEW Auckland Facebook page now live

NEW Auckland club rugby and First XV rugby Club Rugby Facebook page now live, follow for draws and results and news. View here

Stories
Aisle be back: Highlanders wrap, England losing and the bye
22 March: Aisle be back: Highlanders wrap, England losing and the bye

What a satisfying win on Saturday night - but before we get too carried away, a couple of things of ponder. That wasn't the Highlanders of old. Injury hit, they still stuck in the game for nigh on sixty minutes of course - but leaked like a sieve in the end. But that's not the biggie. Just how would we have gone if the remorseful TJ had ended up with red, not a yellow? As he clearly feared was going to be the case.

Read more >
Hurricanes U20s edge Argentina U20s with last-gasp penalty
19 March: Hurricanes U20s edge Argentina U20s with last-gasp penalty

The Hurricanes U20s celebrated their first international fixture at Westpac Stadium in Wellington on Saturday evening by beating Argentinian U20s with a last play penalty. With two minutes remaining Argentina was down 30-28 and won a penalty directly in front 20-metres out from goal. As the siren sounded replacement Tomas Albornoz chipped the ball over to propel the Junior Pumas ahead.

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Headfirst to tackle mental health in rugby
16 March: Headfirst to tackle mental health in rugby

New Zealand Rugby  is stepping up to help address New Zealand’s high rates of mental illness and the stigma associated with getting help with the launch of a website and social media campaign targeting the rugby community’s mental health. The website, www.headfirst.co.nz  offers players, parents, coaches, referees, volunteers and supporters a resource to get information about mental fitness, mental health and wellbeing.

Read more >
Aisle be back: Hurricanes v Highlanders in Wellington
15 March: Aisle be back: Hurricanes v Highlanders in Wellington

How many losses are just enough losses in Super rugby? Judging inexactly by history, I'd say four if you want to be the New Zealand champ. Five in Africa. And as many as six in Oz. That's because of the vagaries of the comp qualifying. If you can claw back a swag of bonus points, that helps of course but most sides are busy doing that. So how crucial is this weekend's game for the Canes and Highlanders? You'd have to say the Landers are in the tight spot still.

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Wellington Maori wins Te Tini A Maui tournament
12 March: Wellington Maori wins Te Tini A Maui tournament

Above: Members of the Wellington and Whanganui teams after the Te Tini A Maui tournament decider at Memorial Park. UPDATED : Wellington's Te Upoko O Te Ika have successfully defended the Hikaia Amohia Trophy beating Whanganui 36-22 in the Men’s A Division final of the Central North Island Maori tournament in Masterton this afternoon. Te Upoko O Te Ika surged to a 36-5 lead shortly after halftime, punishing an inaccurate Whanganui.

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Featured Points Table
National Provincial Championship Premiership 2016
  P W L D F A B Pts
Canterbury 10 8 2 0 397 219 8 40
Taranaki 10 7 2 1 338 259 7 37
Tasman 10 7 2 1 306 234 4 34
Counties Manukau 10 6 4 0 284 234 10 34
Auckland 10 5 5 0 335 302 10 30
Waikato 10 5 4 1 269 259 8 30
Hawke's Bay 10 2 8 0 251 383 8 16
Featured Points Table
National Provincial Championship Championship 2016
  P W L D F A B Pts
Otago 10 7 3 0 290 267 6 34
Wellington 10 6 4 0 300 296 8 32
North Harbour 10 5 4 1 262 263 4 26
Manawatu 10 4 6 0 259 266 7 23
BoP 10 3 7 0 302 316 11 23
Northland 10 1 9 0 280 380 7 11
Southland 10 2 8 0 201 396 3 11
Featured Points Table
Heartland Championship 2016
  P W L D F A B Pts
Wanganui 8 8 0 0 362 110 6 38
South Canterbury 8 7 1 0 324 162 8 36
Buller 8 6 2 0 258 190 6 30
Wairarapa Bush 8 6 2 0 240 174 6 30
Mid Canterbury 8 5 3 0 282 198 7 27
King Country 8 4 2 2 236 170 5 25
Poverty Bay 8 3 5 0 296 268 8 20
North Otago 8 2 4 2 230 246 5 17
Horowhenua Kapiti 8 2 5 1 224 260 5 15
West Coast 8 2 6 0 188 404 3 11
Thames Valley 8 0 7 1 158 324 3 5
East Coast 8 0 8 0 166 458 3 3
Featured Points Table
Women's NPC - Farah Palmer Cup 2016
  P W L D F A B Pts
Counties Manukau 6 6 0 0 218 33 5 29
Auckland 6 5 1 0 220 84 6 26
Canterbury 6 5 1 0 229 108 5 25
Wellington 6 4 2 0 149 128 4 20
Manawatu 6 3 3 0 153 125 7 19
Waikato 6 2 4 0 111 121 3 11
North Harbour 6 2 4 0 116 161 3 11
Otago 6 0 6 0 66 300 1 1
BoP 6 0 6 0 26 228 0 0
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