Otago won the Southern Region 7s tournament in Timaru on Saturday, beating Tasman 29-27 in the final after pipping Canterbury 21-19 in the semi-final. Runners-up Tasman defeated Mid Canterbury 38-12 in their semi-final. Mid Canterbury has earlier knocked out Southland. The Southern men’s teams heading to Rotorua in January are: Otago, Tasman, Canterbury, Mid Canterbury and South Canterbury. Canterbury won the women’s section, beating Otago 22-17 in their final. The Women’s teams heading to Rotorua are: Canterbury, Otago and Tasman.
The New Zealand Women's Seven's team for the first tournament of the new season at Dubai on 3 and 4 December has been named.†There is one new cap in the side with the selection of Niall Williams, sister of All Black Sonny Bill Williams. For more†read here
Rugby continues to be the game of choice for significant numbers of New Zealanders. Rugby by the numbers:
The Australian Barbarians beat the New Zealand Heartland XV 40-24 in Wanganui on Friday, to claim their series 2-0. The Australians won the match with an early scoring blitz, running three early tries. They led 33-10 at halftime. The New Zealand Heartland XV fought back in the second half but the damage had been done. The Australians won the first match 38-32 in Masterton.
New Zealand’s Heartland XV opened their three-game programme with a 47-42 win over New Zealand Marist in Masterton on Saturday evening. Up 31-14 at half-time, the Heartland side had to withstand a Marist team who threw caution to the wind in a bid to get back into the game. The New Zealand side meets the Australian Barbarians in Levin on Tuesday and in Wanganui next Saturday.†Read more here†
When Nehe Milner-Skudder was named World Rugby's Breakthrough Player of the Year, no one was more proud than his Varsity club coach Mike Lalogafau. After all, it was just one year ago that the 24-year-old was running around club rugby under Lalogafau's tutelage†Read more here
The following New Zealand players have won awards at the World Rugby awards in London on Monday morning:
ITM Cup Provincial Unions have today chosen their opposition for compulsory crossover match-ups between Premiership and Championship teams in the 2016 ITM Cup competition. The draw wil be made in the coming months.†Read more here
Canterbury captured their seventh title in eight years in Christchurch on Saturday night, beating Auckland 25-23 in a tense Premiership final. Canterbury started strong and skipped to an early lead, but Auckland came back and set up a tense finish. Scores:†Canterbury 25 (Patrick Osborne, Dominic Bird, Ryan Crotty tries; Tom Taylor 2 pen 2 con) Auckland 23 (Greg Pleasants-Tate, Mitch Karpik tries; Simon Hickey 3 pen 2 con) HT: 19-16
The All Blacks beat South Africa 20-18 in the semi-final of the Rugby World Cup on Sunday.†Watch video highlights here†
The New Zealand Defence Force rugby team known as the Defence Blacks recently returned from their successful tour winning five of eight games and playing an open exciting brand of running rugby. In Europe the team were involved in several World War One commemorative services including one to honour Sgt Dave Gallaher the captain of the 1905 All Blacks “Originals”. The team proudly wore replica 1917 jerseys for the games in Europe.
The article below was publshed in the recent St Patrick's College, Wellington, Rugby Football Club newsletter. Somewhat like the phantom haunting by a spectral hound (the centre of the plot of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's third Sherlock Holmes mystery), New Zealand's Baskiville family were hounded by our rugby authorities, as a result of the family's role in creating New Zealand's first professional representative rugby team.
The Wellington Men’s Sevens team has defended its Auckland 7s tournament title at the fifth annual tournament this weekend played on the North Shore. Wellington won five of six matches and drew the other. They beat Counties Manukau in this afternoon’s Cup final and won 17-7. For Wellington, Jordan Simpson-Hefft and Murphy Taramai scored first half tries in the Cup final. Taramai soared high from a kick-off and sprinted away to give Wellington a 12-7 halftime lead.
Richie McCaw has today confirmed he is hanging up his boots and retiring from professional rugby. The 34-year-old All Blacks captain and most capped All Black of all time has drawn the curtain on his stunning international career which started in Dublin 14 years ago, almost to the day, and ended in London last month when he hoisted the Webb Ellis Cup aloft for the second time. "I'm hanging up my boots having accomplished everything I could have ever dreamed about in the game.
Above: Jonah Lomu playing for Wainuiomata in Wellington club rugby in 1999. Photo by Photosport/Google Images Jonah Lomu transcended rugby. He was modern rugby’s first global superstar. In 2000 he played the first of two club matches for his adopted club Wainuiomata. Wainuiomata were in the second division of the Wellington club rugby competition at the time, but such was his star power that 4,000 ringed the field to watch him play and score two tries.