It's crunch time tomorrow for the Marlborough teams in the Tasman Trophy competiton. With just two rounds of crossover remaining, three Nelson sides head the points table leading into semifinal time, with three more within striking distance of the top four.Wanderers, with a perfect 45 points, top the table and have the top qualifying spot sewn up. Marist have won seven from nine and look safe in second with 35 points. Below that, the field closes right up. Nelson sit third on 26 with Waitohi, the best of the Marlborough-based sides, fourth a point behind. If Marlborough clubs are to prevent a possible Nelson semifinal clean sweep they need to string together some wins, an elusive dream given the dominance teams from over the hill have shown so far. Read more here
Christchurch BHS put Timaru BHS in their place on Tuesday with a fourth round UC Championship 60-0 win. CBHS are second behind unbeaten Christ's College after 4 rounds. He failed to add to his tally on Tuesday, But Timaru's Isireli Kawa has been running hot, scoring 7 tries so far.
The Baywide men’s competition is in its ninth week, with only two weeks remaining before the release of the new draw. The Baywide women’s competition is well underway heading into their third week. This weekend’s club rugby will provide exciting action across the board as teams tussle for positions. Mount Maunganui and Tauranga Sports are both coming off successful wins from their games last weekend. Both teams have secured their position in the top eight, but neither team will be holding back in the Battle of the Bridge clash this weekend. The game is being played at Blake Park, kick off at 2.45pm.
One of New Zealand's powerhouses of 1st XV rugby Auckland Grammar beat New Plymouth Boys High School 27-15 in front of a packed Gully in New Plymouth today.
New Plymouth were certainly in the game leading at the break 8-3 thanks to a try by Bradley Slater from an excellent set peice move and a penalty kick to Handley Setu.
Grammar came out firing in the second spell with them managing to score three back-to-back tries, three conversions and a penalty kick in the progress.
Second five-eighth Melino Fineanganofo cut through the defence on a number of occasions setting up some nice tries as New Plymouth fell off tackles.
Chad Peterson scored for New Plymouth but a late come back was a big ask as the Grammar defence was too good.
Click here to see a photo album from the game.
Sumner snapping a three-match losing streak was rewarded with more than competition points in the latest round of the Canterbury Metro Cup competition - their half century against HSOB also launched a historic tenure with the DCL Shield. Only their second win of the season was memorable for Sumner who thrashed HSOB 51-22 to take ownership of the Shield for the first time. Lincoln, who had the luxury of strengthening their pack with former All Black Dominic Bird accelerated to a 44-17 win over Canterbury University. Nick Lake scored a brace as Lincoln firmed in favouritism for a fourth successive Hawkins Cup by extending their lead over New Brighton to three points. Read more here
The New Zealand Women’s Sevens team for the final tournament of the HSBC Women’s Sevens Series in France (28,29 May) features the return of seasoned campaigners Kelly Brazier, Kayla McAlister and Huriana Manuel. The team is: Shakira Baker (Waikato), Kelly Brazier (Bay of Plenty), Theresa Fitzpatrick (Auckland), Sarah Goss (captain) (Manawatu), Kayla McAlister (Auckland), Huriana Manuel (Auckland), Terina Te Tamaki (Waikato), Ruby Tui (Canterbury), Katarina Whata-Simpkins (Wellington), Renee Wickliffe (Counties Manukau), Niall Williams (Auckland), Portia Woodman (Counties Manukau). Travelling reserves; Selica Winiata (Manawatu), Janna Vaughan (Manawatu). Players not considered because of injury; Gayle Broughton, Tyla Nathan Wong, Hazel Tubic, Stacey Waaka.
Rugby players across Northland observed a moment's silence before kick-off on Saturday and wore black armbands to acknowledge the passing of two of the region's great rugby supporters. Daniel "Blackie" Walters died on Friday after the vehicle he was driving was in a crash involving a school bus and ute, on State Highway 12 near Mamaranui, 20km northwest of Dargaville. Just the day before Mr Walters, a staunch Dargaville Old Boys Rugby Club volunteer, had attended the funeral of his friend and fellow Northern Wairoa Rugby and Taniwha supporter Ian Condon. Read more here
After much speculation Hurricanes halfback Jamison Gibson-Park has signed with Irish club Leinster at the end of this year's Super Rugby competition making him unavailable for the Mitre10 Cup later this year.
Gibson-Park made his debut for Taranaki in 2012 and played 32 games for the province to date including being part of the team that took out the 2014 ITM Cup premiership title.
The 24 year old has an impressive rugby resume including 29 games for the Blues, six appearences for the Hurricanes and has been a key player in the Maori All Blacks for their 2012, 2013 and 2014 tours.
Taranaki Bulls coach Colin Cooper said Gibson-Park will be missed by all.
Gibson-Park joins James Marshall and Kurt Baker as the other Taranaki players who have signed up for overseas clubs.
The Maori All Blacks will play Ireland’s Munster in Limerick as part of a northern tour that kicks off with the already announced Chicago fixture against the USA Eagles. The team kicks off its 2016 tour by taking on the USA Eagles at Toyota Park Chicago on Friday 4 November in an historic double header 'Rugby Weekend' with the All Blacks playing Ireland at Chicago’s famous Soldier Field stadium the following evening. The Maori All Blacks play Munster at Thomond Park on Friday 11 November.
The 2016 Women’s Sevens Series kicks off tomorrow with 24 promising young players and contracted New Zealand Women’s Sevens players getting valuable game time against international opposition. Two New Zealand teams will take on the Cook Islands and Samoa national teams in a series which takes place over two weekends in Auckland and Pukekohe this month. “The series is about giving our next crop of players from the Sevens Development Squad valuable international sevens experience as we build depth in our playing pool,” said New Zealand Women’s Sevens Coach Sean Horan. “We’ll also give some of our contracted players time on the field which will really help our preparations for Rio. With one international tournament to go in France, coupled with this series, we’ll gain some valuable insights as we head towards making our final selections for the New Zealand Olympic Sevens squad in June.
The Hurricanes Alumni Test Dinner is a rare opportunity to hear from the Test coaches, Steve Hansen and Warren Gatland, two days prior to the All Blacks v Wales international at Westpac Stadium. Tickets are now available for this dinner on Thursday 16 June at 6.30pm at Westpac Stadium.
After an extended run of favourable weather for players and supporters alike, conditions turned for the worse in many places on Saturday, proving a leveller in many games and keeping scores low.’ First round competitions are in various stages of conclusion as well, with championship rounds either underway already or soon to be in most places. In silverware decided on 21 May, Napier Old Boys Marist claimed the first round Nash Cup in Hawke’s Bay.
Mild autumnal conditions once more made for an exciting day of club rugby around the country. Several clubs continue to set a hot pace in their competitions, with several remaining unbeaten as the midpoint of the season arrives. In Manawatu, first round winners College Old Boys started the Centennial Shield round with another victory. In Wellington, Old Boys University won their 10th straight in 2016.
Above: Captain Leni Apisai being interviewed after the first of two recent Oceania Series matches against Australia on the Gold Coast. The series was drawn one-all. The squad to represent New Zealand at the World Rugby Under 20 Championship in Manchester, England next month, has been named.
To view New Zealand’s club rugby competitions by region - including Heartland Province results - click on the provinces on the map of New Zealand on our home page. Which club is the hottest ticket in New Zealand club rugby at the moment? There are several contenders. Hautapu in Waikato, Old Boys University in Wellington, New Plymouth Old Boys in Taranaki, College Old Boys in Manawatu and University A in Dunedin are all on fire.