The Wellington Men’s and Women’s both had mixed days at the National Sevens in Rotorua today. The Wellington Men finished second in Pool B and will meet North Harbour at 11.50am in their Cup quarter-final match. The Men’s outfit beat Southland 24-5, beat Northland 26-5 and lost to Tasman 7-22 in their three matches on day one.
The Wellington Women finished third in Pool B behind Manawatu and Bay of Plenty, despite beating BoP 15-12 in their tournament opener. They smoked North Harbour 45-0 but a 5-38 loss to Manawatu and Manawatu's 12-19 loss to BoP and BoP's win over North Harbour as well meant Wellington finished third. This means they play Manawatu again in their quarter-final at 11.05am.
Ben O’Keeffe and Mike Fraser are the two Wellington's referees in the seven-strong national professional squad for the upcoming year, while Nick Hogan returns to the National Squad for the year ahead, in the list that has been released this week.
The first games on Day 2 are below:
Men's Cup Quarter Finals:
11.30 Field 1 Waikato (Pool a winner) v Auckland
11.50 Field 1 North Harbour (Pool D winner) v Wellington
12.10 Field 1 Tasman (Pool C winner) v Manawatu
12.30 Field 1 Bay of Plenty (Pool B winner v Taranaki
Men's Bowl Quarter Finals:
10.05 Field 1 Counties Manukau v Mid Canterbury
10.25 Field 1 Hawke’s Bay v Southland
10.45 Field 1 Northland v Otago
11.05 Field 1 Canterbury v Wanganui
Women's Cup Quarter Finals:
10.05 Field 2 Waikato (Pool A winner) v Canterbury
10.25 Field 2 Bay of Plenty (Pool B runner-up) v Counties Manukau
10.45 Field 2 Auckland (Pool C winner) v Otago
11.05 Field 2 Manawatu (Pool B winner) v Wellington
Women's Bowl Semi Finals:
11.50 Field 2 Hawke’s Bay v North Harbour
12.10 Field 2 Southland v Poverty Bay
Lima Sopoaga has announced his departure from NZ rugby. His post on Instagram includes these words: "I'd like to thank the Highlanders, All Blacks, Southland and Wellington for the awesome experiences you have provided me with over the years. Thank you to all the fans for your support it's been one heck of a ride." Sopoaga leaves at the end of 2018 for Wasps in England.
A mixed bag of results for the Wellington men's and women's sides at the BoP Sevens on Saturday. The women won three of their four matches, while the men could only claim one solitary success. Results:
beat North Harbour 43-0
lost to Manawatu 7-14
beat Canterbury 32-12
beat Bay of Plenty 26-19
beat BoP Academy 19-0
lost to Auckland 10-19
lost to Canterbury 17-19
lost to Bay of Plenty 7-15
The Nationals are in Rotorua next weekend
The team at Club Rugby wishes everyone a very merry Christmas and a relaxing and safe holiday break. From Mount Maunganui to New Orleans to Noosa, our contributors are having some time off too, re-charging batteries and getting set for a big year covering rugby from the ground up in 2018.
New Zealand’s National Sevens Tournament will move to a new location and a new time of year to boost the number of top-level players available to play, New Zealand Rugby has announced today. The change will take effect after January’s National Sevens in Rotorua, with the tournament then moving to Tauranga for the following three years starting in December 2018 where Tauranga Domain will play host to all the on-field action. This change will, in turn, affect local sevens tournaments followed by provincial qualifiers, which will presumably all be brought forward. Then the tail-end of representative season could be affected with players choosing one or the other.
Asafo Aumua (Avalon) and referee Ben O'Keeffe have won major awards at the national end of season awards. Aumua is the Age Grade Player of the Season while O'Keeffe is the Referee of the Year.
The 2018 Swindale Shield draw has been released today by the WRFU.
View it at this link here
Alama Ieremia has been tasked with turning around the fortunes of the problem Auckland provincial side. Ieremia's appointment as head coach for the next three seasons was announced on Monday by the Auckland Rugby Union. The 47-year-old former Hurricanes assistant and most recently in charge of the Manu Samoa setup takes over from Nick White who stepped aside at the end of a horror 2017 campaign that saw the Auks go 3-7 and narrowly avoid relegation from the Mitre 10 Cup's Premiership division. Read more here
Asafo Aumua and Ben O'Keeffe have both been nominated for awards at the 2017 National Rugby Awards. Aumua has been nominated in both the New Zealand Rugby Age Grade Player of the Year and Men's NPC Player of the Year award categories, while O'Keeffe is up for the Referee of the Year gong. Winners are announced on 14 December.
The Billy Wallace Trophy Best & Fairest competition is awarded on a 3,2 and 1 basis by Dominion Post reporters after each game.
Best & Fairest frontrunners after the Jubilee Cup final on 5 August (note that, along with First XV rugby, the Dominion Post doesn’t cover the Hardham Cup anymore, so just top 8 teams are awarded points in the championship rounds):
23 points: Hemi Fermanis (Tawa), Ben Tupuola (Wainuiomata)
18 points: Lester Maulolo (Petone)
15 points: Parekura Lalaga (Northern United)
14 points: Cole Stewart (Poneke)
12 points: Sheridan Rangihuna (Hutt Old Boys Marist), Andrew Wells (Marist St Pat's), Peniasi Tokakece (Tawa), Brandyn Laursen (Hutt Old Boys Marist), Joe ‘Apikotoa (Hutt Old Boys Marist)
11 points: Antony Fox (Northern United), Daven Candy (Old Boys University)
10 points: Mike Buckley (MSP), Sam Gard’ner (Wellington), Johnathan Fuiaomaono (Old Boys University)
9 points: Aukuso Tuitama (Ories), Isaac O’Connor (Marist St Pat’s), Teariki Ben Nicholas (Old Boys University), Chris Middleton (Northern United), Jono Ihaka (Old Boys University)
8 points: Ben Peni (Avalon), Mateaki Kafatolu (Petone), Dale Sabbagh (Old Boys University)
7 points: Joyner Key (Upper Hutt Rams), Mitchell Markov (Upper Hutt Rams), Mike Ioapo (Northern United), Blake Neve (Paremata-Plimmerton), Cameron Ross (Wainuiomata), Teegan Minkley (Old Boys University), James So’oialo (Tawa), Valentine Meachen (Marist St Pat’s), Will Mangos (Old Boys University)
6 points: Adam Deck (Oriental-Rongotai), Pepesana Patafilo (Tawa), Nick Robertson (Poneke), James O’Reilly (Hutt Old Boys Marist), Hayden Whelan (Oriental-Rongotai), Paulo Aukuso (Oriental-Rongotai), Nick Harrison (Marist St Pat’s)
5 points: 13 players on 5 points
|Marist St Pats||7||5||1||1||203||183||3||25|
|Upper Hutt Rams||10||9||1||0||476||154||11||47|
|Upper Hutt Rams||10||9||1||0||514||80||10||46|
|Marist St Pats||7||2||5||0||177||213||7||15|
|Marist St Pats||4||4||0||0||176||44||4||20|