Billy Proctor (Marist St Pat's) won the prestigious Al Keown Memorial Cup at the WRFU Lions and Academy awards on Monday night. The Al Keown Memorial Cup, named after the late Wellington Lions 1970s/80s prop, has been won by many well-known players in modern times. Meanwhile, Ollie Sapsford (Wellington) won the Ken Comber Memorial Cup, awarded to the player who best embraced the Academy philosophy. Jake Quinn (Petone) won the Wellington U19 Player of the Year and Jackie Patea-Fereti (Wainuiomata) won the Wellington Pride Player of the Year and Regan Verney (Old Boys University) and Angel Uila (Petone) won the Wellington Pride Rookie of the Year.
The Wellington Pride lost 34-55 to Canterbury in their final Women's round-robin NPC match of the season today in Christchurch. The loss, plus Waikato's 43-34 win over Auckland, sees the Pride finish equal last with Manawatu in the Women's Premiership. Manawatu beat them earlier in the round-robin so it appears the Pride have been relegated to the second tier for next season. To be confirmed.
Jamie Williams has been reappointed Premier Head Coach of Old Boys University after leading the club to the Swindale Shield and Jubilee Cup double in 2017. Jamie has made his mark in coaching in Wellington following his return from a long professional career including Harlequins and Bath in the UK Premiership, winning the Jubilee Cup as assistant coach in 2015 and as head coach this year. Jamie will once again lead a strong team with returning assistant coaches Michael Barnes and Rua Tipoki. Jamie will also welcome Greg Halford as assistant coach. Greg had a distinguished playing career with NZ Colts, Hawkes Bay, Canterbury, Eastern Province (Super Rugby) and the Central Vikings and was last involved with OBU in 2002-03. The coaching group will once again be supported by trainer - Richie Macdonald, manager Hayden Smith with Brad “Patches“ Houlahan.
Oriental-Rongotai and the Wellington rugby community are mourning the loss of Rosalina Taituave this week. Rosalina Taituave was a foundation member of the Ories women’s team since its revival in 2012. She was diagnosed with cancer last year and got better at the beginning of this year. Unfortunately, it came back via a tumour in her arm, her lungs got infected and ultimately restricted her breathing. Lina was a part of the 2014 champion Ories women’s team and was also a member of the Pride. Her brothers Liu and Jacob have played for MSP and hooker Liu was the Best & Fairest winner in 2012. Her younger brother Siatua was the Wellington U16 Development captain this year.
Paremata-Plimmerton RFC is seeking expressions of interest for both coaches and managers for the 2018 season. More information can be found here: http://www.pareplimrugby.co.
Tupou Sopoaga concedes his transition back into a rugby player has taken some working on. After a six-year stint playing rugby league in Australia, the former Wellington College player and brother of Lima is back in the 15-man code plying his trade. After stints with the Cronulla Sharks and the Penrith Panthers in the NRL Sopoaga returned last year to rugby union. It started with a season in the Australia's national domestic competition before a return to New Zealand where he has linked with the Southland Stags. While initially planning to slide back into New Zealand rugby relatively unnoticed, while playing for Woodlands in Southland club rugby, that changed dramatically when he found himself jumping straight into Super Rugby. Read more here
The two Wellington teams have won the Hurricanes Youth Rugby Council U16 tournaments today. The U16A side beat Hawke's Bay A 31-16 to retain the Saracens Cup, while the Wellington Development side defeated their Hawke's Bay counterparts 27-17 to defend the Saracens Cup.
Full round-up coming soon...
Following Tuesday's matches, in both Division A and Division B, it will be Wellington (the defending champions) against the two Hawkes Bay teams to determine the Hurricanes Under 16 Champion Titles for 2017. Manawatu will play Poverty Bay in the play-off for Third Place in Division A, while in Division B the Third Place for 2017 will be decided between Wanganui and Wairarapa-Bush. The finals are on Thursday in Wanganui. Follow the Hurricanes U16 Tournament here
The Wellington U16s A team beat Poverty Bay 46-12 on the first day of the Hurricanes Youth Rugby Council's U16 tournament at Wanganui. The Wellington U16 Development had a non-compeititon 15-12 win over Hawke's Bay Development. For more read here
The Wellington U18s are playing the Tongan Schools U18 team today at Jerry Collins Stadium at 1.00pm.
The team is: 1. Moala Katoa, 2. Manaaki Tiatia-Boyle, 3. Stanley Paese, 4. Tama Kapene, 5. Mellennium Leota, 6. AJ Hart, 7. Alex Faifailoa, 8. Mitchell Stringer, 9.Misi Famalo, 10. Malo Manuao, 1.1 Caleb Cavubati, 12. Connor Fitzsimmons, 13. Tai Neli, 14. Tominiko Maiava, 15. Jack Gray 16. Gabe Meredith, 17. Denzel Leota, 18. DJ Taoipu, 19. Junior Uluese, 20. Matiu Samuel, 21. Kyle Preston, 22. Jason Tuitama.
Meanwhile, Off the Ball takes a break today owing to our coverage of this game and others in Palmerston North and Sydney. A bumper day of local rugby coming up on 7 October to lots to cover there.
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
|Upper Hutt Rams||10||9||1||0||514||80||10||46|
|Upper Hutt Rams||10||9||1||0||476||154||11||47|
|Marist St Pats||7||5||1||1||203||183||3||25|
|Marist St Pats||7||2||5||0||177||213||7||15|
|Marist St Pats||8||2||6||0||166||238||5||13|
|Marist St Pats||4||4||0||0||176||44||4||20|