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 Teams gearing up for three matches in a week
The Swindale Shield rolls on with Round 6 tomorrow, kicking off a busy week for the top two men’s grades with Anzac Day’s round coming up in a few short days’ time, and less than 72 hours after that is the annual Derby Day round of matches. With that in mind some teams appear to have chosen which of those games they’re targeting as they manage the most congested part of the season. Elsewhere it’s still early stages in the remaining club grades, with the first-round in the last two remaining competitions – the Under 85s and Reserve Grade – getting started tomorrow on what promises to be a fine but blustery day in the capital...More
Aisle be back: The bye week and Shields to debut for England in June?
It's bye week. The editor sometimes says take a break too. Probably if you're reading this, you're proffering similar advice. It's just that I can't. Despite us being top of the entire Super table, playing largely clinical rugby, we're only three points clear of our deadliest rival. It's not like the six points we'd have, if we'd survived the Bulls opener. I would have taken the week off then. I think I will call this the Theory of Rugby Relativity Anxiety. To be honest, it's really anxiety about those Crusaders, who sit in fourth, on 24 points...More
    Sheridan Rangihuna - “I’m not sure how we got there.”
“I’m not sure how we got there,” Sheridan Rangihuna admits when reflecting on the climax to the McBain Shield on Saturday. A last play try by HOBM fullback Anthony Utanga prized the old trophy off Petone for the first time since 2015, the Eagles winning 30-27. “If they would give us an inch, we would take it, but it didn’t look likely,” Rangihuna concedes. The break for HOBM occurred when Petone lock Glen Angus was yellow carded following an all-in melee with about eight minutes remaining...More
 From Bench to Benchmark - Joe Walding-Karaitiana
Above: Joe Walding-Karaitiana (white headband) enters Evans Bay Park in a recent match with his MSP teammates.  In the space of two games this season Joe Walding-Karaitiana has gone from a regular bench warmer to captain of Marist St Pat’s. His captaincy position wasn’t initially obvious when first bestowed. “Nick Harrison was the original captain, but he got injured in the Wellington Axemen game and told me I was captain. We have a leadership group, which Ryan Setefano is a part of...More
This week in club rugby history – 16-22 April
Above: Valentine Meachen (MSP) and Ben  Tupuola (Wainuiomata) were the two No. 8s when their sides met under lights at Jerry Collins Stadium and drew 30-30 this week in 2014.  In association with Lovelocks Sports Bar on Bond Street in Wellington, some highlights from this week in Wellington club rugby history are below. 16 April 1963: Oriental beat St Pat’s Old Boys 17-12 after leading 17-3 at halftime, rounding off a successful 75th jubilee weekend for the club. Off the field, Oriental’s celebrations include a parade and dinner that is attended by 95-year-old co-founder G...More
Off the Ball for 16 April
Above: Kiri Mei caught in a tackle for Avalon against Poneke in the Women's Gala Day on Saturday at Ngatitoa Domain. Mei and Upper Hutt Rams Premier No. 8 Josh Houston Tupou were two players to score hat-tricks on Saturday. PHOTO: Andy McArthur. The 2018 rugby season has now taken full flight All club rugby grades were in action on Saturday, in one way or another. It was a welcome relief to have a mostly fine afternoon around the region on Saturday after the previous two rounds were laced with wind and rain...More
HOBM wins McBain in high scoring Premier and Premier Reserve round
The Hutt Old Boys Marist Eagles pipped Petone 30-27 in a McBain Shield thriller this afternoon as part of a high scoring fifth round of Premier and Premier Reserve rugby around the region. Down 27-23, Hutt fullback Anthony Utanga outflanked the Petone defence with the last play of the game to preserve the Eagles unbeaten record in 2018. HOBM appeared to be in control when leading 20-10 early in the second-half. However the Eagles forwards noticeably fatigued and Petone piled on 17 unanswered points to surge ahead 27-20...More
 Full noise for club rugby this weekend
Its full noise across the province’s fields as it’s the first weekend where all club grades are in action, so there will be plenty of rugby to slake the thirst of even the most rabid fans. Tomorrow’s Swindale Shield round sees a number of professional players pulling on club jerseys, while it’s also the first of the club Old Timers Days with festivities on at both Tawa and Wainuiomata. Premier Swindale Shield With respect to the other 12 teams, the biggest show in town this weekend is at the Petone Rec where Petone and Hutt Old Boys Marist clash...More
Luca Rees and Ories eyeing consistency as Swindale Shield ramps up
Above: Luca Rees celebrates his match-winning try last Saturday for Ories against the Avalon Wolves. PHOTO: David Brownlie Photos It wasn’t pretty but it was effective says Oriental-Rongotai No. 8 Luca Rees of his side’s important 26-19 win over the Avalon Wolves at home at the Polo Ground last Saturday. Rees scored two second half tries, including the match-winners just a couple of minutes from fulltime as his team came back from a 12-20 deficit to win the match, which could prove vital over the coming few weeks as the scramble for ‘top 7’ places ramps up...More
The rugby lessons of Alexander McBain
"Playing the game of life, as it should be played"Above: Alexander McBain, top left, Manager of the 1903 Horowhenua Representative Team. In 1886, the small Horowhenua settlement of Manakau was created around the first railway station built on the new Wellington to Manawatu line. It was also the place where the educator, who is remembered in the McBain Memorial Shield that is being played for on Saturday between Petone and Hutt Old Boys Marist in Wellington Premier club rugby first developed his love of the game of rugby football...More
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