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Aisle be back: The NPC Final win
I'm seen a few crazy games at the stadium over the decades, but I think none will ever match the Lions' championship-clinching victory. 40-all at fulltime, then three extra time tries, including a classic insano-Savea to cap it off. There really must be something in the DNA of the turf, because as any Wellington follower can attest, there's no province (at Super or NPC level) that can turn from the sublime to the ridiculous so fast. How many times did you think Wellington were pulling away, only for the stubborn Bay of Plenty boys to haul them in...More
Off the Ball for 30 October
Off the Ball is in association with Rob Law Max , Lovelocks Sports Bar  and Harcourts Johnsonville  Looking at some of the news in briefs, milestones, happenings, statistics, and observations from the weekend of rugby just gone and what’s coming up this week. The All Blacks tour starts this coming Sunday (NZT), with the side playing Robbie Deans’ Barbarians selection at Twickenham. The Barbarians side will feature one Julian Savea, fresh from scoring a devastating try in Friday’s final against Bay of Plenty (photo above)...More
Northern United, Marist St Pat’s and Scots College win local sevens tournaments
Above: Northern United’s Esi Komaisavai was in top form all day in today’s WRFU club tournament, sparking his side to victory in the Cup semi-final and final. Updated on Sunday morning. The WRFU is also updating the series points on Monday.  The Northern United Men’s and Marist St Pat’s Women’s sides won today’s Cup finals of the American Ambassador’s Sevens tournament second leg at Mary Crowther Park, while Scots College were the winners of the Wellington U15 Sevens at Naenae College...More
Lions break title drought in extra time thriller
Wellington: 59 (Tolu Fahamokioa 2 Sam Lousi, Brad Shields, Alex Fidow, Wes Goosen, Sitiveni Paongo,) Bay Of Plenty: 40 (Luke Campbell, Tyler Ardro, Joe Webber, Terrence Hepetema, Jesse Parete, Mitchell Karpick: Mike Delaney 2con) HT: WHAT HAPPENED After 17 years the Wellington Lions have finally won a final. It took longer than it should, but in extra time the Lions eventually suppressed the smoke of the Steamers. It was 40-40 at fulltime, but three classic Lions tries in the additional period ensured Wellington's promotion to the Premiership...More
Lions final tonight and three sevens tournaments tomorrow
Above: Will the Upper Hutt Rams skip away to retain the American Ambassador's Sevens trophy, to be presented at next weekend's series decider, or will others take them down? Find out at Mary Crowther Park from 9.00am tomorrow.  Two big events highlight the weekend’s rugby. The first of those is tonight at Westpac Stadium, as the Wellington Lions host Bay of Plenty in the Men’s NPC Championship decider and with it promotion to the Premiership for 2018. For Wellington, it’s yet another chance to return to the top flight having missed out in each of the past two years following that awful 2014 that saw them demoted and nothing short of victory will suffice in the minds of home fans...More
TJ Perenara locks in four-year deal
Player of the people: TJ Perenara will be playing his rugby out of Northern United, Wellington and the Hurricanes for the next four seasons. Northern United halfback TJ Perenara has re-signed with New Zealand Rugby through until 2021. The 25-year-old's new four-year contract with NZR will also keep him in Wellington and Hurricanes colours until at least the end of the 2021 season. The signing is further great news for NZR and follows last week's announcement that All Blacks loose forward Sam Cane had also inked a four-year deal...More
Aisle be back: All Blacks end of year tour and NPC finals
The All Blacks are basically the Dr Whos of the rugby world. For those who've never seen TV in the past half century, Dr Who regenerates every three or four years rather than dying.  To achieve that feat in rugby terms, you need to be blessed with a constant production line of new talent, and the nous to realise that the old generation is getting, well, a bit old.  When you can't do that, you end up with teams that have great eras, but then fall into holes. The dreaded rebuilding has to begin. Some nations are always rebuilding...More
Mum and nana driving Garden-Bachop
“Mum and nana were the first people I thought about when my named was announced,” Jackson Garden-Bachop reveals upon being selected for the New Zealand Maori team to tour Canada and France in November. The Wellington Lions first-five has never represented a Maori side, but has always been aware of his native heritage. “I am from the Ngāti Awa tribe up Whakatane way. Mum and nana are the Maori connection in my family. I am really proud to be involved.” Garden-Bachop elaborates...More
Wellington Lions gunning for second NPC final win on Friday
Above: The 2000 Wellington side - the only Lions team thus far to win any NPC silverware.  The NPC semi-final and final series was introduced in 1992 and the Wellington Lions have been regulars making ten appearances. Unfortunately, the Lions have a shocking record with only a single victory achieved. A brief look at the finals they have been involved documented below. 1999: Wellington: 18 v Auckland: 24 The first decider Wellington contested was at Eden Park on October 23, 1999. The first-half was a tough and error-ridden affair and both teams failed to score a try...More
WELLINGTON’S “GHOST” RUGBY CLUBS Part 1 – Kaiwarra Rugby Football Club
Above: Kaiwarra Town, looking toward Wellington City, around 1875 Wellington’s rugby history is that of communities who, in the nineteenth century, organised clubs as a means of establishing local identity and pride. In some cases, the history of those communities and their rugby tradition is not well, or only partly, remembered. Such is the case of the Kaiwarra Rugby Football Club, which was formally affiliated to the Rugby Union three times, in 1892, 1902 and 1923, until its final amalgamation with the Onslow Rugby Football Club, in the late 1950s...More
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