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Piri Weepu Sevens tournament to take centre stage on Saturday
Expect a stream of traffic heading over the hill to Wainuiomata on Saturday morning. The eighth annual Piri Weepu Sevens tournament is being played at Wise Park and it is the last chance for fans to have the opportunity to watch their favourite local players before rugby in the capital goes into hiatus for three months. This year’s edition features 16 teams as well as off field entertainment and an expected appearance by the man himself who the tournament is named after, Piri Weepu. Eleven men’s and five women’s teams will take the field from 9...More
Aisle be Back: the rub of the Green
Well, as the song goes, it’s the end of the world as we know it – and I feel fine. In fact, I don’t think there’s a better time than right now, in the early 21 st century, to be an All Blacksfan. Thanks to Ireland, England. South Africa and the Lions – and no doubt, ourselves – New Zealand are now down somewhere with the better mortals. That is, a team which doesn’t have a sufficient edge to blitzkrieg its way to victory 90 per cent of the time. So goodbye to the quest for the perfect game or those winning streak targets, or any of the other substitute motivations that the All Blacks, as number one, have used...More
The Barrett dilemma?
Beauden Barrett could shortly became the first player ever to be crowned World Rugby Player of the Year three times in a row. Despite this global recognition of excellence, there remarkably exists in New Zealand at present a debate about his place in the team. Barrett was at his absolute best against Australia in August when he scored a record four tries at Eden Park. In the last three months, Barrett and the All Blacks form has dipped and Richie Mo'unga has surfaced as a compelling challenger for Barrett’s position...More
Reduced club rugby season confirmed for 2019
Community rugby takes a further hit in 2019. The 2019 season starts one week later, finishes one week earlier, and has no mid-week or double-header rounds. The 23 March start date is because of ground availability, while the concluding weekend of the season on 27 July is to make way for the earlier start to the 2019 National Provincial Championship competitions that start a fortnight earlier than this year. It was also announced this week that the All Blacks will host South Africa in Wellington on 27 July, so depending on rugby perspectives that day or night will be a big one for the capital’s rugby supporters...More
Counties Manukau Sevens this Saturday
Above: Wellington and Manawatu teams met in the 'final' of the Rongotai Sevens last weekend. The annual Counties Manukau Sevens is this Saturday, hosted by the Karaka Rugby Club.  The tournament is a warm-up for provincial teams ahead of the three National Provincial qualifying tournaments on 1 December. The draw consists of 11 men’s and nine women’s teams, divided into two pools. There are seven provincial unions represented in each of the men’s and women’s sections and a club team...More
Aisle be Back: All Blacks on tour
Above: The All Blacks play Ireland this weekend. Photo: Google Images. Just imagine if that England try had been scored in the closing moments of the Twickenham thriller. It wouldn’t have really changed anything but it would have been treated as if it had. So, setting aside all the furore over the TMO and whether the offside call was correct – and 95 percent of that is fuelled by partisan bias, as these things usually are – you’re looking at something like this. For the All Blacks, a dose of self loathing and soul-searching, coupled with a new blowtorch beingput on Beauden Barrett, despite his faultless effort off the kicking tee (and that droppie)...More
Wellington Gold win Rongotai Sevens tournament
With two sides entered in today’s eight-team Rongotai College representative sevens tournament, Wellington had a one in four chance of taking the spoils. The Wellington Gold team took those odds and ran away to win with the final play of the tournament, Scots College player Epi Sailo flashing in out wide to give the team a 21-17 win over Manawatu Green. Manawatu Green had leapt to a 17-0 lead by halftime, dominating possession in the first five minutes and creating two clinical tries. Wellington counterattacked, but the play broke down and Manawatu scooped up a loose ball to scamper 40 metres to score their third try...More
The value of All Black Test caps
The All Blacks reserve bench. PHOTO: Google. Bevan Holmes was an athletic and durable loose forward from North Auckland who started 31 games for the All Blacks between 1970 and 1973. Holmes holds the record for most All Black games without a Test. Despite touring four times with the national team, Holmes will never receive an international cap. Tyrel Lomax, at best a sixth choice prop, has already attained a Test cap after his brief appearance in the All Blacks win against Japan on Saturday. Lomax, along with the remainder of the bench, arrived on the field when the game was well and truly won by New Zealand...More
Representative sevens tournament this Saturday
Rongotai College is the venue for this Saturday’s representative sevens tournament, a warm-up tournament leading up to the three regional tournaments in early December. The eight-team tournament starts at 10.00am and concludes before 3.00pm. The teams attending are: Wellington BlackWellington GoldManawatu GreenManawatu WhiteHawkes BayWanganuiCanterburyHorowhenua-Kapiti The teams are divided evenly between two pools in a round-robin format, heading towards the knockout matches that see 4 v 4, 3 v 3, 2 v 2 and then 1 v 1 at the end of the day’s 17 match programme...More
Aisle be back: All Blacks v England
Above: Five years since he last played the All Blacks, Brad Shields is set to face the Kieran-Read lead team for England this coming weekend.  The Test this week seems have been coming forever, but it’s probably only two years. Unfortunately, what was meant to be the clash of the top two teams in the world is no more. That’s the problem with over expectation; reality has a way of moving on, and Eddie Jones’ Jerusalem has been built on prayer more than results for the past 12 months...More
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