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Off the Ball for 11 June

Jubilee Cup Premier | 11 June 2018 | Club Rugby

Off the Ball for 11 June

Above: Happy try-scorer Peter Umaga-Jensen scored a brace for Wainuiomata on Saturday against Paremata-Plimmerton in his sixth Premier match this year. Wainuiomata won 27-22.

Off the Ballis in association withRob LawMax,Lovelocks Sports Bar,Motor DoctorsandSarah Kilner Real Estate

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.

Its Test week in Wellington, with the All Blacks hosting Franceon Saturday night at Westpac Stadium in the second of three Tests.

But that pales into insignificance for what is coming up in the meantime.

This week’s rugby starts on Tuesday, with the Wellington College First XV hosting Christchurch Boys’ High School for their annual traditional. Wellington College are coming off a 0-46 defeat to St Pat’s Silverstream last Wednesday, while CBHS eased to their sixth straight win of the Crusaders First XV competition on Saturday by beating Shirley BHS 19-17. It looks like CBHS will be bringing their weather with them so this could be a leveller. Kick-off is at noon.

On Wednesday at 1.15pm St Pat’s Silverstream play host to Rongotai College in their annual traditional and as the opening match of the fourth round of First XV Premiership matches. Silverstream are unbeaten after three matches while Rongotai are 1 from 3 and met a 0-32 defeat to St Pat’s Town on Saturday. Kick-off is at 1.15pm.

The referee for this match on Wednesday is international whistleblower John Lacey, who is the assistant referee for Saturday’s All Blacks Test and the referee next Saturday in Dunedin.

On Wednesday at 7.00pm at Jerry Collins Stadium, Porirua College and Bishop Viard College meet in round 2 of the Beard Trophy and the Co-ed Cup. This game will be officiated by visiting Japanese referee Yuta Yagi.

There is also a full round of secondary school girls matches scheduled on Wednesday afternoon, including St Mary’s College and Aotea College meeting at Te Whaea at 4.00pm in a replay of last year’s Wellington final.

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Club and college rugby kick-off times on Saturday have been brought forward on account of the Test match. The second round of Jubilee and Hardham Cup games will be played at the earlier time of 2.15pm, with most curtain-raisers set for 12.30pm.

Rain is forecast to at least the middle of the week, so expect a slew of ground changes and some senior and junior college grade cancellations as well.

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Ironman award of the weekend goes to Wellington midfielder Ollie Marshall. Firstly he played a full 80 minutes for the Axemen’s Premier Reserve side scoring one of their seven tries and kicking 13 points in their 48-43 win over Avalon, then came on as an 8thminute replacement for Premier skipper Olly Sapsford in the main game.

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RLM

One interested observer to that Premier fixture was Thomas Waldrom, recently returned from his decade overseas, and probably getting his head around a Fraser Park that’s changed a bit in that time. He hopes to pull Wolves colours back on in the coming weeks.

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Brother Scott did lace the boots up on Saturday though, playing a full 80 minutes on the wing for the Premier Reserves scoring one try and setting one up for fellow Wolves veteran Cameron Cross; and despite being nearly 40 (something he reminded his more youthful opponents of) showed he’s still got it.

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Some different faces out in the middle with the whistle. Hong Kong referee Owen Ford had Saturday’s Upper Hutt vs Johnsonville Premier Reserve match after a couple of midweek outings, while Japanese referees Kenta Mitsui and Yuta Yagi (see above) were also in action on Saturday and will be again this week and coming Saturday; all three are part of the WRRA’s interchange programme.

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Just the one try apiece for Ories duo Luca Rees and Ayesha Leti-l’iga on Saturday, taking their season totals to 18 and 20 respectively.

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Norths’ women scored 87 points in coasting past HOBM before being presented with the Rebecca Liua’ana Trophy on Saturday. Remarkably 82 of those were scored by backs with teenager Syntyche Tuimaolo the only forward to dot down. Dhys Faleafaga and Ofa Tuangalu scored hat-tricks with Helen Collins, Eden Gibson, and Julie Tusa all notching doubles.

Avalon’s Pride loose forward Kiri Mei also scored three times in her side’s loss to Ories which got us wondering. Has anyone else scored a hat-trick when their side has gone down by more than 60 points?

Leti-l’iga finished the women’s first round as the competition’s leading try scorer with 20, and as one of two players to tally over 100 points thus far alongside teammate Amanda Rasch (111 points). Northern United’s Dhys Faleafaga is second on the try scoring list with 12, Petone’s Terina Higgins third with 11 and Mei fourth with 10.

The Women’s competition now takes a break for a week before the second round championship starts up on 23 June. This weekend the leading players play an internal Wellington Pride trial.

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A Wellington U19 trial was held at Porirua Park last Wednesday night, so expect an U19 representative squad to be named soon. The National U19 tournament is again in Taupo in mid-September.

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Hit of the week – as seen by Club Rugby correspondents – was by the veteran prop himself, Simon Malaeulu who lined up Tawa’s James So’oialo in a perfectly timed tackle at a blindside ruck and jolted the ball free. Left wing Albert Polu collected the spoils and dashed 40 metres to score a decisive try in the Eagles’ 30-15 win. The big wing and midfielder has now scored five tries in his first four Premier starts in Wellington club rugby. Polu left St Pat’s Silverstream last year and initially moved to Tasman but has returned and found a home for himself in Tawa’s backline.

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The Tawa RFC livestream all their Premier matches and now Premier Reserve ones too. Tawa TV does a great job at getting this out there. Two weeks ago some club members were in Rarotonga attending Pati Gaualofa’s wedding and they managed to watch the action whilst sitting in a pool.

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In other competitions, there was a notable result in the Hawke’sBay Maddison Trophy on Saturday, with competition front-runners Napier Old Boys Marist falling 27-40 to Hastings Rugby & Sports. This ended their 45-match winning streak one short of Clive’s record streak set between 1999-2001. Former MSP wing Mike Buckley could only manage one try for NOBM in defeat, taking his season tally to 26.

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An interesting First XV match-up this coming Saturday in Hawke’s Bay with defending national champions Hastings Boys’ High School hosting in-form Napier Boys’ High School. Napier beat Scots College 33-7 last Tuesday and defeated Gisborne BHS on Saturday, their sixth straight win against Hurricanes region schools opposition. In Auckland, Auckland Grammar School and King’s College clash in a feature match, after St Peter’s College captain and loose forward Niko Jones (son of Sir Michael) was Player of the Match in his side’s 34-30 win over AGS on Saturday.

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Further afield, Petone’s Brad Shields made his English Test debut over the weekend at Ellis Park. England led 24-3 but Shields’ injection off the bench wasn’t enough to prevent the Springboks coming back and winning 32-29. Upper Hutt Rams utility back Jason Woodward was also in England’s squad but was not included in the match-day 23.

Australia beat Ireland 18-9 in Brisbane on Saturday night – snapping a 12-game international rugby winning streak by the Irish.

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In beating France on Saturday night, the All Blacks have won 43 straight games at Eden Park, their last loss there being to France in 1994.

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Fiji opened its defence of the Pacific Nations Cup on Saturday with a 24-22 win over Samoa. Upper Hutt Rams No. 8 Mat Luamanu (now with Harlequins in England) made his debut for Samoa. Other former Wellington club rugby players in Samoa’s team were Rey Lee-Lo (MSP), Alapati Leiua (Norths), Sinoti Sinoti (Norths), Jack Lam (Ories), Motu Matu’u (Ories) and TJ Ioane (OBU).

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The New Zealand U20s meet home country France in their semi-final of the World Rugby Under-20 tournament on Wednesday morning at 7.00am.

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