Monday, October 11, 2021

NZ Rugby Confirm Revised NPC Schedule

With Auckland, North Harbour and Counties Manukau withdrawing from the NPC competition last week due to Covid restrictions, NZ Rugby have announced a revised draw for the remaining weeks of the competition. There will be no promotion and relegation of teams this year, and teams that were due to play one of the Auckland based sides will instead play a non-competition match against other teams.

Week 7 (Friday, October 15–Sunday, October 17)

Friday 7.05pm: Northland v Otago, Rotorua International Stadium.

Saturday 2.05pm: Waikato v Taranaki, FMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton (TBC).

Saturday 4.35pm: Canterbury v Hawke's Bay, Orangetheory Stadium, Christchurch.

Saturday 7.05pm: Manawatū v Wellington, Central Energy Trust Arena, Palmerston North.

Sunday 2.04pm: Tasman v Bay of Plenty **, Trafalgar Park, Nelson.

Week 8 (Friday, October 22–Sunday, October 24)

Friday 7.05pm: Otago v Canterbury, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin.

Saturday 2.05pm: Taranaki v Manawatū, TET Stadium & Events Centre, Inglewood.

Saturday 4.35pm: Wellington v Southland**, Porirua Park, Wellington.

Saturday 7.05pm: Hawke's Bay v Waikato (Ranfurly Shield), McLean Park, Napier.

Sunday 2.05pm: Bay of Plenty v Northland, Tauranga Domain.

Week 9 (Friday, October 29–Sunday, October 31)

Friday 7.05pm: Canterbury v Tasman, Orangetheory Stadium, Christchurch.

Saturday 2.05pm: Otago v Wellington, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin.

Saturday 4.35pm: Bay of Plenty v Waikato, Tauranga Domain.

Saturday 7.05pm: Manawatū v Hawke's Bay, Central Energy Trust Arena, Palmerston North.

Sunday 2.05pm: Southland Northland, Rugby Park, Invercargill.

Week 10 (Friday, November 5–Sunday, November 7)

Friday 7.05pm: Waikato v Otago, FMG Stadium Waikato.

Saturday 2.05pm: Tasman v Wellington, Lansdowne Park, Blenheim.

Saturday 4.35pm: Canterbury v Bay of Plenty, Orangetheory Stadium, Christchurch.

Saturday 7.05pm: Hawke's Bay v Northland **, McLean Park, Napier.

Sunday 2.05pm: Taranaki v Southland, TET Stadium & Events Centre, Inglewood.

** These are non-competition fixtures that do not count towards the 2021 NPC competition (ie no competition points will be awarded from these matches).

Semifinals (Friday, November 12–Saturday, November 13)

Friday 7.05pm: Semifinal 1.

Saturday 2.05pm: Semifinal 2.

Saturday 4.35pm: Semifinal 3.

Saturday 7.05pm Semifinal 4.

Finals (Friday, November 19–Sunday, November 21)

Friday 7.05pm: Championship Final.

Saturday 7.05pm: Premiership Final.

Waikato Win Farah Palmer Cup Final

Waikato has won the Farah Palmer Cup Premiership for the first time, beating Canterbury 22-20 in Christchurch. In a week that had training interruptions for lockdowns in both Hamilton and the greater Waikato region, the Waikato team has reversed last years defeat to deny Canterbury. Waikato scored two tires to three, but crucially Canterbury lost two different players to the sin bin in the second half after repeated infringements on defense. After having the wind advantage in the first half, Canterbury led 13-3 at halftime, but Waikato came back in the second half using the wind to their advantage and spent long periods attacking the Canterbury line, leading to tries and Canterbury's yellow cards.

Waikato: 22 

Tries: Awhina Tangen-Wainohu, Merania Paraone, Victoria Edmonds, Conversions: Tenika Willison 2, Penalty: Kennedy Tahau

Canterbury: 20 

Tries: Lucy Jenkins, Steph Te-Ohaere-Fox, Conversions: Isabella Waterman 2, Penalties: Waterman 2

In the Championship Final, Manawatu were dominant beating Hawkes Bay 55-12, earning promotion to the Premiership Division for next year.

Tries: Alesha Williams 2, Marilyn Live, Rangimarie Sturmey, Lucy Brown, Kaia-Hayes Walker-Waitoa, Crystal Mayes, Sam Tipene, Carys Dallinger, Conversions: Dallinger 5

Hawke’s Bay: 12 

Tries: Harmony Kautai, Tuia Edwards, Conversion: Krysten Cottrell

Sunday, October 3, 2021

Farah Palmer Cup Finals

Waikato will face Canterbury in Christchurch on Saturday 9th October in the final of the Premiership division of the Farah Palmer Cup after beating Wellington 26-10 in Hamilton on Saturday, while Hawkes Bay will face Manawatu in Palmerston North for the Championship division after beating Northland 27-26 in Whangarei.

Waikato's NPC and Farah Palmer Cup sides have both had to relocate to Cambridge late on Sunday after a level 3 lockdown was announced to start at midnight covering Hamilton and Raglan after positive Covid cases. Team members have been isolated and will have to return negative cases before being allowed out to practice, with the team to either travel late Friday or Saturday morning to the final in Christchurch.

Waikato: 26 

Tries: Kelsey Teneti, Montessa Tairakena, penalty try, Penalties: Kennedy Tahau, Tenika Willison 2

Wellington: 10

Try: Angelica Uila, Conversion: Cheyne Copeland, Penalty: Elizabeth Goulden 

Northland: 26 

Tries: Hinewai Pomare, Tiaho Mahanga, Victoria Subritzky-Nafatali 2, Conversions: Subritzkey-Nafatali 2, Timara Leaf

Hawke's Bay: 27

Tries: Rakai McCafferty, Krysten Cottrell, Moomooga Palu, Harmony Kautai, Kathleen Brown, Conversion: Cottrell

All Blacks Suffer First Defeat Of Season

The All Blacks have suffered their first defeat of the 2021 season with a 31-29 loss to South Africa on Saturday night in the final match of the Rugby Championship. 

The All Blacks scored three tries to two, but it was a reversal from last week where South Africa kicked the late penalty to win the match. The All Blacks had led 20-14 at half time after tries to Sevu Reece, Ardie Savea, and Brad Weber even though South Africa had more possession and territory. The second half saw South Africa bounce back with penalties to Handré Pollard and Elton Jantjies, and a try to Makazole Mapimpi to go out to a 25-20 lead before two penalties to Jordie Barrett put them back in front. In the remaining minutes Jantjies kicked a dropped goal to go ahead before Barrett kicked a 78th minute penalty for a 29-28 lead. The All Blacks had possession in the final minute of the match, but conceded a turnover and then a penalty to gift Jantjies a penalty out in front of the post in injury time.

New Zealand All Blacks: 29 

Tries: Sevu Reece, Ardie Savea, Brad Weber, Conversion: Jordie Barrett, Penalties: Jordie Barrett 4

South Africa 31 

Tries: Damian D'Allende, Makazole Mapimpi Penalties: Handré Pollard 4, Elton Jantjies 2, Dropped Goal:  Elton Jantjies

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Farah Palmer Cup Semi-Final Matches

The preliminary finals of the Farah Palmer Cup take place this weekend, where Waikato and Wellington will play in Hamilton to see who faces Canterbury in the premiership final, and Northland will play Hawkes Bay in Whangarei to see who face Manawatu in the championship final. Several teams will loose players to a Black Ferns training camp in Mount Maunganui ahead of European tests against England and France in October, with Waikato having nine unavailable, Northland two, and Wellington three.

Championship Division: Northland v Hawke’s Bay, Friday at 4:35pm, Semenoff Stadium, Whangarei

Premiership Division: Waikato v Wellington, Saturday at 12:05pm, FMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton

Manawatu v Canterbury, Saturday 2nd October, 2.05pm, Central Energy Trust Arena, Palmerston North (non-competition match)

All Blacks Named For Second South Africa Match

All Blacks coach Ian Foster has named his side to face South Africa at Gold Coast's CBUS Stadium on Saturday 2 October, in their second match of the 2021 Fortinet Rugby Championship.
In the forwards, there is one change from last week, where Luke Jacobson, who was a late withdrawal due to illness replaces Ethan Blackadder, with Asafo Aumua and George Bower coming on to the reserves bench in place of Samisoni Taukei’aho and Karl Tu’inukuafe
In the backs, Brad Weber starts at halfback with TJ Perenara dropping to the reserves, Anton Lienert-Brown returns from a hamstring strain at centre with Rieko Ioane moving to the left wing, and Sevu Reece starts on the right wing. Richie Mo'unga who has rejoined the team from New Zealand is named on the reserves bench with Damian McKenzie, while both Will Jordan and George Bridge drop out of the match 23.

New Zealand All Blacks:

1. Joe Moody
2. Codie Taylor
3. Nepo Laulala
4. Brodie Retallick
5. Scott Barrett
6. Akira Ioane 
7. Ardie Savea (c)
8. Luke Jacobson
9. Brad Weber 
10. Beauden Barrett 
11. Rieko Ioane 
12. David Havili
13. Anton Lienert-Brown 
14. Sevu Reece 
15. Jordie Barrett 


16. Asafo Aumua 
17. George Bower
18. Ofa Tuungafasi 
19. Patrick Tuipulotu 
20. Ethan Blackadder 
21. TJ Perenara 
22. Richie Mo’unga 
23. Damian McKenzie

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

All Blacks Win Against South Africa

In the 100th test match between the sides, the New Zealand All Blacks have beaten South Africa 19-17 in Townsville on Saturday night. In a closely fought match, it was the boot of Jordie Barrett who secured the victory with a 78th minute penalty kick. The South African tactics of continually kicking for position or high balls worked to some degree, with their try to Sbu Nkosi coming off a dropped ball near the line by winger George Bridge. 

The All Blacks conceded 23 turnovers to eight from South Africa, carried for 378 metres to South Africa's 236, passed the ball 141 times to South Africa's 65, made 12 offloads to one, kicked 18 times to South Africa's 38 and missed 14 tackles to South Africa's 23.

New Zealand All Blacks: 19

Try: Will Jordan, Conversion: Jordie Barrett, Penalties: Jordie Barett 4

South Africa: 17

Try: Sbu Nkosi, Penalties: Handre Pollard 4

The next 2021 Rugby Championship match for the All Blacks is their second match against South Africa at Gold Coast's CBUS Stadium on Saturday night 11.05pm.