Page 1


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THE ALL NEW


RUGBY 2013 CONTENTS

A heads-up on what’s inside this issue including competition draws and team profiles.

The INVESTEC RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP......................... 6 We preview the 2013 Investec Rugby Championship featuring the All Blacks, Pumas, Springboks and Wallabies. ITM CUP SEASON Preview................ 8 What’s ahead in the ITM Cup Premiership and Championship. ITM CUP PREMIERSHIP PREVIEWS: CANTERBURY ................................ 10 AUCKLAND...................................... 11 BAY OF PLENTY............................ 12 WELLINGTON. ............................... 12 COUNTIES MANUKAU................ 14 WAIKATO. ........................................ 15 TARANAKI....................................... 18 ITM CUP FIXTURE LIST................... 16

ITM CUP CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEWS: manawatu.................................... 21 hawke’s bay. .............................. 21 NORTH HARBOUR........................ 22 SOUTHLAND. ................................. 22 NORTHLAND.................................. 25 TASMAN........................................... 25 OTAGO............................................... 26 RANFURLY SHIELD. ........................... 28 Will Waikato retain the Shield? We look ahead to this season’s Shield challenges. PINK® BATTS® HEARTLAND CHAMPIONSHIP Fixtures . .......... 30 All you need to know about this year’s Pink® Batts® Heartland Championship.

Managing editor: Oliver Lee editor: PETER WHITE / hammersports@gmail.com PROOFREADING: Elise McDowell PHOTOGRAPHY: photosport / www.photosport.co.nz DESIGN / LAYOUT: ROB GLEN & hurley new zealand limited PRINTING: Webstar

WINNING MOMENT: Canterbury captain George Whitelock holds aloft the ITM Cup after last year’s final victory over Auckland in the ITM Cup Premiership.

Publisher

Box 331-667, Takapuna, Auckland 0740, New Zealand  T: 09 486 6966 E: oliver@oliverlee.co.nz

COPYRIGHT: Reproduction in whole or in part by any means is prohibited. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this magazine do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher. Although all material is checked for accuracy, no liability is assumed by the publisher for any loss due to use of material in this magazine.


the investec RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP 2013

The Investec Rugby Championship kicks off on August 17 and promises to . be just as compelling as last year’s inaugural event. BY PETER WHITE The 2012 Investec Rugby Championship was the dawning of a new era in international rugby, with Argentina joining the traditional Tri Nations foes of New Zealand, Australia and South Africa in a new series. But as much as the rugby landscape changes, some things just stay the same. The All Blacks completely dominated the Rugby Championship in precisely the same way they had cleaned up the Tri Nations in recent years. They won all six games, scoring 177 points and conceding just 66, and played some scintillating rugby along the way. Highlights included beating Argentina 54–15 at La Plata, a 22–0 whitewash of the Wallabies at Eden Park and a remarkable 32–16 victory over the Springboks in Johannesburg, after trailing 16–12 at half-time.

CAPTAIN RETURNS: Richie McCaw will lead the All Blacks in the Rugby Championship after his sabbatical.

Former All Black Robbie Deans lost his job as coach of the Wallabies after the series loss to the British and Irish Lions in June. He has been replaced by former Wallaby prop Ewen McKenzie. The Queensland Reds coach is a stickler for playing 15-man rugby and has hinted he wants to bring the attacking sparkle back to the Wallabies, which is good news for both the Wallabies and the quality of rugby to look forward to in the championship. Like Deans before him, he will be hamstrung by a lack of playing resources in key positions, particularly the front row, first-five and fullback, but he should bring some pride back to wearing the jersey and get the harddone-by supporters back on side.

But, it was not all plain sailing and there was much to like in the performance of Argentina who will be even more competitive in 2013 after getting rid of some obvious nerves last year. The Pumas went desperately close to beating the Wallabies on the Gold Coast before losing 23–19 and they really should have beaten the Springboks in Mendoza after leading for most of the 80 minutes, until conceding late points to draw 18–18. Argentina pushed the mighty All Blacks close in Wellington, leading 6–5 at half-time before eventually going down 21–5 to the world champions.

The Springboks had an easy time of it in June playing against Samoa and Scotland but will be as competitive as ever and will provide the All Blacks with their biggest challenge to securing back-to-back titles.

The Investec Rugby Championship kicks off on August 17 with a mouth-watering clash between the Wallabies and All Blacks in Sydney. The All Blacks warmed up in June with a 3–0 series win over a competitive France and also welcome back captain Richie McCaw after his wellearned sabbatical.

The All Blacks finish the year off in November against France, England and Ireland, after a stop-over in Tokyo to play Japan in an official test. It will be a memorable occasion and the New Zealand Rugby Union should be congratulated on arranging the fixture that will be a fantastic boost to rugby in both Japan and throughout Asia.

The Investec Rugby Championship will see the new ‘crouch, bind, set’ scrum engagement and referees have been instructed by SANZAR that the ball goes in straight – we will have to see how that works after years of letting halfbacks put the ball in under their hooker’s feet.

2013 investec rugby championship & bledisloe cup draw DATE

AUGUST 17: AUGUST 18: AUGUST 24: AUGUST 25: SEPTEMBER 7: SEPTEMBER 7: SEPTEMBER 14: SEPTEMBER 14: SEPTEMBER 29: SEPTEMBER 29: OCTOBER 6: OCTOBER 6: OCTOBER 19:

MATCH

VENUE

Australia v All Blacks (BC) South Africa v Argentina All Blacks v Australia (BC) Argentina v South Africa All Blacks v Argentina Australia v South Africa All Blacks v South Africa Australia v Argentina South Africa v Australia Argentina v All Blacks South Africa v All Blacks Argentina v Australia All Blacks v Australia (BC)

Sydney ......................... Bloemfontein .............. Wellington ................... Mendoza . .................... Hamilton ..................... Brisbane . .................... Auckland ..................... Perth ........................... Cape Town . ................. La Plata . ..................... Johannesburg ............. Rosario . ...................... Dunedin . .....................

KICK OFF NZ TIME

0.05 pm 1 1.00 am 7.35 pm 7.10 am 7.35 pm 10.05 pm 7.35 pm 10.05 pm 3.00 am 11.40 pm 3.00 am 11.40 am 7.35 pm

(BC) = Bledisloe Cup match.

2013 AIR NEW ZEALAND EUROPEAN TOUR DATE

NOVEMBER NOVEMBER NOVEMBER november

6 RUGBY 2013 

2: 9: 16: 24:

MATCH

VENUE

All Blacks v Japan All Blacks v France All Blacks v England All Blacks v Ireland

Tokyo . ......................... Paris ........................... London ........................ Dublin .........................

www.oliverlee.co.nz

KICK OFF NZ TIME

TBC TBC TBC TBC


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ITM CUP SET TO IGNITE PROVINCIAL PRIDE

BY PETER WHITE

Last year’s ITM Cup saw Canterbury retain their status as New Zealand’s top province and Counties Manukau win promotion to the premiership. .

FIVEPEAT: Canterbury players celebrate after winning their fifth consecutive title last season.

The New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) deserves credit for listening to the feedback from the provincial coaches involved in last year’s ITM premiership and ITM championship. As a result of the feedback, they have redesigned the competition format. The major gripe with the structure was that there were too many mid-week fixtures, particularly Tuesday evenings, which were notoriously difficult to draw in decent crowds. Now, courtesy of the NZRU, the 2013 ITM Cup will be played over an extended competition window of nine weeks with no more Tuesday night games. The competition will start on August 15, a week earlier than last year, in order to eliminate mid-week fixtures. As well as removing Tuesday matches, teams will now only have one short turn-around in a season rather than two. This will hopefully help with injury prevention and recovery, as players had to back-up too soon and too often between matches. New Zealand Rugby’s Chief Executive Steve Tew said there is still a very clear desire for ITM Cup to retain a standalone window in order to preserve the windows currently set for both club rugby and Super Rugby. “Starting a week earlier is a sensible solution that doesn’t compromise those dedicated timeframes,’’ Tew said. “The competition will still conclude at the end of October and we have retained the playoff structure which has been hugely popular with fans and unions. We saw (last) year that, heading toward the playoffs, almost every team had something to play for.’’ Neil Sorensen, New Zealand Rugby’s General Manager – Professional Rugby, said the ITM Cup always brings out the best in provincial pride. “We have largely retained the competition format of the last few years, although matches will be played from 8 RUGBY 2013 

Wednesday to Sunday for most of the competition,” said Sorensen. “Every team will play a double header (two games in the same week) once during the season.” Last season’s ITM Cup championship winners Counties Manukau were arguably the competition’s most entertaining team under new head coach Tana Umaga. They have the honour of opening the 2013 ITM Cup competition against the Wellington Lions on Thursday August 15, in Pukekohe. The opening round should be a ripper and get all rugby fans immediately engrossed in what is the best provincial competition in the world: the first competitive Ranfurly Shield challenge will see the Northland Taniwha travel to Hamilton to take on holders Waikato; fierce rivals Hawke’s Bay and Manawatu will clash in Napier; and the traditional Battle of the Bridge between Auckland and North Harbour takes place at Eden Park. As always the key on-field issue in this year’s ITM premiership is can anyone stop Canterbury? The redand-blacks have won the last five provincial championships and with the high calibre of players and winning culture in Canterbury, they will once again start as redhot favourites. But it will not be straight forward for Canterbury to the title as Auckland, Wellington and Taranaki look particularly strong this year. Let’s not forget if Beauden Barrett’s sideline conversion had been a metre to the left, Taranaki would have won last year’s semi-final against Canterbury. The championship looks evenly poised with relegated Hawke’s Bay, Tasman and Otago looking most likely to contest the finals. Throw in the passionate Heartland Championship and another chapter to write in the Ranfurly Shield story and the 2013 season looks set to be a cracker. Enjoy.

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TEAM PREV IE The top seven teams will contest

CANTERBURY

www.crfu.co.nz

Champions in 2012: Canterbury eased to their fifth consecutive ITM Cup title after easily accounting for Taranaki 51-27 in the semifinal and Auckland 31-18 in the final. Along the way they scored 51 tries and played some exciting rugby, particularly at the end of the season when it counted most. Key players: Halfback Andy Ellis has re-signed for two more seasons and is playing as well as ever. If Colin Slade can stay injury-free he will spark the Canterbury backline. Robbie Fruean will miss the campaign after further heart surgery but midfielders Ryan Crotty and Tom Taylor were in fine form for the Crusaders. The Whitelock brothers will play key roles as always. Young guns: Hooker Ben Funnell is a cousin of the Whitelocks and starting to assert himself at Super Rugby level. He impressed in the last two seasons for Canterbury, particularly with his accuracy at lineout throwing and running with ball in hand. Fellow hooker Codie Taylor is also highly regarded.

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THE GENERAL: Veteran halfback Andy Ellis. is one of Canterbury’s main on-field leaders.

23 August 2013

10 RUGBY 2013 

Season prospects: Canterbury has new coaches this campaign in recently-promoted head coach Scott Robertson and assistants Jason Holland and Scott Hansen. They are all former Canterbury players so will fit seamlessly into the red-and-black system. Canterbury has won the last five titles and with so much talent and depth they must go into the 2013 campaign as favourites, and make it six wins on the trot. They have the huge advantage of playing at AMI Stadium, which has become a veritable fortress that opposition teams struggle to deal with. They also have a mental edge over the other ITM Cup teams, especially at finals time.


REV IEWS

the Premiership.

AUCKLAND Placed second in 2012: Auckland had a fine season losing just two of their games, and finishing third in round-robin play. They had to travel to Wellington for the semifinal and put in a fine all-round team performance to win 33–22 and book a spot in the final against Canterbury.

www.aucklandrugby.co.nz

Key players: Fullback Charles Piutau played so well for both Auckland and the Blues he is now an All Black. The brilliant counter-attacking fullback, who is also assured under the high ball and an aggressive tackler, should be one of the stars of the ITM Cup. Fellow new All Black Steven Luatua is another who should love the opportunity to dominate for Auckland and will form a potent looseforward trio with Peter Saili and Luke Braid (who has moved from Bay of Plenty). Young gun: First-five Simon Hickey is set to make his mark in 2013, especially considering Gareth Anscombe will miss the whole campaign after shoulder surgery. Hickey made his debut last year and the 19-year-old is a former New Zealand Schools star who captained King’s College at both rugby and cricket. He is a prolific goal kicker and astute tactician with a big future in the game. Season prospects: Head coach Wayne Pivac stepped back into the Auckland job with great success last year and he will mentor an exciting squad of players with real ability. Last year Auckland fell at the final hurdle in Christchurch and a repeat appearance in the final is very much on the cards. An exciting season in prospect for the blue-and-whites.

INSPIRATIONAL: Number eight Peter Saili will form a powerful loose-forward trio with Steven Luatua and Luke Braid.

RUGBY 2013 11


ITM PREMIERSHIP TEAM PREVIEWS continued from page 11

WELLINGTON

www.wrfu.co.nz

Placed second in 2012: The Lions had a fine season and finished second on points differential (behind Canterbury) with only two losses from 10 games. But against the odds they were knocked over at home 33–21 in the semi-final against Auckland. Key players: If he is not required by the All Blacks this is likely to be the campaign that halfback TJ Perenara dominates. He is physically robust and a sharp runner with an insatiable appetite for hard work. Outside him Lima Sopoaga and Tim Bateman are class acts. Combative flanker Brad Shields will lead a strong forward pack that may include All Black Victor Vito. Young gun: At 19 years old Ardie Savea already has a season of ITM Cup behind him and three games for the Hurricanes. The hugely talented younger brother of Julian captained the New Zealand Under-20s at the IRB Junior World Championship in France and is set to command attention in this year’s ITM Cup with the Lions.

IN CHARGE: TJ Perenara is. Wellington’s. on-field general.

Season prospects: The Wellington Lions are set to follow on from last year’s successful campaign and host a home semi-final. They just need to hold their nerve in the playoffs, which is something Wellington has not been good at over the years, to have a crack at winning their first title since 2000.

BAY OF PLENTY Placed sixth in 2012: The Steamers had a disappointing season; they won only three games and finished just two points above relegated Hawke’s Bay. Injuries to key players, particularly in the key 8, 9 and 10 axis, hurt the Bay. The undoubted highlight was a 37–16 thumping of Auckland in round seven at Rotorua.

UNION

www.boprugby.co.nz

Key players: Despite missing All Blacks Sam Cane and Brodie Retallick, the Steamers still have a strong pack. Tanerau Latimer and number eight Carl Axtens will be joined in the loose forwards by ex-Waikato player Johan Bardoul. Blues lock Culum Retallick and New Zealand Under-20 hooker Nathan Harris should shine, and Highlanders wing Maritino Nemani will also be one to watch. Young gun: There are high hopes for 18-year-old midfielder Elijah Nicholas who has impressed with a series of physical performances in club rugby. There are rules around how much he can play because of his age but he has impressed with his size, skill and fitness level.

BRAVE LEADER: Tanerau Latimer was in. top form with the Chiefs and will be a key player. for the Steamers.

12 RUGBY 2013 

Season prospects: Coach Kevin Schuler has contracted 33 players to widen the squad and he has far more depth to work with than last year. If Blues first-five Chris Noakes can stay fit Schuler will have the playmaker he missed last season. The Steamers have potential game breakers all over the park and if they can have a decent run without injuries, they should be safe from relegation.

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ITM PREMIERSHIP TEAM PREVIEWS continued from page 12

COUNTIES MANUKAU Promoted in 2012: Counties Manukau was the dominant team in the championship, winning six of their 10 games. They beat Southland 48–23 in the semi-final and demolished Otago 41–16 in the final, held at ECOLight Stadium in Pukekohe. All Blacks legend Tana Umaga was a truly inspirational figure in guiding the team up to the premiership. www.steelers.co.nz

Key players: It is hard to go past their strong Chiefs connection. Former Manu Samoa hooker Mahonri Schwalger is a powerful scrummager, while Bundee Aki was among the best backs in Super rugby. Reynold Lee-Lo was a big improver at the Hurricanes, and first-five Baden Kerr benefited from his time at the Blues. Injured Tim NanaiWilliams will be missed. Young gun: The Counties Manukau region produces highly physical and athletic young talent every year and No 8 Maama Vaipulu is the latest to step up from club footy. He played five games for the Steelers last year and is set to make his mark on this year’s ITM premiership.

HUGE TALENT: Midfielder Bundee Aki. has improved dramatically with the Chiefs.

Season prospects: Inspirational coach Tana Umaga and his deputy Steve Jackson did a magnificent job last year. The Steelers open the ITM Cup against Wellington at home and they will need to start well as staying at premiership level will not be easy. They have 10 Super Rugby players in their squad which means they will be highly competitive.

JOIN THE ALL BLACKS ON TOUR IN JAPAN The All Blacks are taking on Japan in Tokyo this November and you can join them! All Blacks Tours has put together a special five night tour package for supporters wanting to make the most of this opportunity to visit Japan. Flying Air New Zealand, soak up the sights of Tokyo while also cheering on the boys in black at the game on 2 November. BOOK YOUR PLACE ON THE TEAM NOW BECAUSE THIS UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY IS LIMITED AND WILL SELL OUT FAST.

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WAIKATO Placed fifth in 2012: Waikato had a disappointing season, apart from winning the Ranfurly Shield off Taranaki. They won just four of their 10 games to finish in fifth place. It is rare for Waikato to miss the play-offs but they struggled to find consistency. Key players: No doubt about it, the signing of huge Chiefs prop Ben Tameifuna from Hawke’s Bay is the best news for this Waikato squad which is lacking in experience. Highlanders hooker Brayden Mitchell is another key acquisition. Chiefs number eight Matt Vant Leven will captain the team with Blues midfielder Jackson Willison his vice-captain.

www.mooloo.co.nz

Young guns: First-five Sam Christie, who has been with the Force in Perth this season, and New Zealand-born Rebels tighthead prop Paul Alo-Emile are highly promising players. New players to the squad worth watching are 19-year-olds lock Brian Alainu’uese and hooker Hame Faiva, and flanker Whetu Douglas, midfielder Marnus Hanley and fullback Joe Webber (all aged 20). Season prospects: Waikato has lost the experienced Brendon Leonard, Toby Smith and Ben May overseas, while Alex Bradley and Marcel Cummings-Toone have retired. New coaches John Walters and Carl Hoeft have 13 uncapped players in the squad and an average age of 23 to work with. Relegation is a real prospect.

KEY PLAYER: First-five Trent Renata will drive the young Waikato team around the field.

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ITM CUP PREMIERSHIP AND The 14 teams involved in the ITM Cup will play 70 matches before the pla

ITM CUP EXPLAINED 2013 ITM CUP PREMIERSHIP Auckland Bay of Plenty Canterbury Counties Manukau Taranaki Waikato Wellington The 7th placed team is automatically relegated to the 2014 ITM Cup Championship.

2013 ITM CUP CHAMPIONSHIP Hawke’s Bay Manawatu Otago North Harbour Northland Southland Tasman The winner of the ITM Cup Championship is automatically promoted to the 2014 ITM Cup Premiership. All premiership teams will play each other once, and all championship teams will play each other once (three home, three away matches). In addition, all 14 teams will play four crossover matches (two home, two away matches) where premiership and championship teams meet. All matches will carry full competition points.

FOR UP-TO-DATE information go to www.itmcup.co.nz

WEEK 1: Thursday AUGUST 15 – Sunday AUGUST 18 MATCH DATE

VENUE

TIME

Thursday August 15

Counties Manukau

v

Wellington

ECOLight, Pukekohe

7.35 pm

Friday August 16

Canterbury

v

Taranaki

AMI Stadium, Addington

7.35 pm

Saturday August 17

Hawke’s Bay

v

Manawatu

McLean Park, Napier

2.35 pm

Southland

v

Tasman

Rugby Park Stadium, Invercargill

5.35 pm

Waikato (RS)

v

Northland

Waikato Stadium, Hamilton

7.35 pm

Auckland

v

North Harbour

Eden Park, Auckland

2.35 pm

Otago

v

Bay of Plenty

Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin

4.35 pm

Sunday August 18

WEEK 2: THURSDAY august 22 – SUNDAY august 25 Thursday August 22

North Harbour

v

Counties Manukau North Harbour Stadium, Albany

Friday August 23

Taranaki

v

Wellington

Yarrow Stadium, New Plymouth

6.05 pm

Waikato (RS)

v

Otago

Waikato Stadium, Hamilton

8.05 pm

Tasman

v

Canterbury

Lansdowne Park, Blenheim

2.35 pm

Northland

v

Southland

Toll Stadium, Whangarei

4.35 pm

Bay of Plenty

v

Hawke’s Bay

ASB Stadium at Bay Park, Tauranga

2.35 pm

Manawatu

v

Auckland

FMG Stadium, Palmerston North

4.35 pm

Saturday August 24 Sunday, August 25

7.35 pm

WEEK 3: WEDNESDAY AUGUST 28 – Sunday SEPTEMBER 1 Wednesday August 28

Wellington

v

North Harbour

Westpac Stadium, Wellington

7.35 pm

Thursday August 29

Canterbury

v

Waikato

AMI Stadium, Addington

7.35 pm

Friday August 30

Counties Manukau v

Tasman

ECOLight Stadium, Pukekohe

7.35 pm

Saturday August 31

Auckland

v

Bay of Plenty

Eden Park, Auckland

2.35 pm

North Harbour

v

Northland

North Harbour Stadium, Albany

5.35 pm

Southland

v

Taranaki

Rugby Park Park, Invercargill

7.35 pm

Wellington

v

Manawatu

Westpac Stadium, Wellington

2.35 pm

Otago

v

Hawke’s Bay

Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin

4.35 pm

Sunday September 1

WEEK 4: WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 4 – SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 8 Wednesday Sept 4

Auckland

v

Counties Manukau Eden Park, Auckland

Thursday Sept 5

Bay of Plenty

v

Canterbury

Friday Sept 6 Saturday Sept 8 Sunday Sept 9

Rotorua Int’l Stadium, Rotorua

7.35 pm 7.35 pm

Southland

v

Waikato

Rugby Park Stadium, Invercargill

6.05 pm

Tasman

v

Otago

Trafalgar Park, Nelson

8.05 pm

Yarrow Stadium, New Plymouth

Taranaki

v

Auckland

Hawke’s Bay

v

Counties Manukau McLean Park, Napier

Manawatu

v

North Harbour

FMG Stadium, Palmerston North

2.35 pm

Northland

v

Wellington

Toll Stadium, Whangarei

4.35 pm

2.35 pm 4.35 pm

WEEK 5: WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 11 – SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 15 Wednesday Sept 11

Taranaki

v

Hawke’s Bay

Yarrow Stadium, New Plymouth

Thursday Sept 12

Wellington

v

Bay of Plenty

Westpac Stadium, Wellington

Friday Sept 13 Saturday Sept 14 Sunday Sept 15

7.35 pm 7.35 pm

Manawatu

v

Southland

FMG Stadium, Palmerston North

6.05 pm

North Harbour

v

Tasman

North Harbour Stadium, Albany

8.05 pm

Waikato (RS)

v

Auckland

Waikato Stadium, Hamilton

2.35 pm

Canterbury

v

Otago

AMI Stadium, Addington

4.35 pm

Counties Manukau v

Taranaki

ECOLight Stadium, Pukekohe

2.35 pm

Hawke’s Bay

Northland

McLean Park, Napier

4.35 pm

v

WEEK 6: WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 18 – SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 22

16 RUGBY 2013 

Wednesday Sept 18

Bay of Plenty

v

Southland

ASB Stadium at Bay Park, Tauranga

7.35 pm

Thursday Sept 19

Auckland

v

Northland

Eden Park, Auckland

7.35 pm

www.itm.co.nz

| 0800 FOR ITM (0800 367 486)


AND CHAMPIONSHIP DRAW 2013 yoffs in just nine weeks...keep this draw close by to keep up with all the action

WEEK 6 DATE

CONTINUED:

WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 18 – SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 22 MATCH

Friday Sept 20

Otago

Saturday Sept 21

Sunday Sept 22

VENUE

TIME

Manawatu

Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin

Counties Manukau v

Waikato

ECOLight Stadium, Pukekohe

Wellington

v

Canterbury

Westpac Stadium, Wellington

Taranaki

v

Bay of Plenty

Yarrow Stadium, Dunedin

7.35 pm

Tasman

v

Hawke’s Bay

Trafalgar Park, Nelson

2.35 pm

Southland

v

North Harbour

Rugby Park Stadium, Invercargill

4.35 pm

v

7.35 pm 2.35 pm

5.35 pm

WEEK 7: wednesday SEPTEMBER 25 – sunday september 29 Wednesday Sept 25

Canterbury

v

Manawatu

AMI Stadium, Addington

Thursday Sept 26

Northland

v

Tasman

Toll Stadium, Whangarei

7.35 pm

Friday Sept 27

Waikato (RS)

v

Wellington

Waikato Stadium, Hamilton

7.35 pm

Saturday Sept 28

Otago

v

Southland

Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin

2.35 pm

Manawatu

v

Taranaki

FMG Stadium, Palmerston North

5.35 pm

Auckland

v

Canterbury

Eden Park, Auckland

7.35 pm

Hawke’s Bay

v

North Harbour

McLean Park, Napier

2.35 pm

Bay of Plenty

v

Counties Manukau Rotorua Int’l Stadium, Rotorua

Sunday Sept 29

7.35 pm

4.35 pm

WEEK 8: WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 2 – SUNDAY OCTOBER 6 Wednesday October 2

Tasman

v

Waikato

Trafalgar Park, Nelson

7.35 pm

Thursday October 3

Southland

v

Hawke’s Bay

Rugby Park Stadium, Invercargill

7.35 pm

Friday October 4

Manawatu

v

Northland

FMG Stadium, Palmerston North

7.35 pm

Saturday October 5

Bay of Plenty

v

Waikato

ASB Stadium at Bay Park, Tauranga

2.35 pm

North Harbour

v

Otago

North Harbour Stadium, Albany

5.35 pm

Wellington

v

Auckland

Westpac Stadium, Well

7.35 pm

Canterbury

v

Counties Manukau Rugby Park, Christchurch

2.35 pm

Taranaki

v

Tasman

4.35 pm

Sunday October 6

Yarrow Stadium, New Plymouth

WEEK 9: WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 9 – SUNDAY OCTOBER 13 Wednesday October 9

Northland

v

Otago

Toll Stadium, Whangarei

Thursday October 10

Hawke’s Bay

v

Wellington

McLean Park, Napier

Friday October 11

Counties Manukau v

Southland

ECOLight Stadium, Pukekohe

Saturday October 12

North Harbour

v

Canterbury

North Harbour Stadium, Albany

2.35 pm

Northland

v

Bay of Plenty

Toll Stadium, Whangarei

5.35 pm

Waikato (RS)

v

Taranaki

Waikato Stadium, Hamilton

7.35 pm

Otago

v

Auckland

Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin

2.35 pm

v

Manawatu

Lansdowne Park, Blenheim

4.35 pm

Sunday October 13

Tasman

7.35 pm

7.35 pm 7.35 pm

semi-finals: FRIDAY OCTOBER 18 – sunday OCTOBER 20 Friday October 18

ITM CUP PREMIERSHIP semi-final one

7.35 pm

Saturday October 19

ITM CUP CHAMPIONSHIP semi-final one

2.05 pm

Saturday October 19

ITM CUP CHAMPIONSHIP semi-final TWO

4.35 pm

Saturday October 19

ITM CUP PREMIERSHIP semi-final TWO

2.35 pm

FINALS: Friday OCTOBER 25 – Saturday OCTOBER 26 Friday October 25

ITM CUP Championship Final

7.35 pm

Saturday October 26

ITM CUP Premiership Final

7.35 pm

www.oliverlee.co.nz

RUGBY 2013 17


ITM PREMIERSHIP TEAM PREVIEWS continued from page 15

TARANAKI Placed fourth in 2012: Taranaki finished last season quite comfortably in fourth place with seven wins and three losses from their 10 games. They played out arguably the game of the play-offs against Canterbury in Christchurch; Taranaki missed the conversion to win the game in injury time, and so it went into extra time with scores locked at 27–27. Canterbury pulled away to win 51–27 but it could so easily have been a famous Taranaki victory. www.trfu.co.nz

Key players: Taranaki always produce tough forward packs and this year’s will be led by the tough trio of Jared Hoeata, James Broadhurst and Shane Cleaver. Young hooker Rhys Marshall has blossomed at the Chiefs as has halfback Jamison Gibson-Park at the Blues. Kurt Baker is a goal kicking, counter-attacking force at fullback and will be a key player. Young gun: Ope Peleseuma arrives with big raps from Wellington. The 21-year-old midfielder played New Zealand Under-20s last year and is an ideal replacement for Jayden Hayward (Western Force).

SET PIECE CHAMP: James Broadhurst. is a strong leader in. the Taranaki pack.

Season Prospects: Taranaki has spent up large on recruiting players in recent seasons and they have enjoyed semi-final football the last two seasons. The Ranfurly Shield was lost to Waikato last year so the team’s sole focus will be making the play-offs again. They are likely to do so as they are very hard to beat at home.

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ITM CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM PREVIEWS Automatic promotion up to the ITM Premiership next year is the goal for these seven unions.

MANAWATU Placed sixth in 2012: Manawatu finished a disappointing campaign in sixth place and with the record of conceding the most tries in the championship. They won just three games in 2012, and, after finishing second in 2011, this was a poor return for such a wellbalanced squad. Key players: The Turbos have lost the core of their experience with five key players moving on. The Chiefs trio of Nick Crosswell, Asaeli Tikoirotuma and Michael Fitzgerald will be crucial in the charge for promotion, as will hooker Rob Foreman. All Blacks Sevens star Tomasi Cama will be one of the main leaders on and off the field.

www.manawaturugby.co.nz

Young gun: The Turbos have snared an exciting young talent in Melbourne Rebels halfback Nic Stirzaker. The red-haired Aussie talent is keen to learn as much as he can playing in the ITM Cup and he is set to make an impact with his strong running game. Season prospects: It is going to be a tough season for the Turbos with the loss of so many key players, especially lock Reece Robinson. Coach Jason O’Halloran has admitted they played the wrong tactics last season, so expect to see a return to the traditional free-flowing rugby they love in what will be a rebuilding year for Manawatu.

ATTACKING GENIUS: Manawatu will hope Tomasi Cama can reproduce some of his Sevens form.

HAWKE’S BAY Relegated in 2012: From the ecstasy of promotion in 2011 to the despair of relegation within 12 months – such is the lot of Hawke’s Bay rugby. They scored only 14 tries and conceded 33; the Magpies lost seven of their 10 games last year in an unexpected loss of form.

www.hbmagpies.co.nz

Key players: The Magpies have recruited well to put an exciting squad together. Hooker Ged Robertson is a former Hurricanes and New Zealand Under-20s player who had a fine Super Rugby campaign with the Rebels. Highly regarded English prop Max Lahiff joins from London Irish while Western Force and former All Black halfback Alby Mathewson is a proven performer. Zac Guildford is a class finisher. Young gun: Breeding counts for a bit in rugby and new No 8 Mark Atkins is from fine rugby stock. He is the son of former Canterbury legend Dale Atkins. Mark scored a hat trick of tries for Taranaki at the national Sevens final this year and is a strong, athletic player who should shine for the Magpies. Season prospects: Expect Hawke’s Bay to bounce back into the semi-finals of the championship. Coach Craig Philpott has a season under his belt now and a clutch of key new signings means there is some good depth to the squad. Why hooker Hika Elliott missed out on a contract is still a mystery but it should be a good year for the Magpies.

www.oliverlee.co.nz

INSPIRATIONAL: Zac Guildford is still. a top-class attacking. force on the wing.

RUGBY 2013 21


ITM CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM PREVIEWS continued from page 21

NORTH HARBOUR www.harbourrugby.co.nz

Placed seventh in 2012: What a shocker! Considering the talent they had in their squad, last year’s performance of winning just one game all season made Harbour a laughing stock. It took them until the final game of the campaign, when they ripped apart Tasman 42–10 in Nelson, to show what they are so capable of. Key players: Hooker James Parsons fought his way into the Blues starting lineup and looked comfortable at that level, while Ben Afeaki stayed injury-free enough to make the All Blacks this year. Francis Saili is also a fringe All Black and needs to take charge of the midfield. New Zealand Sevens representative David Raikuna has pace to burn. Young guns: Former New Zealand Under-20 representatives Bryn Hall and Pita Ahki are exciting talents and need to step up this season. Hall has all the attributes to be a top class halfback while centre Ahki is now an established Sevens All Black and needs to back himself.

HIGHLY SKILLED: Bryn Hall has. all the attributes of. a quality halfback.

Season prospects: The coaching duo of Liam Barry and highly successful North Harbour development coach Alex O’Dowd are a likely looking combination, with O’Dowd’s ability to get the best out of local talent crucial to a move up the table this season. Expect to see a back-to-basics approach and more pride in wearing the Harbour jersey.

SOUTHLAND Placed fourth in 2012: The Stags made the semi-finals with a ratio of four wins to six losses. They struggled to score tries with only 14 in their whole campaign. Their season ended with a 48–23 thumping by Counties Manukau in the semi-final. www.rugbysouthland.co.nz

Key players: Prop Jamie Mackintosh has turned his back on the Highlanders to join the Chiefs but he is a key player for the Stags and starts the season on 92 games for the union. The pack will again be strong with tough men in Joshua Bekhuis, John Hardie, Elliot Dixon and Tim Boys leading the way. Robbie Robinson and Marty McKenzie will spark a relatively young backline. Young gun: Midfielder Cardiff Vaega has all the attributes to go a long way in the game. He was named after the city where his father To’o starred in Samoa’s famous win over Wales in 1991. Cardiff is a powerful tackle breaker in possession and is renowned for his strong defence.

FEARLESS: Southland’s John Hardie. is one of New Zealand’s best openside flankers.

22 RUGBY 2013 

Season prospects: Southland has arguably the most passionate fans in the country but the players and supporters struggled to get back up after losing the Ranfurly Shield in 2011. They will be tough to beat in Invercargill but will get little joy in the North Island. Another semi-final spot should be their lot.

www.oliverlee.co.nz


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Harbour home games Thursday 22nd August 7.35pm

vs. Counties Manukau Saturday 31st August 5.35pm

vs. Northland Friday 13th September 8.05pm

vs. Tasman Saturday 5th October 5.35pm

vs. Otago

Saturday 12th October 2.35pm

vs. Canterbury

QBE Insurance is the Principal Major Sponsor of North Harbour Rugby www.qbe.co.nz


ITM CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM PREVIEWS continued from page 22

NORTHLAND Placed fifth in 2012: Whilst the Taniwha finished just two points shy of a play-off spot, three wins from 10 games was a disappointing result for the competition’s entertainers. They had no problem scoring tries but unfortunately they gave up even more which was the story of their season. Key players: Former Blues superstar Rupeni Caucaunibuca is returning to where it all began for him which has created a great deal of interest up north. Although he is 33 now, he is still quick and will enjoy playing outside Rene Ranger. Ranger is a brilliant attacking force and will want to finish off in style for Northland before he takes up a contract in France.

www.taniwha.co.nz

Young gun: New hooker Matt Moulds is returning home after leaving the rural splendor of Maungaturoto to study in Christchurch. The former flanker shifted to hooker two years ago and will learn quickly from his coach, former All Black hooker Derren Witcombe. Season prospects: New head coach Witcombe steps up to replace Adriaan Ferris and he epitomises everything about old fashioned rugby values. Witcombe will bring a straight forward, basic approach which is just what Northland need if they are to improve their defence this season. He also has some tough veterans returning home in Jake Paringatai and Bronson Murray and a semi-final spot is likely.

MATCH WINNER: Rene Ranger will want a top season with Northland before he moves to France.

TASMAN Placed third in 2012: In comparison to 2011, the Makos had a much better season and but for a last home-game slip-up against North Harbour would have hosted a semi-final. However, that loss meant they went to Dunedin and lost 41–34 to Otago.

www.makos.co.nz

Key players: George Stowers could be one of the buys of the year. The burly loose forward joins Tasman from Ospreys in Wales, and London Irish prior to that, and has played 23 tests for Samoa. Joe Wheeler is as honest a forward as anyone while flanker Shane Christie will captain the team. Tom Marshall is a high quality outside back. Young gun: Talented 20-year-old midfielder Mike Wells has fought back from the debilitating effects of Crohn’s disease. He is back to his peak weight of 96 kg and the versatile utility player is regarded as a top-class defender. If he gets game time, he is worth watching for the future. Season prospects: Coach Kieran Keane has assembled a high quality squad with some excellent players with some pedigree. Players from overseas expected to make a real impact include Leicester Tigers midfielder Andy Symons, former captain Alex Ainley, who is back from three seasons in Japan, and Brumbies and former Australian Under-20 halfback Mark Swanepoel. A place in the semis beckons again.

www.oliverlee.co.nz

MR RELIABLE: Tom Marshall is a . key attacking weapon . for the Makos.

RUGBY 2013 25


ITM CHAMPIONSHIP TEAM PREVIEWS continued from previous page

OTAGO Placed second in 2012: Otago had an outstanding campaign finishing second in the round-robin competition after losing many of their best players as financial disaster struck. They beat Tasman 41–34 in the semi-final before being trounced in Pukekohe by the unstoppable Counties Manukau Steelers in a one-sided final. www.orfu.co.nz

Key players: There are so many home-grown talents in the squad. Fullback Tony Ensor has real top-end pace and will be better for last year’s experience. Captain Paul Grant is back at No 8 after injury issues, first-five Hayden Parker is a class act and top-class goal kicker whilst Buxton Popoali’i is an expert finisher out wide. Young guns: Otago had five players in the New Zealand Under-20 team this year. Centre Michael Collins continues to look assured at this level and should shine in 2013, while fellow midfielder Teihorangi Walden is highly regarded by coach Tony Brown and could well start in the No 12 jersey.

FEARLESS LEADER: Captain Paul Grant. is an inspirational. figure for Otago.

Season prospects: Coach Brown performed miracles with his squad last year and with another 12 months worth of experience his young squad could really cut loose under the roof at their stadium. Japanese international Fumiaki Tanaka, TJ Ione and Liam Coltman are others with Super Rugby experience. This could well be Otago’s year and see their promotion to the big dance in 2014.

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Play safe, play

RugbySmart During the 2010 and 2012 season no rugby player suffered a life-changing spinal injury. This is a major breakthrough, in part attributed to RugbySmart, an injury prevention initiative developed jointly between ACC and NZ Rugby. There were on average 10 serious spinal injuries to . rugby players each year before RugbySmart became compulsory in 2001 (for coaches of under-13 grades and above). RugbySmart has helped this average drop to two per season. RugbySmart educates coaches and referees to ensure players are physically and technically prepared for the game. It gives coaches essential information to help minimise injuries to players, and tests their knowledge of injury prevention, injury management and improving performance. RugbySmart has been endorsed by former All Blacks coach Graham Henry and adopted by a number of countries overseas. Each year in New Zealand over 10,000 coaches and 2,000 referees attend RugbySmart workshops in provincial unions.

RugbySmart focuses on factors like: ➲ player profiling ➲ t echnique in contact (tackles, scrums, rucks and mauls) ➲ physical conditioning specific to the demands of rugby ➲ using protective equipment such as mouth guards ➲ hydration and nutrition ➲ appropriate treatment and management of injuries ➲ responsibilities around the recognition of the symptoms and treatment of concussion.

www.rugbysmart.co.nz


RANFURLY SHIELD  2013

Since 1904 provincial unions have battled to get their hands on the famous Log o’ Wood. Peter White  looks ahead to this season’s challenges and reminisces on the Shield’s great history.

WINNING FEELING: Waikato celebrate after winning the Ranfurly Shield off Taranaki last October.

Waikato have begun their reign as Ranfurly Shield holders in 2013 with early-season wins over Horowhenua-Kapiti and East Coast. The Mooloo men have five upcoming defences of the Shield against the bigger unions of Northland (August 17), Otago (August 23), Auckland (September 14), Wellington (September 27) and Taranaki (October 12). This is Waikato’s ninth tenure as Ranfurly Shield holders. It all started with a remarkable 46–10 thrashing of Taranaki last October in New Plymouth; not too many saw that score coming. Waikato followed this up with a convincing 28–3 victory over Hawke’s Bay in Hamilton to put the Log o’ Wood away for the summer. Waikato have a fine record over the years with 48 defences of the Shield since they first secured it in 1951. This record places them third on the all-time list behind the heavyweights Auckland (148) and Canterbury (129). They have had some success against Auckland, winning challenges at Eden Park in 1952, 1966, 1980, 1993 and 1997. The 17–6 victory in 1993 is the most memorable of all as it ended Auckland’s record eight-year Ranfurly Shield reign of 61 defences. The history of the Ranfurly Shield is like no other sporting competition in New Zealand and is full of heartache, controversy, upsets and near misses. Counties Manukau have never held the shield, but have twice drawn challenges and are regarded as unlucky in their losses to Canterbury in 1982 and Auckland in 1985. The Canterbury result is still hard to take for diehard Counties Manukau fans as they were leading 15-12 with minutes remaining. Winger Robert Kururangi intercepted

a pass and ran away to score, only to be ruled offside in a highly contentious call. The reliable Robbie Deans stepped up to kick the penalty which drew the match. Bay of Plenty suffered the curse of the Shield for decades until they finally won at Eden Park in 2004. In 1996, the Steamers were well ahead 29–11 with just eight minutes remaining, but somehow managed to lose 30–29 deep into injury time. Interestingly, Bay of Plenty were in the old second-division in those days, so had they won the Ranfurly Shield it might still be in the Heartland Championship today, with the big boys unable to get their hands on it. Without doubt, it is Auckland who have dominated since the NZRU awarded them the newly minted shield in 1903 for having the best record in 1902. Auckland actually lost it to Wellington in their first defence in 1904. There have been three notable Auckland shield eras. From 1905 to 1913 they repelled 23 challenges, another 25 between 1960 and 1963, and the record unlikely to ever be matched of 61 successful defences from 1985 to 1993. The other unions with special Shield reigns are Canterbury, who defended 25 challenges from 1982 to 1985, and Hawke’s Bay, who managed 24 victories from 1922 to 1927. The great thing about the Ranfurly Shield is it still means as much to the rugby public today as it ever has, and winning the Shield has been a career highlight for players for well over 100 years. It is interesting that even hardened All Blacks still get a thrill out of challenging for the Ranfurly Shield and in this digital age of instant gratification, it is great to see it still means so much to so many.

2013 RANFURLY SHIELD FIXTURES Saturday AUGUST 17:

Waikato v Northland............................... Hamilton .................................................... 7.35 pm

FRIDAY AUGUST 23:

Waikato v Otago....................................... Hamilton .................................................... 8.05 pm

Saturday SEPTEMBER 14: Waikato v Auckland................................. Hamilton .................................................... 2.35 pm

28 RUGBY 2013 

FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 27:

Waikato v Wellington.............................. Hamilton .................................................... 7.35 pm

SATURDAY OCTOBER 12:

Waikato v Taranaki.................................. Hamilton .................................................... 7.35 pm

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PINK® BATTS® HEARTLAND CHAMPIONSHIP DRAW

For all up-to-date information about the Pink® Batts® Heartland Championship . please visit www.heartlandchampionship.co.nz The Pink® Batts® Heartland Championship opening round begins with two classic encounters: Wanganui hosting King Country at Cooks Gardens and West Coast hosting Buller at Rugby Park in Greymouth. Buller and West Coast are playing for both competition points and the Rundle Cup, one of New Zealand’s oldest provincial rugby prizes with it first being contested in 1911. Neil Sorensen, New Zealand Rugby’s General Manager – Professional Rugby, said the competition was jampacked with local derbies and time-honoured rivalries. “One of the best things about the Pink® Batts® Heartland Championship is that this is where provincial passion and local pride help to bring whole communities together. We love nothing better than to get behind our local team. This competition brings out fun, epic encounters and the best of provincial rivalry in people,” he said. Three trophies are up for grabs when South Canterbury and North Otago meet (week two). They will play for the MATCH SCHEDULE: Home team listed first. Week 1 Saturday August 24 North Otago v Wairarapa Bush Oamaru Thames Valley v South Canterbury Paeroa Wanganui v King Country Wanganui West Coast v Buller Greymouth East Coast v Horowhenua Kapiti Ruatoria Mid Canterbury v Poverty Bay Ashburton

1.00 pm 2.00 pm 2.30 pm 2.30 pm 2.30 pm 2.30 pm

Week 2 Saturday AUGUST 31 Buller v Wanganui Horowhenua Kapiti v Mid Canterbury King Country v East Coast Poverty Bay v Thames Valley South Canterbury v North Otago Wairarapa Bush v West Coast

30 RUGBY 2013 

Westport Levin Te Kuiti Gisborne Timaru Masterton

2.30 pm 2.30 pm 2.30 pm 2.30 pm 2.30 pm 2.30 pm

Week 3 Saturday SEPTEMBER 7 Mid Canterbury v Wairarapa Bush Ashburton Thames Valley v Buller Paeroa East Coast v North Otago Ruatoria Horowhenua Kapiti v King Country Levin Wanganui v South Cantebrury Wanganui West Coast v Poverty Bay Greymouth

2.00 pm 2.00 pm 2.30 pm 2.30 pm 2.30 pm 2.30 pm

Week 4 Saturday SEPTEMBER 14 Buller v East Coast Westport Taupo King Country v Thames Valley North Otago v Mid Canterbury Oamaru Poverty Bay v Wanganui Gisborne South Canterbury v West Coast Timaru Wairarapa Bush v Horowhenua Kapiti Masterton

2.30 pm 2.30 pm 2.30 pm 2.30 pm 2.30 pm 2.30 pm

Week 5 Saturday SEPTEMBER 21 Horowhenua Kapiti v Buller Levin Mid Canterbury v South Canterbury Ashburton Poverty Bay v North Otago Gisborne Masterton Wairarapa Bush v King Country Wanganui Wanganui v Thames Valley West Coast v East Coast Greymouth

2.30 pm 2.30 pm 2.30 pm 2.30 pm 2.30 pm 2.30 pm

Bill Direen Cup, Phil Gard Trophy and the Hannan Shield. Other trophies to be contested include the Centurions Cup between King Country and Thames Valley (week four), the Arthur Wickes Memorial Cup between West Coast and East Coast (week five), the Mark Timblick Trophy and Hannan Shield contested between Mid Canterbury and South Canterbury (week five), the Sayers Cup with East Coast and Poverty Bay (week six) and the Smiley Haua Memorial Trophy between East Coast and South Canterbury (week eight). The Pink® Batts® Heartland Championship structure applied in 2012 will remain the same in 2013. The Meads Cup and Lochore Cup semi-finals will be played on 19 October between the top-eight-placed teams. The finals for both cups will be played over 26 and 27 October, ensuring a weekend festival of finals footy with the ITM Cup Championship, Premiership and Women’s Provincial Championship finals all scheduled for the same weekend. Week 6 Saturday SEPTEMBER 28 Buller v Wairarapa Bush Westport Thames Valley v West Coast Paeroa East Coast v Poverty Bay Ruatoria King Country v Mid Canterbury Taupo North Otago v Wanganui Oamaru South Canterbury v Horowhenua Kapiti Timaru

2.00 pm 2.00 pm 2.30 pm 2.30 pm 2.30 pm 2.30 pm

Week 7 Saturday OCTOBER 5 Horowhenua Kapiti v Wanganui Levin Mid Canterbury v Thames Valley Ashburton Poverty Bay v Buller Gisborne South Canterbury v King Country Timaru Wairarapa Bush v East Coast Masterton West Coast v North Otago Greymouth

2.30 pm 2.30 pm 2.30 pm 2.30 pm 2.30 pm 2.30 pm

Week 8 Saturday OCTOBER 12 Thames Valley v Wairarapa Bush Paeroa Buller v Mid Canterbury Westport East Coast v South Canterbury Ruatoria King Country v Poverty Bay Te Kuiti North Otago v Horowhenua Kapiti Oamaru Wanganui v West Coast Wanganui

2.00 pm 2.30 pm 2.30 pm 2.30 pm 2.30 pm 2.30 pm

Week 9 SEMI-FINALS Saturday October 19 – Semi-Finals for MEADS Cup Top ranked team from pool round Venue tbc 2.30 pm v 4th ranked team from pool round 2nd ranked team from pool round Venue tbc 2.30 pm v 3rd ranked team from pool round Saturday October 19 – Semi-Finals for LOCHORE Cup 5th ranked team from pool round v Venue tbc 2.30 pm 8th ranked team from pool round 6th ranked team from pool round v Venue tbc 2.30 pm 7th ranked team from pool round Week 10 FINALS Saturday October 26 – Meads Cup final Winner Semi-Final 1 v Winner Semi-Final 2 Sunday October 27 – Lochore Cup FINAL Winner Semi-Final 1 v Winner Semi-Final 2

www.oliverlee.co.nz

1.35 pm 2.35 pm


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Ready for the next challenge

Over the next few weeks, the All Blacks are about to face their toughest competition and we know they’re up to the challenge. Our customers face challenges of their own every day, and whether it’s dealing with a damaged building, a cyber attack or lost luggage, we’ve got their back. We wish the men in black well as they defend the 2013 Investec Rugby Championship. We’ll be supporting them every step, kick, pass and try along the way. To find out how we can support you, visit www.aig.co.nz.

Insurance products and services are provided by member companies of American International Group Inc. Coverage may not be available in all jurisdictions and is subject to actual policy language. New Zealand insurance products and services are underwritten by AIG Insurance New Zealand Limited. For additional information, please visit our website at www.aig.co.nz.

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Rugby 2013  

Your Free Guide to Investec Rugby Championship, ITM Cup and Pink Batts Heartland Championship

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