UCRFC Newsletter 26th April


Ruzz Barr from the Old Maroons (our ex-players group) has been involved in getting a trophy for competition between our Div 1 team and HSOB in memory of Jim Burrows, who amongst other things was a champion boxer, 1928 All Black, a member of both clubs and rose to the rank of Brigadier General during WWII. If you’re interested, you can find out a bit more about the man here.

Both teams are having the trophy presented to them at trainings this week, and the official presentation will be done straight after the game (if fine) or in the clubrooms at 4:45 (if wet) on Saturday


To Nigel “Sunshine” Gibb who joins Morgyn Cowan as the second member of the Div 1 squad to crack the half ton this season. A well deserved honour!

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6th May – Cocktail Themed Band Night (First day for Netball)

9th May – AGM

20th May – Club Day

27th May – Quiz Night

18th July – Team Photos

22nd July – Party Bus Trip

16th Sept – Prizegiving


Div 1 vs HSOB – Ilam 1 2:45pm

Div 2 vs Sumner – St Leonards 1:00pm

Div 3 vs Marist Albion S Jolts – Ilam 3 2:45pm

Women BYE

Colts Prem BYE

Colts BYE


Team – Div 3 Tigers

Bar Manager – Hannah Rodrigues

Lock Up – Grimace



At St Leonard’s Square: Sumner 42 (Ben Pulman, Willie Sakura, Dylan Nel, Poasa Waqanibau, Tom McFarlane, Nik Cumming tries; Cumming 6 conv) beat University 35 (Jonny Van Der Velde 2, Brad Hemopo 2, Cameron Watkins tries; Seamus Bardoul 2 conv, 2 pen). HT: 21-27. Referee: Blair Barclay.

It was a try-a-thon as Sumner beat competition contenders University. Eleven tries were scored in an entertaining match which saw Sumner secure their first win of the season. The form guide suggested University would run away with this match and they threatened to do just that when leading by 13 points just before half-time. Sumner benefited not once, but twice, in the first half turning down kickable penalties and opting to go for the five-pointers which resulted in tries to Willie Sakura and an important one on half-time from Dylan Nel which reduced the deficit to under a converted try. Both sides traded tries early on with impressive No.8 Brad Hemopo scoring for University to give the visitors the lead after 7min while Ben Pulman ran over the top of a University defender to score next to the posts after receiving the ball 5m short of the goal-line. University had a bonus point secured before the break with Hemopo crossing for a second after halfback Johnny Van Der Velde had also scored twice, the first, an individual effort. University won a lineout 25m out from the Sumner line. Van Der Velde collected the ball and ran around three Sumner defenders to score untouched. Sumner turned the game on its head early in the second half with two tries in the first 8min to take an eight-point lead. First-five Nik Cumming set up Tom McFarlane after throwing a dummy and drawing the last man before Archie McBride and Poasa Waqanibau combined near half way and the big Fijian ran away to score under the posts. A penalty put University back within a converted try. Cumming then crossed for a try to extend the lead to 12 points midway through the second half. University struck back with 15min to play when replacement halfback Jared Mitchell opted to go blindside from a 5m scrum and Cameron Watkins dived over in the corner. Despite being given opportunities University were unable to break the Sumner line in the last 15min. For Sumner, Cumming was instrumental in his side’s win, taking control in the second half, setting up and scoring a try as well as kicking a perfect six from six. Nel had a high work-rate and played the full 80min. He also scored the important try on half-time to bring his side back into the game. McBride and Waqanibau also had strong second halves for the home side. Hemopo had an outstanding game in a losing side, scoring two tries and being heavily involved in his team’ attack and defence. Van Der Velde was good in the first half but was replaced early in the second. Locks Caleb Aberahama and Alex Kalin also had good games for the visitors.

Hawkins Medal (MVP): Nik Cumming (Sumner) 3, Brad Hemopo (University) 2, Dylan Nel (Sumner) 1. Glenn Matthews

WOMENS – 73 – 5 win vs Linwood


The Yams were back in action this week after a two week hiatus. The return from injury of star halfback (and well known relentless and repetitive self promotor – Ed), Jaden Wallace, meant the Yams had a good chance of knocking off a consistently strong team, Christchurch. An early statement was made by University in the first scrum, pushing Christchurch a good 2 metres past the mark. Christchurch would soon find themselves hot on after a strong maul that was held up over the line. From the 5m scrum, the Yams were able to push Christchurch off the ball. However, the clearing kick was unable to find touch and Christchurch’s counter attack saw them in the corner for the first try of the match. The 2nd quarter belonged to the Yams and were unlucky on several occasions not to cross the line. They would have to settle to two late second half penalties and went into the break up 6-5.

A match-defining moment happened early in the second half when both tight-head props collided heads and were both ordered off with blue cards. Controversy, Christchurch claimed they had lost 3 front rowers and were therefore unable to field a front row. The switch to uncontested scrums negated the Yams best weapon. Christchurch gained even more momentum when Yams first five, Jamie Newman, put on the hit of the season on the Christchurch winger. However, the tackle was deemed high by the match official and Newman had to spend 10 minutes in the naughty chair. Christchurch scored 12 points in this period to go up 17-6 with less than 20 minutes to play. Newman’s return was felt immediately and the Yams crossed in the first play with the first five back. Christchurch scored through a quick tap with about 12 minutes to play to lead 24-11. The Yams struck right back with a try out wide with an important conversion looming. In the windy conditions, the kick was unsuccessful, meaning the Yams still had to score twice. However, that was all she wrote as the Yams suffered their first loss of the season.

Final Score: 24-16 loss

Man of the Match: Harry Millar


Tigers 27 HSOB 29

Huge thanks to the Colts and Joblin and Marcus from Div 2 for filling in last weekend – much appreciated and glad you guys got a run.

For lack of a better phrase – it was a thrilling game to watch. It came down to how we wanted to beat them – kick the lazy three or stick it to them and beat them with a try. And with both our main kickers on the bench we chose the latter and fell oh so close. But enough with the shoulda woulda couldas – this was still a great game from the Tigers, the potential is starting to come out and the work that the fellas are putting in at trainings is starting to show and we are being rewarded with stringing in a few more tries than we’re used to. We had a goal of playing some good running rugby and if I dare say so myself, we looked threatening every time we had the ball in hand.

The forwards were able to muscle their way for 2 tries coming off “up the guts” running and quick recycling at rucks. And the backs are starting to get more ball in the hand and with debutant Champy Kalsakau being very elusive, breaking the line every time, the backs can expect to the get more ball as the season rolls on. Champy also scored a brilliant try from the restart as he was able to gather the kick and dart his way to the try line untouched. And the important lesson here is also catch the ball on the full.

But play of the day had to go to eventual man of the match Jed Watts who was able to bust his through the defence line dummy the full back and burn off the two wingers, who were honing down on him, for a 60m try.

Things are still looking good for the Tigers and it showed with the excitement and heads being held high in the sheds. And with this only being the second game – the capabilities of this being a promising season is definitely within our reach.

Also a HUGE thank you, thank you, thank you to our sponsors that we have been able to secure for the 2017 season: FARMOTE SYSTEMS, STRUCTEX, ENGEO and the AVONHEAD TAVERN. The sponsorship has been able to make sure the boys are looked after on and off the field.


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