UCRFC Newsletter 11th May 2017


To Whitney Hansen and Julia Smith, who were presented with their 100 game blazers on Saturday, another awesome milestone for the women’s team, although somewhat belated due to supply issues and our bad run of weather at the start of the season. Thanks to CRFU Vice President and well regarded Old Maroon, Julie Patterson, who did the presentation; and to Ruzz Barr, Old Maroons Chairman for getting everything organised.

To Braydon Ennor, selected in the NZ Under 20s side to contest the World Championship in Georgia staring at the end of this month. More details and the full squad list can be found here.

To Morgyn Cowan, who was finally presented with his 50 games cap after a few delays with representative commitments.

Black Ferns Triallists


L-R Olivia McGoverne, Kendra Cocksedge and Jessie Hansen

Selected in the 51 strong squad who trialled in Palmerston North last Sunday ahead of the Black Ferns upcoming international series against Australia, Canada and England in New Zealand in June.

Jim Burrows Trophy Photos

uc17_trophy_hsob24 (Small)uc17_trophy_hsob27 (Small)uc17_trophy_hsob28 (Small)uc17_trophy_hsob41 (1) (Small)uc17_trophy_hsob42 (Small)


Last Saturday we had our first social event at the Clubrooms. Band Night was a huge success, many thanks to Daniel Barr (Barzac), Kieran Howden and the ladies from netball who did a great job organising and decorating.


The Exec has been retained from last year with the addition of Ben Fox, congrats Foxy, good luck. The main positions for the coming year are as follows:

President – Ivan Bolton
Chairperson – Chris Risbridger
Club Captain – John Wright
Secretary – Ryan Lill
Treasurer – Matt Donaldson
Other Exec Members – Mark Meates (Facilities), Daniel Barr (Social and Operations), Henry Boon (Operations), Ross Callon (External Relationships and UC Liaison), John Gibb (Recruitment), Jared Brixton (Clubrooms Hire), Ruzz Barr (Old Maroons), Ben Fox (Health and Safety)

Results and standings etc

If you’re wondering what’s happened to the results that used to be posted by the CRFU on a Sunday afternoon, they can be found here, although they seem to be taking a few days to update after the weekend for some grades.


20th May – Club Day – details to follow

27th May – Quiz Night – get your teams sorted. $5 per person, max 5 per team. All proceeds go towards end of season prizegiving.

18th July – Team Photos

22nd July – Party Bus Trip

16th Sept – Prizegiving


Div 1 vs Marist Albion – Edgar MacIntosh 2:45pm

Div 2 vs Burnside – Burnside 2 1:00pm

Div 3 vs New Brighton – Rawhiti 2 2:45pm

Women vs BDI – Dunsandel 1 2:30pm

Colts Prem vs HSOB – Bob Deans 1:00pm

Colts vs Glenmark-Cheviot – Cheviot 2 1:00pm


Team – Div 2

Bar Manager – Hannah Rodrigues

Lock Up – Hardon

Please note team duty is slightly different to previous years as we have staff manning the bar. However, duty teams are still expected to:

1) stock the fridge

2) clear away  empty bottles and glasses

3) stack empty crates out in the chiller

4) be on hand to help with wiping down tables and putting up chairs at the end of the night

Thank you for you help with this as it makes life much easier for all concerned.


At Burwood Park: University 31 (Marty McKenzie, Tailah Love, Brad Hemopo, Gaius Reweti, Jone Macilai tries; Seamus Bardoul 3 conv) beat Shirley 3 (Nathan Smith pen). HT: 17-3. Referee: Carl Johnson.

Ball retention. Those two words will be uttered repeatedly at University and Shirley team trainings during the week. If was as if the ball was a hot potato as it went from Shirley hands to University mitts and then in the reverse direction. The bumbling and fumbling meant a scrappy, scrambling game with few highlights and plenty of lowlights. When University got its act together it was definitely the more potent attacking force and that was reflected in the final score, the students scoring all five tries. The last came in the final minute and was started and finished by Crusaders wing Jone Macilai. Returning after a long lay-off from a serious leg injury, Macilai was a class act in his 27min on the field. With his first touch, he stepped his marker with little room and he broke tackles every time he received the ball. As well he tore into tackles with plenty of aggression.

University looked set for a comfortable win after scoring two tries and 12 points in as many minutes. Crusaders utility back Marty McKenzie, playing at first-five, strolled through a half gap after 8min to capitalise on a break by centre Nigel Gibb and a prolonged period on attack. Right wing Tailah Love took the corner flag with him 4min later after flanker Harry Ferguson did good work on the ground and the ball was recycled quickly along the line with forwards also being adept at slick transfers.

A penalty by Shirley first-five Nathan Smith after 26min proved to be the only score for his team and University had its third try 2min later from a well-rehearsed lineout drill. The ball was kicked to the 5m line from a penalty, lock Jack Greenslade won the ball at the front and slipped it to powerful No.8 Brad Hemopo, who looped around him on the short side. The third quarter was 20min of mistake-riddled rugby with both sides coughing up possession regularly. Shirley especially will want to block this passage from its mind. Smith missed a penalty from in front and a try was blown when Shirley flanker Tom Keith broke down the short side. He possibly could have gone all the way, but chose to pass to fellow flanker Phil Watson, who was unmarked. A University hand deflected the ball but Shirley had an attacking sacrum only to concede a penalty when one of its forwards was penalised for having his mouth guard in his sock instead of the rightful place.

University had its bonus-point try at the end of the third quarter when prop Gaius Reweti was perfectly placed to finish a University attack under the bar. Macilai’s try in the last play provided the only points of the last quarter. Hemopo was outstanding for the students, though he was guilty of not protecting the ball in the tackle. He made many rampaging runs, popped up in open play to aid the backs but never shirked the tight stuff and tackled hard around the fringes. Captain Sam Godwin won good lineout ball at the back, halfback Johnny Van Der Velde passed fluently and made several nifty breaks, while Love had an excellent first half on attack and defence.

Old campaigners Watson, Hayden Mitchell and Keith battled hard and were in a Shirley pack that took two tightheads and matched University in most departments. The backline did not function smoothly, but replacement Brandon Fanolua added some impetus in the second half.

Hawkins Medal (MVP): Brad Hemopo (University) 3, Johnny Van Der Velde (University) 2, Tailah Love (University) 1.

WOMENS – 22 – 10 win vs Christchurch


On the back of a successful visit to Sumner last week, the Yams headed to New Brighton for the second match of their Eastern Christchurch tour. Fielding what could have potentially been their strongest XV of the season thus far, the Yams went into the fixture confident against the defending champions. However, a late withdrawal from star halfback, Jaden Wallace, put the Yams on the back foot early on and Benjamin Fox was called on once again to fill this void. Last week’s stand-in skipper Kieran Howden was also unavailable, missing his first minutes of the year.
Returning captain Jamie Verstappen either lost the toss or doesn’t any game plan when he does win as New Brighton kicked off high to a notoriously poor kick-receiving team. The messy kick off gave New Brighton the early momentum and were eventually able to cross over for the first points of the encounter. New Brighton continued to hold possession and looked certain to score again before Nic Brooker was able to get a boot to a New Brighton bounce pass. After collecting another fortunate bounce, Brooker scampered downfield for the Yams first points. This shifted momentum and the Yams were able to play with a lot more territory and possession for the rest of the half. An 8-9 move off the back of the scrum lead to a typical Nic Brooker chip-and-chase and the winger dotted down for his second. A Jamie Newman penalty before halftime gave the Yams a 15-5 lead at the break.
The Yams knew they could not get complacent as they had been in this position before, specifically last year on the same ground where they blew a 15-0 halftime lead. Unfortunately, the first 10 minutes after halftime continued to be an area of difficulty for the Yams and they soon found themselves down 17-15. The steady boot of Jamie Newman put the Yams back up 18-17 with 20 minutes to play. The ensuing New Brighton tactics would definitely have confused the only coaching staff in Div 2 rugby that are mic’d up. Persisting with deep kicks to the Yams deadly back three eventually resulted in what will be the undisputed try of the season across all grades. After what was nearly a hospital pass by his fullback, Harry Millar, Brooker shimmied past the first 3 defenders before turning on the afterburners down the right flank. The multiple covering defenders could still not lay a hand on him as he swerved in and out 4 times then took off infield (at one stage running backwards) and finishing off under the posts. New Brighton struck back with about 7 minutes to play but it was not enough. Brooker would cross once again before fulltime and Charlie Sofe topped off the win with a long range try on full time.
Final Score: 35-22 Win vs New Brighton
Tries: Nic Brooker (4), Charlie Sofe

Conversions: Jamie Newman (2/5)

Penalties: Jamie Newman (2/2)
Man of the Match: Nic Brooker


Tigers 49 vs Belfast D4 19

Tigers are on a two game win streak and sit first equal on top of the table, with 2 more games to go in the first round, separated only by a higher point’s differential.

It was a tougher game than the score suggested. Tigers slow out of the gates, letting Belfast score the first points. The Tigers backline were able to get into gear with midfield Tim O’Neill getting his first of two. The Tigers started to dominate, distributing the ball from side-line to side-line only to be let down by that forced pass. But the attack and intent were there. Belfast managed to dot down again from a counter attack and then same backline magic saw Tim get his second before coming straight off with a groin strain. Harry Unsworth came on and started where Tim finished, scoring a try before oranges. There were several chances out wide from the Tigers but were just unfortunate not to finish off.

The penalty count started to rise from both teams as Tigers lost prop Tonga Aleamotu’a for 10 minutes for a dangerous tackle and Belfast lost their prop for throwing the ball at the ref. The Tigers were able to change the direction of the game, focusing on hitting it close to the rucks rather than out wide as Belfast couldn’t commit defenders in that zone – and the Tigers profited from that alteration coming away with another try to Harry and one to lock Richard Barton. Some slick passings saw wing Charlie Cledon set up Arnold Taen for his first for the Tigers before Charlie dotted over for one himself.  And a perfect day with the boot saw Mike Hemi-Nicol get 3 from 3 and Ethan Harrison get 4 from 4 when he came on for Mike.

There is a lot of scoring ability with the Tigers – which will give the team a boost and some confidence. A couple of tough games coming up and then the split into the next round. We aim to keep our composure and keep lifting our standards and expectations as we identify new challenges ahead of us.

Lastly, to all the family and friends who come to the games and cheer for us, words of support and encouraging advice – thank you for sticking with us and being there on the side-lines. Your presence is much appreciated and we’re glad that we have you with us for the season.

Player of the day: Harry Unsworth.

Colts Prem

3rd May 0 – 40 loss vs Lincoln University
6th May 22 – 30 loss vs New Brighton

Colts Reserve

3rd May 5 – 20 loss vs Lincoln University
6th May 29 – 27 win vs Sumner


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