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The hot topic around Harbour Club rugby has been the revamp of the split second round. With the demise of Kumeu the competition was faced with the farcical situation of two clubs having a bye each weekend. In their wisdom the Council of Clubs voted unanimously (8 to 2) to change the format for the split second round whereby the two bye teams would play each other with full competition points at stake. When you consider over 70% of the players only get to play club rugby there is nothing more they desire than to be on the playing field. After last weekend Marist will certainly welcome the outcome as it gives them a chance to even the score with Massey whilst Takapuna get to compete in a local derby with North Shore. Helensville can have another crack at the Country Cup that Silverdale seem to have a mortgage on. One club that will be pleased to see the end of the bye is definately Northcote. Sibling rivalry being what it is the Mayhew boys decided on a spot of bonding, unfortunately Richard came of second best with a rearranged nose.
It just shows what a great rugby family we have this side of the bridge. Last Wednesday evening a poster shoot was organised with junior represenatives from the 11 clubs along with a mix of senior players. What a great public relations night, our five All Blacks all present plus a mix of potential Air New Zealand Cup stars. The feedback has been firstclass and I am sure once the posters are out in the marketplace they will be eagerly sort after.
Speaking of All Blacks how’s this for a great story. Young Tom Hine who currently attends Kristin School was in the UK in early January and had been scheduled to be a mascot for the Sale vs Worcester game only to see the game abandoned because the pitch was frozen and thereby missing an opportunity to meet Luke McAlister firsthand. The story had a happy ending last Saturday when Tom, and his Mum Sue, got to meet Luke firsthand in Albany.
The annual Barbarians Primary School fun day at Devonport on Sunday saw a huge turnout of aspiring rugby players. Unfortunately the day was marred by an unfortunate injury to 10 year old Andrew Thomas from Coatesville Primary who suffered mid shaft break in his femur and has been admitted to Starship Hospital. On behalf of all Harbour Rugby followers we wish Andrew a full and speedy recovery.
Takapuna continued on their winning way last weekend up at Warkworth with a 62-5 romp, whilst East Coast Bays edged into the Top 6 with a 27-20 victory over Glenfield with the boot of Sam Clark being the difference. Silverdale welcomed back Andrew Gowling retaining the Country Cup 34-14 over Helensville. The surprise result was Massey getting up against Marist 30-17 in a three try a piece game, the difference being Richard Lobb's 15 point haul with the boot.
The game of the round this weekend should be at Harvey Wright where Northcote come off the bye up against Marist. Likewise North Shore come off a bye and host Helensville whilst East Coast Bays are at home to Mahurangi who are showing signs of improvement. In the final game of the round Takapuna are back at Onewa taking on Glenfield who are desperate for points if they want a Top 6 spot.
In Super 14 the Blues produced one of their best defensives efforts of the season again highlighting that defence is definately a state of mind. Marist's Tom Chamberlain had another fine game in the Blues jersey and hopefully will continue that same form into Air New Zealand Cup. All eyes will no doubt be on Hamilton for this Friday night’s semi. After losing their first three games who would have thought the Chiefs would have been hosting a semi-final. Go the Chiefs!!!