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Quake won’t derail East Coast rugby team

The East Coasters celebrate a premier rugby win over Renwick last season. Despite their catchment area being disrupted by the November 14 earthquake, they will be back in harness this year.

There will be an East Coast team in Marlborough premier rugby ranks in 2017.

The Coasters, a combination of players from both Awatere and Kaikoura clubs, completed their first stint in top-level club rugby last year, showing plenty of promise and making bold plans for a go-ahead season in 2017.

Those plans were thrown into disarray on November 14 when the quickest route between the two clubs, State Highway One, was widely damaged by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake.

With the main road being closed for the forseeable future, doubts immediately arose over the future of the East Coast concept. However, Awatere Rugby Club spokesman Andrew Lawson, a member of the initial East Coast steering committee, said, “it is 100 percent all happening this year, there is no question about that”.

“There are some varying reports on when the road will be open … but it is likely to be after the season starts, so Kaikoura will have to decide what they are going to do.

“It is a shame. We were hoping to get five or six Kaikoura players but we will have a side regardless, and it will still be called East Coast.

“We won’t be just dropping [the East Coast concept] for a year and running as Awatere. It will just be for this year, next year we will be back to normal,” he added.

Members of the Awatere rugby community have offered work and accommodation for any Kaikoura players who were able to move north for the rugby season and Lawson said those offers still stood.

He said Awatere were also hopeful of fielding a division two side this season. The East Coast side will again be coached by Steve Crockett with Simon Muir as manager.

Kaikoura Rugby Club spokesman Dean Hamilton, another member of the steering committee, has joined Lawson and Tasman Rugby Union chief executive Tony Lewis in talks regarding their immediate future. The Cray Coasters plan to field a division two team and junior teams in 2017.

An option for Kaikoura is to play in the North Canterbury competition for the season, a scenario their southern neighbours are pleased to accommodate, but Hamilton said Tasman did not want them to head south if we didn’t have to.

He said that given uncertainty over the length of the road closure, his club had not come to any solid conclusions yet.

“We can’t just sit and wait and hope that the road will open. We will have a committee meeting soon and make those decisions, regarding our senior team and the JAB [Junior Advisory Board] teams. It is just about getting on and trying to guarantee we have some rugby.

“Obviously [Tasman] were concerned about the East Coast scenario, but [Awatere] are boxing on as per normal, although they will certainly miss the Kaikoura players that would have been involved.”

Tasman Rugby Union chief executive Tony Lewis said it was “imperative” that the East Coast concept survived despite the hurdles in its path this year.

“There were lots of positives over what happened last year [with East Coast], we have just to make sure we keep that focus on everything.”

He said he had urged the Kaikoura club not to rush into a decision, suggesting there were lots of options to mull over, including the possibility of Kaikoura playing round one in North Canterbury then rejoining the Marlborough competition at a later stage when the road opens.

“Everyone wants to see East Coast carry on. We will do everything we can to make sure it happens,” added Lewis.

“We don’t want something to fall down that has worked well.”

 – Stuff


Extra effort plays off for Kaikoura rugby players in 2016

Hurunui under-16 team mates Matt Getz, left, and Adam Ford celebrate their team’s convincing win against Oxford to secure the North Canterbury title.

At the end of the 2016 club rugby season  two Kaikoura-based players had their workload increased.

Matt Getz and Adam Ford, both 16, have been playing for the Hurunui under-16s in the North Canterbury competition as there was no team in Kaikoura for them to play in.

Deciding it was worth the extra effort to continue the sport they love, they committed to travelling to Culverden rather than have nowhere to play.

For fullback/centre Adam this was his first season with Hurunui, while flanker/number 8 Matt was enjoying his second season at the club after playing with the under-18 team last season.

They are now celebrating the team’s very convincing 53-0 win over Oxford in the league final, played last weekend, with two of Hurunui’s tries scored by Adam.

This was not the only convincing win of the season – in fact in the second half of the year Hurunui only had one try scored against them.

While Matt and Adam were excused from much of the weekly training, being too far to travel to Culverden, the pair have fitted in well and have made themselves known as valuable members of the team during weekend fixtures.

So much so that they were picked for the North Canterbury rep team, and from there they have both been selected for the Canterbury Country rep team.

This means they will have to drop playing in the North Canterbury team for now, but it is a fantastic opportunity which will give them playing experience against other regional rep teams including Marlborough, Nelson and Otago.

Their next big tournament will be playing for Canterbury Country at the South Island under-16 tournament in Christchurch during the school holidays

While it has been a huge commitment from both the boys and their families, who take them to the games each weekend, they say they would not have had the chance to be seen by the selectors had they not made the effort.

East Coast Premier Team

Marlborough’s East Coast rugby clubs join forces for premier tilt in 2016

There will be a new kid on the block when Marlborough premier club rugby recommences in early 2016.

A trail-blazing team named East Coast will join Moutere, Harlequins, Renwick, Waitohi and Central in the top echelon, playing in the Marlborough competition as well as the Tasman Trophy.

The Coasters’ participation has come about through the combined efforts of the Awatere and Kaikoura clubs, who both fielded division two teams in 2015. The new premier side will be formed predominantly by players from the two clubs.

awatere   Awatere’s top players, pictured here before the 2014 premier semifinal, will get another chance in the top echelon in 2016.

Kaikoura The Kaikoura division two team celebrate their grand final success in 2015.

At the conclusion of the past season, representatives from both the Tussock Jumpers and Cray Coasters got together to formulate a plan which would enable their better players to participate in premier rugby. Recognising that neither side was strong enough to go it alone they decided to combine forces and applied to the Tasman Rugby Union for entry to premier ranks.

After a lengthy process, involving scrutiny of both clubs’ books, playing resources and plans for coaching and future financing, an East Coast premier team was given the green light. TRU chief executive Tony Lewis suggested his organisation were in the business of fostering rugby and, following due diligence, were happy to rubber stamp the new team’s participation.

“We asked both groups to complete a business plan, looking at the financials … the rationale was that the two clubs have done everything they possibly can to be competitive. It fits with our criteria of growing the game and putting on meaningful competitions, so it would be remiss of us not to give them that opportunity.

The new East Coast side will wear a playing kit similar to that worn by the Romanian Rugby World Cup 2015 side.


The best and worthy champions!!

 In Marlborough the Kaikoura Division 2 team was clearly the best and worthy Champions. I must congratulate Tony Anker and his committee who have worked with Tasman Rugby since January to plan for the 2014 season. A number of meetings took place and the end result was a committed club that was determined to win the competition. Saturdays result is the completion of hard work by a committed group of volunteers and players. 


Excerpt from the CEO Clubland Chat with Tony Lewis.

Powerhouse Crays Dominate…

They say finals are won by defence. But not this one.

It was the attacking prowess of Whale Watch Kaikoura that earned them the Marlborough division two championship and capped an unbeaten season.

The Cray Coasters ran in six tries as they overcame Moutere 43-22 in the final at Lansdowne Park on Saturday, doing most of the damage in a dominating first half. Utilising the high energy brand of rugby that has brought them so much success this season, Kaikoura were too strong for a gallant Magpies outfit who fought back in the second spell to hold their rivals to just 14 points, while adding 12 of their own.

Among an all-action forward pack, the Kaikoura loose forwards were standouts. Flankers James Hunt and Amoraki Cowan, plus No 8 Dwayne Timms, were into everything – winning lineout ball, tackling hard and showing skills with the ball in hand. Prop Steven Crudis and skipper Phil Guthrie did their core work admirably. Behind the scrum, halfback Chris Young, first five Chris McDermott and midfielder Myles Hamilton dictated play superbly while the determined running of centre Fraser Seddon, winger Dan Anderson and fullback Liam O’Donoghue was rewarded with tries.

Hamilton, who landed five conversions and a penalty, got the ball rolling for the Cray Coasters with a sixth minute three-pointer. Moutere first five Jordan Newman, who also impressed with his educated boot, levelled the score soon after before Seddon scored Kaikoura’s first try. Three more first half Kaikoura touchdowns to O’Donoghue, Young and Timms were split by a Magpies try to winger Jamie Findlay, leaving the southerners with a 29-10 halftime advantage.

A brilliant 40m run by Moutere halfback Grant Dunn soon after the resumption reduced the margin to 14, and Moutere hopes rose, but a try to Anderson and Timms’ second, both converted by Hamilton, put the Cray Coasters well out of sight. Although Dunn bagged his second five-pointer with 10 minutes to go it was too little, too late for the Magpies and the Cray Coasters celebrated referee Vaughan Warburton’s final whistle with gusto.

Coach Colin Timms, a longtime Kaikoura rugby stalwart, was delighted. “I’m pretty happy mate. They like playing open rugby. We set out to play running rugby and we’ve done it this year.

“We’ve only had the same 22 all year. We’ve been lucky with no injuries and they brought it home. They are a good bunch of boys. It’s good for Kaikoura, I’m very proud of them. It’s been a great year.”

Moutere’s part in producing a free-flowing, entertaining final shouldn’t be overlooked. They were competitive up front through the hard-working front row of Paul Frost, Daz Karaitiana and hooker Sione Langi, plus bruising No 8 Makea Tupa. Dunn was outstanding while Newman, centre Johnny Tahuri and Findlay stood out in the backline.

Scores: Kaikoura 43 (Fraser Seddon, Dan Anderson, Dwayne Timms 2, Chris Young, Liam O’Donoghue tries, Myles Hamilton pen, 5 con) Moutere 22 (Grant Dunn 2, Jamie Findlay tries, Jordan Newman pen, 2 con). HT 29-10.

Kaikoura primed for final battle

Last updated 10:30 15/07/2014

PLENTY OF SUPPORT: Kaikoura’s Liam O’Donoghue, with the ball, attempts to shrug clear of a Harlequins tackler during their division two rugby semifinal on Saturday at Takahanga Domain. The Cray Coasters won 37-0 to book a place in the final.EMMA DANGERFIELD

Whale Watch Kaikoura will meet Moutere in the division two rugby final on Saturday after both sides scored convincing semifinal wins at the weekend.

Kaikoura will kick off the decider as strong favourites after racking up 37 unanswered points against BNZ Partners Harlequins at Takahanga Domain, Eddie Nolan scoring a brace of tries.

The Cray Coasters have been in superb form all season, their 14-from-14 winning record in the round-robin matches a testament to their consistency. They have scored over 100 points more than their final opponents, and conceded over 100 less. With an average winning score of around 46-10 Kaikoura have swept all before them, especially at home.

But the final will be played in Blenheim, kickoff is at 1pm on Saturday at Lansdowne Park, and Moutere are a tough opponent.

In their first meeting, played in Kaikoura, Moutere led 7-5 at halftime when the match was called off following an injury to the referee. The Cray Coasters won the replayed fixure in Seddon 23-8, then beat the Magpies on their home turf 34-25.

Last Saturday Moutere downed Woodbourne Tavern Renwick 32-20 at Lansdowne Park to book their final berth. Moses Funaki, Makea Tupa, Grant Dunn and Jamie Findlay were Moutere’s tryscorers while Jordan Newman, who has kicked consistently well for the Magpies this season, banged over two conversions and two penalties.

Semifinal scores:

Kaikoura 37 (Eddie Nolan 2, Kauahi Ngapora, Chris Young, Fraser Seddon tries, Myles Hamilton 3 con, 2 pen) Harlequins 0.

Moutere 32 (Moses Funaki, Makea Tupa, Grant Dunn, Jamie Findlay tries, Jordan Newman 3 con, 2 pen) Renwick 20 (Evan Wadsworth, Layton Ward tries, Stephen Patchett 2 con, 2 pen).

Kaikoura get off to flying start


Whale Watch Kaikoura started their Marlborough division two rugby competition campaign in style on Saturday, when they thrashed defending champions Pelorus 70-5 in the opening round at the Takahanga Domain in Kaikoura.

The home side ran in 12 tries, Stuart Giles crossing over four times and Chris Young and Lewis Claridge both bagging a brace.

Pelorus’ only points came in the form of a try to Lance Mackel.

Seventh in last year’s competition, East Coast Inn Awatere also got off to a good start with a 48-0 demolition of Crafar Crouch Waitohi at the Seddon Domain. Cees Groot picked up two tries, while the Tussock Jumpers ran in another six five-pointers in a convincing display.

The closest match of round one saw visitors Moutere overcome Woodbourne Tavern Renwick 30-22 at the Renwick Domain. Sioni Langi, Andy Law, Joe Samo and Bauli Lutui all dotted down for the Magpies, with Jordan Newman kicking two conversions and two penalties.

For the home team, Paul Pudney went over twice and Rodney Keegan also scored a try.

In the final match at Lansdowne Park in Blenheim, BNZ Partners Harlequins defeated Biddy Kates Central 28-12.

Josh Nanai and Tom Mu were the try-scorers for the Blues.


Moutere 30 (Sioni Langi, Andy Law, Joe Samo, Bauli Lutui tries, Jordan Newman 2 con, 2 pen) beat Renwick 22 (Paul Pudney 2, Rodney Keegan tries, Stephen Patchett 2 con, pen).

Kaikoura 70 (Stuart Giles 4, Chris Young 2, Lewis Claridge 2, James Hunt, Myles Hamilton, Fraser Seddon, Liam O’Donoghue tries, Hamilton 5 con) beat Pelorus 5 (Lance Mackel try).

Harlequins 28 (no scorers provided) beat Central 12 (Josh Nanai, Tom Mu tries, Steven Ryan con).

Awatere 48 (Cees Groot 2, Tiri Johnsen, Nicolas Mertz, Hamish Blackwell, Neil MacDonald, Braedyn Benjamin, David Pope tries, Benjamin 4 con) beat Waitohi 0.

– The Marlborough Express      25/3/2014