Around the Grounds - Round 4

Steelers sign Manurewa forward
Counties Manukau has signed Manurewa forward Viliame Taulani to a PIC Steelers contract for the 2020 Mitre 10 Cup.
The experienced loose forward has played for the PIC Steelers previously but hasn’t quite reached his potential as yet. But PIC Steelers coach Tai Lavea has been impressed with his form for Manurewa so far this season and is confident he can take a big step forward this season.

More signings coming
Speaking of PIC Steelers contracts – I’m hearing Lavea has been looking at a couple of club loose forwards very closely so far this season.
There are still a handful of contracts to be dished out and Lavea has been an interested spectator so far this season.

Big weekend of club footy
A number of leading players will get their last chance to impress selectors ahead of the Cavaliers squad being named this weekend.
A Cavs squad of 35-40 will be named on Sunday for a three-week training block followed by a pre-season game against North Harbour on July 22 at Massey Park, 4:30pm kick-off.

New trophy for U85 grade
A new trophy – the Silver Scale – will be up for grabs each weekend of U85kg action thanks to a generous donation by Scott Hooper of the Pukekohe club.
Hooper had the trophy made and presented it to Brad Healy who was instrumental in the growth of the grade and who won the first three seasons of the grade with Patumahoe.
Patumahoe put it on the line for the first time last week but retained it thanks to a convincing win over Bombay.
They will face a stern test back home this weekend against Pukekohe.

Trophy mishap
While we saw the inclusion of a new trophy we nearly lost an old one last week. Ardmore Marist and Manurewa traditional play for the Yates Trophy, which has been fiercely fought over for many years.
Ardmore Marist held the trophy having won both games between the two clubs last season but when Manurewa upstaged them last Saturday there was a mad panic when no one at Ardmore Marist could locate the trophy.
When Glenn Flavell sheepishly got up to try and explain in front of the Yates family why they couldn’t present the trophy he was relieved to see someone from Manurewa carrying the trophy up to the front of the room. Apparently Manurewa hadn’t presented it last year to Ardmore Marist.

Bombay veteran reaches century
Veteran Bombay player Haamiora Clarke will play his 100th match for the club when they face Papakura at Bombay Domain on Saturday.
Clarke has been an inspirational player for Bombay, who have won five of the last six McNamara Cups.

Clubs show support
Local clubs have opted to support Counties Manukau Rugby despite the Covid-19 pandemic with most clubs agreeing to pay their affiliation in full.
CMRFU chief executive Aaron Lawton gave clubs the option of paying what they could afford this season due to the financial implications of the Coronavirus but the majority have decided to pay the full amount.

Ladies Day at Patumahoe
Patumahoe Rugby Club will celebrate Ladies Day this Saturday with festivities taking part in the Junior clubrooms celebrating the women involved in the club.
In perfect fashion the Patumahoe Searle Group Women’s team will look to continue their winning form when they face Waitakere at Patumahoe Domain on the number one field right in front of the spectators attending Ladies Day.
Karaka meanwhile celebrated their Ladies Day last weekend.

Community rallies behind Steelers
Counties Manukau Rugby is grateful for the support from local businesses who have got behind the province to sponsor backs of jerseys for the Mitre 10 Cup season.
Commercial manager Scott Penney has been working the phones in recent weeks and is delighted at the level of support there has been from the community.

Promotion for Wara
Long-time Counties Manukau stalwart Jeremy Wara will be taking on more responsibility this year.
Wara has been promoted as rugby development manager and will be managing the Rugby Development Officer team.

A new feature to club rugby coverage this season will be the Round the Grounds news story published each Thursday. We will give you the latest from the rumour mill as well as breaking stories and things that may be missed by traditional news outlets.
The column is supported by Counties Manukau Rugby but the individual stories are not official communication from the union and remain the responsibility of the author.
If you have a story to contribute or a hot tip – send a brief email to the editor via