Premier club rugby finals pencilled in for September 19 at Navigation Homes Stadium

Premier club rugby finals pencilled in for September 19 at Navigation Homes Stadium

With COVID alert level 3 to continue in Auckland until at least next Wednesday night, all rugby within the Counties Manukau region will continue to remain on hold this weekend.

The recent outbreak of the virus within the community has now resulted in club and secondary school rugby in the region being called off in back-to-back weekends.

Counties Manukau Rugby’s Council of Delegates met on Thursday night to determine a way forward for the region’s senior club competitions.

“While it’s unclear at this point in time when rugby will be able to return, the appetite is certainly there from our clubs to try and finish the season on a high,” CMRFU Rugby & Operations Manager Dale Tucker said.

“By the time Auckland moves out of level 3, it will have been a while since our teams have trained together too so we’ve had to factor that in as well.”

If Auckland moves down to at least alert level 2 by next Thursday, plans are now in place to hold Premier 1, Premier 2 and Premier 3 quarter-finals on Saturday, September 5. The semi-finals will follow a week later on September 12 with the finals to be staged on a standalone club finals day at Navigation Homes Stadium on Saturday, September 19.

If possible, the Under-21s final between Patumahoe and Manurewa has also been pencilled in for September 5 while the Under-85kg grade will complete their final round on the same day with semis a week later followed by the final on September 19.

A decision on the fixtures for the President’s grade will be made once the alert level picture in Auckland becomes clearer.

In the junior competition, meanwhile, the Junior Management Board has agreed that once Auckland moves out of alert level 3, teams will be given at least a week to train before their competitions resume.

The JMB intends to meet next week to finalise the shape of the various draws and competitions, including determining a start date, and further information will be sent out as soon as it is available.

As for the secondary school competitions which fall under the CMRFU’s jurisdiction, no decisions have been made as to when this will resume and what the draws will look like.

“Further conversations will take place with our secondary schools next week once the COVID situation is clearer on Monday and we will go from there,” Tucker added.

“Obviously the safety of our rugby community is paramount and we aren’t going to rush any decisions.

“We will certainly look to provide a further update once we’ve spoken further with our schools.”