An innovative new Auckland city-wide club rugby competition will be trialled this year with leading clubs from Auckland, North Harbour and Counties Manukau taking part.
The Wider Auckland Club Knock Out competition is a collaboration of the three provincial unions that traverse the Super City and will take place in the lead-up to their respective club competitions this season.
Competition driver Craig Carter says “club rugby can sometimes be the forgotten child of rugby and yet is steeped in so much tradition and history.
“This competition aims to celebrate club rugby and try something a little different.”
The competition will take place over three weekends from March 11-25.
In the opening round four huge matches are set to kick-off the competition in Pool 1 that includes the best teams from North Harbour, Auckland and Counties Manukau.
Auckland’s Gallaher Shield winners Manukau will take on Counties Manukau runners-up Patumahoe, while McNamara Cup champions Manurewa (Counties Manukau) will meet Grammar TEC from Auckland and East Auckland outfit Pakuranga will play Karaka from Counties Manukau.
The winner of the North Shore v Ponsonby game will meet the winner of the Pakuranga v Karaka match in the second round while the winners of the other two games will square-off in the other semi-final – those games will be held on March 18.
The final is set to be played on March 25 but could move to March 26 to serve as a curtain-raiser to the Blues Super Rugby match.
The draw for Pool 2 will feature three teams from Counties Manukau, two from Auckland and one from North Harbour.
McNamara Cup semi-finalists Pukekohe host 2021 Gallaher Shield winners Eden in the opening round.
Bombay, the most successful club in Counties Manukau over the past decade, will host North Harbour’s Kumeu, who are recent semi-finalists, up the hill at Bombay in week 1 – the views from Bombay Rugby Club look out over the entire Auckland region and are spectacular on a nice afternoon.
The final game of week 1 sees Papakura host Papatoetoe at Massey Park in Papakura. Papakura have teams in all grades in Counties Manukau and are seen as a team on the up while Papatoetoe have recently been in the semi-finals of the Gallaher Shield.
Pool 1 Schedule 2023
11 March - Quarters
G1 - Ponsonby v North Shore
G2 - Manukau v Patumahoe
G3 - Manurewa v Grammar TEC
G4 - Pakuranga v Karaka
18 March – Semis
G5 – WG1 v WG4
G6 – WG2 v WG3
G7 – LG1 v LG4
G8 – LG2 v LG3
25 March - Finals
G9 – Final
G10 – 3rd & 4th play off
G11 - 5th & 6th play off
G12 – 7th & 8th play off
Pool 2 Schedule 2023
Pukekohe v Eden @ Pukekohe
Bombay v Kumeu @ Bombay
Papakura v Papatoetoe @ Papakura
Pukekohe v Papatoetoe @ Puke
Eden v Bombay @ Eden
Kumeu v Papakura @ TBC
Kumeu v Puke @ Kumeu
Bombay v Papatoetoe @ Bombay
Eden v Papakura @ Eden
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