The Wellington rugby clubs to participate in the new 2015 premier club rugby competition have been confirmed, with all lodged applications accepted by Wellington Rugby.
The 2015 competition will see the return of all 12 teams who competed in last year’s Swindale Shield, with the addition of Avalon and Paremata-Plimmerton, the latter of which has not competed in Swindale Shield premier rugby since 1986.
The revised format was crafted and supported by the majority of clubs and will mark the end of promotion-relegation matches. It gives all clubs the opportunity to enter the Swindale Shield each year, providing they are able to field premier, premier reserve and under-21 teams.
Rugby Board chairman Peter Scott said this was an exciting step for Wellington club rugby, and one he hoped would strengthen clubs in the region.
“In applying to enter the 2015 competition, clubs were required to assess all aspects of their operation both on and off the field. This proved to be an important exercise for them to go through in building a sustainable future, and a very positive outcome of the process as a whole.”
Scott said the format would involve seven clubs each week travelling with their premier and premier reserve teams to seven other clubs in the Wellington region.
Each of the 14 premier clubs will also field at least one age grade team in a very competitive colt’s rugby competition.
“The idea of having three club teams playing in the same location on the same day really has the potential to be exciting for the culture of each community and club.”
The premier season will commence with a gala day on Saturday March 21.
Contest and Continuity
The contest for possession of the ball is one of Rugby’s key features. These contests occur throughout the Game and in a number of different forms:
• in contact
• in general play
• when play is re-started at scrums, lineouts and kick offs.
The contests are balanced in such a way as to reward superior skill displayed in the preceding action. For example, a team forced to kick for touch because of its inability to maintain the play, is denied the throw-in to the lineout. Similarly, the team knocking the ball on or passing the ball forward is denied the throw-in at the subsequent scrum. The advantage then must always lie with the team throwing the ball in, although, here again, it is important that these areas of play can be fairly contested.
It is the aim of the team in possession to maintain continuity by denying the opposition the ball and, by skillful means, to advance and score points. Failure to do this will mean the surrendering of possession to the opposition either as a result of shortcomings on the part of the team in possession or because of the quality of the opposition defence. Contest and continuity, profit and loss.
As one team attempts to maintain continuity of possession, the opposing team strives to contest for possession. This provides the essential balance between continuity of play and continuity of possession. This balance of contestability and continuity applies to both set piece and general play.
Principles and Object of the game
It is through discipline, control and mutual respect that the Spirit of the Game flourishes and, in the context of a Game as physically challenging as Rugby, these are the qualities which forge the fellowship and sense of fair play so essential to the Game’s ongoing success and survival.
The object of the Game is that two teams, each of fifteen players, observing fair play, according to the Laws and in a sporting spirit should, by carrying, passing, kicking and grounding the ball, score as many points as possible.
At first glance it is difficult to find the guiding principles behind a Game which, to the casual observer, appears to be a mass of contradictions. It is perfectly acceptable, for example, to be seen to be exerting extreme physical pressure on an opponent in an attempt to gain possession of the ball, but not wilfully or maliciously to inflict injury.
These are the boundaries within which players and referees must operate and it is the capacity to make this fine distinction, combined with control and discipline, both individual and collective, upon which the code of conduct depends.
Responsibility of others
It is the responsibility of those who coach or teach the Game to ensure that players are prepared in a manner which ensures compliance with the Laws of the Game and in accordance with safe practices.
It is the duty of the referee to apply fairly all the Laws of the Game in every match except when an experimental Law variation has been authorised by the IRB Council.
It is the duty of the Unions to ensure that the game at every level is conducted in accordance with disciplined and sporting behaviour. This principle cannot be upheld solely by the referee; its observance also rests on Unions, affiliated bodies and clubs.
Responsibility of players
Rugby Union is a sport which involves physical contact. Any sport involving physical contact has inherent dangers. It is very important that players play the Game in accordance with the Laws of the Game and be mindful of the safety of themselves and others.
It is the responsibility of players to ensure that they are physically and technically prepared in a manner which enables them to play the Game, comply with the Laws of the Game and participate in accordance with safe practices.
Over the next while, we will be running a 7 post series with tidbits of information quoted directly from the law book. This is information from the preface and charter from the law book and is meant primarily for awareness and to challenge how we think on the field about certain aspects of the game and not any law in specific.
… for the love of the game …
This week in Taupo has gone by pretty damn quickly. On Tuesday a spot of fishing saw the WRRA take out the biggest fish award. A WRRA also had the lowest golf round, unfortunately this time it was Waikato!
Onto the second round of games on Wednesday, and the teams really stepped it up. Good quality running rugby from all the teams meant a hard day in the sun for us refs. Luckily our own ‘Guns McPhysio’ Jimmy Sincock was around to force us into the ice baths.
Yesterday saw a review session in the morning, followed by some claybird shooting and hot pools in the arvo. No surprises to learn that the best shot is the farmer from Oamaru. Today we did a really good outdoor session with Bryce Lawrence on positioning (Mark – Salty from Auckland videod this – you should get it for us), played some touch and had a relaxing arvo.
In my last post I said the opportunities and learnings really stood out. I think another thing I’ve realised is just how important it is to keep things really really simple. If you start to try do too much at once, you’ll get lost. We have been really trying to just get one thing right in our game at a time, and do it in the least complicated way possible.
Tomorrow is the last day! I’ve got Hawkes Bay vs Heartland, and looking forward to watching Wellington take it out! Will be followed by a good evening out, with multiple lemonades consumed.