Tue, Mar 26, 2024 1:06 PM

Club rugby kick-off looms


Peter Jones

The 2024 Tasman Trophy club rugby competition kicks off on Thursday evening across the top of the south.

Marlborough interest will focus on Lansdowne Park where the two local participants in the seven-team competition, Central and Moutere, will do battle.

Two matches will be played over the Whangamoas, with Marist hosting Stoke and Waimea Old Boys at home to Nelson.

Blues' prop Lockie McCormick in action against Sydenham.

Central, the two-time defending champs, look a well-balanced unit. The return of lock Jack Powell, prop Dusty Foley and loosie Jesse MacDonald adds depth and experience to a side that knows how to front up for the big games.

Moutere, after returning to Tasman Trophy ranks last year, appear to have a more competitive squad this time around, especially having picked up a few seasoned senior players from Waitohi, who were unable to field a premier side in 2024.

Next week the competition returns to a more-usual Saturday schedule, Central away to Kahurangi and Moutere away to Marist, two particularly tough assignments, especially away from home.

Thursday’s Blues v Magpies match is scheduled for a 7pm start.

The Marlborough division two competition begins on April 20.

Jake Pacey and Cooper Roberts with the national under-20 rugby trophy. Photo supplied.

In other rugby news, former Marlborough Boys’ College First XV stand-outs Cooper Roberts and Jake Pacey were part of the Crusaders’ under-20 side which clinched the national title at the weekend with a 31-17 win over the Chiefs in Taupo.

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