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The waiting is nearly over

Wednesday 28th March

The waiting is nearly over

It might not be Super Rugby, but it’s our rugby, played at our place and for our silverware.

Yep, there is just one more weekend to go until the start of the 2018 Wairarapa-Bush Club Rugby Competition . . . the waiting is nearly over!

While there are sure to be the pundits’ favourites, the reality is, form, pedigree and history don’t really matter a lot when all that local rugby fans want are for the referees to blow a start to the first round of matches signalling the new season is officially underway.

From Pirinoa to Pongaroa, the national game is played everywhere and anywhere in our region, on state-of-the art artificial surfaces and sheep grazed paddocks. No matter what the fixture and where the venue, every player and every supporter shares one thing in common, a love of rugby.

Eight teams will contest the Premier-A senior men’s competition, with 12 taking part in the Senior Reserves.

The Premier-A competition is played over two rounds with the first determining the Moose Kapene Cup and the final round the coveted Tui Cup. The Moose Kapene Cup concludes on Saturday 26 May, with the Tui Cup Grand Final scheduled for Saturday 28 July.

The Moose Kapene Cup takes a break after four rounds of matches on Saturday 5 May to allow for the full compliment of rep players to be available for when Wairarapa-Bush take on fellow Heartland rivals Horowhenua-Kapiti.

Representative rugby again takes precedence on Queen’s Birthday weekend with all matches that weekend being played under lights on Friday, freeing up Monday for the annual fixture against Hawke’s Bay Saracens.

A twist on this year’s Senior-A competition is the withdrawal of Pioneer, which has opened the door for Masterton Red Star to return to the top tier. Although winners of the Tui Cup some ten years ago, just how the mighty Stars will fear is a big unknown. They face a tough introduction, taking on Martinborough in the opening round next Saturday. Beaten finalists last year, Martinborough is shaping as a serious title contender and will be desperate to go one better in 2018.

Defending champions Gladstone, long-time heavyweights Greytown and 2017 semi finalists Carterton, will all fancy their chances of taking the spoils. Providing stiff opposition are the other three top eight teams, East Coast, Eketahuna and Marist.

Although absent from the top tier, Pioneer will have two teams in the Senior Competition, which was won by Masterton Red Star in 2017

Round one Draw is:

Moose Kapene Cup
Round 1 Date: 7th April
Home Away Venue Time
Martinborough vs Masterton.Red.Star Martinborough 2.35pm
East Coast vs Greytown East Coast 2.35pm
Marist vs Gladstone Marist 2.35pm
Carterton vs Eketahuna Carterton 2.35pm
Senior Reserves
Round 1 Date: 7th April
Home Away Venue Time
Martinborough vs Pioneer Martinborough 1pm
East Coast vs Greytown East Coast 1pm
Marist vs Gladstone Marist 1pm
Carterton vs Eketahuna Carterton 1pm
Featherston vs Puketoi Featherston 1pm
Pioneer OB vs Tuhirangi Pioneer 1pm

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