Monday, 18 December 2017
Final rematch to kick off CMK club rugby season
Coastal will have an early chance to avenge their agonising Taranaki premier club rugby final defeat to Tukapa when the 2018 season kicks off in March.
In a blockbusting clash to start the 2018 CMK Chartered Accountants Taranaki premier club rugby competition, Coastal have been drawn to host Tukapa in the opening week, with the 2017 season finale no doubt still firmly in the minds of the Coastal players.
In that thrilling decider at Yarrow Stadium, Port Taranaki Bulls flanker Adrian Wyrill crashed over to score in the final minute, earning a jubilant Tukapa their second title in a row and consigning Coastal to a heartbreaking loss in a match that had ebbed and flowed.
While Coastal and Tukapa do battle to open the season on 31 March, last season’s other semifinalists – Southern and Spotswood United – will meet in Hawera. Completing the week-one matches, Clifton will host New Plymouth Old Boys, and Stratford-Eltham will host Inglewood United.
The final matches of the first round will be held on 12 May, with competition points then halved for the second round. The 2018 CMK premier semifinals will be played on 7 July, with the grand final the following week, 14 July.
Taranaki Rugby community rugby manager Glenn Noble said the CMK premier competition continued to grow in quality and strength.
“The competition was close and intriguing throughout last season, which was fantastic. The make-up of the semifinals – having Coastal, Southern and two New Plymouth teams involved – showed there is real strength in club rugby all around the mountain, and the emergence of Stratford-Eltham as a threat was also really pleasing,” he said.
“The fact a number of club rugby players earned their first caps for the Port Taranaki Bulls team and others became established, valuable members of the squad, highlights the importance of club rugby and shows there is a clear pathway from club rugby to representative rugby.
“So we’re really looking forward to the 2018 competition and expect another tight battle between the clubs,” Noble said.
Once again in 2018, the division one and colts draw mirrors that of the premier competition, with a number of colts matches to be played as curtain-raisers to the premier matches.
“These young players are the future of our game and we think it’s really important they get the opportunity to display their skills alongside their premier grade club mates,” Noble said.
CMK Chartered Accountants continue their valued association with Taranaki club rugby. The Taranaki business, which offers financial services and advice, earlier this year extended its sponsorship of all Taranaki club rugby for the 2018 and 2019 seasons, having been sponsor for the past two years.
“We thank CMK Chartered Accountants for their terrific support of club rugby. Their investment in our game ensures we are strong at the grassroots level, which flows on to our representative teams,” Noble said.
CMK principal and chartered accountant John Dazley and principal Andrew Darke said the company was looking forward to another outstanding club rugby season.
“Club rugby is all about community and building relationships, which is what we see throughout the club season on grounds around the region. There was great competition last season, capped by a fantastic finals day and a thrilling premier final, so we’re pleased to be a part of it again,” Dazley said.