Manu Tuilagi smashes Tom Williams

Top14 player imposter!

JDV smashed by Benoit August

The Northampton Saints 30m scrum!

Bastareaud huge hit on Rory Lamont

All Blacks skills - Pt 2 In the backyard

Trinh-Duc sets up Harinordoquy try

Wales vs England 1999

Greg Holmes great hit on Francois Louw

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Tana Umaga and Counties upset Otago in the opening game

Counties Manukau upset Otago in the opening round of the ITM Cup with an impressive 29-13 win at home as player/coach Tana Umaga made his return to New Zealand provincial rugby.

There was some doubt over whether Umaga would turn out for his new team after he had a bout of the flu earlier in the week. He didn’t let the fans down though as he turned out in Pukekoke to play 60 minutes of rugby that was more than valuable to the home side.

The Steelers were superb on attack as they scored four tries while showing how lethal they can be with players like Sevens stars Sherwin Stowers and Tim Nanai Williams, and their double try scorer, flying winger Ahsee Tuala.

On defense they were most impressive though with Umaga clearly running the run and giving the guys around him great confidence in their ability as they held out the Otago attacks until literally the last minute of play.

"We talked about wanting to make our supporters, our families and ourselves proud. And I think we did that," said Umaga. "Our D was strong, which was pleasing but there are still things to work on. We need to work on our discipline. We gave away a lot of penalties although it's something we've been working on."

When asked about being subbed by head coach Milton Haig, Umaga wasn’t bothered. "I'm happy with that, though I'm starting to feel my age about now. Me being me I'll probably try to play as much as I can (this season), but I'll just listen to my body. It starts now with my recovery, and we'll see how it goes."

If you watched a few of the ITM Cup games and spotted anything you think is worth sharing here on RD, please get in touch as it's not always possible to watch everything. Drop me an email or post a request on the forum. Thanks!

Time: 05:42



  • first!what does ITM stand for,if that isn't too stupid?

    By Anonymous Leeners93, at August 03, 2010 11:48 pm  

  • Great tries. Neat chip by Umaga too!

    By Anonymous Flinto, at August 03, 2010 11:48 pm  

  • Google is a wonderful thing ;)
    ITM - Independent Timber Merchants. It's just a company name.

    By Anonymous Flinto, at August 03, 2010 11:50 pm  

  • great to see that Tana still has it :D

    By Anonymous cigarro, at August 03, 2010 11:52 pm  

  • thanks for that flinto-i'll keep that in mind for future use!

    By Anonymous Leeners93, at August 03, 2010 11:55 pm  

  • terrible mistake from nanai-williams at the end.is he one of those great attacking full-backs who cant do the simple things well,like catch a ball or stay cool under pressure?i've not seen him before though,so maybe it was a one-off

    By Anonymous Leeners93, at August 03, 2010 11:59 pm  

  • stowers and nanai-williams are awesome, i wonder why williams wasnt picked in the comm games squad?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 04, 2010 2:22 am  

  • Go Tana!! Williams is awesome, so much pace and that step is something else.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 04, 2010 3:50 am  

  • Love me some NPC great stuff!!

    By Anonymous Nerk, at August 04, 2010 7:48 am  

  • No Leeners, he jsut made one mistake, like all players do.
    He's actually very talented.

    By Anonymous Tommy, at August 04, 2010 8:10 am  

  • Leeners - from what I have seen of him (Super 14), he is pretty safe under the high ball and good under pressure. This was just a once of mistake methinks, although I haven't seen that much of him.

    Tana Umaga is one of those players who I wish could play forever.

    By Anonymous Wolfman21, at August 04, 2010 8:15 am  

  • ^ I second that.

    Nice tries

    By Anonymous FrankyH, at August 04, 2010 9:24 am  

  • lol at Independent Timber Merchants.

    Coming soon, Joe's sandwich shop cup.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 04, 2010 11:13 am  

  • The winger and fullback will be a real good for the AB in a couple of years


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 04, 2010 2:10 pm  

  • Sorry for lack of knowledge - how does this cup competition and these teams fit into the way the NZ rugby operates?

    Moving to NZ soon so trying to understand how it all works. Any help appreciated

    By Anonymous NiWiTa, at August 04, 2010 2:32 pm  

  • fair enough,hope to see more of him in the future then.
    i would also love to see umaga play for at least another 20 years!!

    By Anonymous Leeners93, at August 04, 2010 2:33 pm  

  • @NiWita

    Generally speaking it goes like this:

    School > Club > Region (ITM Cup) > Super 14 > All Blacks

    For example:

    1. Kelston Boys High School (In Auckland)
    2. Ponsonby Rugby Club
    3. Auckland (ITM Cup Team)
    4. Auckland Blues
    5. All Blacks

    At different stages there are various rep teams to be made also such as

    - Regional/NZ Under 16
    - Regional/Super 14/NZ Schoolboys
    - NZ Under 20s
    - NZ Maori (if eligible)
    - Club/Regional/NZ Sevens
    - There also used to be a Junior All Blacks (All Blacks B team effectively)

    Hope that helps brah

    By Anonymous chchch, at August 04, 2010 2:41 pm  

  • Nanai Williams is just another very exciting young talent. I can't wait to see him in action for the years to come

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 04, 2010 3:01 pm  

  • chchch - magic thanks for update...I'll be somewhat less in the dark when I arrive Jan 2011 (just in time for the worldcup)

    Obviously hoping the AB's can pump France (as I am English) and the kiwi half my family will be in mourning! Skbaaa N

    By Anonymous NiWiTa, at August 04, 2010 3:26 pm  

  • @chchch It's actually kinda ridiculous when you come to think of it ay, when you add in that there's also Walter Dickson and Roller Mills rep sides for 12 & 13 year olds. And all the provincial sides have b and c teams as well. Also I don't know about other places but theres defintely auckland and cantabury academies... Oh yeah and there's provincial Maori sides as well... maaan could go on all day.

    By Anonymous Nerk, at August 05, 2010 7:12 am  

  • @Nerk - getting confused again (one too many bangs on the head as a loose-forward)....still NZ rugby must be doing something right though considering the AB's current form.

    Wonder what the quickest route to playing for the AB's would be?

    By Anonymous NiWiTa, at August 05, 2010 1:38 pm  

  • School, Rep side (U19 regional, then national if your good enough), then maybe sneak a cap on a development tour.
    Guilford is an example of a player who's been fast tracked.

    By Anonymous Jimmy, at August 06, 2010 12:41 am  

  • NiWiTa

    Rugger is structured differently here - It is based aroun Unions.

    So you have the NZRFU at the top.
    Then you have the provincial Unions -e.g. Wellington = Wellington Rugby Football Union.

    The Super 14 franchises are owned by groups of Unions. E.g. the Hurricanes are the team for East Coast, Hawke's Bay, Horowhenua Kapiti, Manawatu, Poverty Bay, Taranaki, Wairarapa-Bush, Wanganui and Wellington unions. Basically the southern North Island. Players are mostly selected from within these unions and profits are returned to the member unions.

    The ITM cup is the traditional NZ domestic comp where each team represents a particular provincial Union. The teams are selected from players who play for a club that is part of that union.

    Club competitions are generally within a particular union.

    So take Piri Weepu:
    His club is Hutt Old Boys in Lower Hutt, which is part of greater Wellington so =>
    He plays for Wellington in the ITM cup =>
    He plays for the Hurricanes =>
    He plays for the AB's

    See, simple really!

    By Blogger RememberTheMer, at August 06, 2010 1:15 am  

  • @rememberthemer - thanks fella...beginning to grasp it although patently I will never be NZ's biggest brain :)

    I guess at the risk of being controversial that Cantebury region has the most AB's representative players (not meaning to open an argument here)...although previously the Northern provincial unions generated much of the team.

    Thanks again, N

    By Anonymous NiWiTa, at August 06, 2010 2:27 pm  

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