ROUND-UP: Three wins for Hautapu as senior rugby season gets underway

posted in: News, Rugby

The 2024 Waikato Rugby season is underway with three Hautapu Sports teams returning with wins on opening day.

The Premier A, Colts and Women’s Championship sides all won on the road, while the Development side lost to Hamilton Old Boys.

Premier A team start season with win

The Premier A side started their defence of the Breweries Shield with a 32-24 win against Hamilton Old Boys at Fred Jones Park.

It was a back and forth battle with Hamilton Old Boys who, as usual, fronted the new season with a strong team.

It was a hot start by both sides, but it was halfback Rui Farrant who broke the line the first time Hautapu entered Old Boys’ red zone, scoring the side’s first try of the season after five minutes.

After Old Boys converted a penalty for three points, they scored a try under the sticks to put themselves ahead 10-7.

Late in the first half, Farrant converted a penalty to tie the score.

With some outstanding line breaks from second-five Paula Wolfgram and wingers Quentin Hill and Jese Ravunacagi, Hautapu came out firing in the second half, leading to a penalty try.

Old Boys responded to tie the game, before Wolfgram scored a try of his own.

Hautapu kept applying pressure, and a Scottish link-up from Hamilton Burr and Archie Falconer led to Falconer scoring under the sticks.

With eight minutes to go, Old Boys scored seven more points, making the score 29-24 to Hautapu.

Hautapu held their ground on defence.

The Hautapu forward pack applied late pressure and were rewarded with a penalty that halfback Quinton Ngatai converted to put the game out of reach for Old Boys.

The Hautapu women’s team go through their paces for their first game.

Women’s team create history

Hautapu’s women’s team made history with their first appearance in the Waikato Women’s Championship, a nine-team competition.

Though the club had a women’s team in the early 1980s, this is a different generation, and the game for women is entirely different.

READ MORE: How Hautapu’s netballers helped pioneer women’s rugby in Cambridge >>>>

The 2024 Hautapu women stared the new era in style, beating United Matamata Sports 22-17 at Bedford Park.

It took only 12 minutes of the season for Hautapu’s Bella Cranston’s name to go into the history books as the club’s first try scorer. Hayley-Marie Church converted.

Hautapu threatened to run away with the game with tries in quick succession to Emily Brunton, and a second to Cranston.

Hilary Quinn was the scorer of Hautapu’s fourth first half try.

The home side fought back in the second half, and reduced the final margin to five points, but the Hautapu defence held firm.

Next weekend, the women make their home ground debut, hosting Pirongia who were first round losers to Hauraki in a high-scoring game.

Colts win at Morrinsville

In their season opener, the Colts won 31-10 at Morrinsville Sports.

Player of the Match was Ihaka Harper-Dent.

PHOTO GALLERY: Colts off to winning start in season opener at Morrinsville >>>>

Ihaka Harper-Dent … Player of the Match for the Colts. Photo credit: Jane Thompson.


Games played on Saturday April 6, 2024

Premier A

Hamilton Old Boys 24
Hautapu Sports 32

Premier B

Hamilton Old Boys 21
Hautapu Sports 8


Morrinsville Sports 10
Hautapu Sports 31


United Matamata Sports 17
Hautapu Sports 22

Photographer Matt Gould was on the sideline to capture some of the latest action.

Photo gallery

Click on image to open to full size


Our thanks to Matt Gould of True You Photography for supplying us with matchday photography. See his work at Instagram @trueyou_photography.


Games to be played on Saturday April 13, 2024

Premier A

Hautapu Sports v Fraser Tech
Memorial Park 1, Cambridge, 2.45pm

Premier B

Hautapu Sports v Fraser Tech
Memorial Park 1, Cambridge, 1pm


Hautapu Sports v Hamilton Marist 
Memorial Park 2, Cambridge, 1pm


Hautapu Sports v Pirongia
Memorial Park 3, Cambridge, 1pm

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