Well here we go, the bus is loaded and we are off to Poneke. With a mixture of A’s, B’s and Colts we will see the following boys pick up their first cap for the Egmont Seeds Premiers:
|Arrived from South Africa
|Had a few years off rugby and a top CrossFit Athlete
|Moved to New Plymouth for Work
|A stand out in Tukapa B’s Last year
|A standout utility back from the College
|A young up and coming Prop from NPBHS
|1st game last week for Tukapa Colts and showed some real skill, from Matamata
|Been in our Colts set up and really starting to kick on
As most long serving members would know, the Poneke game is a long standing tradition that has been played for many years, and the Zemba cup is a very sought after cup that both clubs always want to hold.
The Zemba Cup, is contested between Tukapa and the Poneke Club (from Wellington) at Senior A level, and its origins go back to 1939 when Mick Zemba, a Wellington-based former Taranaki resident donated the trophy as a prize for what was then the new pre-season fixture between the two clubs. The interruption caused by WW2 meant it was only played for twice before resuming after the war on an annual basis. The Zemba Cup match was then played pretty much every season on an alternating home and away basis until 1992, usually at Easter Weekend before club rugby competitions got underway.
After the 1992 Centenary match (won at home by Tukapa 19-7), the match was played on only a handful of other occasions in the mid to late 1990’s before the fixture lapsed. It has been revived as a fixture spasmodically in recent decades. Until revived again recently, the final Zemba Cup match for many years was played at the Rugby Academy in Palmerston North on 17 March 2009. The discontinuation after 2009 was largely due to changes in the club rugby structure which saw club competition matches beginning in late March rather than late April, with the result that the pre-season window for traditional fixtures became a lot more constricted. Weekend work requirements as well as cost factors also played a part in pre-season away trips becoming a thing of the past.
As a result of Tukapa deciding to cease attending the Spillane Cup tournament, the Zemba Cup fixture was reinstated in 2019 when Tukapa once more hosted Poneke at Sanders Park, with Poneke running out the winners in a very close match. Last season Tukapa travelled to Wellington for the match but again Poneke prevailed in what was another close encounter.
For the record, the Zemba Cup has been contested on a total of 51 occasions, with Tukapa winning 21 matches and Poneke 30.
The game is sure to be a great test leading into the season and I am sure with Bryan Boulton and myself leading the after-match activities, we should go well in the off-field games too.
Keep an eye out on social media for updates and there is also talk it will be live-streamed on the PONEKE facebook page.
Kick-off is at 2.10pm at Rugby League Park.
Our Colts are playing a three-way game at Inglewood’s TET stadium against the Southern Colts and Inglewood Colts with kick-off being 12:30pm.
The following week sees the 1st round get underway for Premiers, B’s and Colts with a big one first up with Dan O’Brien day at home. As we all know it's one we don’t like to lose. Our Snr 3rds don’t start for another 4 weeks but have been training hard on a Thursday.
We are now heading through Stratford with just Mikey to pick up in Hawera then a straight trip to the Cambridge Hotel. Keep an eye on social media for all the weekend’s updates.
Your Chairperson Scotty Siffleet, Blue and White for Life