Wellington Rugby League

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Wellington Rugby League
Wellingtonleague.jpg
Founded 12 May 1912 (1912-05-12)
Affiliation New Zealand Rugby League
Location Wellington Region, NZL
Chief Exec Jason Hemson
New Zealand

Wellington Rugby League is the local sporting body responsible for the administration of Rugby league in the Greater Wellington region. It is responsible for the local competition of the same name, as well as its representative team, the Wellington rugby league team.

Domestic Competition[edit]

The Senior WRL competition involves 8 teams in the Premier Grade with each fielding a Reserve Grade team also:

  • Petone Panthers (Lower Hutt)
  • Porirua Vikings (Porirua)
  • Randwick Kingfishers (Lower Hutt)
  • St George Dragons (Porirua)
  • Te Aroha Eels (Lower Hutt)
  • University Hunters (Wellington City)
  • Upper Hutt Tigers (Upper Hutt)
  • Wainuiomata Lions (Lower Hutt)

The 5 other clubs that aren't in the Senior WRL are:

  • Harbour City Eagles (Wellington City)
  • Kapiti Bears (Kapiti Coast)
  • Porirua City Phoenix (Porirua)
  • Titahi Bay Marlins (Porirua)
  • Trentham Titans (Upper Hutt)

The winner is awarded the Appleton Shield, which has been in use since 1940. In 1912 four teams played for the Seigel Cup; Petone, Hutt, Athletic and Newtown. Petone won the first ever Wellington club competition.[1]

History[edit]

Wellington played its first game on 24 August 1908 when they took on Auckland at Victoria Park, Auckland in the first provincial game of rugby league in New Zealand.[2]

During 1909, 1910 and 1911 Wellington continued to play a number of provincial games and, in 1909, defeated Auckland in Auckland, 22-19, the first of only five victories over Auckland in over 100 years.[1]

Foundation[edit]

The Wellington Rugby League Association was officially formed on 23 May 1912 at the Trades Hall in Wellington when 1907-08 All Golds captain, Hercules Richard (Bumper) Wright presided over a meeting of 75 footballers and supporters, many of them prominent rugby union players in Wellington.[1]

The founding committee was chaired by W J Riorden and included Daniel Fraser.

Post War years[edit]

Will Appleton was president of the Wellington Rugby Football League between 1940 to 1958 and presented the Appleton Shield, which is used to this day as the premier club trophy.[3]

1990-1994 :Touring teams[edit]

In 1990 Wellington defeated the touring Great Britain side 30-22.[4] This is Wellington's only victory over a touring side.[1]

1994-2000: Lion Red Cup[edit]

Between 1994 and 1996, Wellington was represented by the Wellington City Dukes and Hutt Valley Firehawks in the Lion Red Cup. One player from the Dukes, Earl Va'a, later went on to represent Samoa in Rugby union. Both teams folded along with the competition in 1996.

Team Season Pld W D L PF PA PD Pts Position Finals
Hutt Valley 1994 22 9 0 13 458 489 -30 18 Eighth N/A
Wellington City 1994 22 8 0 14 470 508 -38 16 Ninth N/A
Hutt Valley 1995 22 13 0 9 544 443 101 26 Fifth Lost Elimination Play-off
Wellington City 1995 22 10 2 10 440 514 -74 22 Seventh N/A
Hutt Valley 1996 22 11 2 9 444 469 -25 24 Sixth N/A
Wellington City 1996 22 9 0 13 536 532 4 18 Eighth N/A

2000-2007: Bartercard Cup[edit]

Wellington initially had two sides in the Bartercard Cup competition - the Porirua Pumas and the Wainuiomata Lions, based in the city of Porirua and Lower Hutt suburb of Wainuiomata respectively. Results between the two were dissimilar - with Wainuiomata reaching the preliminary final in the first season, and Porirua coming last place in theirs. However in 2002 it was decided that one team (later to be named the Wellington Orcas) was needed in the competition. They narrowly missed out on a finals spot in 2002, being on equal points but with a lower For and Against than the Marist Richmond Brothers. Unfortunately this was a high point for the franchise with the team never making the play-offs.

In 2006, the then-unnamed Bartercard Cup franchises adopted the name of Wellington Orcas, after the unsuccessful NRL expansion bid.

Team Season Pld W D L PF PA PD Pts Position (Teams) Finals
Porirua 2000 22 3 1 18 506 777 -271 7 Wooden Spoon (Twelve) N/A
Wainuiomata 2000 22 13 0 9 668 542 126 26 Fourth (Twelve) Lost Preliminary Final
Porirua 2001 21 4 1 16 421 808 -387 11[5] Eleventh (Twelve) N/A
Wainuiomata 2001 22 11 1 10 688 628 60 23 Sixth (Twelve) N/A
Wellington 2002 16 9 1 6 547 449 98 19 Sixth (Twelve) N/A
Wellington 2003 16 4 1 11 460 646 -186 6[6] Eleventh (Twelve) N/A
Wellington 2004 16 8 1 7 465 409 56 17 Sixth (Twelve) N/A
Wellington 2005 16 5 3 8 418 459 -41 13 Eighth (Twelve) N/A
Wellington 2006 18 6 0 12 452 549 -97 12 Seventh (Ten) N/A
Wellington 2007 18 10 0 8 509 529 -20 20 Sixth (10) N/A

2008-2009: Bartercard Premiership[edit]

The Wellington Rugby League were awarded a place in the new six-team National Provincial Competition as the region Wellingon. The team plays its home matches at Porirua Park.[7]

Season Pld W D L PF PA PD Pts Position Finals
2008 5 2 1 2 146 138 8 5 Fourth N/A
2009 5 2 0 3 142 120 22 4 Fourth Lost Semi Final

2010-present: NZRL National Competition[edit]

Wellington Rugby League was then placed in the NZRL National Competition as the replacement competition for the Bartercard Premiership, known as the "Wellington Orcas".

NRL Bid[edit]

Orcas logo

In 2004, working with the Wellington Rugby League, a consortium called the Southern Orcas was involved in bidding for a National Rugby League franchise to be based in the city. The franchise ultimately went to the Gold Coast who joined the NRL for the 2007 season.

In 2007 reports emerged that the consortium was looking at the possibility of joining Super League however nothing ever eventuated.[8][9]

Notable juniors competed in the NRL[edit]

Wellington Orcas

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d History Of Wellington Rugby League Association Wellington Rugby League
  2. ^ John Haynes From All Blacks to All Golds: Rugby League's Pioneers, Christchurch, Ryan and Haynes, 1996. ISBN 0-473-03864-1
  3. ^ Buchan, Allison. "Appleton, William". Dictionary of New Zealand Biography. Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Retrieved 10 January 2012. 
  4. ^ Coffey and Wood The Kiwis: 100 Years of International Rugby League ISBN 1-86971-090-8
  5. ^ The Ngongotaha Chiefs withdrew from the competition after round sixteen. All teams scheduled to play them after this were awarded two points for a bye.
  6. ^ Wellington were docked three points for registration infringements.
  7. ^ "O'Brien heralds new era". The Dominion Post. 30 May 2008. Retrieved 2 December 2011. 
  8. ^ "NZ Super League link played down". BBC Sport. 8 April 2007. Retrieved 2 December 2011. 
  9. ^ RL CHIEF 'SCEPTICAL' OF ORCAS BID http://www.sportinglife.com/rugbyleague/news/story_get.cgi?STORY_NAME=rleague/07/04/08/RUGBYL_Orcas.html

External links[edit]