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New trophies and a new format for club rugby

The late Lane Penn in his role as NZR president. PHOTO/GETTY IMAGES


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The Moose Kapene Cup will take centre stage, and a new trophy, the Lane Penn Cup, will highlight the 2021 club rugby programme, Wairarapa-Bush Rugby Union made public last week.

The Unions Council of Clubs has confirmed that the premier teams will play 10 games, plus semifinals and finals.

The change is a break from tradition and comes after the successful truncated 2020 season, which got positive feedback from players, coaches and clubs.

The season will start with a town and country format, with teams split into two groups.

Pioneer, Marist, Carterton and Greytown are the town teams, and Eketahuna, East Coast, Gladstone, and Martinborough make up the country group.

The top teams in each group will play for the new Lane Penn Trophy, named after the great Wai-Bush coach from 1984-86.

The championship competition will be played under the same format as 2020, with one full round, semifinals, and finals.

The winner of the championship final will win the Moose Kapene Memorial Cup, which was previously awarded to the leading team after the first round.

Wairarapa-Bush chief executive Tony Hargood said: “The Council of Clubs have agreed the Chris [Moose] Kapene Memorial Cup reflects and embodies everything about club rugby in Wairarapa and the naming of the championship title in honour of Chris is richly deserved.”

The highest seed of the championship round at the end of pool play will be awarded the Weatherstone Family Cup.

The 2021 season kicks off on April 17 with a festival weekend.

There will be a break over Anzac weekend and then the commencement of the three rounds for the Town and Country competition.

The premier competition will also break over Queen’s Birthday Weekend when the Wai-Bush Heartland Championship team take on Hawke’s Bay in their traditional game.

The club finals will be played at Trust House Memorial Park on July 24.

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