The 2017 Thames Valley Club Rugby competition kicks off this weekend with a full round of Senior A and Senior B grade games to start the season.
Nine teams have entered the Senior A first round to compete for the Silcock Shield. Whangamata and Coromandel Rugby Clubs have both stepped up from the Senior B grade to lift the number of teams in the Senior A competition this year. It was expected to have ten Senior A teams this year but the Tairua club was unable to field a side and will not be competing this year.
At the end of the first round the top six teams will form the Premier Grade which goes on to compete for the McClinchy Cup while the remaining three teams and the Senior B teams will split up into other grades for the second round
Full points (four points for a win, two for a draw and one for a loss by seven points or less and four try bonus point) will apply for both grades but will not carry over from the First Round into the Second round.
Waihou are the current holders of the Silcock Shield and they begin their defence of the trophy with a trip to Coromandel on Saturday, bringing Senior A rugby back to Coromandel for the first time in a number of years. Both clubs ended last year in style by winning their respective championships and they both have new coaches in charge for 2017 , Dion Wilson for Coromandel and Colin Vette, Waihou.
Waihi Athletic was in top form last year and opens the new season with an away game in a local derby against Whangamata. Whangamata returns to the Senior A grade after a two year absence also sporting a new Head Coach in Scott Cornwall.
Cobras are at home against Hauraki North with their B teams providing the curtain raiser at 12.30pm.
Paeroa West plays Mercury Bay at Leach’s Field in Paeroa, with the Kevin Barry Cup at stake for good measure. West have had a couple of lean years recently and will be looking for some improved results in 2017. In contrast, Mercury Bay has been in good form, winning the title in 2015 and just missing out on the final again last year.
Thames has the bye this week.
In the Senior B grade, Paeroa Old Boys is at home against Waihou while Thames takes on Ngatea at Rhodes Park, Thames. The Waihi B’s travel to Whitianga to play Mercury Bay B’s.
All games in both grades start at 2.00pm apart from the curtain raiser in Te Aroha.