2021 Club Rugby competition formats update

2021 Club Rugby competition formats update

The Manawatū Club Rugby Executive has received additional feedback from clubs on the structure of the 2021 Senior 1 competition structure and as such can announce the finalised format for next year.

The competition will start in early autumn on Saturday 20th March and follow a similar format to that of previous seasons with two full rounds, covering a 16-week period with the following being applied:
• Two rounds (Jubilee Cup & Centennial Shield) – home and away fixtures
• Points carried through from round one to round two
• Start date – Saturday 20th March 2021
• Bye week for all teams between round one and two (Saturday 8th May 2021)
• Semifinals date (higher ranked team venue) – Saturday 3rd July 2021
• Final date (neutral venue) – Saturday 10th July 2021
• No Val Holland Trophy playoff for 5th vs 6th place

There were suggestions to either half or reset competition points after the Jubilee Cup round to assist those teams at the bottom of the table advance their way up the table in the second round. However, the executive felt that all games should have an equal standing and altering the points table would devalue the Jubilee Cup games and penalise those teams which had started the season strongly. Following consultation and agreement with the Turbos head coach we were able to push the end date out to Saturday 10th July which would allow a bye week to be embedded into the competition at the midway point to allow teams to have a weekend off between rounds. (NOTE: since 2013 there has been an odd number of entries naturally creating bye rounds which since Linton’s withdrawal in 2019 is now no longer the case)

The Senior 1 draw will be distributed in the next two weeks.

Two concerned raised by the Executive were:
• Pressure on teams having adequately trained front rowers for the entire competition, an issue which was experienced by more than one team in 2020
• Hardness of grounds in mid-March with transferring of games to more softer playing surfaces being a possibility in the early rounds.

Other grades will remain as previously stated with a start date of after Easter. Further updates on those grades will be shared in early 2021.

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