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Sam Doyle Memorial Trophy – Hurricanes U20 tri-series

Last week, the Hurricanes Region/Academy Under-20 Tri-series got underway with a new name for the tournament – The Sam Doyle Memorial Trophy.

Sam Doyle, a foundation Hurricanes player and a Māori All Black, passed away in 2022.

The tournament is being played by Hawke’s Bay, Wellington and Manawatū, and acts as a trial for the Hurricanes U20 side, who will play in the Super Rugby U20 tournament in Taupo in March.

Hawke’s Bay and Manawatū kicked off the tournament in Napier with Hawke’s Bay coming out on top 48-36.

This Saturday, Wellington takes on Hawke’s Bay in Palmerston North, with Manawatū and Wellington rounding out the tournament in Palmerston North again.

For every win there are four points up for grabs, two points for a draw; one bonus point for a loss by seven points or less; and one bonus point for scoring four tries.

Hurricanes U20 Recruitment and Development Manager Darren Larsen said, “Our academy games are structured to select the Hurricanes U20 team. This gives all the players a wider opportunity to compete against each other to then seek selection for the Hurricanes U20 team to go to Taupo.”

Larsen said the Sam Doyle Memorial Trophy was donated by the Hurricanes Alumni Foundation Trust and supported by the Doyle family to represent them.

The trophy is a totara – Tewhatewha – which is a long-handled Māori club weapon shaped like an axe, which was carved by Bill Doyle (Sam’s father). The axe is used in battle, not necessarily as a weapon, but for direction by the Chief.

The carving on the end of the Tewhatewha is based on Ngā Hau E Whā, 'The four winds’, representing people coming together from one of the four major points of the compass, North, South, East & West. In the Hurricanes case, from all corners of our region.

The two corners are based on Mangopare - the word for the Hammerhead shark in Māori, which represents strength, leadership, agility, tenacity, unrelenting determination, courage and wealth.

The centre of the handle is the ‘Whiti’, which is the Mauri (life) or spirit of the Tewhatewha. When going into battle the Whiti would have been closed or covered by the chief's hand, and when it is open it shows the spirit of the Tewhatewha.

On the two ends of the Tewhatewha are carvings of Batman. Why, because Sam loved Batman.

Below are the remaining fixtures for the Sam Doyle Memorial Trophy.

Saturday, 17 February – Wellington v Hawke’s Bay in Palmerston North. Kick-off: 1.00pm

Saturday 24 February – Manawatū v Wellington in Palmerston North. Kick-off: 1.00pm

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