Tag Archives: Rugby

The Boys are Back… again.

23 May ’13

It’s rugby season again.  So in to town we went on Saturday with Grandad Trev in tow and umbrellas at the ready.


A new season, a new team

Jake was almost busting at the seams to get back on the field, the boy really loves his rugby.  Last year, his first year playing for Boys’ High, Jake’s team won their first game of the season.   Sadly his team didn’t win this time.

High School Rugby

PNBHS Chiefs vs Blues – That’s Jake with the ball

But the boys had a great time all the same.  I love photographing these games –  the action, the facial expressions, the moments of agony and triumph – all priceless.

Jake and our neighbour, Paddy, have been playing in the same team for years, since they were little tykes at primary school.

Ashhurst Rugby - Turboman!

Ashhurst Rugby – Turboman!

 Jacob’s second from the left at the back, and Paddy has the ball.   Aren’t they adorable?!

Jake had his growth spurt ahead of Paddy, so now Jake’s the lifter and Paddy’s the liftee (I may be making up words here).


Lifters and liftees

This is an example of what happens when two Boys’ High teams meet – one side has to turn their shirts inside out.  This time around it was our guys who played ‘white’.  It’s a step up from playing ‘shirts and skins’.

Well done to the Blues, they deserved their 14-5 win.

Rugby handshake

“Cheer mate! Cheers mate! Cheers mate!”

Watch out, Blues – it’ll be our turn next time!

WeekSixteen – Golden Oldies

15 – 21 April ’12

The rugby season has gotten under way, so I decided to take my camera down to Lincoln Park on Saturday to practice some action shots.  It was a gorgeous afternoon (again!), the autumn light golden.  The blokes in the senior teams were giving it their all.

Senior rugby

Golden Oldies

F-stop                   f/7.1
Exposure time      1/320sec
ISO Speed            ISO-200
Focal length         125mm 

Week40 (Part2) – RWC Georgia vs Argentina

1-7 Oct ’11

The second Rugby World Cup game to be held in Palmerston North.  Sunday morning we headed in to town, complete with face paint and tee-shirts.  No need for the woolly hats this time, the weather was balmy and the promised rain held off.

Party Town 

This time I decided I give the zoom lens a chance to redeem itself.  Figuring that I already had Saturday’s shots to blog, and last weeks game photos, if the zoom didn’t work at all it wouldn’t be a huge loss.

Palmy has really got behind the teams who were assigned games in our city.  The council had arranged a culture and music festival in the Square to get everyone in the mood before Sunday afternoon’s game.  With a picnic lunch on board we headed in to town to see what was happening.

The Argentine team has a big following, and a whole lot of genuine Argentinians arrived in town to support their boys.

Palmerston North Rugby World Cup

Argentinians in the Square

F-Stop                f/10
Exposure time   1/320sec
ISO Speed         ISO-200
Focal length       86mm

We were entertained by some murderous clownettes.  (Don’t tell anyone, but I know who dunnit.)

Palmerston North Street theatre

Manawatu Dreaming - Street threatre project

F-Stop                 f/10
Exposure time    1/320sec
ISO-Speed          ISO-200
Focal length       70mm

Again we walked to the venue through the streets, along with almost Continue reading

Week40 (Pt1) – Living Legends

1-7 Oct ’11

As part of the Rugby World Cup events, DOC and partners have arranged a series of tree plantings around the country entitled Living Legends.  Each region honours its own ex-All Black.  Here in the Manawatu our Living Legend is Sam Strahan.

The Great Living Legends Muck In 

Two hundred and fifty willing volunteers turned up to plant natives up in the Tararua Ranges, in an area just off the Manawatu Gorge Walk.  Six buses ferried us over farmland under the wind turbines of the Tararua windfarm.

Living Legends Manawatu Gorge Tararua ranges

Buses grind their way up the hill

Tararua and Ruahine ranges

Tararua Wind Farm and Wharite Peak

Living Legends Manawatu

Off the buses - unloading and ready for work

Our planting area had been cleared by a fire a few years ago and it hadn’t regenerated naturally.    It’s a very steep site.  The fittest and ablest headed right to the bottom.  Those of us not quite up to the challenge of the return journey stayed nearer the top.

Living Legends Manawatu, Tararua and Ruahine ranges

Arriving at the top of the planting site

Living Legends Manawatu, Tararua ranges

Jake gets stuck in - determination

Living Legends Manawatu, Tararua ranges

The Lovely Man planting flaxes

Living Legends, Manawatu, Tararua ranges

Cat planting a flax

 Everyone got stuck in, and with plenty of stops to rehydrate we got the job Continue reading

Week39 – RWC Georgia vs Romania

24 – 30 Sept ’11

I’ve had the tickets for the two local Rugby World Cup games for months.  I didn’t want to miss out on being involved in this fantastic international tournament.  Who knows if we’ll ever see it back here in NZ again.

Go Georgia!! 

Georgia is playing two pool games in Palmy, so we decided we’d adopt them.  Red and white is the order of the day.  Mum’s knitted us all a beanie, we have tee shirts printed by a local businessman and home made flags.

RWC Georgia v Romania

TeeShirts and Beanies - Go Georgia

 It seemed like the whole town had come out to party.  All the locals had picked a side, the split seemed fairly even between yellow for Romania and red for Georgia.    Again the 50mm is great for getting shots of the crowd.

RWC Georgia v Romania

Supporters on the walk to the stadium

RWC Georgia v Romania3


 It seemed every second person had a camera. Continue reading

Week38 – Rugby World Cup – South Africa vs Fiji

17-23 Sept ’11

The Lovely Man and I were offered three tickets to the South Africa vs Fiji game in Wellington.  We could not say no.  We traded the third ticket for a bed at my brother’s place in the capital.


Walking from town out to the Stadium (not ‘Westpac’ Stadium, they didn’t pay for RWC advertising)  the party atmosphere was ramping up.  As the Lovely Man, Bro and I walked along the water front, we noticed a colourful clutch of rugby fans behind us.  I dashed up a handy set of steps to get some shots over the crowd.  And some of the crowd noticed the camera.

South Africa - Go Boks

There are enough South Africans in the country to support a rugby team, so the rest of us adopted Fiji for the duration.

Fiji supporters - BULA!!!

Dang,  missed the focus in this one.  But I love their outfits.

The fellow in the centre of this shot with the PaleToe hat gets around.   Here he is, snapped by Richard Robinson for the NZ Herald at the North Continue reading

Week35 – The end of an era

27 Aug – 2 Sept ’11

The sun goes down on an important part of a young lad’s life….

To dramatic?  😀

Jake’s last game

This Saturday Jake played his last game for the Ashhurst Junior Rugby Club.  He’s played rugby since he was 7 years old .   Next year he’s off to high school, and will be playing for his school team.  Of course he’s not the only member of his team who’ll be at high school next year –  Grant, Reuben, Cody, Dylan, Nicholas, Oscar, Lewis, Cameron, Jack and Patrick are all moving on.

Ashhurst U12 rugby team

Photographing the boys’ games over the last two seasons has helped develop (no pun intended) my photography skills.  I find now that I can look at the sky and figure out approximately what settings I’m going to need to freeze the action, with well exposed shots and reasonable depth of field.  I’ve learned how to pan Continue reading

Week26 – Ashhurst Pohangina Rugby Club Day

25 June – 2 July ’11

Week 26!  Half way through the year, half way through my 52 week project. I am enjoying this project immensely.  Not only the photography, but also the writing.  I’m looking forward to finding out what the rest of the year has to offer. There never seems to be a shortage of things to photograph.  To all those nay-sayers who complain “there’s nothing to dooooo…”  –  open your eyes to all the opportunities we have on our door step!

Club Day

All my photos from the day are available here 

Six games, from the littlies up to the old men, all held at Lincoln Park on a stunning winters day.  (Well, OK.  It did rain a bit in the morning, but the rest of the day was brilliant 🙂  )

Too much going on this week for much of a write-up.  So here’s a selection of my favourite shots from the day.

A boy in his element

U7's. Injury!

U9's - Ashhurst vs Bush

U10's - Ashhurst vs Marist Green

U12's - Ashhurst vs Bush

Senior Thirds. Ashhurst vs Linton Army

Presidents - Ashhurst vs TeKawa

Club Day - Ashhurst Pohangina Rubgy Club

Week21 – Rugby and Gardening

21-27 May ’11

A fairly quiet weekend at home.  The rugby season has started, our regular winter Saturday mornings are winding up again.  And the Lovely Man and I decided we’d do a bit of sprucing up the yard, brighten the place up for winter.

Saturday Morning Rugby.

Shameless plug – all my shots from Saturday’s game are available at Valley Photography 

I photographed Jake’s rugby team, the Ashhurst U11‘s,  all last season. It was this project that prompted me to move from Auto, through Av and on to Manual. The Auto settings just could not handle the low light, fast action that is school boy rugby on early winter mornings. So by the end of last season I was feeling quite good, and had become proficient at capturing the action. The first game of the new season for the Ashhurst U12’s was three weekends ago. It was dull and overcast, and I’d managed to get the polarising filter stuck on my zoom lens. I was disappointed with the results, seemed to have lost the ‘knack’. The following weekend saw some improvement – getting my eye in.    And my Lovely Man had been able to remove the filter for me.
This weekend the conditions conspired to make for great photo opportunities.  I am really pleased with the pictures I got on Saturday.
These are a series of shots of Jake heading in to score the first try for his team this season. I didn’t record the actual try, partly because he was way down the field and heading away from me, but mostly because I was too busy cheering him on to take any more photos!

Ashhurst U12 vs Marist U12 Green

The step thru

Ashhurst U12 vs Marist U12 Green

The fend

Ashhurst U12 vs Marist U12 Green

The side step

Ashhurst U12 vs Marist U12 Green

Put the pedal to the metal

F-stop                      f/8
Exposure time    1/500sec
ISO speed              ISO-320
Focal length         125mm

Winter Colour 

On the way home from the game we stopped in at the garden center and picked up a whole swag of pansy plants, and some rainbow silverbeet to put in the Continue reading

Week18 – TeManawa Open Day

30 April – 6 May ’11

Te Manawa – Our City Museum

From the Museum’s website

Te Manawa is a regional cultural centre where art, heritage and science themes dominate. Our exhibitions explore the past; seek to inform today and pose questions about tomorrow. We host international touring shows and home grown exhibits.

For over a year the museum buildings have been under renovation, most of the exhibits in storage.  Saturday was the Open Day to welcome the public back to our museum.  We took the kids along for a look.


The new sign at the entrance.  Perched up on grassy knoll this sign just cried out to be climbed on.  So they did.  I had only taken my 50mm, thinking I was going to be shooting inside in low light.  I couldn’t get far enough back to get the whole sign in one shot.  I took two and hoped I could stitch them together when I got home.  In the computer upgrade process I’d lost my regular stitching programe, but I had a feeling there was one in the Canon software that had come with my little   P&S   camera.    A bit of  searching  and  playing  around   and    hey-presto, Te Manawa panorama!  I also converted to B&W as I felt that the background colours were too distracting.  And the sign’s black anyway.  The kidlets are rather squinty, it’s far from an ideal shot, but I like it.

Te Manawa Sign - complete with kidlets

The weird shiny thing on Billy the Kid’s face is in fact a passing bubble from the nearby bubble machine.

Google Carpet 

One of the  new exhibits is Te Awa, the story of the river.

Again from Te Manawa’s web site:-

Meet the mudfish, frogs and wētā, and explore the cave and climbing wall in Te Awa – The River, Heart of Manawatū. This brand-new exhibition tells the story of the Manawatū River – the heart of our community. Water is crucial for life, and Te Awa – The River celebrates the Manawatū River as a symbol of the interdependence of all living things. Learn about the properties of water, come face to face with live – and long-dead – creatures, and see what happens when the river bursts its banks. Perhaps most importantly of all, discover how your actions affect our river and the lives of all those who depend upon it.

The kidlets had fun playing with the interactive ‘water cycle’ display, and looked on as some tiny children learned what happens when a flood washes over  sand Continue reading