Wellington versus Auckland Challenge - Manager's Report

The concept behind the recent match with Auckland was to give some of our developing players the opportunity to test their skills against players of a similar level from another region.

Development players in this context are players who have not represented NZ in an open competition in the last 12 months.

The Auckland region also chose to adopt this criteria for selecting their team. There was some initial confusion regarding the eligibility of Senior NZ Representatives. The selections were based on the Wellington Selection Policy and the intention was never to exclude our Senior NZ Representatives. The wording in our policy will need to be altered to make this absolutely clear.

Twelve players were selected from a total of 31 players who made themselves available for this match. Two of the initial team withdrew prior to the match and were subsequently replaced.

The final team consisted of eight players who had earned the right to selection through the points they had earned from regional competitions. The remaining four were selected for the skills and attitudes that I believed would strengthen the team. We had two practises to assist in developing combinations and building our team culture.

The Wellington Team

Sebastien Merval, Tony Chin, Graeme Morris (captain), Antony Yee, Myles Cowper, Rex Hayes, Enoka Smiler, Dean Norman, Susan Norman, Bernadette Lawton, Ralph Priddle, Karepa Mataira.


The match was to be played over nine rounds. Each player playing three games in each of the disciplines i.e. singles, doubles, triples.

A singles match was worth 2 points
A doubles match was worth 3 points
A triples match was worth 5 points

Each discipline had a seeded match, a reverse seeded match and a randomly drawn match. The random draw was done with the managers and captains of both teams. A random draw created the potential for players playing each other twice in a discipline. This happened in doubles however it wasn’t an issue for the Wellington players. It also happened in triples and as each team was only playing 3 matches we mutually agreed to swap the teams that played each other twice.

Day One

The first days play involving the singles and doubles rounds was played at Khandallah. It was agreed prior to play commencing that no game would begin after 4 o'clock. This meant that only five matches were played in the random singles.

Although Khandallah only has 10 pistes the organization of the day meant that there was only once during the day where a game was delayed because of piste unavailability and this was for less than 10 minutes.

At the end of Day One Wellington lead by 66 points to Auckland's 46 points.

47 matches were played on Day One
19 matches were won by 13/10 or better
7 matches were won 13/12

Day Two

Day Two was played at Waitangi Park

Due to the shortened last round there was the potential for a draw. It was agreed by both team captains and managers that in the case of a draw the method for separating the two teams would be a count back to the number of games won.

If the teams were still equal then points differential would decide the winner.

If the teams were still equal then a shootout would take place. Each player in both teams would have 1 shot at 6 metres. If they were still equal 1 shot at 7 metres and so on until a winner was found.

Fortunately we did not have to resort to this.

The purpose of using Waitangi Park was to bring Petanque out into the public arena. Waitangi Park offered a unique environment with small trees in the middle of the terrain. It helped to create a village park type atmosphere that you might encounter in France. The terrain was challenging and required players from both teams to use a range of shots to demonstrate their skills.

12 matches were played on Day Two

The final result after Day Two was a 111 point to 61 point win to Wellington
The game score was 35 games to 24 in Wellington’s favour
The points differential over 59 games was + 63 to Wellington

The tournament ran very well. The competition was intense yet the atmosphere was convivial. The quality of petanque was very high and I believed that many players, from both teams, played at a level higher than they had previously displayed.

I would like to thank Gwen Hill and Jan McHardy for taking on the Arbitre role. This was a high level tournament for two arbitres in training and I am sure they learnt from the experience.

Wellington Team

I was incredibly proud to be associated with this team. They represented our region with distinction. I could not have asked for more from any player. The results reflect the attitude and effort they applied to representing us.

To players who aspire to represent Wellington, you are going to have to work hard to displace any of these people. To the players who were part of this team you are going to have to work equally hard to maintain your position.

It augurs well for the future of Petanque in our region.


This is the first time I have organised something like this and I wouldn't have been able to do it without a number of key people supporting me.

Firstly to Myles Cowper. Myles's enthusiasm and drive to make this match a success was incredible. Booking the park, purchasing and engraving the trophy, organising the caravan and the banner. Myles was there all the way.

Margret Fleck for organising the drawsheets for me, covering my technological ineptitude. Also for manning the barbeque and organising the volunteers for this task.

Fay Doyle stood beside me the whole time. I cannot thank you enough just for being that listening ear and encouraging me throughout.

Kapiti Club Members. You were an example for other clubs to follow. Without the work you all did at Khandallah on the Saturday it would not have been the success that it was. The soup and food was much appreciated.

Liz Rocks who organised the uniforms to ensure that we looked and felt like a team.

Michael Rocks who organised media coverage and just quietly helped out in the background on many occasions. Also for taking a training session for the team.

The supporters who turned out to support the team. Although the sun was shining it was still a little cold. The team appreciates your efforts.

Finally the team. You were a pleasure to work with and you got the result that you deserved. I look forward to our next challenge together.

Dirk Winnie
Team Manager