Melville Rugby Club has created Waikato Club Rugby history by being the first club to win four premier club trophies in a single season.
The club are the current holders of the Ron Crawford Memorial Shield – Premier A challenge trophy Waikato wide, the Stag Trophy – Hamilton union club challenge trophy, the Haswell Catley Trophy – preliminary round victors and the Breweries Shield – Premier A club champions.
Melville’s successful run began in November last year, when their club sevens side won the Waikato Club Sevens competition in Te Awamutu. Six members from that squad were then picked in the initial Waikato sevens training group.
The sevens team then went on to compete in the 2016 Middlesex County Wavell Wakefield Cup in February and were crowned New Zealand champions, after beating Wellington’s Upper Hutt Rams in the final. Melville won the rights to hold the 2017 version of this competition at Melville Rugby club in Waitangi weekend next year.
The Melville sevens team have continued their winning form by being the first New Zealand side to win the Byron Bay Sevens tournament in New South Wales in October, beating Nadro Navosa of Fiji in the Men’s A Final.
Melville Premier Team completed of their most successful club rugby season by winning the Stag Trophy and Ron Crawford Memorial Shield in round five of the Premier competition and successfully retained it through the remainder of the season. They were awarded the Haswell Catley Trophy for topping the standing at the end of the preliminary round of the club competition.
The team then went on to beat Hamilton Old Boys in the final to claim their first Breweries Shield title in 35 years, and claimed their fourth premier club trophy in a single season.
Finally the club capped off the season by winning their four nominated awards at the 2016 Gallagher Waikato Rugby Awards. Tevita Taufui won the Waikato Draught Club player of the year, Nigel Hotham, won the Grassroots Trust Senior Club Coach of the Year for his work with the Melville Premier team.
Melville Premiers took out the Vodafone Club Team of the Year and finally Melville Rugby Club won the Waikato Draught Club of the Year.
Melville Club president Philip Hassall said “While the sevens and premiers have filled the trophy cabinet, the other teams did very well with the under 85s making a final and Premier B a semi. Our netball girls also played in the premier final.
“It was great to receive the Waikato Draught Club of the year award as the whole club is recognised our coaches, managers, physio, grounds staff, juniors, volunteers, committees and sponsors need to take credit for that one.”