Taradale rugby’s 125 years to be marked on Matariki Day

Dallas Seymour charges for the line during the Jarrod Cunningham Charitable Trust benefit match played in Napier in 2003. Photo / NZME

Former All Black Dallas Seymour will return to the former Hawke’s Bay club in Taradale as one of an expected three-guest speaking panel for the club’s 125th anniversary celebrations in June – on the first Matariki Day holiday.

The celebrations have been scheduled for this month, but have been postponed because of the uncertainties amid the coronavirus pandemic and will now be held on June 23-25, coinciding with the first Matariki Day public holiday, on Friday, June 24.

Seymour, now 54, was best known as a sevens player, representing New Zealand from 1988 to 2002 and winning a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur in 1998.

He had played in three matches for the All Blacks in 1992, and, transferring from Canterbury to Hawke’s Bay the following year, played his first match for Taradale when winning the 1993 Maddison Trophy Hawke’s Bay senior championship final.

He played for Hawke’s Bay in 1994-96, and also played NPC rugby for Wellington and Bay of Plenty, and 13 Super Rugby matches for the Canterbury Crusaders.

Ready and waiting, the Taradale rugby clubrooms, where 125 years of Taradale rugby will be celebrated in June on the first Matariki Day public holiday.  Photo / Warren Buckland
Ready and waiting, the Taradale rugby clubrooms, where 125 years of Taradale rugby will be celebrated in June on the first Matariki Day public holiday. Photo / Warren Buckland

The Taradale celebrations open with a meet-and-greet function on the night of June 23, and feature all teams with home games at home ground in Tareha Reserve, Guppy Rd, the next day.

The celebratory dinner with Seymour and friends will be that night, and will end with a farewell gathering and past-president match-up the next day.

Taradale is the reigning Hawke’s Bay premier rugby champion, having won both the Nash Cup and the Maddison Trophy last season.

With only the Maddison Trophy at stake in 2022 – the Hawke’s Bay Rugby Union also having delayed the start of the season because of the pandemic – Taradale will open his defense on Good Friday with a home match against Dannevirke side Aotea, the first time a Southern Hawke’s Bay has played premier rugby in Hawke’s Bay since mid-2006.

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