News & Events

Junior Rugby Players Rewarded for Excellence On and Off the Field

August 28, 2017

With the 2017 junior rugby season drawing to a close this weekend, around 500 young rugby players, coaches and their families from across Hawke’s Bay gathered for Unison’s annual Junior Rugby Medal Ceremony at the Bay Outreach Centre in Hastings on Tuesday night. Bruno Phillips

Over 160 medals were given out to players aged from 5 to 12 years old who had demonstrated excellence on and off the field during the season. Recipients were presented their medal by members of the Hawke’s Bay Magpies including former All Black, Brad Weber and current Magpies captain, Ash Dixon.

HBRU Commercial Manager, Jay Campbell said the partnership with Unison which started nine years ago had grown from strength to strength.

“Unison’s support of rugby in Hawke’s Bay makes a significant difference to our junior rugby programme. This season the number of young players in Hawke’s Bay has increased by another two percent. This continues an ongoing trend in growth of junior player numbers for the last five years.  Unison’s support also allows us to continually lift the quality of the programmes we offer”

Unison Relationship Manager, Danny Gough, said the Unison Medal had become a highlight of the junior sports calendar for players across Hawke’s Bay. 

“The Medal Ceremony started back in 2009, as part of our initiative supporting grass-roots rugby. We’re thrilled to see how this event has evolved over the years and take immense pride in seeing how delighted the recipients are to receive their medal in front of their family and friends.”

He said the Medal Ceremony played an important role in helping shape young players on and off the field with one player from each team selected for displaying several important values.

Magpies 2017 1“The award recognises the values of work ethic, discipline, and fair play. These are all essential traits for any budding young person, not just in rugby but in life too."

Medal recipient, Bruno Phillips, of Hereworth School said, “I got a real buzz of being a part of the ceremony. I want to go on and become a Magpie, and winning this shows that I can do it.”

Mr Gough said its support of junior rugby, also enabled Unison to engage with children on important safety issues.

“We’re passionate about supporting our local communities, and about keeping them safe around our electrical assets within the region.  Our partnership with Hawke’s Bay rugby enabled us to engage with over 3,000 children and their families involved in the sport this year.”


Napier Boys' High School Win the Unison Shield

August 21, 2017

Napier Boys' High School's 3rd XV walked away with the Unison Shield for the first time on Saturday following their 27-15 win against Hastings Boys' High School.

The game was played as the curtain raiser to the Magpies vs Southland Mitre 10 Cup Round 1 game at McLean Park.

Unison Shield Final - Napier Boys

Napier coach, Brendon Ratcliffe said the win was well-deserved by the team.

"We knew it was always going to be a tough game due to the history between the two schools and the fact that we had both beaten each other already this season."

"We've focussed on doing really simple things well all year. It was very pleasing to see these young men play for each other and show such composure at critical times. It has been a privilege to work with this team and coach alongside Dion Whaitiri. They should be very proud of what they've done and how they've gone about it."

Hastings Boys' High School, while disappointed with the result, certainly didn't go down without a fight.

"They've had a strong season and can be proud of that. It's always good to see these two rivals go at it in a physical battle," said Ratcliffe.

In presenting the Shield on behalf of the Unison Group, Marketing Coordinator, Ethan Dent said Unison was proud to support the region's rising rugby stars.

"A number of these players have benefited from Unison's sponsorship of junior rugby and the HBRU player development camps. Their passion and desire are clearly there to be seen. Not only is it great for these players, it's great for our communities and that's important to us."

In addition to the Shield, each player of the winning team received a medal and a $500 R80 Sports Voucher was presented to Napier Boys', whilst Hastings Boys' took away a $200 R80 Sports Voucher.

Reporoa Originals scoop Halftime Heroes Award

August 09, 2017
The Reporoa Originals hockey team were announced as Taupo's second to last Halftime Heroes for the 2017 season. 

Annabell Lane nominated the Originals because, "they're a team of players who give it 110% in each game that they play. They've also been together for several years in which they have grown as a team and are always a pleasure to coach." 
Reporoa Originals.PNG

The team received a $150.00 Cobb n Co voucher that they can use to celebrate their seasons success with. 

For your teams chance to be our very last Halftime Heroes winners, click here 

Game of the Week - Tamatea Taniwha vs HN Wolverines

July 31, 2017
Unison's videographer, Kerin Greville, was on the sideline again this weekend, filming our latest Game of the Week winners, the Tamatea Taniwha, as they took on the Havelock North Wolverines in crisp winter conditions. 

Make sure you enter your junior rugby, netball, or hockey team for their chance to have their game filmed!

Final 2017 Hawke's Bay Halftime Heroes Winners Found

July 31, 2017
The Bridge Pa Ferns have taken the honor of being named the last Hawke's Bay Halftime Heroes for the 2017 junior sport season. 

Throughout the season, Unison have announced eight different hockey and netball teams as their Halftime Heroes following nominations from coaches and supporters. Each winning team has walked away with a $150.00 Breakers Voucher to celebrate together.

The Bridge Pa Ferns were nominated by their Principal, Rebecca Skerman because, "they are incredibly supportive of one another and have amazing talent. They cheer for the other team, whilst remaining competitive."

Bridge Pa Ferns

Unison's Halftime Heroes promotion has once again proved to be highly successful with high engagement from the thousands of junior athletes in Hawke's Bay.

Congratulations to all of our winners for 2017.   

St Pats Supernovas win Taupo Halftime Heroes Award

July 18, 2017
The St Patrick's Supernovas were the last Taupo Halftime Heroes for Term 2 and won themselves a $150.00 Cobb n Co voucher to celebrate with as a team. 

St Patricks Supernovas

Kylee Patrick nominated the Supernovas because, "We are a small school and often struggle to make up full teams. This year we had year 6 students step up to allow us to enter a complete (with reserves) year 7 & 8 intermediate team. And they are rocking it." 

This award was extra special as the Supernovas coach who has dedicated time and effort into developing this team is unfortunately moving on.

We have plenty more opportunities for your team to be Taupo's Halftime Heroes, so be sure to get your entries in and tell us why your team deserves to win. 

Development Camps Kick-Off for Region's Top Young Players

July 14, 2017

Hawke’s Bay Rugby Union’s annual player development camps kicked-off this week with 40 of Hawke’s Bay’s best under-14 rugby players gathering at Lindisfarne College for three days of intense training on Monday.

The boys’ development camp is one of four sponsored by Unison taking place these school holidays. The other three camps will also give the region’s most promising boys under-16, boys under-18 and under-18 girls the opportunity to develop their rugby skills further.

Following the camps, Hawke’s Bay representative sides from each of the four camps will be selected to play in the Hurricanes regional tournaments in September.  

Hawke’s Bay Player Development Manager, Joe Payton who is leading the camps alongside former Magpies captain and Super Rugby player, Jason Shoemark, said he is enjoying working with the young players.

“The young players that have been selected have really shown some promise. These camps give them the opportunity to further develop their skills and experience the sort of support that professional players receive.

“They’ve got access to some of the region’s top coaches and players, including current Magpies, Ellery Wilson and Jason Long. We have trainers, nutritionists and mental skills coaches on board.”

Unison Relationship Manager and HBRU referee, Danny Gough, said Unison was pleased to support the camps for the ninth consecutive year.

“As an organisation, we’re extremely proud to have sponsored junior rugby and the development camps in Hawke’s Bay for the best part of a decade.

“To have seen players such as Jonah Lowe, who was a Unison medal recipient as a junior, and Under 20 World Champion Tiaan Falcon, progress to fully fledged Magpies is a great testament to how development camps like these can support young players to achieve to their potential,” said Danny.


Danny Gough
Unison Relationship Manager
021 739461

Penultimate Hawke's Bay Halftime Heroes Found

July 11, 2017
The Year 3 Clive School hockey team were announced as the penultimate Hawke's Bay Halftime Heroes winners for the 2017 winter sport season on Saturday. 

Maria Karlson, nominated this dynamic team because, "they are a spectacular little side who all get in there and play well as a team." 

"They're also very explosive and exciting to watch, week in, week out" says Maria.

Clive Year Three Hockey Team

Unison, will announce one last Halftime Heroes winner in 2017, following the school holiday break, with that team walking away with the last $150.00 Breakers Restaurant voucher to celebrate with as a group. 

Taradale Red Devils feature in ripper Game of the Week Video

July 03, 2017
The Taradale Red Devils ripper rugby team were the latest winners of Unison's Game of the Week competition, and were fortunate enough to have their game against Maraenui filmed by videopgrapher, Kerin Greville.

Milly Geddes nominated the team because, "every week, this team of awesome kids go out and have fun whether it's sunny or freezing cold, work as a team and always support each other. Win or lose, they always leave with smiles on their faces." 

Check out all of our 2017 Game of the Week videos here.

Westshore Diamonds and Mahora Mystics are Halftime Heroes

July 03, 2017
With junior sport succumbing to the weather last week, Unison awarded two Halftime Heroes winners with a $150.00 Breakers Restaurant voucher on Saturday.

The Westshore Diamonds were nominated by Daphne Barraclough because they are extremely committed to their training each week and give it their all on game day regardless of the final score. 
Westshore Diamonds Mahora Mystics

The Mahora Mystics are Halftime Heroes because, they have so much fun on the court and put their all into each game. Their coach, Denise Pearse, never stops encouraging them and they deserve to to celebrate their success as a team.  

Thanks to Janet Milne who nominated the Mystics.