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Rams resurrection at Evans Bay Park as Eagles fly high in Swindale Shield

Above: Nash Fiso-Vaelei scores one of his two tries today for leaders Hutt Old Boys Marist in their win over the Wellington Axemen.

Header photo: The Upper Hutt Rams celebrate their win on fulltime against Marist St Pat’s.

Swindale Shield Results HERE 


The Upper Hutt Rams broke a 27-game duck in Wellington Premier rugby this afternoon by beating Marist St Pat’s 26-25 at Evans Bay in their fifth round Swindale Shield match.

In windy conditions, the Rams came back in the last few minutes to seal an unlikely victory following a MSP breakout and try to right wing Iosefo Aukusitino that made it 25-16 to the home side.

MSP’s pack had dominated the Rams since late in the first half when they had wrestled control in the set-pieces and close exchanges and this try to Aukusitino that was started on the far side by left wing Faresa Tasale was seemingly the match-winner.

The Rams worked their way up field and attacked the scoreboard corner through a lineout and left wing Soli Malatai skirted around to score a bonus try. First five-eighth Tyler Tane then judged the sideline conversion perfectly in the crosswind to cut the home side’s lead to 25-23 with barely a minute to play.

From the kick-off, the Rams worked their way up field one final time and were awarded a breakdown penalty for a high tackle 40 metres out dead in front of the poles. Tane, a former MSP player, stepped up and banged the penalty over to give his side their first Premier victory over MSP since 2002.

Earlier, the Rams had made a fast start and leapt to a 16-3 lead with two tries in the southwest corner. MSP hit back themselves with two consecutive tries, the second a clean break in midfield and try to Isaia Petelo that made it 16-15 to the Rams at halftime.

The Hutt Old Boys Marist Eagles won their fifth straight victory in their first home game at the Hutt Recreation Ground, defeating the Wellington Axemen 51-5.

Right wing Nash Fiso and replacement forward Willie Rua each scored braces in the Eagles’ eight tries to one win. They had their bonus point sewn up several minutes before halftime and finished the first half with a sweeping try to make it 29-0 at the interval.

As well as the Eagles, Northern United are unbeaten after the first rounds of 10 of the Swindale Shield (including one draw), after their 32-25 win over Tawa for the Sammy Saili Memorial Trophy at Lyndhurst Park.

The Swindale Shield points table after 5 rounds – at the halfway mark of the competition.

Playing into the wind in the first half, Tawa went ahead 10-0 with a penalty and a try off the back of the scrum to No. 8 Folau Vea. They added to this with a try to wing Thomas Temu. Norths replied in the first half with a try to outside back TK Bishop and a conversion and penalty to Campbell Woodmass. Tawa led 15-10 at halftime.

Now playing into the strong breeze, North responded with a converted try to take a 17-15 lead. Tawa first five-eighth Sam Clarke kicked a penalty to put them ahead 18-17.

From there, Norths rolled through to take the win, No. 8 Luca Rees continuing his hot try scoring record with another two tries to take his tally to nine tries in five matches this year.

At the Petone Recreation Ground, home team Petone beat Old Boys University 23-12 for the Marc Verhoeven Memorial Trophy.

Playing against the strong wind, OBU dominated the first 50 minutes of play, and Petone were lucky to be trailing 3-12 at halftime in the face of a dominant OBU lineout.

Discipline slipped for the Goats, getting pinged for a number of scrum infringements. Petone halfback Logan Henry assumed kicking duties and was able to close the deficit for the Villagers. OBU’s woes continued, with a yellow and then a red card. The red card was to former Hurricanes and All Blacks lock/flanker Jason Easton who was a late call-up for the match, alongside former Hurricanes lock Ross Kennedy.

Henry had the last say with a  closing try when spotting a gap to charge over his opposite number to score an a spirited all-round performance paved the way for Petone to enjoy a victory on their Old Timers’ Day.

At William Jones Park, visitors Poneke came away with the points and the Hakaraia Trophy with a narrow 21-19 win over Wainuiomata.

It was the home team that started the strongest with an early reward to lock Bevan Clark. Gradually Poneke – with the wind behind them – gained ascendency and took the lead into the break through two Pakai Turia penalties and then tries to Nick Robertson and debutant Brandon Feterika.

The second half was more of an arm-wrestle, but after Wainuiomata had closed the gap through a pair of Josh Robertson-Weepu penalties a decisive moment when Turia – now at first-five – broke and put through a grubber for Robertson to gather and score. Two more penalties brought Wainuiomata close, but time ultimately proved against them

The other two matches of the fifth round of the Swindale Shield yielded more straightforward wins for the winning teams.

At the Polo Ground, Oriental-Rongotai celebrated their Old Timers’ Day with a 46-5 win over the Johnsonville Hawks for the Ash Pointon Memorial Cup.

The Magpies soared to  14-0 lead with two early converted tries, then to 19-0 with the conversion out wide of right wing Tuga Mativa. A try from a stolen lineout made it 24-0 and then another on the halftime buzzer to first five-eighth Malo Manuao gave them a 31-0 lead at the turnaround.

The second half saw three more Ories tries, the first two scored by second five-eighth Takumi Yoshimoto and prop Connor Lemon sealing the eight tries to one win. Johnsonville’s sole try was scored by replacement back Liuteine Sua.

At Fraser Park, the Avalon Wolves beat Paremata-Plimmerton 38-10.

Paremata-Plimmerton had use of the wind in the first 40 minutes and they led 10-7 at halftime.

The visitors maintained their lead throughout the opening 10 minutes of the second spell, but Avalon finally broke through to score tries, with fullback Tajun Crossland-Misa and blindside flanker Scott Waldrom scoring to put them up 19-10.

Avalon’s win was cemented when they were next awarded a penalty try following a high tackle in the corner that stopped a certain try.

Harper Lock Shield results and standings HERE 

In the Premier Reserve Harper Lock Shield, Marist St Pat’s produced a tradesman performance to put away the Upper Hutt Rams 21-0 in what was a top-of-the-table clash.

The Rams pushed the unbeaten defending champions hard, but MSP responded with several periods of stifling defence and there was simply no way through for the Rams second XV.

MSP scored first after about 20 minutes to lead 7-0 and then doubled their lead to 14-0 with a try on halftime.

Enter stage left Fa’atonu Fili, the evergreen flyhalf replacement helped control much of the second half with his astute territorial kicking game, before laying on a classy no look pass in setting up a breakout try and the match-winner towards the closing stages of the second spell.

In the other match between unbeaten teams, Northern United defeated Tawa 31-26, to see these two sides second equal on the standings behind leaders MSP.

Ories are fifth after beating Johnsonville 52-5, just ahead of Poneke who beat Waiuiomata 45-19. In, Poneke kicked clear in the second half, scoring five of their seven tries into the wind,

In the other Harper Lock Shield fixtures, Petone edged OBU 28-24, HOBM beat Wellington 39-14 and Avalon overcame Paremata-Plimmerton 29-19 in their battle of the second XVS.

Women’s competition results and standings HERE

In the Women’s Rebecca Liua’ana Trophy third round, Oriental-Rongotai soared to the top of the standings with a win over the Old Boys University Impalas by default.

The three matches that were played today were one-sided affairs.

Northern United returned from their bye to account for Poneke 94-0. Right wing Ofa Tuangalu scored four of their 16 tries, while Harmony Ioane (3) and Lyric Faleafaga (2) cashed in off the bench.

Petone defeated Marist St Pat’s 39-5 in a match that was called off barely 5 minutes into the second half owing to Marist St Pat’s being down on playing numbers. MSP started the contest with 14 players and were reduced to 12 through injury.

Of Petone’s 39 points, centre Sieni Mose scored 19, including a hat-trick, while openside flanker Jackie Patea-Fereti also scored a hat-trick and right wing Sophie Devine drove one straight for a try.

Over the hill at Mary Crowther Park, HOBM defeated Wainuiomata 47-15, with midfield and outside backs Danica Tavite, Siteri Tabua and Tyler Bentley all scoring braces. HOBM led 26-5 at halftime.

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