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This week in history: 27 May – 2 June

In association with the Bond Street Sports Bar on Bond Street in Wellington, some highlights from this week in Wellington club rugby history are below.

27 May

1989: MSP stun previously unbeaten Poneke  20-10. Poneke lead 10-7 at the break, but MSP wing Chris Welch crashes over and Poneke are cracked. Poneke’s loss sees Hutt Old Boys hit the Swindale Shield lead after they overcome Upper Hutt 25-7. Poneke and Hutt Old Boys will meet next week in a huge clash.

1995: With one week to go in the first round there’s a mad scramble for Jubilee Cup places. Wests are surprising 51-12 victors over Harlequins today, Tawa first five-eighth Matthew Boyd scores 25 points in his side’s 30-15 win over Upper Hutt and Ories upset HOBM 25-19. Elsewhere, left wing Alex Tuala scores five tries in Petone’s 85-0 win over Norths and MSP take the Swindale Shield with a round to spare in beating Stokes Valley 46-12.

28 May

1938: Petone goes on to win its third Jubilee Cup in 1938. In this match at home at the Petone Oval, they enjoy a 21-3 win over Marist in windy conditions. Playing their ‘best game of the season to date’ (the Dominion), Petone lead 8-3 at halftime and later seal the game with a ‘spectacular field-goal’ to leading inside back Con O’Halloran.

1987: Newly promoted Tawa slay Petone 30-13 at Lyndhurst Park. Petone are at near full strength and lead 13-10 at halftime, but a fired up Tawa beat them 20-0 in the second half. English locks Richard Denhart and Chris Burgess tower high.

1994: Centre Sean Longstaff scores a hat-trick as Avalon dispatch Johnsonville 46-12, while Petone run amok in scoring 11 tries to beat Harlequins 65-9 with flanker Martin Leslie the Man of the Match.

29 May

1955: The Dominion says that Ron Jarden was “in ebullient mood”. Wellington’s greatest player of the time Jarden scores three tries, converts two and kicks three penalties for 22 out of his side’s 28 points in his University team’s 28-8 win over Wellington College Old Boys. Elsewhere in this day, eventual 1955 Jubilee Cup champions Onslow beat mid-table Oriental 20-11.

1982: Hutt Valley Marist wing Bernie Fraser scores a brace as his side beats MSP 23-12, All Black wing Stu Wilson scoots over for a hat-trick for WCOB in their 38-13 win over Johnsonville, while Petone fullback Allan Hewson snaps a late dropped goal to give leaders Petone a 12-9 win over Athletic.

30 May

2015 Swindale Shield champions HOBM

2015: Wellington Axemen supporters are a happy bunch this afternoon after their side has beaten Poneke 22-15 and earned its place in the coveted Jubilee Cup starting next week. Wellington last made the top 8 twenty years ago. Hutt Old Boys Marist are presented with the Swindale Shield, despite losing 19-12 to Ories for the Bondy Memorial Cup. Tawa complete an unbeaten first round in the Premier Reserve competition and take out the Harper Lock Shield.

31 May

1929: Poneke and Athletic are joint leaders after six rounds in the inaugural Jubilee Cup championship season in Wellington. A crowd of 4,500 at Athletic Park watch Poneke beat Marist 29-18 and the Athletic club defeats Eastbourne 16-8 in perfect conditions across the harbour. Poneke pile on 18 unanswered  points in the first half ahead of a valiant Marist comeback in the second spell, while Athletic’s stronger forwards outmuscle the plucky Eastbourne contenders. Poneke and Athletic can’t sustain their form, however, and University later emerges from the pack to win the first ever Jubilee Cup.

1996: Hutt Old Boys Marist ease into third place in the Swindale Shield by beating Wellington 35-17 under lights at the Hutt Recreation Ground. Fullback Steve Bruce scores two tries as HOBM come back from 0-10 to win.

MSP win the 2014 Swindale Shield.

2014: Marist St Pat’s are the 2014 Swindale Shield champions, while Northern United are the side to miss out on the ‘top eight’ and will be playing in the Hardham Cup for the rest of the season. A spirited MSP beat Tawa 28-21 today in front of a bumper crowd in bright sunshine at Kilbirnie Park, winning the first round title for the first time since 2008 and capturing their 11th Swindale Shield overall.They win the first round 11-match competition by winning eight games, drawing one and losing two and scoring 336 points for and 236 against. They have scored 37 tries and conceded 26

1 June

1952: University famously wins the first of three successive Jubilee Cups this season playing positive, attractive rugby. Led by All Blacks wing Ron Jarden, who scores 14 tries in 15 games, they are deserved champions. On this day they are beaten up front but their slick backs are superb in overrunning WCOB 29-11. Statistically, University are beaten 24-8 in the scrums, but win the lineouts 25-12, which gives them enough ball for their backs to cut loose.

1964: In the clash of the giants at Athletic Park on Queen’s Birthday Monday today, Marist edges University 16-11 and now both teams are level pegging as joint championship leaders. Nothing will change  at the top over the next two months and Marist and University will share the Jubilee Cup.

1968: In a major shock, University rout previously unbeaten Petone 15-6, while Hutt Old Boys make history by recording their first ever win in the Senior division, tipping over the more fancied Marist 18-14.

1996: Petone win their last match but finish outside the top eight and will contest the Hardham Cup for the rest of the season. Petone beat Avalon 22-5, but Norths cling to a 7-6 win over Ponele to shut Petone outside the ‘eight’. MSP win the Swindale Shield for the third time in succession, beating Tawa 10-0.

2013 Swindale Shield champions Tawa.

2013: It’s Tawa on their own. In an entertaining game at home at Lyndhurst Park, Tawa draw their battle 29-29 with Marist St Pat’s but still win the campaign,  earning the minimum of one bonus point they need from the match to seal the Wellington club rugby first round Swindale Shield outright for the first time in the club’s 66-year history. Scenes of jubilation follow.

2 June

1940: Johnsonville hit the lead in the championship, beating previous leaders Athletic 11-8 in the match of the round at Athletic Park. In a battle between the forwards orientated Johnsonville and the flashy play of Athletic’s backs, Johnsonville come from a 0-5 deficit at halftime. Athletic goes on to win the 1940 Jubilee Cup.

1958: It’s a dull fixture at a bumper Athletic Park on Queen’s Birthday Monday, but University eventually prevail 3-0 over defending champions and title rivals Petone, a win that helps them win the Jubilee Cup later in the season, following their three-peat between 1952-54.

1986: The Swindale Shield is shaping as a two-horse race with three weeks remaining after frontrunners Wellington and Petone both flex their muscles today against Hardham Cup-bound opposition. Wellington scores 10 tries in beating University 52-10 and Petone run in eight tries , including a hat trick to first five-eighth Murray Blandford, to beat Porirua 50-6. Petone has not scored 48 tries in 11 matches this year.

2018: A decade and a half after first winning it and seven seasons since they last held it aloft, Northern United are once more Swindale Shield champions. Heading into today’s 13th and last round, Norths were level pegging on points with Old Boys University and one ahead of Hutt Old Boys Marist and knew a bonus point win today against Marist St Pat’s would secure them the first round title. That was as good as achieved midway through the first half when outstanding openside flanker Du Plessis Kirifi barges over from a lineout drive for their bonus point and a 26-0 lead. Norths go on and win 64-36.

Northern United celebrate winning the Swindale Shield in 2018.

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