- By Steven White and Scott MacLean
Results & Standings HERE
Tawa emerged from a raw Wellington afternoon to be the first and only team thus far to qualify for the Jubilee Cup semi-finals in a fortnight.
Tawa earned an emphatic away 39-21 win over Wainuiomata to move to the top of the championship standings with one round to play and seven points clear of fifth place Wainuiomata.
Playing with the cold, showery southerly behind them in the first half at William Jones Park, Tawa came out fizzing and leapt to a 22-0 lead by halftime, to secure the winning of the game.
After kicking an early penalty, Tawa first five-eighth Luke Cummings scored and converted his own try, followed by first half tries to right wing Tane Heremia and halfback Kemara Hauiti-Parapara.
Tawa then held off waves of furious Wainuiomata attack just prior to halftime, before conceding a try to No. 8 Ben Tupuola early in the second half that saw the green and blacks cut their lead to 22-7.
From there Tawa kept their noses in front, and sealed the win with several minutes to play when lock Tito Ioane picked up a loose ball and scampered clear to score. Replacement Justin Va’a scored a popular consolation try for Wainuiomata.
Oriental-Rongotai also won big in tough conditions at the Polo Ground, beating Northern United 35-17.
Ories had the services of Ma’a Nonu and Matt Proctor in their midfield and Alex Fidow at No. 8, while right wing Paulo Aukuso was playing his 200th Premier match. Nonu scored the game’s first try and had a hand in another to wing Andrew Ellis as they went ahead 21-7 in the second half. Norths No. 8 Luca Rees scored his 18th try of the season, against his former team, before Norths wing Connor Garden-Bachop crossed to make it 21-14 at halftime.
Ories edged ahead with a penalty and then the match-winner to replacement back Steven Va’a who scored from a kick and chase to put them ahead 29-14. Blues hooker Leni Apisai came on and scored for Norths, but that was as close as they got.
At the Hutt Recreation Ground, scores were 0-0 at halftime between Petone and the HOBM Eagles. Petone made much of the play but they also had the stiff southerly in their favour. After the break, HOBM scored five tries, all converted by Brandyn Laursen, and they won 35-0.
In the Hardham Cup, the top four are all locked in, with OBU, MSP, Wellington and the Upper Hutt Rams just to decide who will play who in the knockout rounds in a fortnight.
At Helston Park this afternoon, the Johnsonville Hawks pushed visitors Marist St Pat’s close before missing out to them 12-29.
Johnsonville had the wind in the first half and held MSP to 7-7 and later 12-12, before MSP battled past them in the second half. They took the lead with a penalty try early in the second spell and then maintained their lead to fulltime.
At Fraser Park, Hardham Cup leaders Old Boys-University were made to work hard in the mud by an undermanned Avalon Wolves side that were good value for the first 40 minutes. The home team lead 13-12 in the shadow of halftime, but a sin-binning proved decisive as OBU scored before the break. There was little scoring afterwards as the Goats had the elements behind them, with a pair of tries to prevail 29-12. Goats captain Jonathan Fuimaono was in his element and led a stout defensive effort with Matt Fowler marshalling the troops, while Site Timu was Avalon’s standout despite conditions being less than ideal for fullbacks
The closest match of the round was the Wellington Axemen’s 18-15 victory over visitors Paremata-Plimmerton, winning with an extra time penalty for offside play to first five-eighth Matt Goosen.
With time up on the clock, Goosen broke a 15-15 deadlock to secure his team a place in the top four of the Hardham Cup. Earlier, Paremata-Plimmerton had moved ahead 10-0 through tries to right wing Matt de Terte and No. 8 Peni Tapau. Wellington closed to 10-5 when Eremia Tapsell sprinted 60 metres.
Tapau scored a second try for Pare-Plim, followed by a second to Tapsell and then a penalty to Goosen before the match winning penalty at the end
Women’s. Northern United sailed to a 56-7 win over Oriental-Rongotai in the top tier feature match this morning. With lock Sanita Levave playing her 150th match for Norths, Norths came out firing and ran rampant to inflict a first defeat of the year on Ories. Norths scored 10 tries to various try-scorers, converting three of these.
In the other Tia Paasi Memorial match, the Old Boys University Impalas beat Petone 33-7. Flyhalf Montana Heslop and centre Thamsyn Newton both scored braces at the Petone Rec. Petone are out of contention for the straight final in three weeks, with OBU needing to upset both Norths and Ories to make the big dance on 27 July.
In tier two matches, HOBM beat the combined Wainuiomata/Avalon side 60-0 on Friday night and Marist St Pat’s beat Poneke 77-15 at Kilbirnie Park on Saturday with midfielder Paige Vaauli scoring four tries.
There’s still matters to be decided in the two Premier Reserve grades. In the Ed Chaney division Norths’ 26-15 win over Ories means they will host one of the semi-finals while Tawa’s 24-15 win over Wainuiomata means that they can host the other, but that means beating Norths next week. Petone’s 31-5 win over HOBM also assures they’ll be playing in two weeks’ time, but with the bye next week whether that’s at home or away remains to be determined. The fourth place comes down to a straight shootout between Poneke and Ories next weekend.
In the HD Morgan division MSP’s 111-0 romp over Johnsonville means that they only need a point against lowly Avalon to take top spot, while OBU’s 68-0 win over the Wolves means a head-to-head against the Upper Hutt Rams to likely determine hosting rights between them for the following week. Like the Ed Chaney the fourth spot comes down to a head-to-head match between Pare-Plim and Johnsonville, after the Ngati Toa side edged Wellington 36-35 to end the Axemen’s season.
HOBM are assured of top spot in the Colts Division 1 after toweling Petone 75-0 today. OBU Green are almost there as well, needing just a point next weekend against the Eagles after they beat Tawa 41-7. Ories went to third with their 29-20 at Polo against Norths, a result that pushes the latter to the brink, while MSP kept their hopes alive with a 33-0 win over Pare-Plim.
The Upper Hutt Rams made it three from three to start the Paul Potiki Shield U85kg competition, edging the HOBM Howlers 10-6.
The Johnsonville Terrahawks beat Paraparaumu 24-12 in the other U85kg Division 1 fixture, while both Division 2 fixtures were won by default to Eastbourne and Wellington respectively.
Stokes Valley maintained their winning streak in the First Grade, beating OBU 20-5 in their Johnsonville Centennium Cup fixture.
Likewise, the Poneke Ruffnuts stayed unbeaten for the season with a 22-5 club derby win over the Poneke Rats.
Scots College moved into second in the College Premiership after ending Silverstream’s lengthy win streak with a 34-7 win at home. They trail only St Pats Town who took the maximum five points as well courtesy of HIBS’ default. Rongotai also leapfrogged Silverstream courtesy of their 25-0 blanking of Aotea, while Kapiti notched their first win by beating St Bernard’s 15-12. The Premiership now takes two weeks off, with the round being completed when Wairarapa College hosts Wellington College then.
Below: Sanita Levave played her 150th match for Norths, helping her side beat Ories 56-7. PHOTO: Andy McArthur