Above: The OBU Goats with the 2015 Jubilee Cup, winning their maiden title at Porirua Park.
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
1961: Reported as the match of the season. Petone are leading Onslow 13-12 very late in today’s feature at Athletic Park, but two tries set up a sensational finish. First, Petone scores a try (three-point tries until 1971) from a lineout to put them ahead 16-12. However, Onslow, in one final frantic assault, cross through centre Eddie Tonks to close the gap to 16-15 in Petone’s favour. The din turns to hush as P.E. Neal lines up the conversion. But it sails wide and Petone hang on and they go on to win the Jubilee Cup.
1989: Hutt Old Boys and Petone fight out a 100-minute semi-final, with Petone taking command in the last 10 minutes of extra time to win 24-20. It is some turnaround from the first round after HOB won the Swindale Shield and Petone came eighth. Without their ace goal-kicker Steve Pokere, one of three Mormons in HOB’s side that won’t play on Sunday’s, HOB misses seven shots at goal from nine attempts. They lead 10-0 early and could have pulled clear if they had added the extras. Both sides have chances to win in the dying minutes of regulation time, before Petone score the match winner through wing Glen Curran.
2007: Petone produce the comeback of the 2007 season to secure their spot in the Jubilee Cup semi-finals, beating top qualifier Marist St. Pat’s 39-34 in a thrilling round seven encounter at the Petone Rec. Long-serving wing Willie Moala scores in the right hand corner with the last act of the game to break a 34-34 deadlock and complete a blockbuster Petone win – after they had trailed 8-26 at halftime. Super-sub NeemiaTialata-led Petone’s fightback. The two teams will meet again a week later in the playoffs and this time MSP will win.
1955: Onslow sensationally come back from 0-14 down at halftime to beat Petone 15-14 in their big clash at Athletic Park in front of 12,000 supporters. Favourites Petone punish Onslow for mistakes and deserve their lead and it is seemingly game over by halftime. But Onslow throw caution to the wind in the second half and throw the ball around at every opportunity. They come back to trail 12-14 with time almost up before Onslow wing George Blair pounces on a poor Petone exit play and scores the match-winner on fulltime and Athletic Park erupts. Onslow go on to win their maiden title a few weeks from now.
1983: Fullback Allan Hewson scores a thrilling try with six minutes left, his second of the match, as Petone beat MSP 20-16. Up 13-9 at halftime, Petone are rocked when Gerrard Wilkinson scores a try. Then MSP halfback Neil Sorenson misses a penalty,but Hewson bangs over a 42-metre penalty and they regain the impetus. Meanwhile, Wellington beats Wests 28-7, with Petone and Wellington destined to square off in a fortnight in this year’s Jubilee Cup decider.
1988: MSP beat Petone 16-12 to earn a place in the Jubilee Cup ‘grand final’ the following week against Wellington. Fullback Matt Smith scores the key try of the match late in the first half, giving them a 13-6 at the break.
1994: Petone first five-eighth Simon Mannix scores two chargdown tries in his side’s 25-13 semi-final win over fourth placed qualifier Avalon. In the other semi-final, MSP beats Harlequins 39-11.
2005: Electric wing Willie Moala’s hat-trick gives Petone a 36-14 win over Wests and propels them to a home semi-final the following week against Poneke. They won that, and beat Norths 20-19 in the final.
2011: Norths wing AJ Va’alepu scores all five of Norths’ tries in this 29-3 semi-final win over Poneke. Va’alepu’s haul was the most known number of tries scored by an individual in a Jubilee Cup match, and certainly the most in a semi-final since the playoff series was introduced in 1993.
1976: Onslow beats University 13-4 at Nairnville Park, to join favourites Petone and Wellington as the unbeaten teams after three rounds. In other Jubilee Cup games, Wellington pips WCOB 10-9 and Petone wing Vern Winitana (3) and fullback Allan Hewson (2) score five of Petone’s six tries in a 31-3 win over defending champions Poneke. For MSP, wing Colin Jackson and flanker Maurice Standish score braces in their 33-3 over rivals Hutt Valley marist.
1977: Hutt Valley Marist shock Petone 8-6 on this Sunday round of the Jubilee Cup, knocking Petone off the top of the table and paving the way for Athletic to go on and win the 1977 title.
1982: Wellington and Petone share this year’s Jubilee Cup, Wellington winning its 10th club championship title and Petone’s its 32nd. In final round games today, Petone’s Allan Hewson scores 21 points in their 41-7 win over Avalon and the Murray Mexted-led Wellington beat MSP 14-7. Elsewhere, Onslow are relegated – and will merge with Athletic and Karori in this off-season to form Western Suburbs.
1993: Petone beat Harlequins 21-14 in the major Jubilee Cup semi-final – but only just. Needing to score a seven pointer to force extra time, the bounce of the ball from a kick ahead just eludes centre Sale Soronaki and Petone wins a cliffhanger.
1981: Rookie Poneke first five-eighth Ross Bond is the hero, kicking the match winning dropped goal to give Poneke an 11-10 Jubilee Cup win over MSP. Prolific try scoring wing Wayne Gray scores to put MSP ahead, before Bond pots from 30 metres in the 75th minute.
1992: Petone captain and utility back Naera Parata retires from club rugby after helping his side achieve the Swindale Shield-Jubilee Cup double, beating Poneke 18-9. With the wind, Petone race to an 18-0 lead at halftime and hold on well throughout the second spell. For Poneke, it’s their second successive defeat in the final after losing to Hutt Old Boys last year.
1993: MSP beat Avalon 23-3 and Petone beat Harlequins 21-14 in the Jubilee Cup semi-finals. MSP win comfortably enough against Avalon, but Petone’s playoff victory, in front of 2,500 people, is much closer. Harlequins wing Alaska Taula going close to scoring at the end and forcing extra time. MSP win the final against Petone the following week..
2015: Old Boys University Goats supporters are dancing in the Porirua Park stand this evening after OBU and Wellington Lions centre Wes Goosen plucks a high kick out of the air and scores to take the score in the Jubilee Cup final to 30-20 with several minutes to play. Their hearts are pounding a few minutes later when MSP lock Nick Harrison crashes over to score their third consecutive try of the second half from a forwards drive and evergreen first five-eighth Fa’atonu Fili adds the conversion to close the score up to 30-27. But the Goats hang on and win the club’s first championship since 1966. Earlier, the Upper Hutt Rams win the Hardham Cup and Northern United claim the women’s final.
1986: The Andy Leslie coached Petone beats the Brian Coulter coached MSP 21-13 in this Jubilee Cup season decider. Petone leads 12-0 at halftime but must turn into a cold sourtherly. Allan Hewson’s fifth straight penalty on 55 minutes and Mike Clamp’s late try prove enough. The retiring Hewson ends the season on 227 points. Elsewhere, Wests’ Brian Cederwall also retires from all rugby today having played for Athletic/Wests for 16 seasons and appeared in 205 senior first division games.
1999: They’re bruised and battered, but MSP are savouring winning the last ever Jubilee Cup final and last ever club game played on Athletic Park. MSP defeat Poneke 22-16 in the last of a long line of epic matches at the Park. It is one-way traffic for MSP in the first half as they play their best 40 minutes of the season and open up a 23-3 lead at the turnaround. Led by locks Richard Watt and Tau Tapasu, Poneke come back, but the gap proves too big to overcome.
1964: Marist and University go into this title defining clash as joint frontrunners on the table and 10 points clear of the field. In front of a crowd that the Dominion estimates as 12,000 strong, University triumph 16-6 after leading 16-3 at halftime. With one round to play, the Jubilee Cup is surely there’s outright. No. The following week the WRFU pulls five of their players out to play for Wellington against Taranaki and they lose to WCOB. Marist wins and the 1964 Jubilee Cup is shared between University and Marist.
1997: Two years after winning the Jubilee Cup as a player, Iain Potter guides MSP to the title as a coach. In the final against great rivals Petone, MSP turn to play into a strong southerly in the second half leading just 8-0. But they extend this to 13-0 with a try to wing Dominic Feauanati. Karl Te Nana scores an intercept try for Petone, but MSP hold on to win 13-7.
2014: Hutt Old Boys Marist are victorious in the 2014 Jubilee Cup, taking down Wainuiomata 14-11 at a packed Hutt Recreation Ground in the final. Led by their inspirational skipper, Jason Risdon, the Eagles come from behind to win in a nail-biting encounter.It really could have gone either way, and both teams were worthy finalists, but a solitary penalty kick is all that separated the teams. Poneke beats Norths 19-9 to win the Hardham Cup.
1991: Hutt Old Boys beat Poneke 18-15 to win the Jubilee Cup final. In a close match, Poneke have their chances but fail to capitalise. Instead HOB are deserved champions with another solid performance and second five-eighth Sean Rigby scored the only try of the match from a charge-down.
1996: Poneke edge Western Suburbs 9-8 in the final to win their first Jubilee Cup since 1975. The final is won up front and on defence, led by retiring Poneke flanker Shane McClure. In Poneke fashion, they grind first time finalists the Roosters down. Poneke first five-eighth James Ogden lands two dropped goals and a penalty, and finishes with 226 points for the season, while for Wests, Shane Tiatia scores the only try of the final.
2013: Tawa out-passion Oriental-Rongotai to win their maiden Jubilee Cup final, holding off the 2011 champions 26-21 to lock the Swindale Shield – Jubilee Cup away in their cabinet. Steven and James So’oialo are key players in the win, Steven scoring a sweeping 36th minute try giving Tawa a 14-13 lead at the turn and James kicking back-to-back penalties in the 73rd and 76th minutes to take the final away from Ories.
2018: For the third time in four years, Old Boys University are the Jubilee Cup champions, defeating a fast finishing Northern United 37-31 at the Petone Recreation Ground. OBU produce a near faultless first-half to lead 25-3 at the interval. OBU dominate possession initially and score two tries, through No. 8 Teariki Ben Nicholas and centre three-quarter Wes Goosen. Petone win the Hardham Cup, beating Wainuiomata 27-26 with tries to Adam Simpson, Josh Onekawa, Dylan Williamson and Taurima Morris, Norths beat Ories 20-15 to win the Women’s final, while OBU blank HOBM 55-0 in the Colts decider.