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This week in club rugby history 5-11 August

Above: Rugby was the winner when Northern United and Marist St Pat’s shared the Jubilee Cup in 2008. 

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

5 August

1939: On the cusp of WW2, that was to take the lives of 85 Wellington Axemen  and many more from other clubs, Wellington captures its maiden Jubilee Cup title and first club championship since 1901. Wellington beats Petone 18-17 to finish on top. In a grandstand finish, Petone’s ace goal kicker Bunk Pollock misses a penalty at the end.

1967: Petone win what will be the first of five consecutive Jubilee Cups, beating University 12-6 in the season finale. Individually, Petone’s fullback Jack Seymour is the season’s leading points scorer with 129 and Marist wing Mick Dennehy has scored the most tries with 14. Wellington, the only side to beat Petone all year (22-17), finish second.

1972: Bidding for its sixth straight Jubilee Cup title win, Petone loses to Wellington 9-12. Wellington come back from 0-9 to beat Petone. Wellington thus share the 1972 Cup with Athletic.

1978: Graham Williams retires from all rugby today by helping Wellington beat Onslow 20-3 and thus share the Jubilee Cup with MSP after MSP first five Tu Wylie scores a winning try on fulltime to give them a 15-12 win over Athletic. It’s MSP’s first Cup success, and comes 14 years after Marist Brothers Old Boys had last won it.

2001: The WRFU’s decision to withdraw Wellington rep players from today’s Jubilee Cup final draws the ire of both MSP and Poneke camps, especially Poneke who aren’t allowed to play pivot David Howell. Kicking proves the difference, young MSP first five-eighth Fa’atonu Fili slotting key points – including a soon-to-be trademark dropped goal –  in the 22-16 win with Holwell watching on in the stand.

OBU win their second Jubilee Cup title in 2017.

2017: Silverware Saturday sees the Jubilee Cup final, the Women’s final, the Premier Reserve final and two Colts deciders at the Petone Recreation Ground. OBU beat HOBM 32-19 in the Jubilee Cup decider, Ories beat OBU 63-12 to take the Women’s Victoria Tavern Trophy,  Petone oust OBU 36-20 in the Colts Division 1 final and Petone edge OBU 21-19 in the Premier Reserve decider.

6 August

1989: Petone defeat Upper Hutt 19-13 to win the Jubilee Cup grand final. Trailing 3-7 just before halftime, Petone halfback Tui Bradbrook scores off an attacking scrum and Petone go to the break leading 9-7. They keep their noses in front in the second spell to reward former hooker and coach Frank Walker an eighth Jubilee Cup as a player or coach.

2005: Semi-final. Petone hooker Eugene Smith wins a tighthead scrum 40 metres out from the try line, which leads directly to the Villagers scoring a sensational try on fulltime and pipping rivals Poneke 24-23. The ‘strike of god’ sends Petone to the final at Westpac Stadium where they will to beat Norths 21-19.

Tawa’s players celebrate winning the 2016 Jubilee Cup.

2016: Tawa have held on in a nail-biting Jubilee Cup final to edge Marist St Pat’s 24-20 at Porirua Park. The win is only the second Jubilee Cup victory in the club’s history, with the last coming in 2013, though this championship will be all the sweeter due to Tawa’s early-season struggles. Losing their opening three Jubilee Cup games in 2016, stuck at the bottom of the competition’s ladder, an Etuale Togia-led Tawa team overcame the odds to end 2016 as Jubilee Cup champions. Tawa’s left wing Togia is awarded with the Jim Brown medal for Man of the Match, scoring a brace of tries.

7 August

1965: Player-coach and former All Black lock Nev MacEwan leads Athletic to a 12-3 win over University in a ‘virtual’ Jubilee Cup final. MacEwan confesses afterwards that no victory in his career has been sweeter. Athletic’s  other former All Black Russell Watt scores 9 of Athletic’s 12 points in his last ever match.

1988: MSP turn around a 6-26 loss a fortnight ago to Wellington to run away from the Axemen and win the Jubilee Cup final 44-19. With the wind, MSP race to a 24-0 halftime lead and on hold on in the second.

1993: Petone teams win both the Jubilee and Hardham Cup finals. Flanker Martin Leslie scores three minutes from fulltime to give Petone a 27-15 victory over MSP in the Jubilee Cup final while Petone’s second XV beats Stokes Valley 32-18 to win the Hardham Cup final.

1994: MSP upset Petone to win the Jubilee Cup final. Loose forwards Gordon Simpson and Issac Feaunati lead the way. Petone have only lost twice in 21 games this season – to MSP in the finale of the Swindale Shield and again to them today.

2011: A superb all-round team effort and some breathtaking tries gives Oriental-Rongotai its first standalone Jubilee Cup title and first since they won back-to-back when they amalgamated with Poneke during WW2. Ories run in five tries to blitz two-time defending champions Norths. In 20 minutes of play either side of halftime, Ories come from 13-6 behind to score four tries and take the game away from Norths. With 10 minutes gone in the second half, Ories have scored their third and fourth tries and opened up a 33-13 lead.

8 August

1970: Petone snatch a 23-14 win over Wellington and thus claim the Jubilee Cup with next week’s last round match to spare, right wing Bill Trotter scoring two late tries after the Axemen had led 14-6 at halftime and Petone had come back to draw level 14-14 midway through the second spell. Elsewhere, Onslow overrun Hutt Old Boys 30-12 to claim the Hardham Cup.

1981: Petone beat Wellington 31-12, Mike Clamp scores a hat-trick and takes his try scoring tally to 25 for the season. Petone will meet MSP in next Sunday’s Jubilee Cup decider.

9 August

1969: Petone win the Jubilee Cup for the third consecutive year, outscoring University five tries to two and winning 19-9 in the final. Meanwhile, All Black wing Michael Knight scores his 26th try of the season in Wellington’s 6-3 win over Onslow, Ories wins the Hardham Cup and Marist No. 8 Paul Russo romps home to win the Billy Wallace Best and Fairest competition.

2009: MSP win their 13th Jubilee Cup title on the back of seven penalties to centre Chris Slade and a more disciplined and composed performance under pressure than Norths. Slade’s seven penalties carries   his side to a decisive come-from-behind victory over Norths, who score the game’s only two tries. MSP caps an excellent second part of the season, winning five consecutive Jubilee Cup matches in the weeks leading up to the final. For Norths, the loss is their second in Jubilee Cup finals to go with three wins since 2004.

2008: Marist St. Pat’s and Northern United battle to a 10-all draw in the Jubilee Cup final at a cold and wet Westpac Stadium. The Championship is shared for the first time since 1982 when Wellington and Petone jointly held the Jubilee Cup aloft, and for the first time since the current semi-finals and final system was introduced in 1993

10 August

1985: The Wellington Axemen snare the Swindale Shield – Jubilee Cup double outright in the same season for the first time. Wellington beats Petone 18-3 in the ‘final’, with reliable fullback Evan Hopkin kicking four penalties and a dropped goal and centre Naera Parata also potting a goal. In 20 games in 1985 Wellington has scored 531 points and conceded just 137, and their solitary loss was 91-8 to Ories on Anzac Day. Hopkins ends the season as the top points scorer with 165 in just 14 games played. MSP wing Wayne Gray heads the try-scoring charts with 11.

11 August

1974: Petone is celebrating winning its third consecutive standalone Jubilee Cup, beating Wellington 11-3 in the ‘final’ at Athletic Park. Halfback Ian Stevens and wing Vern Winitana star for Petone, the pair responsible for both Petone’s first half tries. Without prop Gareth Head, Petone are shadowed in the forwards, but the Axemen can offer few attacks in the backs. In the curtain-raiser, Grant Batty scores a try and Joe Karam kicks 22 points in MSP’s 34-29 Hardham Cup ‘final’ win over Naenae Old Boys.

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