Above: Isaac O’Connor (MSP) bears down on Steve So’oialo (Tawa) in their sixth round regular season match in 2013. MSP won this game 20-10 , but Tawa would win the final three weeks later. So’oialo’s brother James also features this week in history, for Northern United in 2009. See below for more.
Some selected Wellington club rugby memories from this week in history.
1929: The inaugural winter of Jubilee Cup rugby is a wet one and ground conditions are terrible most weeks. The Dominion reported of this day’s play that “heavy rain rendered the grounds so unfit that it was almost impossible to stand up in them. Nevertheless, players and officials accepted their lot with great fortitude.” In leveling conditions there are several upsets in this round, headlined by Berhampore’s 6-0 defeat of Old Boys and Eastbourne’s 6-0 victory over Poneke in “a stirring forwards struggle”.
1968: Petone retain the lead with a 51-5 win over Naenae Old Boys. No. 8 Andy Leslie scores four tries and he and halfback Ian Stevens are neck-and-neck at the top of the Billy Wallace Best and Fairest standings.
1985: A fifth minute try to wing Allan Pollock, running on to a chip kick by Allan Hewson, and a three second half penalties gives Petone a 13-3 win over Ories today. Hewson puts his feed up tonight as tomorrow he’ll be playing his 100th first-class match against Horowhenua-Kapiti for Wellington.
2013: A day of drama today in sixth round matches. Leaders Hutt Old Boys Marist have their wings clipped by Poneke, who roar back after halftime to score 24 unanswered points and win 32-16. Swindale Shield champions Tawa beat MSP 20-10 away at Evans Bay Park and they are on track for a tilt at the Swindale-Jubilee double, while OBU qualify for the semi-finals and at the same time knock Petone out of the running with their 20-0 win in Petone lock Chris Molenaar’s 200th Premier match.
2019: Oriental-Rongotai finish the 2019 Jubilee Cup round-robin as top qualifier for the semi-finals and winner of the Andy Leslie trophy, while first round winners Hutt Old Boys Marist miss out on the semi-finals. In today’s last round matches, Ories beat Poneke 53-13, Northern United beat Tawa 24-17 and Wainuiomata beat Hutt Old Boys Marist 28-19. These results meant Ories and Tawa finished the round-robin in first equal on 21 points, but Ories finished top on the basis of their win over Tawa three weeks ago. Ories will host fourth placed qualifier Wainuiomata (18 points) in one semi-final while Tawa will host third placed finisher Norths (20 points) in the other. Northern United secure top spot for the women’s semi-finals with a 49-0 win over Petone.
1990: Recently crowned Swindale Shield champions Upper Hut beat a Hika Reid-inspired Nothern United 28-26 in this third round Jubilee Cup clash. Former All Blacks hooker Reid is the Man of the Match in a losing cause. Upper Hutt take the win courtesy of two tries to wing Mike Seymour and the reliable boot of first five-eighth Alan Henderson that yields 16 points. Elsewhere, soon-to-be Cup champions Petone beat Poneke 26-12.
2007: Marist St. Pat’s edge out Hutt Old Boys Marist 17-16 to maintain their lead in the Jubilee Cup while Poneke bow out of playoff reckoning in losing to Petone 12-10 in the fifth round set of matches today. MSP win the battle of the Marist clubs and confirm their place in the semi-finals courtesy of a hat-trick to fast finishing left wing Jope Naubo. Across the road at Kilbirnie Park, Poneke are served their last rites by Petone first five-eighth Sam Rasch, whose four penalties win the game. MSP and HOBM will meet again in the Jubilee Cup final next month.
1961: Onslow beat defending champions Marist 17-3, and Wellington defeat University, 16-3, in today’s games. These two results are significant, effectively clearing the way for Petone, who beat Poneke 12-3, to go on and win this year’s Jubilee Cup.
1989: Petone defeat MSP 29-12 to ensure their place in the upcoming Jubilee Cup semi-finals. Petone’s outstanding teamwork wins the day and they are on-song right from the opening exchanges when wing Matt Lee scores off a Mike Umaga break. This win and others to Hutt Old Boys, Avalon and Upper Hutt mean that the leading four teams in the Jubilee Cup are Hutt Valley ones.
1991: Hutt Old Boys battle to a 19-17 win over Hutt Valley rivals and recently crowned Swindale Shield champions Avalon. In a grandstand finish, Avalon pummel Hutt Old Boys’ try line for almost 10 minutes at the end but can’t break through to score the match winner. The Gavin Hill-led Hutt Old Boys side will go on to win the Jubilee Cup.
1995: Top qualifier Petone thrash Harlequins 67-12 and MSP edge Avalon 19-17 in the Jubilee Cup semi-finals. Hooker Tim Mannix and wing Alex Telea score braces, while MSP score two tries into the wind in the second half to beat Avalon -Gordon Simpson running 40 metres to score the match winner.
2000: Johnsonville produce a fairytale finish to the Jubilee Cup round-robin to clinch a semi-finals berth. Lying sixth heading into the last round, Johnsonville smash Ories 54-8, and both their rivals Avalon and Norths stumble. Avalon need a bonus point against Poneke but get nothing from losing 21-29 to Poneke and Norths fall to OBU 13-15 after a late try to Jason Spice for OBU.
1982: Heading into the midweek round of Jubilee Cup matches played today, Petone, Wellington and MSP were locked in a three-way tie at the top of the standings. But three becames two when MSP are humbled 6-19 by Petone and Wellington beats Poneke 25-12. Wellington and Petone go on to share the 1982 Jubilee Cup.
1983: MSP and Wellington are joint Jubilee Cup leaders after three rounds, after Wellington No. 8 Murray Mexted jumps off a plane from Auckland and heads to the Polo Ground to help Wellington beat WCOB 22-13. Murray’s brother Alan also scores a try for the Axemen, while their cousin Fraser lands three goals for WCOB. MSP beat Poneke 14-6, avenging their last-gasp defeat to them earlier in the season.
1988: MSP and Wellington are headed towards a semi-final showdown in a fortnight, with contrasting wins today. MSP beats Upper Hutt 52 -4, with wing Chris Wells scoring a hat-trick and first five-eighth Peter O’Shaughnessy surpassing 200 points for the season. Wellington rely on the boot of fullback Evan Hopkin to see them past Poneke 19-16.
2011: It’s an eastern Suburbs one-two for the semi-finals with neighbours Oriental Rongotai and Poneke both set to host Jubilee Cup semi-finals in a fortnight’s time after each won their round six matches to qualify first and second respectively for the playoffs with a week to spare. Ories hold on to beat Northern United 32-30 in a thrill-a-minute fixture at Porirua Park and Poneke are emphatic home 44-11 winners over Marist St. Pat’s at Kilbirnie Park.
2016: Wainuiomata are the 2016 Wellington women’s club rugby Division 1 champions, beating Oriental-Rongotai 24-12 in today’s Victoria Tavern Trophy final at William Jones Park. Captain Mary-Ann Collins is the Player of the Final and her 50 metre intercept try just after halftime is the match-winner. Meanwhile, Marist St Pat’s beat Wainuiomata 30-18 to become the first and still the only side to qualify for the 2016 Jubilee Cup semi-finals with just one round remaining next week. Remarkably, in the tightest championship round for many seasons, all seven of the other eight Jubilee Cup participants are still alive in the playoff race.
1943: The biggest club match in Wellington since 1939 sees the combined Poneke-Oriental side play “stirring rugby” and beat Marist Old Brothers in this match and thus capture the Jubilee Cup title. The Dominion reports that Poneke-Oriental “dominated” Marist, running out 14-8 winners. They score three tries, all through the forwards, and the margin of victory could have been greater if not for missed kicks. With five wins from five, Poneke-Oriental are unbeaten in the 1943 Jubilee Cup. The combined eastern suburbs side (merged due to WW2 and reduced player numbers) defend their title in 1944.
1965: For the third time this season, Athletic snatch a win in the dying minutes, scoring a death-knock try to give them an 11-9 win over a Ken Gray-inspired Petone. Athletic are on a collision course with University to take out this year’s Jubilee Cup.
1993: A 15-point haul against Wests today has written Avalon’s ace goal-kicker Craig Laursen into Wellington club rugby record books with the most points scored in a season. Laursen takes his season tally to 250, eclipsing what is understood to be Petone’s Allan Hewson’s record of 238. MSP’s Elton Moncreiff is chasing hard on 235 and will likely surpass Hewson’s record with three rounds still to play. Avalon beats Wests 40-19 and MSP defeats Johnsonville 68-0.
2010: In diabolical conditions, Poneke swamp Upper Hutt 31-3 at Maidstone Park to earn their fourth straight win and go to the top of the table and put themselves in a strong position heading into the semi-finals with two rounds to play. In a strong team effort, five individuals score tries. Petone overrun Old Boys-University 20-3 at the Basin Reserve to keep their playoff chances alive, while defending champions MSP’s playoff chances are probably shot after losing to Norths by the same score, 20-3.
1936: 1933 champions and title contenders Wellington College Old Boys get beaten in the backs by Petone and they lose 6-3 in the match of the round at Athletic Park. The loss proves fatal to WCOB’s hopes of another title, eventually won by Athletic.
1981: Athletic hold MSP to a 7-7 draw, after beating the Swindale Shield winner, Petone, last week. MSP are the leaders but with four rounds to play the competition remains wide open.
1987: Petone beat Poneke 15-13 in a high tempo thriller today. Both teams run the other off their feet at Petone lead 12-0 at halftime and then defend waves of Poneke attack in the second half. Only a late Allan Hewson dropped goal secures victory for Petone.
1992: Naera Parata scores two tries and 18 points for Petone to become the first player to notch 200 points in Premier rugby this season, helping the Villagers to a 41-13 win over MSP. This win is Petone’s fifth on the trot in the Jubilee Cup and they go on to capture the Swindale Shield-Jubilee Cup double.
1998:Tawa beats defending champions MSP 16-12 and Western Suburbs shut out Norths 33-5 in today’s two Jubilee Cup semi-finals, Tawa protecting their lead over the final 20 minutes and Wests scoring two pushover tries to No. 8 Ben Fisher as part of their win.
2009: Fullback James So’oialo scores all the points including two intercept tries to lead co-defending champions Northern United to a shaky 23-17 win over Hutt Old Boys Marist to keep his side in the mix in the sixth and penultimate round of the Jubilee Cup. So’oialo’s personal points scoring haul, including the match winning try in the dying stages, will prove enough to propel Norths into the semi-finals in a fortnight’s time, while at the same time burying HOBM’s playoff hopes. With the Eagles holding a 17-16 lead, So’oialo intercepts his second pass of the afternoon and races away to win the game for his team, in the process surpassing 200 points for the season.
1931: The 1931 Jubilee Cup is heartily contested with several sides in the mix throughout the season. In the end Hutt come out on top to claim their maiden Jubilee Cup, beating a strong Marist side 9-3 in a key match. But on this day Hutt meet a 3-8 defeat to neighbours Eastbourne in the match of the round at Athletic Park. Hutt’s defeat put themselves, Wellington, Eastbourne and Poneke – who they drew 14-14 with in another big match of 1931 – bunched together. Hutt prevail in the subsequent weeks and became the third side in as many years to win the new Jubilee Cup.
1980: Steve Haturini scores a double as Poneke beat Wellington 23-16. MSP wing Wayne Gray notches his 13th try of the season in his side’s 39th straight win, 29-7 over Athletic, while Allan Hewson and Mike Clamp score two tries each in Petone’s 20-15 win over WCOB.
1997: Starting the day in sixth, Harlequins snatch fourth place for next week’s semi-finals after earning a last round 26-20 bonus point win over Johnsonville and rivals Avalon beat Norths 26-18 but fail to improve their points differential and Petone defeat HOBM 39-16. Meanwhile, an injury and illness hit Wests call upon Tony Meachen – retired for 10 years – to face MSP who beat them 20-7 and then topple them 22-9 in the next week’s semi-final rematch.
2008: Marist St Pat’s and Petone will host this year’s two Jubilee Cup semi-finals, following wins over Old Boys-University and Northern United respectively in trying conditions. Torrential rain on Saturday morning helped cut up the already soft grounds around the region and made for a good old fashioned hard slog in the mud across most Premier and Premier Two sixth round venues, leaving a busy week ahead around the region for drycleaners. MSP defeated Old Boys-University 26-0 at the Basin Reserve and Petone overcame Norths 17-9 at home and opening up a seven-point gap to their third placed Porirua rivals.