Ories No. 8 Luca Rees celebrating one of his 23 tries for his team in 2018, a joint single season try-scoring record, and one of three loose forwards to top the Wellington single season try scoring charts between 2003-20. The others were Telea Seumanutafa (Tawa) and Dean Brunsdon (Norths). Rees moved to Norths in 2019 and was the leading try scorer in Wellington club rugby that year too, with 18 tries. PHOTO: David Brownlie Photos
With the start of the Wellington Premier club rugby season fast approaching, much anticipation abounds as to which teams will rise to the top and which individual players will set the competition alight with their try-scoring exploits or their dead-eye goal-kicking (or both).
Individual and team success doesn’t always go hand-in-hand. In just five of the past 18 Jubilee Cups has each of the top try scorers (jointly on four ocassions) and top points scorer have come from the season ending champion side. So the adage that a champion team will usually beat a team of champions is backed up using these measures.
A re-cap of the competition’s leading try scorers and point scorers over the seasons since 2003 when Club Rugby website records began. Early bets on who will be the top points scorer and top try scorer in 2021 Wellington club rugby?
Season-by-Season top try scorers (Incorporating Swindale Shield, Jubilee and Hardham Cup players):
Buxton Popoalii scores in the 2010 Jubilee Cup final for Norths over Poneke. He scored 17 tries in the first round and six in the second for 23 for the season.
|Year||Player||Club||Tries scored||Team Finishing|
|2003||Brendan Watt||Marist St Pat’s||12||5th in Swindale, Jubilee champions|
|2004||Tristan Meo and Willie Moala||Wests and Petone||15||Wests 9th in Swindale and beaten Hardham semi-finalists; Petone Swindale Champions and beaten Jubilee semi-finalists|
|2005||Evan Belford||Poneke||12||6th in Swindale, beaten Jubilee semi-finalists|
|2006||Julian Tupai||Marist St Pat’s||12||6th in Swindale, 7th in the Jubilee Cup|
|2007||Francis Seumanutafa||Northern United||15||Swindale champions, beaten Jubilee semi-finalists|
|2008||Sinoti Sinoti||Northern United||17||Swindale champions, Jubilee joint champions|
|2009||Alapati Leiua||Northern United||21||Swindale joint champions, Jubilee runners-up|
|2010||Buxton Popoalii||Northern United||23||Swindale and Jubilee champions|
|2011||AJ Vaalepu||Northern United||13||Swindale champions, Jubilee runners-up|
|2012||Tupeni Kamakorewa||Hutt Old Boys Marist||13||Swindale champions, fifth in the Jubilee Cup|
|2013||Dean Brunsdon||Northern United||17||9th in the Swindale, Hardham Cup champions|
|2014||Chase Tiatia||Hutt Old Boys Marist||17||Seventh in Swindale, Jubilee Cup champions|
|2015||Telea Seumanutafa and Max Pearson||Tawa and Upper Hutt Rams||16||Tawa fourth in Swindale and beaten Jubilee semi-finalists, and UHR 10th in Swindale and Hardham Cup champions|
|2016||Tuga Mativa and Willie Fine||Oriental-Rongotai and Petone||14||Ories 2nd in the Swindale and beaten Jubilee semi-finalists; Petone 10th in the Swindale and beaten Hardham finalists|
|2017||Michael Sage||Poneke||15||9th in the Swindale, 3rd in the Hardham|
|2018||Luca Rees||Oriental-Rongotai||23||Seventh in Swindale, beaten Jubilee semi-finalists|
|2019||Luca Rees||Northern United||18||Swindale runners-up, Jubilee champions|
|2020||Sam Reid and Losi Filipo||OBU and Norths||14||OBU 4th in Swindale, Jubilee champions. Norths 3rd in Swindale, Jubilee runners-up|
|1970||Michael Knight||Wellington FC||26 (single season record)||2nd= in the Swindale, 3rd= in the Jubilee|
Season-by-Season top points scorers (Incorporating Swindale Shield, Jubilee and Hardham Cup players):
Brandyn Laursen kicks for goal during his record breaking 2013 season with the boot.
|Year||Player||Club||Points scored||Team finishing|
|2003||Scott Leighton||Wests||236||9th in Swindale, Hardham champions|
|2004||Sam Rasch||Marist St Pat’s||130||3rd in Swindale, 5th in Jubilee|
|2005||Brad Cooper||Poneke||218||6th in Swindale, beaten Jubilee semi-finalists|
|2006||Ben Aoina||Upper Hutt||240||10th in Swindale, Hardham champions|
|2007||Johnny Bentley||Hutt Old Boys Marist||166||Fifth in the Swindale, Jubilee champions|
|2008||Fa’atonu Fili||Marist St Pat’s||236||Swindale and Jubilee champions|
|2009||James So’oialo||Northern United||242||Jubilee Cup runners-up|
|2010||James So’oialo||Northern United||282||Jubilee Cup champions|
|2011||Jason Woodward||Upper Hutt||194||Fifth in the Swindale, eighth in the Jubilee
|2012||Fa’atonu Fili||Marist St Pat’s||174||Second in the Swindale, Jubilee champions|
|2013||Brandyn Laursen||Hutt Old Boys Marist||286 (single season record)||Third in the Swindale, beaten Jubilee semi-finalists|
|2014||Fa’atonu Fili||Marist St Pat’s||209||Swindale champions, beaten Jubilee Cup semi-finalists|
|2015||James So’oialo||Tawa||244||Fourth in the Swindale, beaten Jubilee semi-finalists|
|2016||Brandyn Laursen||Hutt Old Boys Marist||243||11th in the Swindale, Hardham Cup champions|
|2017||Dale Sabbagh||Old Boys University||251||Swindale and Jubilee champions|
|2018||Dale Sabbagh||Old Boys University||185||Swindale runners-up, Jubilee champions|
|2019||Willie Schutz||Marist St Pat’s||201||Ninth in Swindale, Hardham Cup champions|
|2020||Logan Henry||Petone||157||Swindale runners-up, Jubilee semi-finalists|
Dale Sabbagh – top points scorer in 2017 and 2018.
- The Wellington Premier season starts on 10 April. View the draw here http://www.clubrugby.co.nz/wellington/games-results.php?competition=1&season=18&round=1