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Eagles win late over Tawa as Ories regain Grbich Shield against Poneke

  • By Steven White, Scott MacLean and Martyn Bridge

Draws & Results HERE – updated as received.

UPDATED #2: The Hutt Old Boys Marist Eagles left it late in toppling Tawa in today’s 10th round Swindale Shield Wellington club rugby match at Lyndhurst Park, while Oriental-Rongotai regained the Jim Grbich Memorial Shield in their Old Timers’ Day win over Poneke.

HOBM fullback Tomasi Alosio scored at the end and second five Brnadyn Laursen converted from a handy angle to see the Eagles beat beat Tawa 39-37, in a match that saw home side Tawa come back from a 10-22 deficit late in the first half to take a 37-22 lead midway through the second half. The Eagles found another gear to come home strongly.

Ories were fast out of the gates at the Polo Ground, scoring two early tries and then extending their lead. Poneke responded, but Ories kicked clear again in the second half to win 37-17 (see report below). Late in the first half Ories right wing Herman Seumanufagai took a knock whilst contesting the ball and the game was moved to the No. 2 field as an ambulance was called. Club Rugby wishes him all the best.

In other Premier Swindale Shield matches, Old Boys University retained their unbeaten record with a 25-19 win over Petone, Wainuiomata beat Johnsonville 33-24, Northern United beat the Upper Hutt Rams 20-10 (see report below), and in two contrasting scores, Marist St Pat’s accounted for Avalon 80-3 and the Wellington Axemen edged Paremata-Plimmerton 8-7.

With three rounds to play, the Swindale Shield itself is OBU’s to lose, there is a group of teams mid-table vying for coveted top four positions in the upcoming Jubilee Cup and there is a 9-point gap between current eighth placed Wainuiomata and ninth placed Upper Hutt Rams.

Around the Swindale Shield grounds

At William Jones Park, two tries inside the first 10 minutes to backs John Monu and Chris Aumua put Wainuiomata up 14-3. The Hawks would come back to score just before halftime to make it 14-10 at halftime to the home side.

The second half saw Wainuiomata extend their lead early through Jason Love, before a brace of tries to Greg Lealofi made the game safe. Johnsonville lost a player midway through the second half to a yellow card but came home strongly to earn a bonus point from their defeat.

At Evans Bay Park, home team MSP enjoyed a 12-try romp over the Avalon Wolves. Centre Ryan Setefano and wing Willie Schutz both scored hat-tricks, while six other players found the whitewash. Fullback Andrew Wells was one of those try-scorers and kicked nine conversions for a 23-point haul.

Up at Hataitai Park, it was home side the Axemen who took a match-winning 8-0 lead into halftime., courtesy of a try to fullback Isaac Bracewell. The Paremata-Plimmerton Hammerheads hit back in the second half with a converted try to halfback Justin Wilson. Paremata-Plimmerton missed a late penalty chance.

At the Polo Ground, Ories made the best possible start when Poneke made a mistake from the kick-off and centre Reuben Va’a toed ahead and left wing Jason Tuitama regathered to score.

The Magpies missed a shot at goal, but from the 22 dropout second five Steven Va’a beat several defenders in a run to the line to put them up 12-0.

Poneke regrouped and were held up over the line, before opening their account through fullback Nick Robertson after a penalty and lineout in the corner.

But Ories extened their lead on 30 minutes following a break by first five Saia Paese and try in the corner to left wing Jason Tuitama.

Fullback Tuga Mativa linked with right wing Herman Seumanufagai who scored their bonus point try and at 26-5 it was a long way to come back for Poneke.

Just before halftime there was a long injury break for Ories right wing Herman Seumanufagai and the match was moved across to the No.2 ground.

The home side then scored their fifth and effectively match winning try when second five Steven Va’a intercepted a pass and streaked away to make it 31-5. Poneke replied immediately with their second try, to fullback Robertson.

Poneke opened the second half scoring with a third try to Robertson, before the next scoring play was a Ories penalty that extended their lead to 34-17.

Poneke then scored a try that wasn’t with about 15 minutes to play, before Ories ended the contest with another penalty with 10 minutes to play.

At the Petone Rec, OBU took home the Marc Verhoeven Memorial Trophy but were made to work hard for their victory by the Villagers.

Petone led a tight contest 16-15 midway through the second half when left wing Soli Malatai crossed for his try.

OBU were held up over the line, followed by a penalty to Sam Reid and then a late try to midfielder Alex Ropeti, their third of the match.

Earlier, flanker Dom Ropeti had scored the game’s first try as OBU went up 5-3. OBU left wing Te Wehi Wright was sin-binned but all Petone could manage in his absence was a second penalty. Wright returned from the bin to score a well-taken second try and OBU went up 12-6.

Petone fullback Ben Brooking linked up with halfback Cam Ferreira and wing Mason Henry off a scrum to cut the lead to 12-11 at halftime.

OBU inched ahead again with a penalty, before Malatai scored and OBU came back to win late in the game.

At Jerry Collins Stadium, Northern United beat the Upper Hutt Rams 20-10 in a hard-fought Old Timers’ Day encounter for the Terry Farrow Memorial Cup.

In an often scrappy contest, punctuated by the referee’s whistle, Norths won the game in the 70th minute with a try up the blindside off a lineout to veteran blindside flanker-turned lock Faifili Levave. Halfback Campbell Woodmass slotted the sideline conversion, asking the Rams to score twice for victory.

Levave’s winning try was the only score of the second half after Norths had finished the first 40 minutes with a 13-10 lead. Norths’ power and strong scrum, and the guiding hand of halfback Woodmass, were key factors in their win.

For the Rams, their lineout was mostly fruitful, their loose forwards led by Murphy Taramai were busy, but they were left ruing several costly mistakes. Their best chance in the second half followed the 55th minute sinbinning of Norths wing Junior Time-Taotua for slapping the ball down as the Rams’ backs rushed forward on attack.

Consequently, the Rams had two big opportunities to take the lead through attacking lineout drives in the corner but failed to capitalise from either.

Norths had also lost their debutante first five Zane Edwards to injury right after half time, forcing fullback Luke Kapene into his role.

The Rams made inroads against Norths on several occasions but largely failed to finish. PHOTO: Caroline Lewis.

Earlier, Edwards had opened the scoring in the seventh minute with a penalty, before the Rams lost a key player to injury with hooker Josh Houston-Tupou assisted from the field. In turn, this forced a change to the Rams with second-five Eli Hunt moving to hooker and a backline reshuffle.

After earlier being bundled out in the corner, it was try-scoring No 8 Luca Rees who scored the game’s first try, following a scrum 40 metres out and several phases of attacking play. Norths led 8-3 after 20 minutes.

The Rams replied sensationally, when loosehead prop Soa Fainga’a found space in broken play and off-loaded to Taramai who passed to halfback Jacob Free who scored under the posts, unopposed. The Rams were now up 10-8.

Norths replied three minutes later with their second try, again starting from an attacking scrum in mid field. Rees burst blindside off the back and set up a spectacular try in the clubrooms corner to fullback Kapene.

There was no further scoring in the first half and until deep into the second half when Norths clinched their win.


Just who will contest the championship Division 1 Tia Paasi Memorial remains uncertain with next week’s final round remaining.

Norths passed up a chance to all but ensure they are one of those teams, held to a 31-all draw at Jerry Collins Stadium by Marist St Pat’s (see report below), with Ories moving into outright second as they handed Petone their first loss of the round with a 53-15 win at the Polo Ground. The upshot of the day’s events is that Ories will be strong favourites to contest another title decider as they face winless HOBM next week, while Norths and Petone meet to likely determine the second finalist.

Paremata-Plimmerton cemented their place in the Division 2 Izzy Ford Cup final after they beat Poneke 54-5 on Kilbirnie Park. Who they will face remains up for grabs however; Avalon moved into second after they beat OBU 37-29, but have the bye next week and can be overhauled by both Poneke and OBU who play each other.

Paremata-Plimmerton fullback Thamsyn Newton makes a break against Poneke. PHOTO: Andy McArthur.

Conditions were ideal at Jerry Collins Stadium as Norths hosted MSP in the opening match of the former’s Old Timers’ Day. The home team made a strong start, but it was MSP that opened the scoring after a break by the diminutive Cheyne Copeland was finished off by Lyric Faleafaga. That would almost be MSP’s only foray into Norths half, as the hosts dominated territory and possession to score three tries – the last two through Harmony Ioane and skipper Sanita Levave – before the break and threatened to blow the game open.

The second half opened with a flurry of scoring, right from the opening kick-off when Jane Bryce picked up a short kick and rumbled 50m to score before another try each way before the 10-minute mark was reached. The see-saw nature of the game continued as it began to open up with both sides each adding to their tally and missing opportunities, including a rare penalty kick attempt by Norths that would have pushed the margin out to 10 points. In the end it was Faleafaga who had the dramatic final say, with a weaving 50 metre run where she beat several would-be tacklers to score under the posts in the shadow of full-time, with the conversion leaving the game deadlocked at 31-apiece.

Aimee Sutorious battles ahead for Norths against MSP. PHOTOS: Caroline Lewis.

Premier 2

First-round winners Tawa and Norths Blue remain the pace-setters in the Premier 2 Division 1 Ed Chaney Cup with perfect records after today’s third round. Tawa didn’t have matters all their own way before pulling way to beat HOBM 40-24 at Lyndhurst, while Norths saw off the Upper Hutt Rams 33-12 on Jerry Collins Stadium. OBU moved into third after they beat MSP 44-20 at Evans Bay, and Ories and Poneke remain winless after they played out a 24-all draw at the Polo Ground.

In the Division 2 HD Morgan Memorial Petone Blue and Wainuiomata lead the way after both also kept their records perfect today. Petone came away with the win from Delaney Park after taking down Stokes Valley 40-27, while surprise package Wainuiomata beat Johnsonville 36-24 at William Jones. Norths White moved up the table after beating Petone White 38-27 on the back field at Porirua Park, and Paremata-Plimmerton got their first win 34-21 and leaving Wellington winless.


Petone have assumed the lead of the Colts Division 1 John E Kelly Memorial by a point ahead of defending champs OBU Green after both recorded matching 31-19 wins in today’s second round.

Petone accounted for Tawa at Redwood Park (see report below), while the students saw off Ories at the Polo Ground. There was a similar margin in the third game, with MSP beating HOBM 34-24 at Kilbirnie Park.

In the Division 2 Vic Calcinai Memorial, Avalon has the lead as the only unbeaten side after they ventured up the valley and put the Upper Hutt Rams to the sword with a 34-7 win. Pare-Plim moved into second with a 30-20 win over Wainuiomata (see report below), while Poneke tipped over first-round winners OBU Black for the second time this year with a 15-14 win, leaving the Goats on the bottom of the table.

At Redwood Park, Petone raced to a 19-0 lead in as many minutes, leaving Tawa to play catch-up for the rest of the game.

Petone scored two early tries to first five Richard Evans and fullback Jacob Tainui to go 12-0 up. A concerted build-up led to the third try through the forwards and they were seemingly in control.

The remainder of the first half was scoreless, both sides making a slew of errors.

Tawa lost a player to the sinbin soon after half time, and their challenge was looking grim. But it was them that scored the first try of the second half after stringing together multiple phases. First five Luke Walmsley nailed the sideline conversion to cut Petone’s lead to 19-7.

However, Petone soon struck with their fourth and bonus point try after poor Tawa exit play in the clubrooms corner and a try in broken play to fullback Tainui. This extended the lead to 24-7.

Tawa gave themselves hope when big replacement forward Sione Valu barged through to score after a quick tap penalty. The conversion was successful, and this made it 24-14 to Petone.

With about 15 minutes to play, Petone regained ascendency but failed to finish off further opportunities. With time winding down, Petone missed a long-range penalty and Tawa ran the ball back from their own line up to halfway. However, from the next play, a Petone fresh-legs player intercepted a pass and ran 50 metres to score, making the score 31-14.

Home side Tawa had the last say with a try on fulltime to make the final score 31-19.

Further north, Pare-Plim prevailed in a willing contest with Wainuiomata at Ngati Toa Domain with the visitors looking to avenge their first-round loss.

A willing first half saw the scores deadlocked at 13-all with two tries to one in favour of the home side. That remained the score until a three-try burst by the hosts shortly after the hour mark with Xavier Sapa’u barging over from close range and a double to fullback Phoenix James-Kapa; the first after some excellent work by No. 8 Fuli Kupa and the second off a charge-down. Wainuiomata closed the margin in the last 10 minutes, but despite finishing the game on the hosts line couldn’t close the margin.


Some heavy scoring in the College Premiership as the big schools flexed their muscle in today’s third round.

Silverstream and Wellington College were resounding winners ahead of their meeting on Wednesday, with Stream seeing off neighbours Hutt International 66-5 and Coll dispatched Aotea 73-7.

Town were equally large winners with a 64-7 win over a disappointing St Bernard’s, while Scots ran out winners in their eastern suburbs derby beating Rongotai 39-15. The closest result of the day was at Mana, where the home team repeated their Beard Trophy win over Porirua, this time by 31-14

In Premier 2 Upper Hutt, Bishop Viard, and the Silverstream 2nds all remain unbeaten. Upper Hutt headed off Tawa 33-10, Viard saw off Naenae 24-10, and Stream beat their Town counterparts 26-5. Wairarapa College had a fruitful visit to the Kapiti coast beating Paraparaumu 55-17, and the Wellington College 2nds edged Kapiti 22-17.

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