- By Steven White, Adam Julian, Scott MacLean and Martyn Bridge
- Results (as received) and standings HERE
Club rugby – it’s infectious.
Congratulations to the Oriental-Rongotai and Paremata-Plimmerton Women’s teams for winning the respective Division 1 and Division 2 titles today. Ories defeated Northern United 26-15 to win the Wellington Women’s Championship Tia Paasi Memorial Trophy, while Paremata-Plimmerton beat Avalon 43-10 to annex the Division 2 Izzy Ford Cup.
Above. The winning Ories Women’s team. Please note that it is our intention to have a wrap of the Women’s club rugby deciders on this website in a second article on Sunday, plus check our channels and others for photo galleries and video highlights.
In Men’s club rugby, the winning of the 2021 Swindale Shield is set to go down to the wire next weekend when either defending champions Marist St Pat’s or last year’s Jubilee Cup winners Old Boys University will win the first round Premier title in Wellington.
MSP’s big win today over Petone and OBU’s loss to Oriental-Rongotai means that MSP and OBU are both on 51 competition points heading into the last round next Saturday. MSP play lower ranked Wellington Axemen while OBU have a tussle with top four aspiring side Tawa. If both clubs finish on the same points, then OBU will win the title based on their head-to-head win over them earlier in the round.
Today, in appalling mid-winter conditions, MSP stampeded Petone 50-7 at home at Evans Bay Park, while Ories defeated Old Boys-University 27-22 at Nairnville Park, to inflict the first defeat on the Billygoats all year.
Ories’ win today, without a four-try bonus point, sees them in third on the standings on 45 points, one ahead of Hutt Old Boys Marist who occupy the fourth position on 44. HOBM battled to a 19-3 win over the Johnsonville Hawks at Helston Park.
Tawa are fifth on 43 points with a battling 24-0 win over Avalon at Fraser Park.
Norths are sixth on 41 points with their fourth straight victory, beating the Wellington Axemen 36-18 in their match that was transferred from Hataitai to their home ground at Porirua Park. In a close match at Jerry Collins Stadium, Norths led 17-13 at halftime and skipped clear after the interval. For Norths, left wing Reon Paul scored two of their six tries and No. 8 Luca Rees scored one to take his tally to 12 for the season thus far.
Petone (36) and Wainuiomata (34) round out the now confirmed top eight sides for the upcoming Jubilee Cup.
Petone failed to collect any points from their loss to MSP today for the Bill Elvy Memorial Trophy.
Wainuiomata just had to beat minnows Paremata-Plimmerton to take out the eighth spot. They did so, winning 25-16.
Playing into the wind, Wainuiomata scored three first half tries to lead 15-6 at halftime.
Openside flanker Sam Smith opened the scoring in the 10th minute, after Wainuiomata earned a penalty from a defensive Wainuiomata scrum and the unconverted try near the posts.
The visitors doubled their lead inside 20 minutes with a try from a 50 metre run to centre Chris Aumua.
Paremata-Plimmerton battled hard in the conditions and crossed for a disallowed try in the corner after an attacking penalty, before earning another penalty and halfback Justin Wilson kicking the goal to close the gap to 10-3 after 26 minutes.
After an injury break for a Paremata-Plimmerton player, Wainuiomata capitalised on some weak defence out wide for wing Niko Paletesio to score.
The home side kicked their second penalty on halftime, and made a bright start to the second half with a series of phases. Another penalty cut the lead to 15-9.
But Wainuiomata pulled clear again with Paletesio’s second try, after a break by centre Aumua.
The game then went to goldie oldies scrums and in deteriorating conditions, Wainuiomata clung to their 20-9 lead heading into the last 10 minutes, before replacement outside back Isaiah Mamea scored the visitors’ bonus point try to make it 25-9
Scrum pressure from Paremata-Plimmerton led to their consolation try near the end, with midfielder Jordan Clark kicking ahead and scoring and Justin Wilson converting to make the final scored 25-16.
The Upper Hut Rams missed out on the top eight by virtue of Wainuiomata’s win and also their 24-10 defeat to Poneke for the Alby Makeham Shield at Kilbirnie Park. For Poneke, first five-eighth Pakai Turia kicked three first half penalties as the Rams led 10-9 at the break. After halftime, Turia crossed for a try, followed by a double to hooker Moses Galuvao.
Ories next level in wild weather
Old Boys University have lost for the first time in 2021, falling 27-22 to Oriental Rongotai at Nairnville Park. The defeat for the students is their first setback in 13 games stretching back to the last round of the 2020 Swindale Shield where they were also beaten by Ories.
Third-placed Ories have won five on the trot and should secure a top four place, and second life in the playoffs, when they play winless Paremata-Plimmerton next Saturday.
There was a dramatic start at Nairnville Park when a cautious kicking duel saw the wind capture the ball, deflect off multiple hands and remain idle on the ground until Ories fullback Tuga Mativa swooped and dashed 50-metres clear. The conversion by halfback Declan Hay made it 7-0.
Keeping feet at the breakdown was a challenge on the slushy surface and Sam Reid continued his fine kicking form with two penalties against the wind, and outside the 22, to cut the deficit to one.
Hay nudged Ories 10-6 ahead and his stewardship would be integral in the outcome. Combining effectively with Saia Paese, the pair ensured OBU was largely pinned in their own territory during the first-half and when prop Connor Lemon barged over handy to the posts the score was 17-6.
Reid was on target with two further penalties, but another Hay success saw Ories turn with a 20-12 advantage.
Back from the Blues, Taine Plumtree made an explosive impact from the bench with a series of powerful charges. Better field position and improved handling resulted in a converted try and a 20-19 score line.
Weather didn’t permit great expanse, but on the few occasions the ball went along the chain it was Ories who were the more potent. It was that audacity and then imperious scrummaging which saw Hay score the third try.
Reid was spotless from the tee but OBU couldn’t produce their third last play win of the season despite the especially earnest toil of loosies Dominic Ropeti and Paddy Carter
For Ories prop Whetu Henry proved his timeless qualities and John Tuia tackled himself to a standstill. Paulo Aukuso was typically robust at centre and Roderick Solo an energiser off the pine. Blindside Sione Halalilo continued his bruising and mature form. He’s not even 20.
In fading light, Ories celebrate their win on fulltime against OBU. They also won the Bill Brien Challenge Trophy off OBU.
Norths Blue and Tawa remained unbeaten after today’s round in the Division 1 Ed Chaney Cup ahead of their meeting next week. Norths were made to work hard by MSP before prevailing 25-19 at Evans Bay, while Tawa left OBU scoreless winning 20-0 at home at Lyndhurst (short report below). The Upper Hutt Rams remain third after beating Poneke 15-10, joined by HOBM who also left Ories winless, winning 29-22.
Petone Blue are also unbeaten at the head of the Division 2 HD Morgan Memorial but were given a real scare by winless Avalon before winning 26-22. Wainuiomata held onto second with a 24-7 win over Pare-Plim, Norths White won a struggle 12-6 over Wellington, and Stokes Valley backed up last weekend’s win by topping Petone White 26-17.
Tawa’s win over OBU was built on a stubborn second-half performance on a sloppy Lyndhurst Park. Playing with the wind, Tawa managed just a converted try and a penalty in the first half and turned perhaps wondering if they’d built enough of a lead. Instead they muscled up into the weather and denied OBU much in the way of possession and territory, to the extent that the visitors barely ventured into Tawa’s 22m. Tawa scored twice, with the second try scored by captain and former Premier Best and Fairest winner TJ Fermanis who was the games dominant figure.
Petone maintained the lead of the Division 1 John E Kelly Cup after a late late win over OBU Green at Nairnville Park Behind them Tawa moved into second ahead of the students after beating HOBM 31-12 away at the Hutt Rec, while it was a struggle in the Polo bog for Ories and MSP with the visitors winning 10-7.
The match at Nairnville Park saw Petone halfback Rory Wollett breaking a 10-10 deadlock with a winning penalty in the 88th minute (scoreboard clock time) to give Petone the 13-10 win. The winning penalty, in front, but into the rain and swirling wind looked like missing but swung back inside the poles at the last second and the flags went up.
The match had earlier started in barely light drizzle but steady rain soon started falling, which dominated the match. As such, chances were few and had to be taken. Petone opened the scoring with a penalty, before Petone regathered possession from a kick ahead and right wing Jakib Tainui steamed through to score in the 29th minute, which put them up 10-0.
First Petone and then OBU had late first half chances to score but missed out, while OBU opened the second half with intent and could have scored off an early attacking raid and at least two 5-metre scrums. Petone’s gutsy defence held them out both times. OBU eventually opened their account with a penalty and then they finally scored to make it 10-10 with about 15 minutes to play.
OBU lost their tighthead prop to injury and Petone’s scrum started dominating. Much of the play over the next 15 minutes was between the 22s as the rain intensified. Finally, Petone got a head of steam up and went very close to scoring in front of the cricket nets. Now well past 80 minutes (on the scoreboard clock) OBU managed to win a defensive penalty but failed to adequately clear their territory to at least secure a draw. Petone had one last throw of the dice, came up with the penalty and won the game with the kick.
Just the two matches played in the Division 2 Vic Calcinai Memorial after OBU Black defaulted to the Upper Hutt Rams yesterday. Avalon kept the lead and their unbeaten record after beating Wainuiomata 34-12, while there was something of an upset at Ngati Toa with Poneke getting up 12-5 over Pare-Plimmerton.
Eastbourne continue to stay out in front of the Division 1 Paul Potiki Shield – although they won by default for the second straight week when the MSP team couldn’t front.
On the field, the Avalon Wolves beat Johnsonville 15-9 to move into second. This match was also an U85kg National Knockout Cup fixture. The Upper Hutt Rams beat Poneke 20-12 in the other Division 1 encounter.
In the Division 2 Tony O’Brien Shield, the Wellington Light Axemen and the OBU Scallywags drew 17-17 in their match and HOBM held out Wests 20-3. Stokes Valley had the round two second division bye.
A pair of close scorelines were a feature of the College Premiership matches played today. Wellington College were given a fright in Lower Hutt as St Bernard’s almost matched last years win before the city side won 19-17, while out in Porirua Hutt International grabbed their first win of the campaign by edging Mana 24-21. It was different story on the peninsula, as Scots reassumed the lead by blanking winless Aotea 59-0. Porirua defaulted to St Pats Town yesterday, while Silverstream beat Rongotai 27-5 on Wednesday.
In Premier 2 Upper Hutt are the clear leaders after they trounced Bishop Viard 54-0 and the Silverstream 2nds lost 17-7 to their Wellington College counterparts. Wairarapa kept Naenae winless by winning 39-10, Tawa held out Kapiti by 17-13, and Paraparaumu beat the Town 2nds.