- By Steven White, Scott MacLean, Martyn Bridge & Adam Julian
- Results & Standings (these are provisional only and individual scorers will be added in as received) HERE
Congratulations to Old Boys University for winning the 2021 Swindale Shield. OBU beat Tawa 28-13 today at home at Nairnville Park to take out the first round title.
OBU finished the first round equal on 56 points with Marist St Pat’s, but were awarded as the winner of the first round Wellington club rugby silverware on the head-to-head countback rule and their 20-18 win over them in round five.
A new playoff system is being introduced for the first time in the Jubilee and Hardham Cup competitions this year. Read about this at the link at the bottom of this article.
The new system means the ‘top four’ finishing teams from today’s completed first round play each other next weekend in the opening Jubilee Cup weekend, with the winners of those games earning the following weekend off and the losers having another life in the second week of championship matches.
The four teams that make up the top four matches next week are: OBU (1) v Hutt Old Boys Marist (4) and Marist St Pat’s (2) v Oriental-Rongotai (3).
Next week’s other matches in the Jubilee Cup section are: Norths (5) v Wainuiomata (8) and Tawa (6) v Petone (7).
In the Hardham Cup, Poneke (9) will play Paremata-Plimmerton (14), the Upper Hutt Rams (10) v Avalon (13) and Wellington (11) v Johnsonville (12).
The Colts semi-finalists were also found today. More commentary on the Colts below, but next week’s Division One semi-finals will see top qualifier Petone play fourth placed MSP and second placed Tawa face off against OBU Green.
In contrast to the previous two weekends, it was a fine afternoon around the region for club and college rugby.
A large contingent of OBU supporters breathed a collective sigh of relief in the 70th minute when fullback Sam Reid crashed in on the far side to score OBU’s bonus point try that sealed the first round title.
After scoring their third try early in the second half, which extended their halftime lead from 14-13 to 21-13, it took the best part of 20 minutes to put the icing on the cake with Reid’s try.
Earlier, OBU had made a harried start to the match against the under-strength but physical Tawa visitors on a heavy ground. They lost Lions lock Taine Plumtree to what looked like a shoulder injury soon after the opening kick-ff. Tawa had them pinned inside their own 22 for the best part of 15 minutes. The terraces crowd was subdued.
They finally broke out of their own territory through bustling second five Izzy Foai that set up the first chance of the match, but still no points.
Instead, it was Tawa who shot in by scoring two well-timed tries in the 27th and 30th minutes to take a 10-0 lead. Both tries came from set pieces, and both involved left wing Randall Bishop, who passed inside to half back Kemara Hauiti-Parapara for the first points after a switch in play second phase from a lineout, and kicked ahead and fullback Maui Wallace regathered a high bounce basketball-style after a scrum 40 metres out which led to lock John Samuelu scoring.
Finally, OBU gained sufficient territory and possession to pressure Tawa. Tawa flanker Hemi Fermanis was sinbinned and from the next play OBU crashed over through the forwards. Fullback Reid converted to close the deficit to 10-7.
Just before half time OBU scored a decisive second try, which came about from a miss-directed up-and-under by Hauiti-Parapara that was kicked down the throat of Reid who counter-attacked from centre field on his own side of halfway and lock Caleb Delany ran through to score in broken play. Reid’s second conversion made it 14-10.
On halftime Hauiti-Parapara, who had earlier missed both conversions, slotted a penalty to cut OBU’s lead to 14-13.
The run of play remained tight and tense over the opening 10 minutes of the second half, before OBU won a penalty and kicked for the corner and scored their third try from a lineout drive.
OBU then set their sights on scoring their fourth try which eventually came 10 minutes from the end.
The Goats were presented the Swindale Shield on the field afterwards, before retiring to the Cambridge Hotel for refreshments through the night.
Last year’s first round winners Marist St Pat’s did all that was asked of them in racing to a 33-0 lead by halftime over the Wellington Axemen.
MSP would go on and win 54-12, as their faithful stayed glued to their wirelesses for news at Nairnville.
Ories had already cemented third place before this round, and beat Paremata-Plimmerton as expected. However their margin of victory.
Playing from the boating club end, Paremata-Plimmerton made a slow start and Ories pounced to score an early converted try, with hooker Alex Fidow racing 20 metres to score.
Pare-Plim attacked through lineout drives in the corner, but Ories broke away up field only to lose the ball and Pare-Plim second five Tane McMillan-Parata kicked it ahead, regathered and scored to close the gap to 7-5 inside 20 minutes.
Fidow’s brother and prop Jonty Bird was the next to score for Ories, extending their lead to 12-5 after 25 minutes.
Fidow scored his second try just before halftime from a lineout drive, making it 17-5 at halftime.
Ories then scored their fourth and final try of the afternoon just after halftime with Bird offloading to centre Paulo Aukuso for the try.
Pare-Plim lost blindside Jonty Boyd to the sin-bin as the match lost much of its flow
The home side scored the final try of the day with about 10 minutes to play after putting down a scrum on a penalty. From the attacking scrum, centre Jordan Clark scored in the corner.
HOBM secured the fourth spot for the first week of Jubilee Cup matches – but only just – held to a 26-26 by Hardham Cup-bound the Upper Hutt Rams.
For the Rams, flanker Josh Hunt scored two tries, prop Soa Fainga’a one and centre Todd Svenson one. His brother Scott kicked three conversions.
It was 12-12 at halftime.
Norths eased into fifth place on the standings with a 71-12 win over the Johnsonville Hawks.
Norths led 33-7 by halftime and more than doubled their score in the second half to also retain the Barlow Trophy.
Norths scored 11 tries and kicked eight conversions, with left wing Reon Paul and right wing Ropati Sooalo each scoring two tries.
For Johnsonville, their two tries were scored just before halftime by fullback Aaron Fawkes and inside the first 10 minutes of the second half to second-five Andy Ellis.
Petone beat Wainuiomata 39-19 at the Petone Rec for the Darren Larsen Cup. The halftime score was 24.7.
Wanuiomata enjoyed about two thirds of possession throughout but did little with it. They did strike first, but a 35-metre runaway from halfback Cam Ferreria put Petone up 10-7 ahead, at which point Wanui was always chasing.
Lock Neyla Misama was among the three first half try scorers. Ben Brooking kicked a penalty to make it 27-7 before concerted Wanui pressure resulted in a try to left wing Nicholas. With 20 minutes left and the score only 27-12 Wanui was a chance until a spillage saw Mason Henry dribble the ball from 22 to 22 before Brooking carried on the momentum, toeing ahead for a dramatic try.
Teru Time was busy for Wanui. Ferreria played his best game for Petone, and Jarrod Hirstch was a menace as usual.
At Kilbirnie Park, home team Poneke battled hard for their 29-16 win over the Avalon Wolves.
Fullback Nick Robertson would score the game’s opening try in the opening minute of play, and Poneke would score three more first half tries, to wings Ethan Coffin and Issac Moe-Jenkins and lock Siale Siale, to take a 24-9 lead into halftime.
The second half was often scrappy, with Coffin finally adding to the scoring in the 57th minute by running through to score his second try.
Avalon lost centre David Saumolia to a yellow card several minutes later, helping to end their challenge. The Wolves finished with a penalty try right at the end.
Close matches was the theme of the day across the Premier 2 grade. In the Division 1 Ed Chaney Cup Tawa kept their season-long unbeaten record intact, but only just against their closest pursuer Norths Blue before prevailing 27-22. HOBM won the battle of the chasers, edging the Upper Hutt Rams 28-26, while it was even closer at Nairnville with OBU seeing off Ories 22-21 (see report below). The fourth match as Kilbirnie Park was also closely run, with MSP winning 32-27 over Poneke.
The top-of-the table clash in the Division 2 HD Morgan Memorial didnt disappoint with some real late drama. Petone Blue thought they’d done enough to snatch it in the 78th minute, only for Wainuiomata to take it in the 80th, winning 23-19. Norths White remained in touch after beating Johnsonville 26-21, while it was more clear cut in the other two matches. Avalon left Wellington rooted to the bottom of the table with a comprehensive 50-3 result, and Stokes Valley accounted for Pare-Plim 41-5.
In the early game at Nairnville Park, the OBU second XV defeated their Oriental Rongotai counterparts 22-21. in a similar fashion to the game that followed, OBU sealed a victory late in the game, after Ories had scored three second half tries to set up a possible grandstand finish.
Earlier, there was no scoring for the first 25 minutes, both sides trying to gain parity. Finally, OBU broke the deadlock from an attacking lineout on the 22 and scored their first try. This was followed by a penalty and then their second try scored right on halftime to put them up 17-0.
Ories replied with their first two tries, both converted, to put their tails up.
With only a few minutes to play, Ories’ dominant scrum won a turnover which led to them scoring their third converted try, but it would not be enough.
There were plenty of possible permutations going into the final round of both Colts divisions, and most came into play at some point.
Division 1 leaders Petone were in no danger of dropping out of the top spot, but perhaps had an ideal build up for the playoffs as they were made to work hard to subdue a HOBM side that needed to win before coming out on top by 29-26 (see report below). Tawa made certain that they would host the other semi next week by trouncing Ories 41-7, while OBU Green righted their ship by beating MSP 20-9. MSP and HOBM finished tied on 10 points, but MSP win in the round sees them go through. Next week Petone will host MSP, and OBU Green will have to defend their title the hard way by heading to Tawa first.
In Division 2 Avalon were already certain to be top qualifiers and completed an unbeaten round by beating Pare-Plim 17-10 on the Fraser Park turf. Wainuiomata made a gallant effort to crack the top four by thumping an undermanned OBU Black 67-12, but were undone by Poneke toppling the Upper Hutt Rams 31-29. The upshot of all that was that Poneke moved into third ahead of Pare-Plim and sets up rematches of today’s encounters next week as Avalon will again host Pare-Plim and Upper Hutt will again face Poneke, albeit this time at Maidstone.
At the Petone Rec HOBM came out firing knowing they needed to win to make the John E Kelly Memorial semifinals, and opened their account inside 2 minutes. But that was one of only two forays into Petone’s 22 in the opening half, though their other in the shadow of halftime also netted them a try. In between Petone dominated territory and notched two converted tries of their own alongside a Rory Woollett penalty. The second half was much more even, though Petone scored a pair of long-range breakouts – the second of which had an air of controversy about it – but each time were matched by the Eagles who refused to give in, even after being reduced to 14 for the final 10 minutes during which they closed up the margin with their fourth try. Ultimately though a dropped ball that was cleared to touch by Petone ended matters, and with results elsewhere the young Eagles season as well.
Lightly raced Eastbourne sustained their first defeat of the year, beaten 19-9 at home by the Avalon Hungry Wolves.
Having been defaulted to in recent weeks, the Seagulls are now third in the Paul Potiki Memorial Shield after three rounds, behind new leaders Avalon and the Johnsonville Terrahawks.
Johnsonville beat Poneke 29-20 and the Upper Hutt Rams defeated MSP 36-5 in the other two Division 1 matches today.
In the Division 2 Tony O’Brien Shield, the OBU Scallywags made it two from two with a 22-10 win over the HOBM Howlers, while Stokes Valley beat the Wests Roosters 38-14. The Wellington Axemen had the bye.
Scots maintained their lead of the College Premiership, keeping their unbeaten record after beating St Pats Town 36-12 at Evans Bat this afternoon running in six tries to two. It would prove to be the closest result of the day, as Silverstream crushed St Bernard’s 69-0, and Hutt International followed up their win over Mana last week by dispatching Porirua 66-19.
Upper Hutt extended their lead in Premier 2, after beating Wairarapa 31-19 in Masterton. Back over this side of the Remutaka’s the Silverstream 2nds blanked Paraparaumu 48-0, Kapiti accounted for winless Naenae 38-12, Tawa were surprising 38-10 winners over the St Pats Town 2nds, and Bishop Viard turned around a couple of tough weeks to beat the Wellington College 2nds 26-20.
In the first College final of the year, Wellington College claimed the Under 80kg Arthur Reeve Cup by beating Silverstream 26-19.