- By Steven White, Scott MacLean, Martyn Bridge and Adam Julian
Jubilee Cup round one results HERE (individual scoring added in as received)
Hardham Cup round one results HERE (individual scoring added in as received)
The Hutt Old Boys Marist Eagles soared high on fulltime today at Nairnville Park following left wing Fereti Soloa’s late try in the carpark corner and flyhalf Brandyn Laursen’s last-gasp sideline conversion that gave them a 25-24 win over first round winners Old Boys University.
The thrilling win in the first of the ‘top 4’ playoff matches in this year’s re-jigged Jubilee Cup series means the Eagles can sit back and have next week off, while OBU head back into action next weekend.
OBU’s opponent will be Northern United who beat Wainuiomata 54-24 in a free-wheeling match at Jerry Collins Stadium, with Wainuiomata’s loss sending them down to the Hardham Cup for the next three weeks of the Wellington Premier club rugby season.
It was hard going for both sides in the other major top 4 fixture this afternoon at Evans Bay Park, where MSP had three players sent to the sin-bin but still came up with an 18-13 win over Oriental-Rongotai.
MSP will join HOBM on the sidelines next weekend, while vanquished team Ories turn to host Tawa, who beat Petone 27-7 in the fourth Jubilee Cup opening weekend match. Petone will join Wainuiomata in the Hardham Cup next week and will be top qualifiers for the Hardham Cup quarter-finals.
Six other teams are already confirmed to be playing in the Hardham Cup next weekend. In games involving these sides today, Poneke beat bottom placed qualifiers Paremata-Plimmerton 44-15, the Upper Hutt Rams held off the Avalon Wolves 27-20 and the Johnsonville Hawks tipped over the Wellington Axemen 27-13.
Matches next week at a glance are:
Jubilee Cup: OBU v Norths and Ories v Tawa (MSP and HOBM with the week off)
Hardham Cup: Petone v Paremata-Plimmerton, Poneke v Wellington, Upper Hutt Rams v Johnsonville and Wainuiomata v Avalon
Club Rugby also congratulates today’s other championship winners from other nearby regions. In the Manawatu, Feilding Yellows won a three-peat of titles and completed an unbeaten season with a 22-18 Hankins Cup final win over Varsity. In Horowhenua-Kapiti, Paraparaumu beat Levin College Old Boys 33-26 to win the 2021 Ramsbottom Cup.
In some match round-ups and additional information to hand from today’s Premier matches in Wellington, Northern United will take all the momentum into their Jubilee Cup final replay with Old Boys University – trouncing Wainuiomata by 30 points. The visitors, who beat Norths in the Swindale Shield, started with a try to centre Peter Umaga-Jensen, supporting a midfield break from wing Niko Patelesio.
Norths regrouped quickly and piled on four tries with TJ Perenara looming large at fullback, often joining Campbell Woodmass and Dale Sabbagh at either halfback or first-five as Norths had multiple attacking threats.
Hooker Leni Apisai, in his last game of the season, scored after quick hands down the short side. Woodmass caught Wainuiomata napping from a quick tap and wing Reon Paul neatly finished twice in the left corner, his double completed following a deft chip from Perenara.
Occasional defensive lapses and a wonky lineout were the areas of biggest concern for Norths, but they never looked like losing the game. Wainuiomata lock Tutasi Masoe strode 30-metres shortly before the break, but Woodmass cancelled that out with a second shortly upon the resumption. The conversion by Dale Sabbagh made it 35-12. Woodmass and Paul would both end with a hat-trick while Umaga-Jensen capped a fine game standing-up Perenara. Wainuiomata fullback Campbell Cowie looked for work, Daniel Farani was full of vigour and halfback Jordan King lively.
Joint former Billy Wallace Best & Fairest winner Bruce Kauika-Petersen has returned from Dunedin and played 30 minutes for Norths. He’s a Wellington Lions contracted player.
A tight opening to their match at Evans Bay Park saw the deadlock broken in the 25th minute with the first of two first half James Proctor penalties for MSP over Ories.
With a player just sent to the bin, Proctor landed the first points from halfway. MSP still led 3-0 after 30 minutes as Proctor lined up a second penalty to put his side up 6-0.
Ories closed out a willing first half with a penalty to Declan Hay to make it 6-3, but the referee had the final say, sending another home team player to the sinbin, this time second five Isaia Petelo for a high shot.
Proctor then showcased his defensive wares by pulling of a try-saving tackled early in the first half. MSP cleared and headed up field and instead it was them that scored a telling try to start the second half scoring, with hooker Tyrone Thompson crashing over the whitewash a few phases on from an attacking scrum. Proctor landed the conversion and MSP were now up 13-3 after 50 minutes.
MSP forwards rumble forward against Ories. Hooker Tyrone Thompson scored their first try that extended MSP’s halftime lead from 6-3 to 13-3 10 minutes into the second half. PHOTO: Tackld.
The next 10 minutes remained tight. Ories with the momentum and following an injury break, Hay stepped up to kick a second penalty to close the gap to 13-6.
Heading into the final 22, Ories missed another penalty chance and once again MSP were able to take a chance at the other end soon after. Packing down a scrum on the 22, MSP went wide to wing three-quarter Willie Schutz who scored to make it 18-6.
Ories gave themselves hope by scoring a try in the 75th minute, with hooker Penieli Poasa crossing and Hay converting to close it to 18-13.
There would be no late heroics, with MSP closing out the game and securing a week off with two consecutive penalty misses.
At Nairnville Park, OBU scored two converted tries to go 14-0 up over HOBM.
HOBM came back with a seven-pointer to close the gap to 14-7 by halftime.
The second half saw HOBM take a 15-14 lead, OBU regain their lead at 17-15, HOBM get back on top again at 18-17 and OBU doing likewise once more to lead 24-18. With time almost up, the Eagles attacked with vigour up inside OBU’s 22, before Laursen threw the final pass across to left wing Fereti Soloa who scored. Laursen kicked the sideline conversion in front of the terraces to give them a 25-24 win.
Try scorers for OBU had been centre Wes Goosen, first-five Malo Manuao and left wing Te Wehi Wright. Fullback Sam Reid and replacement back Callum Harkin had kicked the rest of the points.
At Hataitai Park, visitors Johnsonville went to an 8-0 lead over the Wellington Axemen, who kicked two penalties to narrow the deficit to 8-6 by halftime.
A ding-dong battle resumed after halftime, with Johnsonville advancing their lead to 15-13, before running out 27-13 winners.
For Wellington, loosehead prop Tony Coburn scored their sole try, while fullback Ben Stowe kicked a conversion and two penalties. For the visiting Hawks, right wing Knox Tuinasau, lock Bodene Davis and prop Tevita Falekakala scored their tries.
At Kilbirnie Park, Poneke took a 44-15 win over Paremata-Plimmerton, through tries to wing Isaac Moe-Jenkins (2), flanker Greg Foe, second-five Jimmy Hewitt and replacement Ezekiel Fiso. Pivot Pakai Turia scored 19 points, including five penalties. Halfback Justin Wilson and replacement Michael Martinez scored Pare-Plim’s two tries.
At Maidstone Park, it was close throughout, with the Rams taking a 7-3 lead early but Avalon replying to lead 8-7. The Rams scored their second try to move ahead 12-8, later advancing their lead to 17-13 and 24-13. Avalon scored the last try to make the final score 27-20 to the Rams.
For the Rams, fullback Scott Svenson, centre Todd Svenson, second five Tafa Tafa and hooker Eli Hunt were their try-scorers, while for Avalon loosehead prop Pat Roil crossed for a double and hooker Jordan Sului scored their other try.
Top seeds Petone will host next weekend’s Colts Division 1 John E Kelly Memorial final after they ended Marist St Pats’ season with a 41-31 win at home on the Petone Rec. They will play defending champions OBU Green, who beat Tawa 26-11 in the other semi-final.
The young Villagers were quick out of the blocks, amassing a 21-0 lead in as many minutes through three converted tries before MSP could reply on the half-hour mark. When Petone scored 90 seconds after the resumption it seemed that the game might be over as a contest, but a pair of tries by the visitors put them back in touch at 26-19. However the decisive moment came on the hour when Petone won possession deep in MSP’s 22 and then drew a penalty, but rather than take the easy three they tapped and barged over. The sides exchanged further tries as the game lost structure and time ran out.
OBU Green openside flanker Harry Bampton scored two first half tries to give his side a 15-6 lead over Tawa.
Following an early penalty, Bampton came up with his first try from a penalty and lineout drive in the corner to put OBU up 8-0.
Both sides gave the ball plenty of air, but passes failed to stick. Tawa left wing Tom Cutler almost scored in the opposite corner but was bundled into touch, before he landed a 42-metre penalty to close the gap to 8-3.
Just before halftime, OBU landed a telling blow to Tawa when Bampton scored his second try, this time running strongly in linking support first phase from an attacking scrum just outside the 22. Cutler kicked a second penalty to make it 15-6 to OBU at the turnaround.
With Bampton continuing to play well and first-five Sergio Schuler directing much of their play, OBU inched ahead with a second penalty, before putting the semi-final beyond doubt inside the last 10 minutes with a try from a forwards drive following the sin-binning of Tawa lock Dushan Francis. Tawa completed the match with a consolation try.
In the Division 2 Vic Calcinai Memorial the Upper Hutt Rams made sure that there was no repeat of last week’s loss to Poneke, comprehensively winning their semifinal 59-0 at Maoribank Park. The Rams will host next weeks final, after Paremata-Plimmerton beat top qualifiers Avalon 29-17 at Fraser Park. Pare-Plim led 12-7 at the break before taking the game away from the Wolves, who did add a pair of late tries to make the scoreline more respectable.
Tawa will go into the Premier 2 Division 1 Ed Chaney Cup playoffs as the top seed after they beat the Upper Hutt Rams 38-26 at Maidstone Park. Norths Blue ensured they will be second after thrashing Poneke 64-0, while HOBM pipped the Rams for third on the table despite drawing 27-0 with OBU. At the bottom end of the table it was MSP who won the fourth match in the division, beating Ories 33-27.
The playoffs are still three weeks away in the Division 2 HD Morgan Memorial. With joint-leaders Petone Blue on the bye Wainuiomata have assumed the lead after they beat bottom-side Wellington 68-14, with Norths White also going past the idle Villagers after beating Stokes Valley 14-12 though both will have the bye in the next fortnight. Johnsonville took care of Pare-Plim by 33-9, while Petone White came back from 5-17 down at halftime to beat Avalon 24-22 with Premier regular Jarrod Adams – on the comeback from injury – scoring all three tries after the break for the Villagers.
Even with a week to go, three of the four playoff teams have already been found in the Under 85kg Division 1 Paul Potiki Shield. Avalon retained the lead after they saw off the Upper Hutt Rams by 20-14, while both Johnsonville and Eastbourne will also be part of the playoffs after their match today which the Hawks won 13-12. Poneke kept their hopes alive after they beat MSP 37-19, but they face Eastbourne next week while the Rams take on Johnsonville.
The Wolves after their win over the Rams in today’s U85kg Division 1 match. PHOTO: Hugh Pretorius.
In the Division 2 Tony O’Brien the four playoff teams have already been found and only the seeding to be determined. Wests have been eliminated with a week to go after losing 61-5 to Wellington, while HOBM will finish in fourth despite beating Stokes Valley 23-22 at home. The OBU Scallywags remain on top despite having had the bye this week.
Scots maintained their lead and unbeaten record in the Premiership, edging out Silverstream 17-15 in an enthralling match out in Strathmore. The margins were wider in the other four games, with St Pat’s Town rolling past Rongotai 50-10, St Bernard’s easing past Porirua 61-22, and Hutt International made it three wins in a row by beating winless Aotea 41-7. The fifth match of the round comes in a fortnight’s time between Mana and Wellington College.
In the top of the table match, Silverstream led most of the way, but were stunned in the last-minute 17-15 by Scots College.
Ahead 15-10, Silverstream fumbled near halfway and Scots was able to win a penalty and set up a lineout drive inside the 22. Repeat thrusts at the line eventually saw No.8 Cody Lokotui rumble over close to the posts to square the ledger. Ietitaia Campbell kicked the penalty and Scots won 17-15.
The first 25 minutes was a stalemate until Silverstream scored first through second-five Emmanuel Solomona. Scots’ ability to capitalise on error has been a feature of their success this season and when Tony Solomona knocked-on, wing Josh Payne dived over.
Silverstream No.8 Toby Crosby has been immense in 2021 and his 45-meter run away from midfield scrum opened the second-half scoring following 20 minutes of intense back and forth. Lokotui is a third year player and made it 10-10 before wing Junior Paulo had Silverstream in charge for the third time before the heartbreaking climax.
Above: The winning try and celebration. PHOTOS: Andy McArthur.
Upper Hutt kept their lead in Premier 2 without leaving home, having been defaulted to by Kapiti during the week. Wairarapa College had a fruitful trip south beating Bishop Viard 38-24 while it was a good day for the three 2nd XVs; Silverstream beat Tawa 26-17, St Pats Town bested Naenae 31-10, and Wellington College came out on top of Paraparaumu 33-15.
In a pre-season representative fixture, the Wellington Pride met the Manawatu Cyclones at Paraparaumu. PHOTO: Mike Lewis Pictures.
Below HOBM’s Nash Fiso and OBU’s Izzy Foai meet in a one-on-one clash at Nairnville Park. PHOTO: Mike Lewis Pictures.