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Petone win seventh straight after McBain miracle

Petone with the McBain Shield after their last-gasp win over the HOBM Eagles this afternoon.  PHOTO: Andy McArthur. 

Results from today (individual scoring as and when received) and standings HERE

  • By Steven White and Adam Julian

UPDATED SUNDAY AFTERNOON: Petone are the outright leaders of the Swindale Shield regardless of any pending catch-up games, winning their seventh straight match in a dramatic fixture for the McBain Shield against Hutt Old Boys Marist this afternoon.

Petone never led until the 84th minute, and when the winning moment arrived it was a miracle.

The considerably larger Hutt pack hammered away at the Petone line and perfectly positioned Brayden Laursen for the winning dropped goal, straight in front of the posts five-metres out. Laursen snapped the ball only to be met by a full-length dive from Tupou Sopoaga. How the No.8 could get airborne and block the ball is beyond normal logic. The ball rolled into vacant pasture and Petone reserve back Sam Blackburn dribbled it to halfway, dribbled it to the 22 and the ball bounced into his chest; Blackburn running into McBain folklore.

Petone outscored Hutt five tries to two, but the Villagers often struggled to suppress a bullying Eagles pack. Captain and lock Jordan Gilles scored first and two penalties by Laursen had Hutt 13-0 ahead in as many minutes. Taylor Henry caught Hutt short on the opeside but when Laursen cross-kicked for Fereti Soloa and converted from the sideline Hutt led 20-5 with a one-man advantage.

Fereti Soloa scores for HOBM. PHOTO: Andy McArthur.

Ben Brooking was yellow carded for Petone. Petone halfback Cam Ferriera was vital to his sides’ fortunes, growing in stature throughout. A quick tap from a penalty reduced the deficit to 20-10 at halftime.

The Petone bench, especially Brad Pritchard and Teddi Afamasaga Hern made a noticeable impact as Petone was able to largely blunt the forced Hutt attack. Henry’s second try made it 20-15 and ironically Petone scored a try from a rolling maul to make it 20-20. Petone’s defence was immense and props Iona Apineru and Alapati Soke as well as lock Jack Ross put in huge shifts. Laursen, Ben Power and Jordan Gillies were Hutt’s best. The ending was insane, helping Petone win McBain for the 62nd time.

Two of the earlier McBain Shield curtain-raiser matches on the Petone Rec also went down to the wire, and both finished in identical 17-17 draws. Nothing could separate their U85kg teams nor the Colts sides that met on the No. 1 before the main game.

This result was only one of seven stirring Premier Swindale Shield fixtures today under Autumnal skies and steady rain about the entire region by the start of all games.

Two of the closest saw Wainuiomata edge the Upper Hutt Rams 23-22 at Maidstone Park – inflicting a second successive late one-point loss on the Rams, while the Avalon Wolves went close to toppling Marist St Pat’s in going down 14-12 at Fraser Park.

A 14-man Wainuiomata won with a 79th minute dropped goal to replacement first five Justin Wilson. Replacement Jimmy Grindrod had been red-carded in the 66th minute and Rams fullback Tynan Barrett had kicked his fifth penalty of the match to put the Rams up 22-20. It went from bad to worse for Wainuiomata a minute later when No. 8 Teru Time was sin-binned so Wainuiomata were down to 13 players on the field for most of the rest of the match. But instead of folding, they dug deep and pulled out a dropped kick at the end to win the game.

Wainuiomata had led 10-9 at the end of a grim first half, that had seen Rams No. 8 Toby Crosby sinbinned just before the interval. Wainuiomata extended their lead to 15-9 10 minutes into the second half with a try to left wing Renata Kotuhi, but the Rams had come back with more Barrett penalties and a try to their left wing Luke Bond to set up the final quarter that got away from them.

Poneke beat Johnsonville 25-10 at Helston Park.

In a game that never reached any great heights the Hawks were on the board first when winger Knox Tuinasau reacted first to a spilt ball, hacked it downfield and benefitted from Nick Robertson being unable to gather the loose ball to sprint away under the posts.

Minutes later the visitors levelled when some nice work down the left saw lock Abraham Mataitini find space and lope away. But that would be all the tryscoring action with the boot supplying the remaining points as Pakai Turia and Levi Grace exchanged penalties, before Poneke effectively squeezed the life out of the Hawks who badly missed the direction of Mark Sutton. Turia kicked Poneke into a 16-10 half-time lead and added two more after the break before Josh Wilson, who had an impressive game, closed proceedings with a sixth penalty of the day.

Knox Tuinasau scores early for Johnsonville, their only try of the match. PHOTO: Natural Light Photography.

Paremata-Plimmerton confirmed their credentials with a comfortable 51-3 win over competition strugglers the Wellington Axemen at Ngatitoa Domain.

Northern United earned a decisive 36-24 win over defending Jubilee Cup Tawa at home on their Old Timers’ Day at Porirua Park (report from this game below).

Old Boys University won the Bill Brien Challenge Shield today at the Polo Ground, beating home side Oriental-Rongotai 23-10. Halfback Kyle Preston scored two tries and No. 8 Tiaki Fabish one for OBU.

Defending first round champions OBU are now sitting in second on the table behind Petone with their sixth win from seven games.

The final set of matches in the Premier Women’s Rebecca Liua’ana Trophy was also played today, with today’s results leaving a three-way tie at the top of the standings between Oriental-Rongotai, Marist St Pat’s and Northern United. All three ended on 30 points.

It is to be confirmed who has won the trophy, with all three sides having beaten each other during the round-robin and cancelling each other out that way.

Update, the WRFU have confirmed that Ories have won the first round women’s title and have sent out an explainer email. We will either relay this here or in our Monday news in briefs in column.

Today, Northern United beat Ories 29-17, winning with a four-try bonus point and denying Ories any points. Marist St Pat’s enjoyed a 38-21 bonus point win over the Avalon She-Wolves.

The other two results saw Petone beating Wainuiomata 54-17 and Paremata-Plimmerton beating Poneke 31-15.

The eight women’s sides now split into two divisions for the remainder of the season. Norths, MSP, Ories and Petone will contest the top tier and Avalon, Poneke, Paremata-Plimmerton and Wainuiomata will clash in the second division.

A review of the three matches at Porirua Park on Jerry Collins Stadium follows.

A rampaging Northern United overran an out-of-sorts Tawa 36-24 at a slippery Porirua Park on their Old Timers’ Day and for the Sammy Saili Memorial Trophy.

With wet weather settling in, Norths kept Tawa pinned inside their own territory from the outset and their confident forwards went to work. For Tawa, everything that could go wrong did so, making numerous mistakes. The result was ultimately sealed when No. 8 Luca Rees scored the fourth and bonus point try for Norths midway through the second half to put the home side up 29-5 the game was as good as won.

Tawa rallied and scored two well-constructed tries themselves, to replacement loose forward Ratu Roraqio and replacement wing Tom Cutler in the corner, the latter chasing up a kick through by fullback Randall Bishop. These tries closed the gap to 29-17.

However, it was Norths’ Day, Rees sealing the win by scoring his second try following an attacking scrum on the 22.

Tawa fought hard to the end, and fullback Bishop scored a bonus point consolation try on full time.

Earlier, Norths had leapt to a 14-0 lead after 20 minutes, both these tries involving second five Faraimo Nofoaiga who slipped a lovely overhead pass to blindside flanker Olano Afutoto to score in the corner.

Norths’ second try was started from a scrum 70 metres out, Nofoaiga chasing up and toeing ahead a grubber kick, regathering and passing inside to right wing Losi Filipo. Both these tries were converted from out wide by first five Dale Sabbagh.

Tawa scored one try in the first half, half back George Sims darting over the line after a previous attack forced a Norths goal line dropout.

Sabbagh increased Norths’ lead to 17-5 by half time with a penalty, following the sinbinning of Tawa’s lock Hemi Fermanis for a slapdown in general play.

Early in the second half, Norths scored their third try to extend their lead to 22-5, decisively attacking Tawa from a lineout on the 22 and bullocking left wing Ropati Sooalo throwing himself through a forward melee and scoring a popular try.

Forwards power and suffocating defence were the keys to victory for Northern United over Oriental Rongotai in the first round women’s decider in the first game of the day at Porirua Park.

Try-time for Norths in the first half. PHOTO: Andy McArthur.

The Norths forwards, led by sisters Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate and Te Amohaere Ngata-Aerengamate and tighthead prop Isadore Laio-Laupola, and the ever-present openside flanker Aimee Sutorious were too strong for their Ories counterparts on the day. Their scrum was dominant and their direct running up the middle stretched them. Ories had Black Ferns Joanah Ngan-Woo at No 8 and Ayesha Leti-I’iga at centre. Ngan-Woo tried hard to lift her pack whilst Leti-I’iga was heavily marked and had few chances.

However, it was the Black Ferns pair who set up the game’s opening try in the 15th minute. From an Ories scrum 25 metres out, Ngan-Woo combined with Leti-I’iga, and the former scored under the posts to make it 7-0.

From this point, Norths scored three consecutive tries over the next 20 minutes to take a 19-7 lead after half an hour. All three tries were the result of strong teamwork and continuity on attack, the third of which proved popular with Laio-Laupola offloading to Te Amohaere Ngata-Aerengamate to score between the posts.

Ories regrouped just before half time and were rewarded with their second try after No. 8 Ngan-Woo was tackled just short of the line but managed to offload to Bernadine Solo who crossed the whitewash to cut the gap to 19-12. There was no further scoring in the first half.

The opening 10 minutes of the second half was punctuated by two long injury breaks, before Norths scored their match-winning and bonus point try when they kicked for the corner and their forwards set up a rolling maul, and they went wide and after a minute of attacking play, first five Kat Wira-Kohu scored in the opposite corner to make it 24-12.

The clincher came several minutes later when Sutorious kicked through for Harmony Ioane to score.

With about 10 minutes to play, Ories scored their third try after a penalty and a lineout at the other end of the field, Miracle Nua crossing the chalk. This made it 29-19.

Needing a fourth try for a bonus point, Ories tried hard to the end but the Norths defensive line continued to be as strong as it had been since the start of the match, and Ories were held out until full time.

In the middle game on Jerry Collins Stadium, the Tawa Premier 2 side beat Norths 22-3.

With their fourth straight bonus point win, Tawa are the Harper Lock Shield Premier 2 leaders after the opening month of this competition.

Tawa scored early against Norths to up 7-0, before scoring two more unconverted tries in the first half as steady drizzle then rain started falling making for greasy conditions.

Norths’ only scoring was from a penalty. The second half was much tighter, both sides holding the other out several times. Finally, Tawa scored their fourth and bonus point try at the very end, evergreen loose forward TJ Fermanis scoring after a sweeping build-up.

Ories are in second on the Premier 2 Harper Lock Shield points table, after beating Old Boys University 41-12 in the early match on the Polo Ground.

In the two other matches, HOBM beat the Upper Hutt Rams second XV 36-19 and the MSP and Poneke second teams met.

The second division Premier 2 National Mutual Cup saw the Avalon second side win their fourth straight match, prevailing 31-12 over Petone.

Stokes Valley had a 14-7 win over Wainuiomata, while Paremata-Plimmerton beat Wellington m

In the Paris Memorial Trophy Colts competition, Petone and HOBM’s 17-17 draw leaves these two clubs at the top of the standings after three weeks.

It was a day of close results in the Colts Paris Memorial. As well as the deading duo  Wainuiomata bested Tawa 24-17, Poneke held out Johnsonville 24-20 (see report below), and Paremata-Plimmerton scored late to edge Wellington 15-14 and retain the Daniel Baldwin Memorial Trophy. The only result that didnt fit the type was at Fraser Park, where MSP were too good for Avalon, winning 55-19.

In the early game at Helston, Poneke produced a backs-to-the-wall performance to deny Johnsonville. Playing with the breeze in the first half Poneke trailed 15-10 at the break, but struck twice in the first 10 after the interval to establish a 24-15 lead. Johnsonville were able to answer back with a fourth unconverted try, but despite Poneke losing one player to the bin, and another to a red card the Streetkid youngsters were able to hang on to grab their first win.

In the U85kg JC Bowl, Stokes Valley and the Upper Hutt Rams lead the way after four rounds.

In fixtures today, Stokes Valley beat MSP 37-5 and the Light-Rams beat close rivals the Avalon U85s 21-5.

As reported above, Petone and HOBM drew 17-17, while Eastbourne edged Poneke 17-15 and the OBU Scallywags were more comfortable winners in beating Wellington 33-0.

The Johnsonville versus Wests match was cancelled.

In College Rugby, just one of four Wellington teams won in today’s second round of the Hurricanes First XV Festival played in Napier, and three got well beaten.

St Pat’s Silverstream beat Gisborne Boys’ High School 39-11, while Wellington College, Scots College and St Pat’s Town all fell to heavy defeats. Wellington College going down 52-7 to Napier BHS, Scots losing 51-7 to Hastings BHS and St Pat’s Town missing out 47-5 to Palmerston North BHS.

In second round grading games, Rongotai beat HIBS 17-8 and St Bernard’s beat Mana 21-10 – meaning that Rongotai and St Bernard’s have officially qualified for the Premiership alongside the above four schools.

Other Premier grading games saw Bishop Viard beat Paraparaumu 39-18, Hutt Valley High School beat Taita 12-10, Wairarapa College beat Naenae 70-7, Upper Hutt College beat Kapiti College 48-0 and Tawa College overcame Aotea College 22-17.

Defence was optional in Blenheim, as the Crusaders U20s beat the Hurricanes u20s 50-45 (halftime 29-19.

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