Marist St Pat’s centre Isaia Petelo makes a break in his side’s 48-38 Old Timers’ Day win over Old Boys University. PHOTO: Andy McArthur.
- By Steven White, Adam Julian, Martyn Bridge and Scott MacLean.
The race for upcoming championship Jubilee Cup places tightened up this afternoon following a hotly contested ninth round set of Swindale Shield matches throughout the Wellington region.
The two most notable wins of the afternoon were Poneke beating Hutt Old Boys Marist 29-25 at the Hutt Rec and Marist St Pat’s beating Old Boys University 48-38 on their Old Timers’ Day at Evans Bay Park.
Petone maintained their lead at the top of the standings with a month to play in the first round, accounting for Paremata-Plimmerton 69-10 for the Ken Gray Cup, at home.
Tawa beat the Upper Hutt Rams 23-14 without a bonus point at home at Lyndhurst Park to round out the top six on the table.
The Swindale Shield top six at a glance are: Petone (on 38 points), Poneke (34), Old Boys University (31), HOBM (30*), MSP (30) and Tawa (29).
In other matches today, Northern United beat the Avalon Wolves 38-18 at Fraser Park, Ories beat Wellington 53-5 for the Alby Jack Cup at Hataitai Park and Johnsonville defeated Wainuiomata 18-13 at Helston Park.
Norths (26 points) and Ories and Paremata-Plimmerton (both 23) round out the top eight on the log, while, Johnsonville are knocking on the door (22*) and the Rams (15), Wainuiomata (13), Avalon (7) and Wellington (1) are all preparing for a big final four weeks of the competition.
*Any discussion of the points table must consider an earlier cancelled game between HOBM and Johnsonville. The current points table reflects the 3 points both were awarded from the non-contest but a potential upcoming replay of this match is still alive.
In other grades, Tawa have won the Premier 2 Division 1 Harper Lock Shield with a round to spare next weekend, with an emphatic 38-22 bonus point win over Ories in today’s Lyndhurst Park curtain-raiser, in what was a top-of-the-table clash (more on this game below).
In some selected round the grounds reports, MSP beat OBU eight tries to six to reclaim the Jack Lamason Memorial Cup.
It was tit-for-tat throughout the first half, and the two sides went into the break all square at 19-19. MSP turned on the gas soon after the turnaround and pulled well clear of the Billygoats, before surviving a – very – late scare.
After the oranges, MSP burst ahead to lead 43-19, with tries to left wing Hansiene Pama, prop Tui Tuia and lock Charles Gubb (2). In the dying minutes, OBU came back to score three tries themselves to at one stage trail 43-38. But, to the relief of MSP’s supporters, fullback Ryan Setefano crossed at the death to seal victory for his side.
For OBU, replacement back Isaac Wilson scored two second half tries, while flankers Josh Gimblett and Harry Bampton, right wing Reece Plumtree and halfback Kyle Preston were try-scorers.
Poneke won their sixth game of the season by inside five points, finishing stronger to beat Hutt Old Boys Marist 29-25 in their Roy Johns Memorial Trophy fixture.
With about 10 minutes remaining a cross kick by first-five Pakai Turia was caught on the wing by No.8 Galu Taufale as Poneke took a lead they wouldn’t lose.
HOBM enjoyed obvious superiority in the scrums and lineouts. Hooker Ben Power scored two tries from rolling mauls and wing Fritz Rayasi dotted down in the corner after most of the Poneke forwards had committed to suppressing the drive.
Why didn’t the Eagles win the game? Poneke’s bench contributed significantly to changing their fortunes and they pounced upon Eagles inaccuracy. Taufele scored his first try from an intercept to make it 15-8 after fullback Nick Robinson scooted clear after Hutt let a high kick bounce in front of them. Robinson’s try levelled the scores after a sluggish street kids start. Poneke’s Fiso stood tall with some key lineout catches at the end and second-five El Nino Peniamina runs with thrust.
At Helston Park, Johnsonville played into the wind and the sun in the first half against visitors Wainuiomata, and they scored the first try of the game inside 5 minutes when first five Levi Grace provided a short pass to lock Serge Hollis, who drew his man and sent right wing Jed Mitchell away in the corner.
Wainuiomata hit back almost straightaway, from a scrum on Johnsonville’s 22, fullback Jason Love injecting himself into the line and passing to wing Niko Patelesio to score their first try to make it 5-5.
The flow of the game soon slowed down, with both sides missing penalties over the next 20 minutes, before Johnsonville re-took the lead with their second try following a break in general play to Mitchell, some nice interplay by locks Hollis and Tayne Laird-Mahu and then a try out wide to fullback Jacob Walmsley.
Just before halftime, the green and blacks struck with their second try after taking a quick tap penalty and second-five Peter Umaga-Jensen tipping on to fullback Love to score. The conversion missed, as Johnsonville took a 12-10 lead into halftime.
Wainuiomata then took the lead about 10 minutes into the second half through a Tyler Tane penalty. It was short-lived though, as a penalty to halfback Mark Sutton put the Hawks back in front 15-13.
Sutton then kicked a second penalty with about 15 minutes to play to make it 18-13 to Johnsonville, following a big run down field by himself.
The hard-fought nature of the match continued to the end, but there was no further scoring and Johnsonville’s team chant rang out from their clubrooms for a second successive Saturday.
For Wainuiomata, openside Greg Lealofi had a big match, while special mentions to tighthead prop Koloa Aisake, lock Laird-Mahu, No. 8 Sam Green and right wing Mitchell.
At Fortress Lyndhurst Park, home team Tawa fought hard for their 23-14 win over the gallant Upper Hutt Rams.
In a generally evenly contested and physical contest, both sides cancelled each other with poor execution at key moments and bouts of poor decision making.
The Rams opted to turn down a shot at goal at the very end which if successful would have given them a deserved bonus point, but they went for the lineout and lost possession.
Tawa led 10-7 at half time, after the Rams had scored the game’s opening try – and best try for non-forward purists – when the competition’s leading points scorer, fullback Tynan Barrett, linked up with centre Dan Schrijvers who scored in the clubrooms corner. Moments earlier, Schrijvers had also crossed the line from another break but was called back for a forward pass. Fullback Barrett’s conversion put the Rams up 7-3 following an early Tawa penalty.
Tawa gained momentum when the Rams made an error from the next restart, which soon led to an attacking scrum close to the line and halfback George Sims darted over.
Both teams had long periods on attack over the remainder of the first half but neither could penetrate. Just before halftime, Tawa second five Lumafale Lualua was sinbinned.
The tightly contested run of play continued into the second half until Tawa struck with a decisive try, scored by tighthead prop Ben Aumua-Peseta from a penalty and lineout drive in the corner.
Needing to score next, the Rams gained field position from a break by No. 8 Toby Crosby, and the Rams soon attacked from a lineout of their own in the corner. Reserve prop Sean Rankin then crashed over. Fullback Barrett’s conversion made it a one-point game at 15-14 to Tawa.
The match continued its abrasive nature, until Tawa kicked for the corner and drove for the line from the lineout, when tighthead prop Aumua-Peseta came up with what was the winning try.
With about 5 minutes to play, Tawa established more field position, were awarded another penalty, and first five Trent Renata kicked the penalty to seal victory.
In a forwards-dominated match, Tawa got good use out of loosehead prop PJ Sheck, captain for the day and lock Hugo Plummer, and big striding No. 8 Lipa Saveatema.
For the Rams, veteran flanker Josh Hunt, hooker Eli Hunt, lock Aiden Woodward and No. 8 Crosby all toiled hard in the forwards, whilst wing Luke Bond was a livewire.
In the Harper Lock Shield curtain raiser at Lyndhurst, Tawa won the first round trophy with a week to spare by beating Oriental Rongotai 38-22.
Playing with the wind in the first half, Tawa racked up a 21-3 lead courtesy of three converted tries against a lone Ories drop goal. Tawa’s forwards, in particular their scrum, were a dominant factor.
Late in the first half, Ories were reduced to 14 men through a sinbinning, and Tawa soon ran in their fourth and bonus point try, to lead 28-3 at halftime.
There was no scoring for quite a while in the second half until Tawa scored again to create a 30 point lead.
Ories then roared into life and scored three consecutive tries to cut the lead to 33-22.
But time was against them, and Tawa scored the last try through popular loose forward Penieli Tokakece to finish 38-22 winners.
After a false start last weekend, the Premier Women’s second round Division 1 Tia Paasi Memorial Trophy got underway today and it lived up to it billing, with a draw and a tight result.
At the Petone Rec, the Petone Ponies held Northern United to a 17-17 draw, whilst at the opening match on MSP’s Old Timers’ Day at Evans Bay Park, first round winners Oriental-Rongotai defeated MSP 37-24.
In the second weekend of Division 2 Izzy Ford Cup fixtures, Avalon were too strong for Paremata-Plimmerton in winning 45-17 at Ngatitoa Domain and Wainuiomata beat Poneke 34-27 at home at William Jones Park.
Avalon and Wainuiomata have both win their first two matches of the second round with bonus points.
As reported above, Tawa beat Ories 38-22 in their table-topping fixture.
Elsewhere in the Harper Lock Shield, two matches went down to the wire. MSP beat OBU 25-22 in the early match at Evans Bay Park and HOBM edged Norths 26-24. Poneke defeated the Upper Hutt Rams 69-26.
Petone lead the Division 2 competition for the National Mutual Cup by a point to second placed Avalon heading into next weekend’s final round set of matches – but Petone have the bye next weekend meaning Avalon can return from their bye and leapfrog them at the top of the standings.
In two matches that proceeded today, Petone defeated Paremata-Plimmerton 46-43 in a whirlwind second XV match and Wainuiomata edged Johnsonville 36-28 in the first game at Helston Park. The Wellington Axemen defaulted to Stokes Valley in the other match.
Big results were the order of the day in the Colts grade, particularly with the “Big Three” flexing their muscle in their Paris Memorial Trophy outings.
Petone hummed along at more than a point a minute in thumping Wainuiomata 82-7 at William Jones, HOBM were at nearly the same pace in dispatching Poneke 71-5, and OBU put previously second-placed MSP to the sword winning 60-14.
Tawa had little issue in easing past Johnsonville 38-5, while Wellington clicked into form in beating Avalon 46-12. Pare-Plim had the bye.
Like the Colts, big margins were the feature of the day in the lightweights grade. Unbeaten trio the Upper Hutt Rams, Stokes Valley, and Johnsonville stayed that way: the Rams sank the previously solid OBU Scallywags ship winning 32-5, Stokes headed off Petone 38-14, and Johnsonville were too good for MSP with a 54-12 win.
Down the table, Poneke took the spoils from HOBM by 46-7, and Wellington kept Wests scoreless with a 40-0 margin.
The sixth match of the day was beside the sea at H.W. Shortt as the two trophy holders in the grade – Eastbourne and Avalon – met. With both sides only just scraping together a XV owing to illness, injuries and other absences, it was the hosts that started the brightest and through two well-executed tries led 14-0 after 10 minutes.
The Wolves got on the board with a pair of penalties, but the Gulls were almost out of sight by the break as they added two more for a 28-6 lead as they turned and killed the game off as a contest as they started the second in the same way as the first with two more after the resumption. The home side added a seventh before Avalon were finally able to breach the green-and-yellow wall but Eastbourne were able to raise 50 against their rivals with a try on fulltime. Gulls first-five Piri Bradshaw was the match’s outstanding figure, directing his side’s play and notching a personal haul of two tries and five conversions.
The opening competition weekend in the College ranks saw Scots and St Bernard’s join Wellington College as opening round winners in the Premiership.
Scots were too good for Mana College winning 68-14 in Elsdon, while St Bernard’s topped fellow Hutt Valley side Hutt International, with those following Wellington College’s 29-21 win over St Pats Town on Wednesday. The fourth match of the round which sees Wairarapa College host Silverstream has been deferred until next month, while Rongotai had the bye.
In Premier 2 Aotea edged Paraparaumu 31-29, the Silverstream 2nds were far too good for an undermanned Hutt Valley HS winning 90-5, and Bishop Viard saw off the St Pats Town 2nds by 50-22. The remaining matches in the central Hutt were competitive affairs with Taita besting the Wellington College 2nds by 28-20, and Upper Hutt got the spoils over Naenae by 33-21.
A trio of matches come along on Wednesday. Silverstream host New Plymouth Boys’ and St Pat’s Town likewise with St John’s Hastings in a pair of Traditional clashes, while St Bernard’s and Mana meet in the first match of round two.