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Norths, Ories and Petone win major silverware on Finals Day at Porirua Park

Jubilee Cup results: 

Hardham Cup results:

  • By Steven White, Adam Julian & Scott MacLean

Sunday updates: Northern United, Oriental-Rongotai and Petone won today’s three finals at Porirua Park.

Norths won their sixth Jubilee Cup title and first since 2019 in beating Petone 23-20 in the major Premier final, Ories came back to defeat Old Boys-University 24-20 in the Hardham Cup final and up on the top field Petone defeated Stokes Valley 16-15 to capture the HD Morgan Memorial Premier 2, Division 2 title.

Elsewhere, the Petone club won the third title  on the day, their Colts side defeating OBU Green 47-10 to win the first round Paris Memorial Trophy.

There were also title deciders in neighbouring Heartland unions. In Masterton, Carterton beat Masterton Marist 32-24 to win the Moose Kapene Cup and in Levin, Waikanae defeated Shannon 37-22 to win the Horowhenua-Kapiti Ramsbotham Cup.

Jubilee Cup

Northern United denied a dogged Petone to capture the Jubilee Cup for the sixth time since 2004. In a pulsating decider Norths triumphed 23-20 after being down 13-12 at halftime.

Norths opened the scoring in the 8th minute with a try to first-five Jackson Garden-Bachop. Norths won a clean scrum from five metres out and he stepped sharply off the right foot to beat two defenders.

In the 13th minute a big run into Norths territory by Petone second five Riley Higgins led to a Petone penalty 35 metres out in centre field. Fullback Ben Brooking stood up and judged his kick into the breeze to cut the gap to 5-3.

In the 21st minute, Garden-Bachop stabbed a kick into Petone’s 22. Norths regathered possession and attacked with purpose. No. 8 Luca Rees and prop Bradley Chricton both punched into the line, before hooker Ethan Robinson-Mate burrowed through in next phase to score. Garden-Bachop’s conversion put Norths up 12-3.

Petone captain Jacob Gooch left the field as the Villagers appeared to be crumbling. However, both sides had clear chances over the remainder of the first half, as Petone began to wrestle the ascendancy.

In the 33rd minute Ben Brooking kicked a penalty to cut the deficit to 12-6, following a stab kick up towards the line by Petone No. 8 Peter Lakai which Norths lock Waylon Baker struggled to mop out.

Petone then took the lead right on the stroke of halftime with a try to Higgins. Relentless attack saw Norths cramped blindside. Petone lock Dylan Williamson opened North up openside with a flick pass in the presence of two defenders.

Petone made a bright beginning to the second half, Norths twice keeping them out when a try was imminent. Unfortunately, Brooking missed two penalty shots as Petone failed to capitalise on the momentum.

Garden-Bachop raised the flags in the 53rd minute with a 35-metre penalty before the most dramatic moment of an epic match. All Black TJ Perenara tried a skip pass openside off a scrum which was intercepted by Higgins who dashed 50-metres to score in front of his uncle Richard, part of the Norths coaching staff.

Down 20-15 Norths rallied bravely on the back of a superior scrum after Petone tighthead prop Iona Apineru had left the field injured. With about 10 minutes remaining Norths besieged the Petone line. Try saving tackles were pulled of by Prop Zeke Sopoaga and replacement flanker Josh Southall. However, when centre TK Bishop took the ball in front of the grandstand 10 metres out he wouldn’t be denied despite a heroic near-stop by Brooking.

Petone centre Lester Maulolo made two searing breaks from inside his own half to propel Petone deep inside Norths territory. With heart rates soaring, Norths scramble almost caused them to flat line, almost the operative word. The game ended when Perenara kicked the ball into touch at the ten-metre mark of his own half after the ball was recycled from a crowded ruck.

Norths lock Boston Hunt won the Jim Brown Medal as the player of the match. He hustled like a terrier and was a reliable source of lineout ball. Robinson-Mate was bustling and bruising, blindside Callum Watts-Pointer (name like a 70’s disco song) will party hard after a tenacious effort. Garden-Bachop was largely a study of composure and Johnny Teleaga elusive when involved.

Peter Lakai or “Mini Gus” was beastly. Jarrod Histrch despite his relative lack of size proved scarier than an exorcism at times off the bench, Cam Ferreira has matured into a halfback that could potentially nudge higher honours. Richard Evans offload in the grasp of Perenera to set Ferreira free is a moment they should replay on Tick Tock over and over again. It’s scarcely believable Higgins is only 19.

Norths were 1-4 after a month of the Swindle Shield. They won 11 of their next 12 games. Petone finished the season with two defeats in 16 games.

Hardham Cup

The battle of the double O’s was awesome. Ories rallied from a 20-3 deficit to topple the students 24-20 – their first Hardham Cup win since 2005.

A 76th minute try to replacement prop Jonty Bird, converted by replacement back Skivi Va’a gave Ories an advantage they deserved to earn following a dominant second half, feasting off OBU mistakes, winning the collisions at the breakdown, and playing vibrantly in the backs.

OBU had first use of the southerly breeze and went to a 10-3 halftime lead, on the back of two Callum Harkin penalties and a Harkin intercept try on the stroke of halftime.

Harkin opened the scoring in the second minute with a booming 38-metre penalty on the angle.

He missed a second kick, but soon after doubled the score to 6-0 in the 12th minute with a strike in front of the sticks, on penalty advantage after a kick through by midfield option Ty Poe almost led to the game’s first try in the far corner.

Ories established their first period of ascendancy and pushed OBU hard across both sides of the field inside OBU’s 22 before coming back for a penalty under the poles that halfback Declan Hay kicked.

Ories went straight back on to attack after a 50-metre run up the grandstand touchline, started by centre Julian Savea. Moments later second five Ahtun Masun, in his 100th Premier game, delivered a grubber that Savea almost regathered and scored off. OBU cleared the danger.

In the 23rd minute, OBU went agonisingly close to scoring, a run up the far side of the field by right wing Josh Morgan Ranui and linking play with fullback Tom Henderson stopped inches from the line. This time Ories held on grimly and escaped the danger

In the 31st minute, Ories nabbed an OBU lineout 70 metres out and counterattacked up field again. Harkin fielded a kick ahead but then kicked it back to the waiting Pena Va’a who took play back up towards the far goal line. Once more , the movement was checked.

Ories then lost openside flanker John Tuia to the sin-bin for a high tackle, as both sides threatened but both knocked on and a tryless first half was on the cards.

That was before Harkin, rather fortuitously, intercepted a pass in centre field in general play, pinned his ears back and sprinted all the way to score the first try. His conversion put OBU up 13-3 at the turnaround.

Now with the breeze, Ories built the phases inside OBU territory, but failed break through. OBU worked their way up field and another kick behind the advantage line by Poe led to a turnover and attacking scrum on the 22, 10 metres in from touch.

From the set-piece, left wing Owen Wright burst off his wing into midfield. He broke two tackles and waltzed through to the score the second try of the afternoon. Harkin’s conversion extended their lead to 20-3.

Ories had to score next to stay in the contest and they obliged, making a damaging break up the far touchline, recycling and Savea offloading in the tackled to left wing Pena Va’a for the try. His brother Skivi added the extras and the score was now 20-10 to OBU with under 25 minutes to play.

Ories roared closer with their second try, making another concerted build-up with ball in hand, then from a ruck in midfield, openside flanker John Tuia atoned for his earlier 10 minutes in the bin by floating a perfectly timed pass to left wing Pena Va’a who ghosted through a gap to score his second try. The conversion made it 20-17 with 15 minutes to play.

Ories continued to press and once more went desperately close to scoring the match-winner on the far side of play. This was repulsed but Ories surged again and openside flanker John Tuia went within a whisker of scoring.

Referee Mangin sin-binned OBU lock Jack Riley in the ensuing melee. Halfback Hay took a quick tap penalty and the forwards drove replacement prop Jonty Bird over the line for the try. Skivi Va’a’s conversion with three minutes to play made the final score 24-20 to Ories.

Premier 2

The HD Morgan Memorial Premier 2, Division 2 final was a low scoring match on a heavy field.

Petone led 9-3 on penalties until just before halftime when Stokes Valley crossed through first five Jeff Makapelu to close the gap to 9-8 at the turnaround.

Petone enjoyed much of the ascendancy throughout the second spell, creating but missing several tries. Perhaps the closest they would come was when centre Jarrod Adams cut a swathe through traffic from 50 metres out but was pulled down short and the Rhinos escaped trouble again.

With about 15 minutes to play, Stokes Valley made a rare foray up into the danger-zone, winning a penalty, only for the straightforward shot to miss.

Petone dropped out from their goal-line and Stokes Valley ran back a kick up into the 22 and pressed on attack. Stokes Valley won a turnover at a ruck and Wellington club rugby veteran first five Makapelu went all the way to the left corner to score his second try. The try was converted from the sideline and they now led 15-9.

There was still plenty of time left and Petone re-established momentum and territory and with about 10 minutes to play went wide to evergreen right wing Tamahou Waikari crossed the chalk. This was converted from the sideline and Petone were ahead by one point.

Petone were able to protect their lead to fulltime and they won the trophy decider 16-15.

Already assured of top spot in the Premier 2 Division 1 Ed Chaney Cup, Tawa warmed up for the playoffs by beating MSP 43-19 while in the other match today Avalon edged OBU 37-36. Norths held off Poneke 15-12 last night at the Ascot Park artificial, while we await WRFUs decision on the unplayed HOBM v Ories match.


The first trophy Petone claimed today came on home turf, as their Colts completed an unbeaten run through the Paris Memorial Trophy by beating OBU 47-10 in a virtual decider.

HOBM leapfrogged the Goats into second by beating Avalon 35-17, while we make Wellington fourth after they beat Johnsonville 36-10. Pare-Plim were the day’s biggest losers, going down 48-17 to MSP and falling from fourth to seventh, and Tawa were sixth after beating Poneke 32-19.

Subject to confirmation, we make next week’s quarter finals to be: Petone v Poneke, HOBM v Pare-Plim, OBU v Tawa, and Wellington v MSP


The HOBM Howlers beat Petone 34-17 and MSP toppled the Wests Roosters 39-15 in two U85kg Division 3 games today.

The OBU Scallywags beat the Wellington Axemen 29-26 in their National U85kg Knockout Cup fixture.


In one college game to hand this evening, the St Pat’s College First XV beat St John’s, Hastings 36-8 in their re-scheduled Traditional in Palmerston North.

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