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Busy Saturday for lower grade club rugby and college competitions

It’s quarter-finals weekend in the Colts competition. Last years finalists Petone and OBU are both at home tomorrow and will look to advance to the top four round. 

By Scott Maclean & Steven White

The Premier silverware may have been decided last week, but there is still plenty of rugby coming over the next few weeks, as the club season winds down and the Men’s representative season gets into gear.

There is one club rugby final tomorrow at the Polo Ground, where the Ories Vatos and Poneke Ruffnuts will contest the Premier Reserve Division 1 John Davies Cup decider.

The Colts competition is in quarter-final mode, as is the Premier 2 Division 1 Ed Chaney Cup, whilst all three grades of the U85kg competition are in round-robin action and the College season resumes with all grades taking the field.

The weather forecast for tomorrow is difficult, but the rugby should trump this.

The rugby continues on Sunday at Porirua Park where the Wellington Pride host Waikato in the third round of the Women’s Farah Palmer Cup competition.

Premier 2 Ed Chaney Cup

The top division of the second-tier kicks into their playoffs tomorrow with all eight teams squaring off in the quarter-finals.

Top seeds and defending champions Tawa (1) look to keep their crown and start by hosting Old Boys-University (8) at Lyndhurst. The champs have their long unbeaten streak as proof of their credentials but will know that OBU were the only side they haven’t beaten this term when they drew in the Harper Lock Shield.

Hutt Old Boys Marist (2) welcome Marist St Pats (7) to the Hutt Rec having won both of their encounters this, while following an appeal against the decision initially reached for last week’s unplayed HOBM v Ories match, the remaining matches differ from those circulated earlier in the week. Norths (3) will now take on Oriental Rongotai (6) at Porirua Park with Poneke (4) now hosting first-round Division 2 winners Avalon (5) at Kilbirnie. Norths and Ories have split their two meetings this year, with Poneke having beaten Avalon in their only encounter.

Ed Chaney Cup Draws & Results HERE

Colts John E Kelly Memorial

With the round-robin over, the attention for the Colts turns towards their playoffs. They too are at the quarter-finals, but with a different format to Premier 2 with the losing sides tomorrow still going through to next week.

Paris Memorial Trophy winners Petone (1) will look to start erasing last year’s championship heartache when they take on Poneke (8) at the Petone Rec, while across the river Hutt Old Boys Marist (2) – the only side Petone didn’t beat in the round-robin – face the challenge of Paremata-Plimmerton (7). Defending champions Old Boys-University (3) will look to re-group when they take on Tawa (6) at Nairnville while Wellington (4), perhaps the surprise package of the season, take on Marist St Pat’s (5) in an eastern suburbs derby.

John E Kelly Memorial Draws & Results HERE

Under 85’s

After last week’s break the top two divisions return to action. In the Division 1 Paul Potiki Shield JC Bowl winners Johnsonville make the short trip south to face the OBU Scallywags at Nairnville Park, while the Upper Hutt Rams will look to atone for the ugly defeat that ended their first-round aspirations when they return to Kilbirnie Park and a meeting with Poneke.

In Division 2 both matches are in the Hutt with the rivalry between Avalon and Stokes Valley set to resume when they meet at Fraser Park and down the coast Eastbourne will welcome Wellington to HW Shortt. Division 3 hit their final round-robin (and unlike the other divisions will play semi-finals) with HOBM and MSP meeting at the Hutt Rec and Petone taking on Wests at the Petone Rec.

Paul Potiki Shield Draws & Results HERE 

Reserve Grade

There is one final on tomorrow with the Reserve Grade Division 1 John Davies Cup up for grabs as eastern suburbs rivals the Ories Vatos and Poneke Ruffnuts meet in a replay of last year’s final at the same venue.

The unbeaten Vatos are coming off a 40-14 semi-final win over Petone and the Poneke Ruffnuts beat the Johnsonville Cripples 24-22 last weekend.

These two sides last met on 9 July and the Vatos won 33-24, and the Vatos won 31-5 in their first round fixture in May.

Both sides head into the final relatively fresh, having played fewer than 10 games all season to date, factoring in bye weeks, defaults and cancellations.

The Ruffnuts have reported mid-week that despite these frustrations, the team has rallied well and has been well led by 2022 captain Jordan Maiava.

Team Commissioner Antz Carter said: “In this week’s final the Ruffnuts come up against the Ories Vatos, who for the past few seasons have been the benchmark and team to beat in the Reserve Grade. The Ruffnuts are honoured to have made the final and are looking forward to yet another great tussle against our local neighbours. Both teams boast a huge amount of talent and with the Vatos 2-0 up on the Ruffnuts for 2022, it’s a great opportunity to pull one back in the winner takes all game.

“In wishing the Vatos all the best for this week’s final, we would also like to acknowledge and thank all the other teams in the Division 1 Reserve grade who provided a battle every week. Thank you to our last week’s semi-final opponent Johnsonville Cripples, the always tough Upper Hutt Pirates, and the usually classy Petone Brotherhood. The importance of these teams cannot be understated, and we know they have the same heart and desire that the Ruffnuts have – ‘returning club rugby to the community’.”

The Ruffnuts have supplied the following teamlist – with an emphasis on possible changes on the day:

1.G Brighouse, 2. M Liumaihetau, 3. A Faatoese, 4. J Ryan, 5. T Kirikiri, 6. S Talivai-Johnson, 7. J Wilson, 8. J Maiava (C), 9. M Carter, 10. L Bardsley, 11. M Sagapulotele, 12. K Moliika, 13. R Raka, 14. T Peleseuma, 15. T Kingi BENCH (from): C Hill, C Stainton, B Taefu, P Makisi, J Tanerau, K Va’auli, K Elu, N Tiatia, H Tui, A Logovae

College

After the break for the school holidays, College rugby resumes this week. In the Premiership the first match of the penultimate round has already been played with St Pats Town (26) producing their first win since 2010 in their annual Traditional clash with Silverstream (29) with a 19-13 result that also ensures that no team will run the table this year. Wellington College (27) can take over top spot when they host Hutt International (15) but still have the bye to come, St Bernard’s (17) will look to keep their playoff hopes alive when visited by Wairarapa (6) in the early game at 1.30pm, and Mana (0) will try to get a morale-boosting win when they host Rongotai (13).

In Premier 2 leaders the Silverstream 2nds (35) head to the city to take on their Town (10) counterparts and chasers Upper Hutt (29) are likewise on the road to take on Aotea (20). Elsewhere the Wellington College 2nds (20) are up the coast to face Paraparaumu (15), Bishop Viard (25) are at Taita (17), and bottom pair HVHS (7) and Naenae (1) meet at the latter.

Representative

The Wellington Lions squad is in action for the first time this year when they play Taranaki at Waverly.

The Wellington Pride return home to play powerhouse Waikato at Jerry Collins Stadium on Sunday afternoon, kick-off 2.05pm.

The Pride will hope to stay with Waikato, stacked with Chiefs Women’s players and Black Ferns, following a first round 5-43 capitulation to Canterbury at this same venue and a solid second round 27-19 win over Counties Manukau. Waikato beat Manawatu 33-24 in round one and then had their bye last weekend.

In two matches last year, Waikato beat the Pride 34-27 and 26-10 (semi-final). They didn’t meet in 2020, but the Pride can take inspiration from their 8 tries to 5 59-31 win over the She-Mooloo in 2019.

The Wellington Lions team may or may not be named on Friday, while the Pride and Waikato teams would be expected to be released tomorrow.

Men’s and Women’s NPC Draws & Results HERE

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