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Eight club and college champions found on dramatic afternoon of rugby

The Petone Colts celebrating winning the Division 1 title this afternoon. PHOTO: Mike Lewis Pictures.

  • By Steven White, Adam Julian and Scott MacLean.

Updates #3 (Sunday): Half a dozen club rugby champions were found at a sun-drenched Fraser Park this afternoon, while finalists were found in one other club rugby grade and most of the college rugby competitions (and two finals played), while there were some rip-snorting results for some representative teams that were in action.

A round-up of some of the action and results (as received – please message/email us to fill in any gaps) follows.


Petone won the John E Kelly Cup Memorial Cup final, leading all the way against Hutt Old Boys Marist.

The final score of 27-22 disguised the dominance of Petone’s start. The Villagers were ahead 18-0 in the opening quarter, and despite being outscored four tries to two, largely dictated terms with their smothering defence and intelligent territorial kicking. Hutt could hardly buy a trick in the first 20 minutes. Penalties, fumbles and panic reigned as they slumped into a deep hole, punished furthermore by Petone’s accuracy.

Petone first-five Rory Woolett opening the scoring with a penalty before No.8 Lipo Sipaia scored the first try from a scrum which twisted and left the Eagles vulnerable short side, Sipaia dashing 15-metres. Woolett kicked a 50/22 and penalty as Petone extended to 13-0 and then the first-five help set up centre Jacob Beattie. The halftime score was 18-0.

HOBM started the second-half with renewed purpose and a rolling maul cut the deficit to 18-5. The Eagles resurgence was only brief. A handy penalty for Woolett made it 21-5 before relentless attack saw second-five Tom Mannix snap a 20 metre drop goal.

Unusually HOBM with almost every back attack chose to cut and crash instead of employing width and their speed merchants out wide. When the ball finally found space wing Keisar Vailolo scored and it was 24-10. A fourth Woolett penalty made it 27-10 at which point Petone appeared spent. Hutt introduced some serious energy from the bench and some bold and precise back play saw two cracking tries scored to make it 27-22.

Lock Te Kirimaia Wanoa carried three defenders with him over the line in an especially heroic run. Unfortunately for Hutt it was a case of two little too late. Their most consistent performers were openside Jonathan Bailey, captain and hooker Damien Henare and lock Hugh Bloomfield whose lineout prowess at times was a work of art. Fullback Flyn Ruscoe who kicked two 50/22’s and made a line break. For Petone locks Brad Pritchard and James Winter were a combined menance, openside Mitch Southall battled feverishly and all four props stood up to their bigger opposites Leyton Tapa on the right wing is a graceful player and Woolett will push hard for a prems spot next year.

Paremata-Plimmerton won the Colts Division 2 Vic Calcinai Memorial Cup Final against Poneke in dramatic style – scoring the winning try in a 17-15 win with the final play of the game.

The Junior Hammerheads appeared out of fuel after Poneke had come roaring back to score the second to two consecutive tries that put them up 15-12.

Poneke made good use of fresh legs of the bench, whilst Paremata-Plimmerton saw players depart, which also necessitated golden oldies scrums over the back end of the game.

Paremata-Plimmerton had previously got stuck in to Poneke, both at the breakdown and set-piece time and they found one last punch and scored the winner in the 80th minute.

Earlier, the first half was an even struggle and the final remained scoreless right up to the 35th minute when first five Jake Tibbbits put the afterburners and ran through to score in the left corner. Poneke replied with a penalty just before the interval to make it 5-3 to the Hammerheads at halftime.

They scored a booming try early in the second half, when their left wing injected himself into a ruck on the tryline and dive over to score a converted try to extend their lead to 12-3.

Paremata-Plimmerton score their second try to go 12-3 up. Poneke would come back to the lead, but Paremata-Plimmerton scored again at the death.

They had their tails up, but momentum swung Poneke’s way and they looked destined for victory up until the very end when the boys from Mana dug deep and scored the winner.


The Johnsonville Terrahawks were deserved champions of the Division 1 Paul Potiki Shield, beating the Upper Hutt Rams 37-5.

Johnsonville outscored the Rams five tries to one and the game was over with almost 20 minutes to play when they won a turnover 60 metres out and broke out and scored their final try.

Earlier, Johnsonville had played with pace and width, not unlike the style of their Premier team in some games earlier this season, scoring their first two tries to go 12-0 up. The first of these on the right wing was scored after about two minutes of sustained build-up and the second off a clever lineout move up the blindside in the near corner, scored with a player just sent to the bin.

Johnsonville increased their lead to 15-0 with a penalty. before the Rams came back to score what was their only try of the game to make it 15-5. The boys in blue then crossed for their fourth try just before the break to make it 22-5 at halftime.

Johnsonville had the advantage of the lowering sun in the sky at their backs in the second half and made full use of it. They went the aerial route, with their left footed fullback peppering the Rams with high kicks into the sun. This was too much, and they increased their lead through a penalty and then two tries.

The final 15 minutes or so of the final was a largely scrappy affair, the Rams coming back into he game but met with committed defence. There were also a handful of injury breaks  and a second yellow card against a Johnsonville player.

Stokes Valley won the Division 2 final 14-9 against Eastbourne.

It was a scrappy and brutal affair punctuated by penalties, handling errors and stoppages. Stokes Valley led 7-6 at halftime.

When Eastbourne first-five Piri Bradshaw kicked his third penalty, Eastbourne looked to be wrestling control at 9-7.

However, Stokes Valley outside backs were generally more threatening and when their fullback scored under the sticks following a break by the centre it was 14-9. Eastbourne went within a whisker if scoring a try from a cross kick but dogged defence, the major reason the Rhinos won, rose to the challenge again.

Hutt Old Boys Marist beat Marist St Pat’s 25-20 in the Division 3 U85kg final.

Premier 2

Tawa beat Northern United in the Ed Chaney Cup Division 1 Premier 2 decider on Fraser Park 2.

Tawa won 31-7.

Tawa – Ed Chaney Cup Premier 2 winners.


Healthy crowds in bright sunshine watched the six Colts, Premier 2 and U85kg finals at Fraser Park.

Premier Reserves

The Division 2 Alan Seerup Cup finalists have been found for next week, after the two semi-finals were played today.

The MSP Internationals met the Paremata-Plimmerton Punters in one semi-final and the Upper Hutt Rams J8s met Tawa.

Results to be confirmed.


The Wellington U19s earned a remarkable win over their Tasman Mako counterparts at Lyndhurst Park this afternoon.

Wellington beat Tasman 47-33.

They came back to win after trailing 0-28 at halftime.

For Wellington, No.8 Toby Crosby scored two tries and Dominic Ropeti, Chicago Doyle, Tyrone Maraku, Jonty Bird and Elijah Maene-Lokeni scored their other tries. Fullback Doyle kicked 6 conversions to go with his try.

The Wellington Pride missed out to Manawatu 38-17 in their Women’s NPC fixture at Palmerston North this afternoon. Manawatu led 20-10 at halftime. The Pride had two players sent to the sin-bin during the match and Manwatu flyhalf Carys Dallinger scored 15

The Wellington Samoans lost 14-22 to the Wairarapa-Bush Heartland squad at a heavy Petone Recreation Ground.

Wairarapa-Bush led 10-7 at halftime, the Samaons’ try scored by Isaia Petelo, converted by Ty Poe. The visitors then scored their third unconverted try on 55 minutes, then DJ Taoipu crashed over from close range five minutes later to close the gap to 14-15 with just under 20 minutes to play.

The Samoans had several opportunities to take the lead but couldn’t capitalise and they scored their match-sealer with time almost up, converted by Petone fullback Ben Brooking.

The Wellington Maori beat the Horowhenua-Kapiti Heartland squad 27-24 at Waikanae.

The Wellington Centurions beat the Whanganui Heartland team 29-19 away at Cooks Gardens.

Wellington Centurions started well with hooker Josh Southall crashed over after 5 minutes with Callum Harkin converting from the sideline.

Centurions looked certain to score shortly after from a ruck 5 metres out with several players unmarked but the pass hit a retreating Whanganui player who was penalised and Wellington failed to score from the ensuing scrum.

Whanganui made a couple of breaks and managed to score a try after 25 minutes to level it at 7 all.

First five Harrison Boyle then scored for Centurions to make it 14-7.

With 5 to go in the half Whanganui had a player yellow carded and not long after Centurions wing Pena Va’a scored out wide to make it 19-7 at the break.

Ten minutes into the second half Centre Lester Maulolo made a great offload to Va’a who in turn popped a great pass for replacement halfback George Sims to score and the conversion to Harkin made it 26 to 7.

The Whanganui halfback was yellow carded with 15 minutes to go and then with eight minutes remaining Whanganui scored to make it 26-14.

A few minutes later Whanganui was penalised from 45 metres out and Callum Harkin nailed it to push the lead out to 15 points at 29-14.

Whanganui then scored a try right on fulltime for the final score of 29-19.

The Wellington Development Women’s side met a Wairarapa-Bush side, while the Wellington Maori Women played Whanganui Women.

The Wellington Lions lost 43-10 to Canterbury in Christchurch on Saturday night, the red and blacks scoring 28 unanswered points in the second half, which included two intercept tries.


There were two college finals played today.

The first final of the day however was tucked away in the northern corner of Trentham Racecourse where Hutt International faced Hutt Valley HS in the U65 Div 1 decider, and what transpired was an epic arm wrestle.

HIBS dominated territory in the first half but could only manage a pair of unconverted tries to take a 10-0 lead to the break. Hutt Valley started the second half stronger, and flipped the game on its head 10 minutes in. Firstly, they drove downfield across a three-minute period to reduce the margin to 10-7, then scored from a breakaway at the subsequent kick-off to go ahead 14-10. Despite repeated assaults over the last 20 minutes HIBS couldn’t breach the HVHS defence, with the game ending when HIBS were bundled into touch a couple of metres out.

Hutt Valley High School celebrate their win. PHOTO: Tackld.

In the other College final played today, Tawa were winners of the Under 15 Division 3 title with a 22-7 win over Wellington College Black.

Top qualifier St Pat’s Silverstream will face second placed St Pat’s Town in next Saturday’s Wellington First XV Premiership final after contrasting semi-final home semi-final wins today.

Silverstream accounted for Rongotai College 55-0 and St Pat’s Town beat Wellington College 24-23.

Silverstream were too clinical for Rongotai in front of a big home crowd. They led 33-0 at halftime.

Town beat Wellington College in extra time, coming back from a big second half deficit to pip WC by a point.

There were many moments which made this another classic 1stXV Premiership semi-final. Maybe one of the most important was a 45-60 second chat between the referee and his assistant. They discussed the preceding play where St Pat’s Town forwards attempted to rumble their opponents. The officials agreed it was no try, time was up and that a penalty would be awarded to the home team.

Town would welcome this call and rally to score the match-winner to snatch a 24-23 win.

The game started as it would finish. With the St Pat’s forwards carrying the ball over the line to score the opening try. The rest of the half would be owned by Wellington College. Which would include a masterful display from Wellington College’s mercurial first-five Stanley Solomon. Solomon nabbed two tries in the first half. Solomon also brought his kicking boots, his points included an impressive kick from the sideline in the second half.

The second half would see St Pat’s Town rally. Their pack worked well as a unit and they put on a second half that was akin to their storming of Stream in their recent Old Boy’s Cup win.

A spirited crowd enjoyed a brilliantly sunny winter’s day. A fine performance from both schools, either team would have merited a place in the final.

Below: St Pat’s Town score and celebrate their match-winning try. PHOTO: Andy McArthur.

HIBS beat Wairarapa College 12-10 in the 7 v 8 playoff, while St Bernard’s coudn’t front against Scots and defaulted their 5 v 6 game.

In Premier 2, top qualifier St Pat’s Silverstream eased past Bishop Viard College 46-5 in their semi-final and will meet the Wellington College second XV in the Murray Jensen Cup final next week after WC defeated Upper Hutt College 28-5 in the other.

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