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High scoring matches highlight Swindale Shield third round

Johnsonville celebrate one of their tries in their 42-7 win over Hutt Old Boys Marist this afternoon at Helston Park. PHOTO: Natural Light Photography.

  • By Steven White & Scott MacLean

Results and scoring (individual scorers added when received) HERE 

Updated: The third round of the Swindale Shield played in sunny, windy conditions around the Wellington region this afternoon yielded a series of high scoring results, including big wins for Johnsonville and Paremata-Plimmerton at home that consigned their opposition to their third straight defeats.

At Ngati Toa Domain, Paremata-Plimmerton scored six unanswered tries in beating Poneke 39-3, while at Helston Park, the Johnsonville Hawks over-ran the Hutt Old Boys Marist Eagles 42-7.

Elsewhere, the Upper Hutt Rams went to the top of the Swindale Shield standings outright, with their third bonus point win. The Rams beat the Wellington Axemen 76-10 at home at Maidstone Park.

Old Boys University also earned their third straight win to start the season, the Goats defeating Petone 20-13 at the Petone Rec for the Mark Verhoeven Memorial Trophy. The win without a bonus point leaves them lying a point behind the Rams.

For OBU, tighthead prop Samson Koneferenisi, fullback Ty Poe and halfback Kyle Preston scored their tries, as they came back from 10-5 to win the match.

Down the road at Fraser Park, Tawa overcome a spirited Avalon and a 12-14 halftime deficit to beat the Wolves 43-14 with a strong second half performance.

In town, Marist St Pat’s celebrated their Old Timers’ Day and won the Maurice Standish Trophy match against last year’s champions Northern United. MSP won their match at Evans Bay Park 67-25.

For MSP, debutant fullback Francis Mettrick scored a hat-trick, while first year centre Jack O’Brien was also prominent throughout and bagged a double. Keelan Whitman also scored two tries. MSP led 29-20 at halftime.

Over the Hill at William Jones Park, Oriental-Rongotai bounced back from their narrow defeat to Paremata-Plimmerton last week with a 61-12 win over Wainuiomata.

For Ories, eight different try-scorers scored their nine tries. With No. 8 Siaosi Lavea scoring twice. Ories led 30-7 at the halftime interval. The run of play in the first half was close, but Wainuiomata lost two players to yellow cards before halftime. In the second half, Ories out-scored Wainuiomata five tries to one between the 4ot and 70th minutes

Reports of the Paremata-Plimmerton and Upper Hutt Rams wins below:

Paremata-Plimmerton were big winners over a misfiring Poneke side at a sun-swept Ngati Toa Domain in front of a vocal crowd. They consigned Poneke to their third straight loss to open the 2023 season with their 39-3, six tries to nil, win.

Paremata-Plimmerton were all over Poneke like a rash from start to finish, with a huge defensive effort and increasingly dominant forward pack.

It was their backs who took the kudos by finishing off four of their tries out wide, with right wing Blake Neve scoring two tries and left wing Louis Northcott scoring a try and having a hand in at least one other try, while half back Esi Komaisavai was a livewire.

Visitors Poneke had the gusty wind in their favour in the first half, and dominated possession and territory for most of the first 20 minutes. They created chances but like several that were to follow, all came unstuck.

Poneke created several opportunities in the first half but couldn’t break through.

Paremata-Plimmerton opened the scoring with a breakout try started deep inside their own half with left wing Northcott finding space and linking up with centre Caleb Alaga and try-scorer Neve. Poneke resumed their attack at the other end and were finally rewarded when halfback Sam Howling kicked a penalty to close the gap to 5-3.

Once more, Poneke missed a chance to score with a committed period of attacking play inside the 22. Paremata-Plimmerton’s outstanding defence thwarted them and the chance was lost. Paremata-Plimmerton subsequently scored their second try to go 10-3 up at half time with a swift counter-attacking try to left wing Northcott in the clubrooms corner after he ran back a kick from 40 metres.

Howling missed two successive penalties just before and just after halftime, but the rest of the match was all Paremata-Plimmerton.

Paremata-Plimmerton’s third try was a stunner, with halfback Komaisavai making a clean break in broken play up into Poneke’s 22 and then kicking out to right wing Neve who chased up, collected the bouncing ball and scored in front of the scoreboard to make it 15-3.

Komaisavai on the burst early in the second half.

Paremata-Plimmerton went back-to-back by scoring their bonus point try barely two minutes later when lock Keepa Cherrington galloped into open space in a similar area of the field which was carried on by that man Komaisavai who offloaded to flanker Tane McMillan-Parata whose try under the posts made it 22-3.

Paremata-Plimmerton were playing with increasing confidence and this time their forwards got in on the action, going close to scoring a pushover try, but that resulted in referee Sargentina awarding them a penalty try and at the same time sinbinning a Poneke forward.

With several minutes to play, Paremata-Plimmerton put the icing on the cake when they went wide from a lineout on the far side and threw it back towards the near side where replacement Knox Tuinasau scored another try in the corner. First five Sam Clarke nailed the sideline conversion, and it was now 36-3.

The remaining several minutes of the match were helter-skelter with an almost three minute period of live play that exhausted players and watchers alike. In this particular period, Poneke’s Sam Meo made some three runs to cap an electric debut for the losing side.

On fulltime, Clarke settled the match with a penalty to seal the home side’s 39-3 win.

Maidstone Park reverberated to the thunder of hooves as the Upper Hutt Rams mounted a first-half charge against the Wellington Axemen perhaps unseen in the club’s long history as they ran out 76-10 winners and retained the Hinaki-Mei Axe.

The Rams had three tries in the first 10 minutes as wingers Jono Ryan (twice) and Hokianga Morunga crossed, and the half saw a steady procession with captain for the day Toby Crosby (also twice), Senio Sanele, Scott Svenson, and Mason Davis amongst those touching down as they raised 50 points at the break.

To their credit the Axemen were the better side in the first 20 after oranges and scored twice from close range – the second to ageless veteran Jeff Makepalu – before the Rams closed out proceedings with three converted tries as the match petered out to its conclusion. Given a run at openside Jack Wright was superb, while Crosby was a destructive menace.

Premier 2

A clear top-bottom divide is forming after three rounds of the Premier 2 Harper Lock Shield as all five teams that had won their opening pair of matches did again today.

Defending champions Tawa blitzed Avalon 85-7, Ories made little contest of their match with Wainuiomata winning 61-17, and HOBM beat Johnsonville 40-14. Petone accounted for OBU by 36-17, while there were points aplenty at Evans Bay where MSP beat Norths 59-33.

In the matches where Club Rugby was present, the Upper Hutt Rams made a fast start against Stokes Valley and led 24-0 with barely 20 minutes on the clock. The past slackened after that, but it was still 31-0 at the break as they ran the Rhinos around. Valley made some inroads after the break scoring three tries, but a fourth proved elusive as the hosts cantered home by 38-17.

The Premier 2 curtain-raiser at Ngati Toa Domain was the closest result of the round and also a thriller, Poneke holding on to beat Paremata-Plimmerton 40-34.

Just as well for their supporters, as they had dominated the first 20 minutes and ran up three converted tries to lead 21-0 after as many minutes – playing into the wind.

A fourth chance went begging, before Paremata-Plimmerton struck back with a seven-pointer after a penalty and scrum under the posts, followed by another from an intercept to make it 21-14.

Poneke then raced in to score their fourth, bonus point try, and they led 28-14 at halftime.

Now playing into the wind, Paremata-Plimmerton scored consecutive tries and suddenly it was 28-24 with over 25 minutes still to play.

Poneke rallied and scored a fifth try to go up 35-24, and then a sixth to make it 40-24. The home side didn’t go away, crossing again before the end to secure two losing bonus points from the match.

U85kgs

After a break last week, the second round of the JC Bowl U85kg competition was played today.

The Old Boys University Scallywags, Poneke Wanderers and Johnsonville Terrahawks each secured their second bonus point wins.

OBU beat Eastbourne 61-0, Poneke beat MSP 53-13 and Johnsonville defeated Paremata-Plimmerton 24-18.

Stokes Valley are the fourth unbeaten side, a point behind, following their 56-19 victory over the Wellington Axemen.

HOBM beat the Wests Roosters 25-14 and the Tawa Ducks beat Petone 38-0 in the other fixture of the afternoon.

Women’s

The Petone Ponies pipped Oriental-Rongotai 36-31 in the closest result of the day in the second round of the Women’s first round Rebecca Liua’ana Trophy competition.

It was close on, before Petone layed on four straight tries to take a sizable lead, before Ories came back with three tries to close it up and secure two losing bonus points.

Avalon beat Paremata-Plimmerton 22-14 in a tightly contested match at Fraser Park.

The other two matches were blowouts, with Norths defeating the combined HOBM/Wainuiomata team 67-5 and MSP beat Poneke 71-5 in the first match on MSP’s Old Timers’ Day.

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