- By Steven White & Scott MacLean & Andy McArthur (photos)
Results & Standings (individual scoring added as received) at: http://www.clubrugby.co.nz/wellington/games-results.php?competition=1&season=20&round=4
Updated: The Upper Hutt Rams and the Old Boys University Billygoats remain two unbeaten teams at the top of the Premier Swindale Shield competition with bonus point wins over Wainuiomata and Avalon respectively, but there were some eye-catching results elsewhere in the fourth round set of matches this afternoon.
The weather was gloomy but the rugby lit up the fields of Evans Bay and Kilbirnie Parks and the Polo Ground with a draw, a much-needed win, and a last-gasp win for two of the home sides.
At Evans Bay Park, home side Marist St Pat’s were kept to a 31-31 draw by the Johnsonville Hawks, while across the road at Kilbirnie Park, Poneke earned a welcome first win of the season by beating Northern United 39-20. At the Polo Ground, Oriental-Rongotai beat Petone 30-29 with a try on full time. More below.
Elsewhere, the Hutt Old Boys Marist Eagles earned their much needed first win of the year by over-running the Wellington Axemen 78-0, while the Paremata-Plimmerton Hammerheads took another major scalp in beating Tawa 45-24 at Ngati Toa Domain.
The Upper Hutt Rams top the Swindale Shield table with four consecutive bonus point wins, beating Wainuiomata for the Peter Jones/Dave Ritchie Cup 40-14.
The Rams reeled in a 3-14 deficit midway through the first half when Hurricane Peter Umaga-Jensen scored their second try. But, like last week, Wainuuimata’s discipline let them down and yellow cards and penalties against them proved costly.
The Rams laid on two tries before halftime, including a penalty try, to take a 20-14 lead into the interval and then scored three more in the second including Two in two minutes to captain and flanker Toby Crosby, to seal their win.
The OBU Goats are also unbeaten and just a point back on the table on 19 after defeating Avalon 41-17. They scored six tries, with halfback Kyle Preston crossing for two. More below.
Ories and Paremata-Plimmerton have moved into third equal on 16 with their wins, while MSP and Tawa are next on 12.
Marist St Pat’s used their get out jail card against the much-improved Johnsonville, James and Lucky Tuia combining at the death to come up with the match equalising try.
MSP fought back from 7-8 deficit midway through the first half, which later became 12-24. For MSP, right wing Iosefo Aukusitino scored two tries and left wing Tuga Mativa one.
Likewise, Poneke overcame an early deficit to roar back to beat Norths convincingly. Norths held a 17-6 at one point, which became 17-11 at halftime. Norths had scored three tries in the opening 30 minutes, to first five Dudley Parsons and loose forwards Olano Afutoto and Luca Rees while Poneke could only manage two penalties to halfback Sam Howling before their first try on the stroke of halftime.
Norths lost wing Liki Siliga to a yellow card early the second half, but the run of play remained tight. Poneke then kicked four consecutuve penalties to inch ahead before sealing it with two tries in the last 10 minutes. This game was for the Cyril Collett Memorial Shield.
Details of HOBM’s big win over the Wellington Axemen were unknown at the time of publication.
Paremata-Plimmerton’s triumph over Tawa came after a thrilling tryfest early in the match. The Hammerheads scored two tries inside the first five minutes to go 10-0 up. Tawa lock replied to make it 10-5 inside 10 minutes. The game settled down for all of a few minutes, with Paremata-Plimmertin adding tries in the 13th, 19th and 22nd minutes – just one of these converted – go up 27-5 and have their bonus point. Tawa would come back, with lock Akira Ieremia and his partner Plummer both scoring (his second) but the early onslaught proved enough for the home side,
For Paremata-Plimmerton, wings Louis Northcott and Blake Neve and centre Joe Faleafaga each scored two tries. Neve also kicked the goals and scored 20 points for the match.
In a review of the match at the Polo Ground, Oriental-Rongotai beat Petone 30-29 with a try scored in the last play of the game.
Right wing Daniel Tafili was the try-scorer at the death when he latched on to the final pass in front of the clubrooms after an Ories scrum on the opposite side of the ground. Moments earlier, Petone thought they had saved the game when Ories crossed the line from a scrum in similar position, but the try-scorer was held up over the chalk.
The game was close throughout, and with about 10 minutes to play, Petone centre Losi Filipo went from zero to hero, not long after coming back from the sinbin, slicing clean through the Ories midfield off a pass by Hurricanes second five Riley Higgins and left the Ories defenders riven asunder. This had Petone up 29-25.
Earlier in the half, Filipo had been sinbinned under his own posts, from which Ories had scored through outstanding loose forward Dominic Ropeti. Higgins charged down the conversion in front of the posts and it was 19-19 at that point.
Both kickers, Ories fullback Declan Hay and Petone first five Carne Green, traded penalties ahead of Filipo’s and then Tafili’s winning try.
Ories had got back to 19-19 after earlier trailing 16-0 late in the first half, and then 19-7 at half time.
Under a gloomy but dry sky, Petone had the advantage of the moderate southerly breeze in the first half, and scored one outstanding try, punishing Ories for ill-discipline through first five Green who kicked three first half penalties.
Petone’s first try of the match came in the 17th minute of play and involved both their Hurricanes for the day, No. 8 Peter Lakai and second five Higgins. Lakai effected a big tackle and huge turnover in the Ories 22, and Petone pounced on to attack, leaving Higgins to produce a classy cross-kick out to right wing Stanley Solomon who showed good skills to reel in the bouncing ball and score the try.
At the same ruck that Lakai made the turnover, Ories lost second five Skivi Va’a to a nasty injury. He would be replaced by Johnny Maiava who had earlier played most of the game on the No. 2 field for Ories Colts.
Ories hung in there, and their ball runners such as Ropeti, No. 8 Siaosi Lavea and hooker Penieli Poasa who started making inroads up the middle. It was a Ropeti break that led to field position and the Magpies’ first try just before half time.
Ories were denied a try under the posts, and Petone flanker Jarrod Hrstich was sinbinned. Ories quickly capitalised with first five Grayson Whitman sliced clean through to score of a subsequent scrum, and Hay converted to put Ories on the board before the break.
With his great mate and former All Blacks captain Andy Leslie on the sideline supporting Petone, Ories won the Interclub Jim Brown Memorial Trophy with this result.
Up at Rugby League Park, A dominant opening 20 and last 10 proved more than enough for Old Boys-University to carry them past Avalon 41-17.
But that score flatters the Goats who had to work hard to subdue a Wolves outfit that threatened to roar back from 26-0 down after 20 minutes. That lead was built on the back of a strong forward pack and Avalon ill-discipline with Kyle Preston, Caleb Delany, Louie Calvert, and Samson Konoferenisi all crossing and Avalon losing a man to the bin after referee Zarne Johnson lost patience with them.
Avalon needed to strike back and did when fullback Ezra Leota scored after starting the movement inside his own 22, and Garry Naitini added another after a spilled ball in midfield. When the Wolves scored again after the break in was game on.
The game developed into a real arm-wrestle, and when OBU opted to kick a penalty that was a tribute to Avalon’s tenacity. But when Kyle Preston caught Avalon napping at a quick tap the game was finally up, with Ty Poe adding a late one.
Updated: It was the opening round of the Colts Paris Memorial Trophy this afternoon.
At Maidstone Park, the Upper Rams were welcomed back to the competition by missing out 31-32 to defending Colts champions Petone. The Junior Rams scored a late try to clinch victory.
In another tightly fought result, beaten 2022 finalists HOBM Green beat regular Colts grade contenders OBU Green 24-22 at Nairnville Park.
MSP beat Wainuiomata 74-0 and Tawa defeated Norths 36-7.
In the Colts curtain raiser at the Polo Ground, home side Oriental-Rongotai beat the Wellington Axemen Colts 45-11.
The winning margin to Ories was comfortable enough in the end, but the run of play was actually a lot closer than that. Ories would score two tries in the last two minutes of play, both converted from the sideline.
The Axemen were actually in front 6-5 after the first 25 minutes of the first half when, playing with the wind and the drizzle that was still around, their kicker landed two long-range penalties.
However, Ories scored their second try of the match just before half time to go into the oranges leading 12-6.
The Ories ball runners got busy and started making more inroads up the middle, leading to Ories scoring three more unanswered tries between the 50th and 65th minutes to clinch their first bonus point win of the year. However, the Junior Axemen dug deep and were finally rewarded with a solid period of possession and territory when they scored their only try of the match with five minutes to play.
The game was also played for the most part with uncontested scrums following a couple of early injuries to Axemen players, perhaps negating much of Ories’ strike power up front.
The third round of the Rebecca Liua’ana Trophy ended with both Northern United and Petone unbeaten on a maximum 15 points.
Norths beat Paremata-Plimmerton 26-5 and Petone defeated Avalon 25-5 by scoring five unconverted tries between the 14th and 62nd minutes and Avalon crossing for their sole try at the end.
There were two matches played at Kilbirnie Park, for two one-sided wins. Ories beat Poneke 49-12 with nine tries including three to Ayesha Leti-L’iga and two to and Marist St Pat’s had a 68-5 win over HOBM/Wainuiomata.
For MSP, both Wellington Pride backs Monica Tagoa’i and Georgia Daals scored four tries apiece, whilst Dreen Falaniko scored two tries. MSP led 26-5.
The second XVs of Tawa, Petone and Hutt Old Boys Marist are all unbeaten on a maximum 20 competition points after the fourth round of Premier 2 Harper LocK Shield matches this afternoon.
Defending champions Tawa swept past Paremata-Plimmerton 31-10 in their match, Petone fought hard for a 27-14 win over Ories at the Polo Ground and HOBM earned a 24-17 win over Stokes Valley for the Patterson Trophy.
MSP beat Johnsonville 36-3, Poneke made it two from two over Norths opposition on Kilbirnie 1 with a 22-3 win and the Rams beat Wainuiomata 22-12 in the opener on William Jones Park.
OBU and Avalon found themselves on a soggy and bleak MacAllister Park, but produced an absorbing encounter where the Goats got up 22-21 with a 78th minute penalty.
Avalon built a 21-0 lead through a hat trick to Sonny Aloapu, but OBU struck back on the stroke of halftime. The conditions eased as the Goats plugged away before the late kick gave them a win that seemed a harsh result on the visitors.
The OBU Scallywags and Poneke Wanderers earned their third consecutive bonus point wins to start the 2023 JC Bowl competition.
OBU kept Petone scoreless in winning their match 34-0 and Poneke beat the HOBM Howlers 29-12.
New team the Tawa Ducks beat the Johnsonville Terrahawks 35-14 and Paremata-Plimmerton beat MSP 48-10.
Stokes Valley had a win by default over the Wests Roosters and Wellington and Eastbourne met in the other game.