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Previous leaders toppled as Solomon bags four

Four tries today for Petone right wing Stanley Solomon in his side’s win over Tawa at Lyndhurst Park. PHOTO: Andy McArthur.

By Steven White & Scott MacLean

  • Results & Standings HERE

There are now no undefeated teams in the Swindale Shield.

Previously unbeaten table-toppers the Upper Hutt Rams and the Old Boys University Goats both lost their first games of the season in Wellington club rugby this afternoon in cloudy but mild conditions around the region.

The Rams lost to the Hutt Old Boys Marist Eagles 48-35 in a form reversal from the opening five weeks of the competition. The Rams were not alone, the Goats falling to the Johnsonville Hawks 27-14 (more on this game below).

The Eagles withstood a fast start by the Rams as well, with Rams halfback Kaide McCashin flying through to collect on the bounce a Tynan Barrett kick and sprint clear to score from the opening sequence of play of the match. The Rams went 14-7 up, but lost two players to the sin-bin in the first half and the Eagles one, as the Eagles came back to lead 34-14 at the turnaround. HOBM extended their lead to 41-21 in the second half and held on for their second win of the season. Second five Brandyn Laursen scored 26 points, while lock Taine Tata scored two tries for the Eagles

These two losses have seen Paremata-Plimmerton assume the joint lead on 26 points alongside the Rams who secured a losing bonus points today, with the Hammerheads beating the Avalon Wolves 52-10 at Fraser Park.

Blindside flanker and captain Tane McMillan-Parata scored two tries and kicked a conversion in his 100th Premier match for Paremata-Plimmerton.

Elsewhere, Petone stormed to a 41-17 win over Tawa at a heavy underfoot Lyndhurst Park. Petone’s win was highlighted by four tries to tyro right wing Stanley Solomon, who sensationally ran in a first half hat-trick before cooling his heels and then adding one more in the second spell. Tawa opened the scoring, but Petone raced to a 34-10 lead by halftime and had the result sewn up at that point.

The Johnsonville Hawks beat the Old Boys University Goats 27-14 at home at Helston Park to inflict the visitors’ first loss of the 2023 season. The Goats are now in third on 24 points, with the Hawks nd Petone sixth equal on 21.

At Onepoto Park Oriental-Rongotai dumped a bucket of cold water on Norths’ Old Timers Day celebrations with a commanding 53-13 win. Norths took an early lead through a Dudley Parsons penalty as the Magpies quickly earned the ire of referee Daniel Mangin, but that would be the only time they were in front in the match. Ories struck twice on the right flank through centre Teni Tautua’a and wing Pose Tuilaepa, both converted by Declan Hay, before Norths countered when after some sustained pressure, the wide kick from Parsons found winger Yannis Faletau. Ories would add a third before the break though, as skipper Penieli Poasa burrowed over.

Norths would have fancied their chances as they turned with the wind at their backs, but they faltered almost as quickly as the breeze died and Ories turned on a clinic. Malachai Unasa found acres of space on the left to stroll over before the real backbreaker; Ories swing down the left once more, lock Ronaldo Seumanufagai of all people put boot to ball, the bounce was horrendous for the Norths defenders and ended up in the arms of Isaac Bracewell who scored. Norths would get one back from the resumption as they didn’t deal with a defending lineout and allowed Jerome Vaai to score, before closing out with Tuilaepa, Dom Ropeti, Sione Halalilo, and Tautua’a all getting across to complete a miserable day for the hosts.

The day’s high scoring didn’t end there, with Marist St Pat’s inflicting a 71-7 defeat on minnows the Wellington Axemen at Hataitai Park. MSP are now seventh on 19 points, ahead of Tawa on 18.

The Axemen opened the scoring against MSP, but the visitors quickly replied and would go on and lead 38-7 at halftime. The half century of points was raised inside 15 minutes of the second half resumption when No. 8 James Tuiatua crossed for his second try.

The Axemen opened the scoring against MSP, but the visitors quickly replied and would go on and lead 38-7 at halftime. The half century of points was raised inside 15 minutes of the second half resumption when No. 8 James Tuiatua crossed for his second try.

Poneke pulled clear in the second half to beat Wainuiomata 34-6 for the Hakaraia Trophy at William Jones Park. Wainuiomata’s only scoring was 28th and 42nd minute penalties to second five Tyler Tane. It was 12-6 to Poneke right up to the last 10 minutes, when Poneke broke through to score three tries and a penalty.

Poneke are now clearly ahead of the bottom four teams, Wainuiomata, Avalon, Norths and Wellington, as the halfway mark of the competition looms next weekend.

In a feverish performance the Hawks were all over OBU like a rash throughout much of the first half with the wind at their backs and defending heartily throughout much of the second spell as OBU mounted an attempted comeback that was all in vain.

Capitalising on a slew of penalties, Johnsonville halfback Mark Sutton slotted three kicks in the opening half hour of play to put the Hawks up 9-0.

OBU’s forwards started the game promisingly but were increasingly matched by their opposites as the match developed.

Influential first five Callum Harkin had provided a couple of early opportunities through his boot for the Goats to score from lineouts in the corner, but Johnsonville set the pattern for the game with strong, committed defence.

Both teams would also lose forwards to injuries in the first half. Johnsonville lock Sean Rankin left early with a hamstring injury, and OBU No. 8 Cody Quin was also subbed because of injury.

Proceedings got worse for OBU just before half time when OBU were hot on attack again, but Johnsonville repelled this wave and subsequently broke out with a key intercept try from halfway to centre Aukuso Tuitama who scampered through to score in the corner in front of the Life Members manning the scoreboard. Sutton slotted the sideline conversion and Johnsonville led 16-0 at halftime.

Despite turning into the wind, Johnsonville managed to extend their lead to 19-0 with Sutton’s fourth penalty of the match.

Several minutes later Johnsonville broke out to score the try of the game and what proved to be their match-winner. The try was started 80 metres out by Tuitama’s brother and left wing Jason who fielded a kick and ran the ball back past halfway to link with outstanding fullback Jacob Walmsley who carried on the attack and linked with right wing Finlay Sharp. The final pass was partially intercepted, but Sharp was able to reel in the pass on the fly and he sprinted the rest of the way to score in front of the clubrooms. This made it 24-0, and it was all on OBU to stage a comeback.

OBU duly lifted their collective game to the next level and spent the next 20 minutes of the match dominating possession and territory, but all they could ultimately show for their efforts was a try under the posts to tighthead prop Samson Koneferenisi. Harkin’s conversion made it 24-7.

Following this try, OBU poured back on to attack but failed to breach the defences again, even after Johnsonville lock Anthony Pettett was sinbinned.

Momentum shifted back to Johnsonville as they sensed a momentous win, and they went close to scoring another try but were awarded a penalty and Sutton kicked it over to make the score 27-7.

OBU’s last roll of the dice led to Koneferenisi scoring his and his team’s second try to make the fulltime score 27-14 to the boys in blue.

Harper Lock Shield

Tawa maintained their longstanding unbeaten streak in the Premier 2 Harper Lock Shield but were made to work for it by Petone with the Villagers vanquished only by 19-13.

HOBM joined them at the summit and are likewise unbeaten, but squeaked home themselves 24-20 over the Upper Hutt Rams. Poneke joined Petone in third after they breezed past Wainuiomata 52-18. Down the table Ories lost ground when beaten 22-10 by Norths, as did MSP who went down 35-27 in the late game at Delaney Park to Stokes Valley. OBU beat Johnsonville 30-20 and Pare-Plim got their first win when overcoming Avalon 55-24.

Club Rugby was at two matches. At Onepoto Park Norths’ side had an Old Timers’ Day feel to it with recent Premier captain Parekura Lalaga lining up along with Johnwhite Silva and Quaid Martin Laumatia. Given first use of the breeze they made the most of it, opening with the game’s first try before Ories quickly levelled matters, but struck twice more to open up a 19-7 break as the sides turned. The second half mirrored that of the preceding Women’s game with both sides only able to score a try each as it steadily deteriorated in quality.

In the Helston Park curtain raiser, Old Boys University pulled clear late to beat Johnsonville 30-20.

Scores were locked up at 20-20 with several minutes still to play. Johnsonville’s first five missed a penalty which would have put his side ahead, but his opposite made no mistake down the other end soon after. OBU then scored the match-winning try with a couple of minutes to play.

Earlier, OBU had made a sizzling start with a breakout try. Johnsonville came back with a penalty and try of their own and led 15-8 at halftime Both sides would score further tries, but neither could shake the other, and the game went down to the wire.


Tawa and Petone lead the way in the Colts Paris Memorial Trophy after three rounds.

Tawa were too good for Wellington 31-7 last night under the Lyndhurst lights, while Petone were predictably big winners 64-5 over struggling Wainuiomata.

HOBM are a point back and also unbeaten after blitzing Ories 51-5, while today’s other game saw plenty of points as Poneke overcame Norths 36-31.

The fifth game of the round was last night at Te Whaea with the Upper Hutt Rams asserting themselves as contenders by beating OBU 31-13


Northern United put themselves into the driver’s seat of the Premier Women’s Rebecca Liua’ana Trophy after they beat previously unbeaten Petone 24-12 at Onepoto Park. Norths were just too big and experienced for their younger opposition as they built a 19-7 lead at the break. Turning into the wind they denied Petone the ball and any space or territory as they effectively squeezed the life out of the match.

Despite the loss Petone are still joint-second with MSP who crushed Avalon 82-0. MSP scored 14 tries, with backs Monica Tagoai and Drenna Falaniko both scoring 4 tries and flanker Maddie Feaunati scoring two twice.

Ories beat Pare-Plim 57-0, after leading 27-0 at halftime with the wind in their favour, and HOBM/Wainuiomata accounted for Poneke 24-12 in the other matches.


The second round of the Hurricanes region First XV series was played at Hastings today.

In today’s results, home school Hastings BHS had a 60-7 win over Wellington College, St Pat’s Silverstream beat Gisborne BHS 47-10, Palmerston North BHS defeat Rongotai College 54-18 and Feilding High School defeated St Pat’s Town 38-12.

Back in Wellington, the second weekend of Grading was played this afternoon. Scots College beat Wairarapa College 24-17 and Hutt International Boys’ School defeated St Bernard’s College, meaning Scots and HIBS qualified for the Premiership with the above Wellington teams. The remaining places will be decided next week.

Other results were: Naenae 29-24, Aotea; Mana 31-19 Kapiti; Tawa 43-10 Bishop Viard;  Paraparaumu 24-22 HVHS Newlands 31-17; Taita Porirua 29-14 Upper Hutt; Wgtn College 2XV 45-7 Rongotai 2nd XV; Silverstream 2nd XV 55-17 St Pat’s Town 2nd XV.

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