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Last round of Swindale Shield and Harper Lock Shield competitions tomorrow

  • By Scott MacLean

Draws & Teamlists as received HERE

Updated: Some say 13 is an unlucky number. But it won’t be for the two clubs that win this year’s first round Premier Swindale and Premier 2 Harper Lock Shield titles tomorrow. A cracking set of matches is in store in both competitions in their 13th and final rounds.

There is also a full round of Colts (starting tonight), U85kg, Reserve Grade, Presidents and College rugby around the Wellington region.

Tomorrow’s radio commentary is at Rugby League Park for Old Boys University v Paremata Plimmerton kick off 2:45pm and on air from 2pm on Te Upoko o Te Ika 1161AM, 87.6FM around the city & streaming on iHeart Radio and Whare Kōrero Apps.

Premier Swindale Shield

The final round looms large, and with it all the drama of whether they’ve won, made the top eight, and who they’ll face next week. It shapes as a fascinating day up and down the table.

Where the trophy will spend the summer comes down to one match, the clash between leaders Paremata-Plimmerton (55) and chasers Old Boys-University (50) at Rugby League Park tomorrow. The Hammerheads stand on the cusp of a remarkable triumph while the Goats are the last team standing that can deny them and take the glory for themselves. The visitors were given a reminder of just how tough the competition can be by Petone last week but a three-try blitz after the break sent them clear, while OBU fell out at Upper Hutt in a result that took away their own outright hopes and only a late converted try saw a share of the spoils remain within reach.

The obvious omission for the home side is Callum Harkin who’ll miss this, and potentially the rest of the club season, with a broken hand suffered last week. With injuries mounting up, veteran Tomasi Palu will suit up in midfield outside of Kyle Preston and Tom Henderson. Pare-Plim has just one change in their starting side with Keepa Cherrington coming in at lock for Willie Va’alepu, while Junior Davey returns to action from the bench. The battle at halfback between Preston and Esi Komaisavai will be well worth watching.

Contrary to earlier information provided to us by union representatives, in the event of a tie – which can only be achieved if OBU win while scoring four tries and denying Pare-Plim anything – the Swindale will be awarded to OBU. Quite why this is different to the Women’s Rebecca Liua’ana Trophy, which was shared by MSP and Petone, is anyone’s guess and we hope that it is resolved appropriately for future seasons.

Sitting in third, Johnsonville’s (46) possible outcomes tomorrow range from jumping ahead of OBU into second and hosting a top-four match next week or falling as far as fifth and being in a knockout game. Their assignment is Hardham Cup-bound Wainuiomata (17) out at William Jones and while the home side can’t make the top echelon this year, they’ll want to have some say in those matters while improving their own. The Hawks will though look to implement the high tempo style they’ve put in play this year and simply run their opponents off their feet.

The home side are almost unchanged from the one that pushed MSP last week. Tyler Tane and Tui Yandall come back in, and they’ll have both Ruben Love and Peter Umaga-Jensen once more. Johnsonville have shuffled their side both up front and in the backs; Anthony Pettett is absent after leaving the field early last week with Adney Roebeck replacing him, while the Irish duo of Mark Sutton and Niall Delahunt form their 9-10 duo this week.

Beyond that though is a real logjam. The Upper Hutt Rams (44) and Petone (43) both head into the eastern suburbs tomorrow and while they can’t drop out of the eight, they each could find themselves in one of those knockout matches next week. A win though, could secure them a top-four place and with it a second chance. Both their opponents are equally desperate; Petone are at Evans Bay for another classic tilt with Marist St Pat’s (39) who are slightly ahead of the three sides below them but not so far that they’re safe, while the Rams are through the Cutting at Oriental Rongotai (37) who sit eighth and given all the tiebreakers are against them simply must win with a bonus point.

Ories have two changes from the team that beat Poneke with Sione Halalilo starting on the openside and Pose Tuilaepa on the right wing, and while Alex Fidow is around for another week it seems they get boost with Skivi Va’a returning to action as well from injury. Eli Hunt and Mason Davis return to the Rams pack, with Josh Houston-Tupou to start and No.8. In the backs the Svenson brothers and Dan Schrijvers swap places with the latter at centre tomorrow, Todd Svenson at fullback and Scott Svenson on the wing.

Last week dealt Petone a few injury concerns, so Ben Kershaw, Dylan Williamson, Jono Bailey, and Stanley Solomon all come back in – the latter to a ground he’s run riot on in the past – while Colts captain Connor Tuifao will maybe this time make his Premier debut from the bench. MSP will front with an unchanged starting pack with two changes to their backline with Zack Paterson and Noah Guise in for Sefo Aukustino and Chicago Doyle. Logan Love and Andrew Wells continue as their halves combination.

Splitting MSP and Ories on the table are Tawa (37) who are not safe themselves but unlike the other two have a side below them on the table – Norths (17) – coming to visit them at Lyndhurst. Form would suggest five points should be a given for the hosts, but Norths would like nothing more than to come up with a shock result and drag their neighbours down to the Hardham with them.

Continuing with a bit of a theme this week, Tawa have just a pair of changes to the side that breezed past the Axemen with Kemara Hauiti-Parapara and George Risale back in and George Sims and Tito Ioane back to the bench, alongside veteran fullback Randall Bishop. Norths spring a surprise with erstwhile No.8 Luca Rees named in midfield with his place in the pack taken by Quaid Martin-Laumatia, while prop Josiah Tevita-Metcalfe is also back.

Lurking in ninth are Hutt Old Boys Marist (36), who are at home against Avalon (11) and, like Tawa, are at low odds to get the five points they desire. The question for the Eagles though is will it be enough, as they’ll be reliant on one of the three sides immediately ahead of them going down or at least not getting that bonus point. They’re having to back on that happening, and if it comes to it, they hold the tiebreakers over each of the other three. Avalon’s season has long been headed to the Hardham, and they might just be hoping to get through this week without adding to their injury list.

HOBM have switched up their side with last year’s Colts captain Damian Henare making his first start at hooker while its an all-new loose trio with a start for John Tufele and returns for Taine Tata and Lise Soloa. Avalon have made several tweaks to their team, as they strive to finish the first round on a winning note.

The seventh game of the day is at Kilbirnie Park, and in contrast to the others as very little on it. Poneke (17) will be looking to consolidate 10th place and with it a home game next week, while Wellington will want to break their duck and get at least something on the board for 2023.

Poneke will have both co-captains on the field tomorrow with Andrew Jones finally returning and joining James Mose, while they also restore their young halves duo of Sam Howling and Carlos Hihi. The Axemen have a host of changes with recent centurion Ben Hendry at hooker alongside Joe Reid and Cam Roseingrave with Ben Stowe at first-five alongside Will Cosgriff.

The last five interclub trophies played for at Premier-level are on the line tomorrow

  • Petone and MSP play for their Bill Elvy Memorial Shield. Elvy was an All Black wing from Canterbury when he arrived at Petone in the late 1920s, with the family connection to MSP coming from his son Norm who played for both pre-merger clubs, and grandson Martin who turned out for MSP. Petone are the current holders
  • The Sammy Saili Memorial Trophy is the prize for Tawa and Norths. Saili played over 200 Premier games across both clubs and coached at both Tawa and Tawa College right up until his sudden passing in 2009. Also a respected church and community leader, the trophy was put in play the following year with Norths its current holders.
  • Oriental Rongotai and Upper Hutt will contest their Bob Lendrum Cup. Lendrum came south from Whangarei and joined Ories from where he made Wellington rep sides. He later spent time in Fiji before returning, this time to Upper Hutt. Later a Hutt councillor Lendrum, who passed away in 2021, was a Life Member of clubs as well as the Centurions. Ories hold it from their win in round one last year.
  • HOBM and Avalon contest their Billy Herbert Memorial Trophy. Herbert was a prop who had played from HOBM and had moved to Avalon ahead of the 2005 campaign but suffered a massive heart attack just prior to the season. HOBM hold this as they have for several seasons.
  • Poneke and Wellington will play for their Spud Lindsay Memorial Trophy. Ray Lindsay was a player, administrator, and coach at Poneke from the 1930’s through 50’s, before being replaced by Vic Calcinai as Poneke’s senior coach in 1958 with the team facing relegation. Lindsay continued with rugby at the Axemen until his passing in 1973, with the trophy put in play that year. Poneke hold it.

Once again, a reminder of the tiebreaker rules:

  • In the event two teams are tied on the same number of points, their seeding for the playoffs is determined by their head-to-head result. If that match was a draw, then points-difference is used, then most points scored.
  • In the event three or more teams are tied the order is most wins, then points difference, and then points scored.

All seven matches are timed for 2.45pm as usual.

Premier 2 Harper Lock Shield

The Harper Lock Shield will find it’s summer home tomorrow, but will it be the familiar surrounds of Lyndhurst Park, or will head to North Park in Petone? Tawa (56) are in the box seat, and maximum points against Norths (21) for their 47th game without defeat will assure a third consecutive title, but should they slip then Petone (55) could sneak through and claim it outright – or a share – but face a more difficult task against MSP at Evans Bay. MSP and HOBM are tied for fourth on 40 with MSP holding the tiebreaker, but HOBM are at home against winless Avalon (5) so have the more straightforward looking task.

The top eight that will start out contesting the Ed Chaney Cup playoffs are set. Poneke (48) can’t improve their position but will look to warm up for next week when they host Stokes Valley (31) at Kilbirnie with the Rhinos likewise assured of a top eight place, while through the cutting Ories and the Upper Hutt Rams (both 34) will squabble over sixth at the Polo Ground. In matches between teams heading for the HD Morgan Memorial section OBU and Pare-Plim (both 24) are the early entertainment at Rugby League Park, with Wainuiomata (13) and Johnsonville (15) meeting at William Jones.

All seven matches are at 1pm.

Colts Paris Memorial

Three matches tonight to kick off the penultimate round of the Paris Memorial. Tawa (30) kick off their Old Timers weekend by taking on Ories (27) at Lyndhurst, OBU (23) take on Norths (17) on Rugby League Park while out at the CIS campus Petone (33) look to do what they can to keep their hopes afloat when they meet Wellington (5), with all three matches at 7.30pm.

Tomorrow’s two matches have while Poneke (18) and Wainuiomata (0) meeting at Kilbirnie Park while HOBM – on 42 and with the bye next week – will look to lock the trophy away when they take on MSP (21) at the Hutt Rec with 1pm starts for all three matches. The Upper Hutt Rams (24) have the bye.

Under 85kg JC Bowl

The JC Bowl resumes after last weekend’s National Club Cup break, and with it a pair of top five matchups in the ninth round. Leaders the OBU Scallywags (45) have had a couple of weeks off owing to defaults and tomorrow face the last remaining challenger to their first-round dominance in Poneke (36) at Nairnville, while its fourth vs fifth at the Petone Rec as Petone (29) face Stokes Valley (27). Second-placed Tawa (40) will look to keep pace with the leaders at minimum when they line up against MSP (7) at Redwood. Further down the table Pare-Plim (24) are at home against Eastbourne (6) and Wellington (10) are scheduled to be at the Ian Galloway cage against Wests (1), with all five matches at 2.45pm.

The sixth clash of the day is at 1pm at Helston, where Johnsonville (25) hosts HOBM (17) in a match that doubles as their Club Cup knockout encounter.


Another Saturday with just four matches in the Premiership, after Silverstream ran their record to six straight bonus point wins with their 28-12 win over Rongotai on Wednesday. Scots will look to join Silverstream but are away over the hill in Masterton against Wairarapa College at 12.30pm. Wellington College and St Bernard’s will want to keep their own top four hopes alive when they meet at Hataitai Park at 1.00pm, as will Hutt International when facing winless Mana at the CIS campus 2pm. The sole 2.30pm match has Tawa hosting Town.

In Premier 2 the Silverstream 2nds asserted their lead of the grade by beating Paraparaumu last week, and they’re at home against Porirua tomorrow. In other 1pm matches the Wellington College 2nds are on the road against Aotea and Newlands and the Town 2nds are at Onslow College. Naenae and Bishop Viard have a slightly earlier start at 11.30pm at the Hutt Rec, while in the only 2.30pm match Hutt Valley HS hosts Paraparaumu.


The next match is these grades comes around on Wednesday afternoon at Ngati Toa Domain as Mana and Tawa meet in what is not only their Premiership encounter, but also serves as the final Beard Trophy challenge of the season and the final of the Coed Cup.

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