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Paremata-Plimmerton and Ories to meet in Jubilee Cup Final

It was a high-octane semi-final of punch and counter-punch at Helston Park this afternoon, where visitors Oriental-Rongotai beat home team Johnsonville 39-26. Photo: Andy McArthur. 

  • By Steven White, Adam Julian & Scott MacLean

JUBILEE Cup results and scoring (as received) HERE

HARDHAM Cup results and scoring (as received) HERE

Paremata-Plimmerton and Oriental-Rongotai will meet in next Saturday’s Jubilee Cup Final and Petone and Marist St Pat’s will play the Hardham Cup decider, after four thrilling semi-finals under blue and breezy skies this afternoon.

Swindale Shield winners Paremata-Plimmerton were pushed all the way by Old Boys University before prevailing 37-36 at Ngati Toa Domain, while Ories came from behind to sail to a 39-26 win over the Johnsonville Hawks at Helston Park in the other Jubilee Cup semi-final.

Reports of the two Jubilee Cup matches below.

Paremata-Plimmerton are into their first Jubilee Cup final next week. photo: Mike Lewis Pictures.

In the two Hardham Cup playoff matches, Petone pulled clear of Hutt Old Boys Marist to win 24-12, while MSP pipped Poneke 29-27 with a penalty on fulltime.

At the Petone Rec, the home team came back to win after the HOBM Eagles had led early and took a narrow lead into halftime.

Petone celebrate the try that sent them through to next week’s Hardham Cup final against MSP. Photo: @Tackld.

It was a ‘Lovely’ day at Evans Bay Park after MSP halfback Logan Love has slotted a death-knock penalty to give his team the win and passage to the Hardham Cup final next weekend.

Love’s penalty came moments after Poneke midfielder Caleb Robson had scored what was seemingly the winning try for Poneke.

After a try from virtually the opening play to fullback Nick Robertson, Poneke had carried a 22-16 lead into halftime with back-to-back tries late in the first half to right wing Suitulaga Taulago and halfback Sam Howling, while MSP were reduced to 14 players with a player in the sin-bin.

Restored to 15, MSP moved closer and got their noses ahead with a Love penalty and tries to left wing Tuga Mativa and then Love himself after an attacking lineout and a dart from him at the next play. The final 15 minutes was tight and willing before the drama unfolded in the final couple of minutes.

In the Premier 2 Ed Chaney Cup semi-finals, top qualifier Tawa maintained their unbeaten run with a 28-22 win over Petone in their semi-final this afternoon. Tawa will play Poneke in the final, who defeated Marist St Pat’s 32-20.

In the HD Morgan Memorial Premier 2 Division 2 semi-finals, Ories beat Johnsonville 22-17 and Stokes Valley pipped Paremata-Plimmerton 17-12, so an Ories-Stokes Valley final next Saturday.

It was a tight torrid affair at the Polo Ground as Ories and Johnsonville’s second sides battled to make next week’s HD Morgan Memorial final with the score standing at 12-3 as the clock ticked over 70 minutes before a flurry of late tries saw the hosts emerge 22-17 winners. Ories scored twice in the opening 40 to take a 12-0 lead at the break, but the Hawks dominated territory and perhaps should have been even at the very least but for a couple of errors at critical moments.

Johnsonville eventually got on the board with a 55th penalty after veteran Ahtun Masun headed to the bin, but it seemed all over when Ories broke out down the right, swiftly shifted the ball, and a crossfield kick saw them take a 17-3 lead with 10 to play. But they clocked off at the restart and the Hawks scored, and at 17-10 it was game on, except for the visitors to then be guilty of doing the same and the Magpies barged over from close range. Johnsonville would score the last try to narrow the margin to 22-17, but time was up and Ories were through to the final.

The Colts competition was into quarter-finals today, with seventh placed qualifier OBU Green’s 46-19 win over defending champions and second placed qualifier Petone the noted result of the day.

Top qualifiers and first round winners HOBM Green also didn’t have it all their own way, pushed hard by eighth placed Poneke before winning 38-26, whileTawa headed off Upper Hutt 36-23 at Lyndhurst Park

Ories joined them in the semi-finals, after a powerful second half saw them subdue MSP 38-14 at the Polo Ground. MSP scored first after one of those famed horrible bounces of the ball left the Magpies fullback all at sea, but Ories turned that round to equalise and then take the lead in the shadows of halftime. The second period saw Ories score frequently before MSP scored a late consolation.

The winners proceed to next week’s John E Kelly Cup semi-finals, while the losing sides play off for the Vic Calcinai Memorial.

In a rollicking Division 2 opening weekend match, Northern United ended up 52-45 winners over the Wellington Axemen. Wainuiomata had the bye.

In the second and penulimate round of the U85kg Division 1 Paul Potiki Shield, the Tawa Ducks were emphatic 97-5 winners over Petone. Poneke beat Paremata-Plimmerton 67-0 and Stokes Valley and first round winners the OBU Scallywags met in the third match. The  Division 2 Tony O’Brien Shield second Division action today saw HOBM hold out Johnsonville 25-22 and Wellington beat Eastbourne 25-14.  MSP had the bye.

Jubilee Cup semi-final reports

Paremata-Plimmerton is into the Jubilee Cup final for the first time with their 14th consecutive win – a blockbuster 37-36 triumph over Old Boys University.

The excitement at Ngāti Toa Domain was so palpable spectators were jumping on top of the roof of their cars. Perhaps the only other place in New Zealand you’d witness that is in Ruatoria.

The outpouring of such emotion was catharsis for loyal, long-suffering supporters and reflected the joy of a game that captivated from start to finish.

Initially, the Billygoats assumed control through a dominant lineout.  Māori All Black Caleb Delany was imperious and locks Jack Riley and Cam Jackson disruptive as OBU used the wind and their height to build ascendency.

Delany poached an intercept and strode 40-metres for a try and first-five Tom Henderson and fullback Josh Morgan-Ranui varied their kicking nicely.

When Paremata-Plimmerton was able to build quick phases, they were able to stretch the Billy Goats’ defence. Wing Louis Northcott scored their first try with an acrobatic completion in the corner and halfback Esi Komaisavai flashed clear like a comet from a quick tap. Wellington Lions halfback Kyle Preston outdid Komaisavai with a quick tap of his own, also kicking, chasing, and regathering the ball in the process.

Paremata-Plimmerton left wing Louis Northcott beating OBU fullback Josh Morgan Ranui on the way to the tryline. Photo: Mike Lewis Pictures.

Down 22-15 at halftime, Paremata-Plimmerton was even more urgent, aggressive, and clinical at the start of the second spell. Their scrum went into overdrive against OBU, now missing Delaney who was subbed at the interval, while First-Five Sam Clarke peppered the wing of Northcott with intelligent, propping kicks, and opposite wing Knox Tuinasau was a livewire.

Tuinasau scored two tires on the right wing side, his second a swerving individual effort untangling multiple defenders to make it 30-22.

OBU emptied the bench which restored set-piece stability and added imputes. When the graceful Morgan-Ranui dogged a crowd of hammerheads it became 30-29 with 10 minutes to play.

Paremata-Plimmerton didn’t panic. Their bench, but especially the experienced heads, of Tane McMillian and James Corcoran added resilience and claim. OBU got anchored inside their 22 and when bustling blindside Luke Omeri cannoned over an eight-point gap was restored with a sideline conversion for Clarke.

It was typical that in an afternoon of dramatic momentum swings and refusal to surrender by both, OBU would rally. Hooker Louis Calvert slipped into a hole and slid in under the posts on the siren. A first conversion in premier rugby for Nic Mannix, allegedly summoned to duty while rescuing a cat from a try, was academic.

For Paremata-Plimmerton, No. 8 Peni Tapau celebrated the win in his 100th Premier game, while Reece Plumtree played his 50th for OBU.

Reece Plumtree making a break for it. Photo: Mike Lewis Pictures.

Paremata-Plimmerton will have to work hard to remedy a wobbly lineout but can take heart from their scrum. Their willingness to keep playing positive, expansive rugby speaks volumes of their ambition and fitness.

They will play Oriental-Rongotai, who came back from 0-23 down late in the first half to beat Johnsonville 39-26 in front of a massive, chanting crowd that was ringing Helston Park.

Despite an even run of play, Johnsonville used the wind and the boot of Mark Sutton to amass their lead heading into halftime. Sutton kicked three consecutive penalties to put Johnsonville up 9-0, before scoring through consecutive turnovers on their own side of halfway and sweeping movements up towards the scoreboard end resulting in tries to first five Niall Delahunt and lock Anthony Pettett.

Anthony Pettett scores his try in the first half. Photo: Andy McArthur.

Ories weren’t out of it though, their superior scrum and big ball running forwards were right in the game, a factor that would help propel them to victory later.

Johnsonville had done well to hold Ories out in the opening minutes of play, and again midway through the half. It was third time lucky on the stroke of halftime when Ories scored to the left of the sticks to close the gap to 23-5 at halftime. At the same time, first five Delahunt was sin-binned for an unclear indiscretion.

Now with the moderate wind, a one-man advantage and the lowering sun in their favour, Ories flicked into life in the first 10 minutes of the second half. Ories won turnovers and counterattacked beautifully to score consecutive tries to put themselves right back in it.

With the momentum and their forwards making big inroads up the middle of the field, Ories struck again with their third try of the half, moving the ball wide to right wing Pose Tuilaepa who carried play up to towards the corner. Ories recycled and replacement prop Jonty Bird crashed over to put Ories in front for the first time.

Johnsonville rallied and won a kickable penalty. Sutton obliged into the wind in front of the clubrooms and kicked Johnsonville back into the lead at 26-24.

Ories moved ahead by one with a penalty to fullback Declan Hay, before Ories scored another try, which proved to be their match-winner. Ories attacked through multiple phases from an attacking scrum near the 22 and finally replacement loosie Ronaldo Seumanufagai dived through and Hay’s conversion put them ahead 34-26 and it was a two-score lead.

Just prior to this, Johnsonville fullback Jacob Walmsley had gone within a whisker of intercepting a short pass on the blindside. Had he handled he had 70 metres and daylight to the goal-line. But it was this knock-on that led to the scrum.

Johnsonville fullback Jacob Walmsley in action. Photo: Andy McArthur.

Ories finished the match in style with just a few minutes to play, when first five Alex Ropeti cross-kicked from 40 metres out on a penalty advantage to right wing Tuilaepa who reeled in the bounce, juggled and scored in the corner to send Ories to the Jubilee Cup final.

It was a cruel way for home side Johnsonville to miss out on what would have been their first final for 25 years. They tackled themselves to a standstill all game and players such as Sutton, Pettett and flankers Tyler Hall and Josh Betham were big.

For Ories, our Player of the Match was lock Ruperake Oloapu, who played all but the final moments, while No. 8 Siaosi Lavea, replacement prop Bird, hooker Penieli Poasa and their Wellington loosies Sione Halalilo and Dominic Ropeti, who moved to No. 8 when Lavea was subbed, were big for them.

Representative

There was one represean match today involving Wellington teams, where the Wellington Pride found out that they are 30 points off the championship pace in losing 58-29 to defending champions Canterbury in their Farah Palmer Cup Division 1 opener.

College

By Joe @Tackld

It’s the last weekend of the holidays so there were only a few “1stXV” games played today.

HIBS have a “week by week” mantra but they should be happy with their 33-21 win over Wairarapa College (HT19-14).

This game was a highlight of the season. A great contest between two evenly and similarly matched teams. Both schools have skills across the park which allows them to effectively bring their backs into the game. Top notch officiating led by Jack Sargentina (who will referee next week’s Jubilee Cup final) also positively contributed to the flow of the game.

Wairarapa scored first. However this was a see-saw game, where each team responded within minutes to their opponents’ scoring. HIBS scored next with an intercept try, welcome relief as it looked like Wairarapa were poised to score. Inaccuracy in key moments cost the visitors. Even at the close, HIBS sealed the game with a 75-metre try; hard defending, turnover ball, quick passes and HIBS’ creativity made for an impressive counter attack score. That try meant Wairarapa would miss out on the game but also a bonus-point loss.

HIBS’ ability to maintain patience at the breakdown has been a feature of their game this year. Today they showed an innate ability to accumulate the phases.

HIBS prop Oscar Reid put in another good performance. In the first half he was HIBS’ main source of go-forward ball, so much so he helped himself to a first half try.

HIBS prop Oscar Reid gets more yards.

Ted Woolley (blindside flanker) and captain Thomas Devery (No.8) both gave good shifts. Their ability to secure turnover ball were essential parts of the HIBS win.

HIBS captain Thomas Devery makes another telling tackle.

If it were based on week-in and week-out consistency, Wairarapa’s halfback Le’Sharn Reiri-Paku should be considered the top nine in the Premiership. A good distributor of the ball it was also his strong running that caused headaches for HIBS.  Le’Sharn’s ability to find gaps saw him score an important second half-try. Outside back Cory Bracewell also scored a try and gave a good all round performance for Wairarapa.

Wairarapa halfback Le’Sharn Reiru-Paku starts on his try scoring run.

Next up for HIBS is a visit to Wellington College. HIBS won this fixture last year. A rare win in the city for the Trentham boys. It was an upset victory that contributed to Wellington missing out on a home semi-final in last year’s Premiership.

Wellington College also played today. They helped themselves to a 66-0 win over Mana College. The feelgood factor of winning this year’s Quadrangular has no doubt given the city boys a bit of gee-up as the competition enters the final two rounds of games.

Today also saw the Avalon club hosting traditional fixtures between Taita and Naenae Colleges. The girls played first for the Midnight Cup. It was five-all at half-time, however Taita would get three second-half tries in quick succession to win 22-15. The Naenae boys were able to reverse that with a 35-14 win.

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