You are here
Home > Club Rugby > Jubilee Cup, Hardham Cup and Premier 2 Finals Day at the Hutt Rec tomorrow

Jubilee Cup, Hardham Cup and Premier 2 Finals Day at the Hutt Rec tomorrow

  • By Steven White & Ian Knightly

Jubilee Cup Final line-ups (as received, subject to change) HERE

Hardham Cup Final line-ups (as received, subject to change) HERE 

A major mark on the 2023 Wellington club and college season is passed this weekend, with Premier and Premier 2 Finals Day at the Hutt Recreation Ground.

There are four finals there on Saturday, these being the Premier 2 Division 1 Ed Chaney Cup and Division 2 HD Morgan Memorial and Premier Jubilee Cup and Hardham Cup deciders.

The E Tu Whanau Footy Show are commentating both Premier finals on the Hutt Rec 1 and on air from midday. They can be found on 1161AM, 87.6FM around the city and streaming via iHeart Radio and

It’s also the semi-finals of the Colts competition and the Reserve Grade competitions, the continuing round-robin phase of the U85kg competition and the resumption of the First XV competition in full, with round eight starting on Wednesday with St Pat’s Silverstream’s 27-16 win over St Pat’s Town.

Just up the line, the Horowhenua-Kapiti Ramsbotham Cup semi-finals are being contested tomorrow. Top qualifiers Rahui host fourth placed Paraparaumu at Otaki Domain and second placed Shannon and third placed Foxton meet at the Shannon Domain.

The weather forecast for Wellington, Porirua and the lower North Island is for dry cool weather, so spectators will have to wrap up warm in their club’s livery.

The rugby continues Sunday with the Wellington Pride at home at the Hutt Rec against the Auckland Storm in the second round of the Women’s Farah Palmer Cup.

Should it be required in tomorrow’s finals, extra-time covers two full 10-minute periods (no Golden Point). If at the end of that the teams are still tied, the tiebreakers are 1) the most tries scored in the match, then 2) the team with the best points differential from the Swindale Shield (Premier)/Harper Lock Shield (Premier 2).

Premier Jubilee Cup

Paremata-Plimmerton v Oriental-Rongotai

Barely a month ago, the name of one of these finalists was on everyone’s lips, but the other wouldn’t have been factored into too many equations of who would meet in the big dance tomorrow.

Here we are, and first round winners Paremata-Plimmerton have the chance to continue their fairytale season and cap their extraordinary rise to the top table of Wellington Premier rugby. Should they carry off with the Jubilee Cup as well as the Swindale Shield they will have completed one of the most extraordinary rises in Wellington club rugby and the history books will record this as such.

The Hammerheads have a number of club rugby X-Factor players in their ranks, who have combined to score 93 tries and 632 points in 15 games. Three players have scored at least 10 tries, Louis Northcott (15) and Blake Neve and Joe Faleafaga (both 10).

They are on a 14-match winning streak. After losing their first game of the year back at the start of April by a point to the Upper Hutt Rams, they commenced their streak the following week with a 21-17 win over Ories.

But what they will also need on Saturday is a fair amount of resilience – a trait they have also displayed in recent weeks, twice against Old Boys University when the Billygoats pushed them hard for long periods and once against the Upper Hutt Rams.

Their opponents tomorrow, Oriental-Rongotai, have that in spades, and they have been in knockout mode for the past month. Should they win, they will become the first team since Poneke in 1996 to have won the Jubilee Cup after qualifying in eighth after the first round. Although that statistic needs to be put into context as until recently there was a full seven seven-week round-robin competition and then a semi-final in the championship round.

In last Saturday’s semi-final, Ories were apparently down and out to some onlookers when trailing 23-0 late in the first half. But they scored just before halftime and then rallied in the second spell. Their forwards went beast-mode and they counterattacked to score a couple of wonderful tries.

In 16 games, Ories have scored 544 points. Fullback Declan Hay has scored 125 points and Wellington Lions flanker Dominic Ropeti nine tries.

Ories have named an unchanged forward pack from their 39-26 semi-final win over Johnsonville, but Jake Hamlin returns to first five allowing Alex Ropeti to move out to centre and Malachai Unasa to start off the bench. Look out for their bench to create real impact again, through the likes of prop Jonty Bird, flanker Ronaldo Seumanufagai and outside backs Skivi Va’a and Unasa.

Paremata-Plimmerton welcome back Tane McMillan-Parata and Ethan Webster-Nonu to their starting line-up, from the team that won last week’s semi-final. Captain McMillan-Parata slots in at No. 8 for last week’s centurion Peni Tapau who comes off the bench. Webster-Nonu starts at centre for Caleb Alaga who is also on the bench. Webster-Nonu played his first three seasons of Premier rugby for Ories before switching to the Hammerheads this season and playing every match until last week. Luke Kapene remains injured, as does Joe Faleafaga, with Blake Neve wearing the fullback’s jersey.

The referee for the Jubilee Cup final is Jack Sargentina. Ories have won 66% of their matches under referee Sargentina, and Paremata-Plimmerton 40%

Kick-off is at 2.45pm.

Premier Hardham Cup

Petone v Marist St Pat’s

Providing the curtain raiser to the major final is the Hardham Cup decider, and while it’s not the match that either Petone or Marist St Pat’s would prefer to be playing in, there’s still the lure of silverware to put in the trophy cabinet for the summer.

Both clubs have rich histories at this time of the season. It was just a year ago that Petone had won the Swindale Shield and then contested the Jubilee Cup final (losing 20-23 to Northern United). MSP need no introduction to Finals Day, having most recently appeared in the Jubilee Cup final in 2021 (losing 7-36 to Tawa), although their most recent Jubilee Cup win is 2012. These two clubs met numerous times throughout the 1980s and 1990s in these big games as well.

Petone and Marist St Pat’s come into the Hardham Cup final off the back of tough semi-final wins. Petone trailed Hutt Old Boys Marist by a point at halftime in their match before pulling away to win 24-12. MSP beat Poneke 29-27 courtesy of a last-gasp penalty. It was a similar story when these teams met in the last weekend of the Swindale Shield, with MSP winning 23-20 in drizzly conditions in town.

Lock Dylan Williamson captains a Petone team with an unchanged forward pack from last week, and with Cam Ferreira and Stanley Solomon the starting halfback-first-five combination. Where their side differs is the midfield where Losi Filipo is missing at centre after playing for the Lions on Wednesday. His place is taken by Taylor Henry who starts at second five and Lester Maulolo moves to the 13 jersey. Fullback TJ Clarke has been named, but could be in doubt, so there could be further changes.

MSP will be missing their captain, James Tuia, a curious omission from the side for the final. His position at No.8 is filled by Lucky Tuiatua. Look out for locks Curtis Finnigin and former Counties Manukau Steeler Viliame Rarasea to seek aerial ascendancy, while halfback Logan Love is in good form. In the backline, Ken Kapeli plays his third straight game at first five, while newly capped Wellington Lion Chicago Doyle lines up at fullback and Francis Mettrick moves to the right wing. Kapeli, Prop Tui Tuia, centre Ben Tuiatua and injury returnee Josh Toomaga (not counting then injured midfielder Isaiah Petelo) are the four remaining players who played in the 2021 Jubilee Cup final.

Both sides racked up eight wins from their 13 Swindale matches, and they finished equal on 44 points. Petone score 463 points and conceded 279, while MSP scored 434 and conceded 358. Both missed out to teams below them in the first week of the Jubilee Cup series. Petone lost 29-33 to Tawa and MSP 20-25 to Ories. This meant they both dropped down to this year’s Hardham Cup.

Matt Thomas is the referee for this decider.

Kick-off is at 12.30pm

Premier 2 Ed Chaney and HD Morgan Memorial Cups

Starting with the Division 2 HD Morgan Memorial, which reaches its conclusion with the final between Stokes Valley and the Oriental-Rongotai second XV and forms the third final being played at the Hutt Rec and kicking off at the noon hour on Hutt Rec #2.

Stokes Valley return to this final for the second successive year, having lost 15-16 to Petone in last year’s decider. Of note, they also competed in the 2020 Premier 2, Division 2 final in 2020 and beat Johnsonville 20-16 to win that.

It is the first Premier 2 final in modern times for the Ories players, but many of them are from the hugely successful Ories Vatos team that dominated Reserve Grade over the previous couple of seasons and won their final last year.

Ories beat Stokes Valley 30-3 when these two teams previously met this year, but this was back in the first week of the season. Following that, Ories went on to finish sixth in the Harper Lock Shield with seven wins, five losses and a draw, while Stokes Valley were eighth with six wins and seven losses. Both lost their first round tier 2 matches and dropped down to this competition. Last weekend’s home semi-finals saw Ories beat Johnsonville 22-17 and Stokes Valley beat Paremata-Plimmerton 17-12.

Defending champions and top qualifiers Tawa are on the cusp of a special milestone heading into the Division 1 Ed Chaney Cup final.

Tawa are unbeaten in 49 matches, so should they win it will be their 50th match since they last tasted defeat. Their streak includes two draws, including one earlier this season against Ories (see above), hence it is noted as unbeaten. They have had a couple of streaky moments this year, such as their 15-13 win over Johnsonville that required a last-gasp penalty, but their record Is intact.

Tawa will need to get through Poneke to defend the title, the team that pushed them hard all the way when they met at Lyndhurst Park several weeks ago before Tawa pulled clear later in the second half and won 26-8. Tawa is coming off a 28-22 semi-final win over Petone last Saturday, while Poneke beat MSP 32-20. Poneke were third with 11 wins and two losses in the first round Harper Lock Shield.

Kick-off on the Hutt Rec #2 is at 2.15pm.


It is the semi-finals of the John E Kelly Memorial Cup Colts competition, with first round winners and top seed Hutt Old Boys Marist also drawn at home, but owing to Finals Day their match has been moved to neutral Fraser Park at 1.00pm.

The HOBM Colts take on Old Boys University Green in this knockout match. Over the past decade OBU has been one of the leading teams in this grade, although this year have had a middling season by their previous high standards and they won just four of 10 games to finish seventh in the first round Paris Memorial Trophy. But last weekend OBU effected a minor upset in their quarter-final by easily accounting for last year’s champions Petone 46-19.

The Eaglets beat Poneke 38-26, their 11th straight win over the season to date. But they only beat OBU 24-22 when these two teams met back in week one.

The other Division 1 Colts semi-final sees the Ories and Tawa Colts meet at the Polo Ground at 1.00pm. Ories were third and Tawa fourth at the end of the first round. Ories had a 38-14 win over MSP in their quarter-final, while Tawa defeated the Upper Hutt Rams 36-23. Ories beat Tawa 39-17 when they met a month ago.

The four defeated sides from last week drop down to the Colts Division 2 semi-finals for the Vic Calcinai Trophy. Both semi-finals tomorrow are in the Hutt Valley, with Petone playing Poneke and the Upper Hutt Rams hosting Marist St Pat’s at Maidstone Park. Wainuiomata and Wellington play in a Colts Division 3 match at William Jones Park. These games all kick off at 1.00pm.

Under 85kg Restricted

The Tawa Ducks will want to continue their flying start to the second round and make it three from three in the Division 1 Paul Potiki Shield this Saturday. They play Paremata-Plimmerton at home in the main game on Lyndhurst Park.

The other two top tier fixtures see Stokes Valley play Petone at Delaney Park and Poneke and first round winners the OBU Scallywags meeting on Kilbirnie Park.

The two Division 2 Tony O’Brien Shield matches see the Johnsonville Terrahawks and Eastbourne meet at Helston Park and MSP and HOBM clash on Evans Bay Park. Wellington has the bye. All U85kg games kick off at 2.45pm.


The top two First XV Premiership qualifiers for the semi-finals have now been confirmed following Wednesday’s Traditional fixture between St Pat’s Silverstream and St Pat’s Town.

Silverstream won the contest 27-16, to temporary join Scots College at the top of the table on 35 competition points. Scots will be favoured to move ahead to 40 points when they play battlers Tawa College tomorrow in one of the remaining four eighth and penultimate round matches.

With two rounds to play to complete the round-robin, HIBS are currently third on 23, St Pat’s Town 20 (having already played their eighth round game), Wairarapa College 18, Wellington College 17 and HIBS 16. These five teams are chasing the final two semi-spots.

In other matches tomorrow, Wellington College hosts HIBS, Wairarapa College hosts St Bernard’s and Rongotai and Mana Colleges meet at the adjusted time of 12.30pm.

The feature match of the Premier 2 competition sees leaders and unbeaten St Pat’s Silverstream (35 points) host third placed St Pat’s Town (26) and second placed Wellington College (28) travel up the coast to play fourth placed Paraparaumu College (25).

HVHS (17) Aotea (16) and Naenae College (16) have outside chances of making the top four ahead of the teams above, but will need nothing less than wins on Saturday. HVHS and Naenae meet each other and Aotea play minnows Newlands College. Lower ranked Bishop Viard College and Porirua College meet in the other Premier 2 game tomorrow.


The Wellington Pride return home from Christchurch to play the Auckland Storm at the Hutt Rec on Sunday, kick-off 2.05pm.

Both teams are coming off opening round defeats, the Pride missing out 58-29 to defending Farah Palmer Cup champions Canterbury and Auckland tipped over by the Hawke’s Bay Tui 32-31.

It is expected that the line-ups won’t be named until Saturday.

Aisle be Back: Good times with the All Blacks

Similar Articles

Leave a Reply