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Thrilling afternoon of rugby as more champions decided in club and college competitions

The OBU Scallywags with the U85kg Division 1 Paul Potiki Shield.

Four more club champions and three more in the college grade were decided this afternoon on a cloudy but mostly dry day for finals rugby.

In club rugby, the OBU Scallywags beat the Tawa Ducks 31-27 to win the Division 1 U85kg Paul Potiki Shield and the HOBM Howlers edged the Johnsonville Terrahawks 13-12 at home to win the U85kg Division 2 Tony O’Brien Shield.

The Poneke Ruffnuts were crowned champions of the Reserve Grade Division 1 John Davies Cup, beating the Upper Hutt Rams J8s 24-12 at Maidstone Park and Tawa beat Petone 37-25 to win the Reserve Gade Division 2 Alan Seerup Cup at Lyndhurst Park.

More on the U85kg Division 1 and Reserve Grade Division 2 finals below.

In College rugby, the St Pat’s Silverstream Second XV defeated the Paraparaumu College First XV 20-15 to retain the Premier 2 Murray Jensen Cup,  St Bernard’s Second XV beat the Silverstream 22-20 to win the Premier 4 Onslow Cup title and Mana College defeated Upper Hutt College in the U55kg David Scott Cup decider

The Premiership Final between the Scots College and Silverstream First XVs is at Porirua Park on Sunday at 1.00pm.

In representative rugby, the Wellington Centurions beat the Manawatu Evergreens 43-17  in Feilding. The Centurions scored tries through Joyner Gaualofa, Ha’amea Ahio, George Risale, Isi Saumaki, Josiah Tavita-Metcalfe and Ruperake Oloapu. They led 21-10 at halftime.

The Wellington U19s lost 31-36 to the Tasman Mako U20s.

The Wellington Maori beat Taranaki Maori 46-24 in Hawera, winning the Tirikatene Shield.

The Wellington Maori side after their win today.

The Wellington Samoans beat the Wellington Fijians 55-5 at Ngati Toa Domain. The Samoans scored nine tries, with Ben Tuiatua, Solomona Uelese and Pose Tuilaepa each scoring two tries and Malachi Ti’a, Sergio Hollis and Ethan Webster-Nonu scoring one each. The Samoans led 31-0 at halftime.

Jonty Bird with the fend for the Wellington Samoans against the Wellington Fijians.

The Wellington Pride lost 7-37 to Bay of Plenty in the Farah Palmer Cup.

The Wellington Lions retained the Mike Gibson Memorial trophy with a 28-5 win over Otago in Dunedin.

The OBU Scallywags held on in a blockbuster finish to beat home team the Tawa Ducks 31-27 this afternoon in front of a vocal crowd at Lyndhurst Park to win the U85 Division 1 Paul Potiki Shield.

The match ended under OBU’s posts with Tawa hot on attack for the best part of two minutes through vigorous pick-and-go play through the forwards, but Premier veteran Matt Treeby was held up and full time was blown.

The Scallywags dedicated the win to their great friend and teammate Tom Murray (T-Muzz) who recently passed away, and pre-match Tawa acknowledged the loss by presenting OBU with a #7 jersey.

OBU did the double by winning the first round the JC Bowl and the championship silverware. The two teams will do it all again in a week’s time when they meet in the third round of the National Knockout Cup U85 competition.

The match was on tenterhooks with about 20 minutes to go when Tawa’s George Bloomfield was red carded for a dangerous tackle. At the time, Tawa were leading 24-21 and soon after OBU kicked a penalty to lock it up at 24-24.

Playing with the wind in the second half, Tawa replied with a penalty in front to move back ahead 27-24. With about five minutes to play, the Scallywags scored the last points of the game and the winning try after they ran back a Tawa clearing kick to set up a wave of attack inside the 22 in front of the clubrooms. Former Premier player and once-retired second-five Jack Green soon crashed over to make the fulltime score.

As well as Tawa’s red card, OBU had also earlier lost a player to the sinbin in the first half in what was a typical battle of attrition that marks this grade. There was plenty of big defence and at times, over-enthusiastic play.

Earlier, Tawa had led 24-14 at half time, playing into the wind. They had made a fast start and leapt out to a 12-0 lead through a forwards try and a long-range try to right wing George McEnaney.

OBU hit back with a sweetly constructed try to left wing Kees Jansen in the right hand corner from first phase from an attacking scrum in midfield with the backs injecting themselves, to close the gap to 12-7.

With the game barely 20 minutes old, Tawa scored their third try, another pick-and-go forwards effort, to extend their lead to 19-7.

It got better for Tawa several minutes later when they attacked from a lineout 70 metres out and first five Cullen Phipps kicked into open space and one of those horrible bounces of the ball combined with the mud on halfway wrong-footed OBU’s fullback Luke Johnson, and Tawa centre Adam Preston collected the spoils and sprinted 40 metres to score, making it 24-7.

The first half scoring continued, with OBU’s Green slicing through from close range after a steady build-up.

Tawa went desperately close to scoring another try which could have proved telling, and in the same period of play, OBU lost a player to the sinbin, but they hung on and turned around in the second half trailing by 10 points only.

In the first final at Lyndhurst Park, the home team Tawa held on to beat Petone 37-25 in the Reserve Grade Division 2 Alan Seerup Cup decider.

Tawa’s Reserve Grade team with the spoils on home soil.

Like the U85s team that followed, Tawa also lost a player to a red card for a tackling offence. This was just before half time, when Tawa were in front on the scoreboard. Despite losing their lock for the remainder of the match, Tawa scored their third try of the game right on half time to lead 22-8, also turning to play into the wind.

Petone made a lightning start to the second half, scoring two quick tries to close the gap right up to 22-18.

Tawa extended their lead with a penalty, and then with about 15 minutes to play, broke upfield and scored a converted try to put them up 32-18, which meant Petone had to score at least twice to force extra time.

But Tawa quickly sealed the deal with another try, and at 37-18 they were safe. Petone battled gamely to the end and scored a well-deserved consolation try.

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