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Second round to heat up tomorrow despite forecast damp conditions

  • By Scott MacLean 

Into week two of the season and already they weather has turned, with the possibility of early winter conditions tomorrow. That seems unlikely to change the approaches of teams much but could be something of a leveller.

Updated Friday afternoon.

Premier Swindale Shield

The second round is highlighted by a trio of games between sides that won on the opening weekend.

Perhaps the highlight one of those is at Evans Bay, where defending champions Oriental Rongotai head out through the cutting to take on the new-look Marist St Pats at Evans Bay.

Unsurprisingly, MSP stick with almost the same side that did the job last Saturday. Jack O’Brien is absent so Sefo Aukustino moves into centre and Rich Downey comes onto the wing as they also look to make the perfect start to the season. Ories are without both Dominic Ropeti and Sione Halalilo so Malachi Ti’a and Ronaldo Seumanufagai come in with the latters younger brother Salesa gets his first Premier start up front. Penieli Poasa’s return will come from the bench where veteran duo Declan Hay and Tuga Mativa also wait.

On the other side of Wellington Harbour, Petone get to enjoy being at home for the second successive week. This time it’s the Upper Hutt Rams who come south to visit and they’ll be buoyed by the late late win over Poneke, while the Villagers were far too good for Tawa.

The home side make few changes. Lennox Easthope gets his first Premier start at lock, while Mason Henry returns on the openside with Conner Tuifao – impressive last week – switching to the blind. Emery McGill and Josh Styche come into their backline, which has Stanley Solomon for this week at least. The Rams are unchanged upfront bar the return of Jack Wright on the openside with a backline reshuffle accommodating sharpshooter Tynan Barrett on the right wing.

Over the Hill Road Wainuiomata are also back at home with Old Boys-University making the trek out from the Cambridge as both look to back up their first-up wins.

The hosts give Braydon Soi a first start at No8 with Greg Lealofi and Teru Time completing a big loose trio. Former St Bernard’s star Joshua Le’afa-Paki is handed the key at first-five with the imposing Niko Patalesio returning on the wing.

The Goats give a first start to prop Gareth Ward-Allen, flanker Harry Irving, and fullback Jermaine Pepe. Mitch McLoed continues to deputise for Kyle Preston who is with the Hunters this week, while Elijah Maene-Lokeni pushes into midfield alongside Fuka Paongo.

A short distance away Avalon have their first home game on Fraser Park, but will have to wait to another week to get onto the #1 field. Their opponents, Hutt Old Boys Marist, are used to that sort of thing happening, and after trouncing the Axemen last week will be looking to fatten their account further here. The Wolves had their moments against Wainuiomata but will be the underdogs in this one, though that hasn’t stopped them springing big surprises before.

The Eagles make two changes to the side that had an enjoyable day out at Hataitai with Aisea Mafileo in at lock and Kobe-Joe Vulu onto the right wing, as well as Fritz Rayasi coming onto their bench. The home side make a half-dozen changes including a new midfield pair of Ale Peni and Esera Andrews, and Mateo Setefano switching from lock to No8.

Across the Haywards there’s a northern suburbs clash as Tawa return to leafy Lyndhurst with Swindale holders Paremata-Plimmerton making the short journey south. It was a somewhat disappointing opening match for Tawa as they seemed to struggle without those players who have departed and they’ll be looking to address that here. They’ll get their chance too, with just a single enforced change with Siale Lauaki on Hunters duty so Michael Reid starts at tighthead.

The Hammerheads know they dropped their opener last year and still triumphed, but a second loss at even this early stage could put a repeat in jeopardy. Amongst their changes Leni Apisai is available to them and will start, Alex Fidow makes his club debut at No8, and Sam Clarke is also back from Hong Kong at is at fullback.

The final two matches are both easily accessible from State Highway 1. After their narrow loss in a high-scoring encounter with OBU, Johnsonville are back in front of the Helston faithful where they’ll face the visit of a Norths side that would have learned plenty from their loss to MSP.

Aukuso Tuitama drops out of the Hawks lineup, though curiously rather than restoring the Irish halves axis of Mark Sutton and Niall Delahunt the latter is at fullback with Andy Ellis continuing at first-five. Openside Tyler Hall also returns to the starting side. Norths reshuffle their pack with Luca Rees returning to No8 and Bradley Crichton back up front, and Wesley Fa’aatuatu handed a start alongside veteran Johnny Teleaga in midfield.

Lastly, is the other eastern suburbs clash of the day as Poneke head around the corner to take on Wellington at Hataitai. Both sides fell to defeat on the opening day albeit in quite contrasting fashions with Poneke going down at the death to Upper Hutt while the Axemen were mauled by HOBM.

To little surprise Wellington have rattled off some changes, amongst them two new locks, James Tuiatua switching to No8, Te Aranga Hakiwai at first-five, and the evergreen Lapana Makapelu on the wing. Poneke bring Andrew Jones and Jacob Turrell into their starting pack this week with Caleb Robson returning in midfield. On the bench for his first Premier outing is Max Rodgers, who you’ll find during the week running the game at WRFU HQ.

There’s the usual group of interclub trophies in play tomorrow:

  • Petone and Upper Hutt contest their Ted Connolly Cup. A character of the time along with his brothers Eric and Adrian and a major figure in Upper Hutt’s history, amongst many things Connolly did in the game was to organise an annual match in the post-WWII for returned servicemen. The Ram hold this after winning 40-30 last year, while Petone will be defending the Bill Brien Challenge Trophy.
  • OBU and Wainuiomata play for their Peter Dunford Cup. A student of Wellington College, Dunford played for WCOB before moving to the valley in the 1950’s where he continued in the game with Wainuiomata. OBU have held this for the last couple of years, including last seasons 59-17 win.
  • The Billy Herbert Memorial Trophy is the prize for Avalon and HOBM. A prop for HOBM, Herbert moved to Avalon ahead of the 2005 season but suffered a massive heart attack on season’s eve. HOBM have held this for several seasons, including last years 68-19 win in the final round of the year.
  • Norths and Johnsonville play for their Barlow Trophy. An outside back for Johnsonville, Bert Barlow later moved north to Titahi Bay where he had a long association as a player, coach, club captain, and President. Johnsonville are the holders after their 61-22 win last season.
  • And lastly, 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 after last year’s final-round 60-29 win.

All seven matches are time for the usual 2.45pm start

Premier 2 Harper Lock Shield

Remarkably there’s just one match between round one winners on the draw tomorrow and that is out at Mary Crowther Park where Wainuiomata host OBU. Tawa will look to begin another streak when they host Pare-Plim at Redwood while streak-enders Petone are back at home on the Rec for the visit of Upper Hutt. Further up the valley Avalon are at home against HOBM, Johnsonville and Norths converge on Nairnville Park, and in the city Wellington face Poneke “at home” on Kilbirnie #1 while next door on #2 it’s MSP taking on Ories.

There’s a mix of 12.30 and 1pm starts for these matches, so check the Draws and Results link above.

Colts Paris Memorial

A couple of big early-season games here, with Avalon taking on HOBM on Fraser Park and Petone clashing with Upper Hutt at the Rec, while there’s a third meeting of first-up winners as MSP and Ories meet at Evans Bay. The other winner from last weekend, OBU, head to William Jones for the early game against Wainuiomata, while elsewhere Tawa and Pare-Plim provide the early entertainment at Lyndhurst, Johnsonville and Norths do likewise at Helston, and Wellington and Poneke meet at Hataitai in a match between the sides currently propping up the table but for the Misiluni Moananu Memorial Shield that the two teams contest.

All matches are at 1pm.

Women’s Rebecca Liua’ana Trophy

The second round of the Women’s competition is headlined by the meeting of first-up winners Petone and Paremata-Plimmerton at the Rec. The third winner on Opening Day, Wainuiomata, are at home at Mary Crowther to take on Oriental Rongotai, with Avalon and Norths looking to get on track when they clash at Fraser Park. The Poneke/OBU side has the bye this week.

These matches revert to their usual 11.30am start this week

Under 85kg JC Bowl

Champions the OBU Scallywags will look to repeat last Saturday’s big win when they take on MSP at Kilbirnie Park, while fellow heavyweights the Tawa Ducks face the Pare-Plim Piranhas at Redwood Park. Eastbourne will want to back up their win when they meet Petone on the Rec with first-up winners Avalon and HOBM clashing at Fraser Park. The final match has Poneke making their season bow ‘away’ against Wellington also at Kilbirnie Park with Johnsonville on the bye this week.

These are all 2.45pm kickoffs this week.

College

One 1st XV fixture of note tomorrow as Wellington College faces New Plymouth Boys’ High in an early season match

Elsewhere

In the Manawatu, joint-leaders College Old Boys will look to get a jump on the rest when they visit Freyberg while there’s a big clash between Feilding Yellows and Massey. Strugglers Linton Army are away against Te Kawau with Kia Toa coming off the bye to host Feilding Old Boys-Oroua. The other joint-leader, Old Boys Marist, have the bye this week.

In Horowhenua-Kapiti champions Rahui head south to meet Waikanae, and further south still Paraparaumu welcome Shannon. Wanderers have the Domain this week for their match with Foxton, while College Old Boys have the bye.

And in the Wairarapa the headline match is at Greytown where the home side take on Martinborough while champions Carterton will look to bounce back against first-up winners Marist. Pioneer hosts Eketahuna as they both look for their first wins, while Red Star will look to get on the board when they head to Whareama to play East Coast.

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