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Four teams unbeaten after two rounds of the Swindale Shield as southerly change hits

Article Contributors: Steven White, Adam Julian, Scott MacLean

Photos: Andy McArthur, Hugh Pretorius

For results from the day’s play visit Draws & Results across the top of this page or go here: – individual scoring for men’s and women’s Premier grades will be inputted as and when received.

There was nowhere to run for some teams and supporters and for others nowhere to hide either in the second week of Wellington club rugby played today.

A southerly change hit Wellington mid-afternoon and at some venues steady to heavy rain and wind dictated play, but that failed to prevent another set of stirring matches and results to start the new season.

In the Premier Swindale Shield there are four unbeaten teams, Hutt Old Boys Marist, Old Boys University, Marist St Pat’s and the Upper Hutt Rams, and two of these, HOBM and OBU, grabbed their second bonus points.

A further three sides – Johnsonville, Poneke and Tawa – earned their opening wins of the season, while defending Swindale Shield champions Paremata-Plimmerton lost their second successive match to start 2024.

Tawa beat Paremata-Plimmerton 10-5 in a gnarly result at Lyndhurst Park.

Early front-runners HOBM defeated Avalon 38-5 for the Billy Herbert Trophy at Fraser Park and OBU beat Wainuiomata 55-12, the biggest Premier win of the day, for the Peter Dunford Cup.

Brandyn Laursen struggles through Avalon’s defence in their bonus point win today at a wet Fraser Park 2 ground.

Loosehead prop Gareth Ward-Allen scored two first tries in his starting debut and Wainuiomata lost two players to the sin-bin, the second leading to a penalty try, as OBU took charge by halftime. Wainuiomata then lost a third player to the sin-bin early in the second half as OBU pulled away. For the Goats, centre Elijah Maene-Lokeni scored two tries and for the home team right wing Niko Paletesio also crossed twice.

MSP made it two from two to start their campaign, lowering defending Jubilee Cup champions Oriental-Rongotai 19-15 at home at Evans Bay Park.

The Upper Hutt Rams beat Petone 26-18 for both the Connolly Cup and Bill Brien Challenge Trophy at the Petone Rec. More on that match below.

Johnsonville defeated Northern United 32-28 at home at Helston Park for the Barlow Trophy. More on that match below.

Poneke’s 26-0 win over the Wellington Axemen was for the Spud Lindsay Memorial Trophy.

At Helston Park, a gutsy Johnsonville held off Northern United in the second half to win 32-28 in awful conditions. Johnsonville led 25-7 at halftime but the Norths forward pack quickly climbed into their work with the rain and southerly wind at their backs and closed the gap to within four points by midway through the second half.

The determined Johnsonville fifteen rallied and with about five minutes left in the now drizzle and mist, hometown hero and right wing Jacob Warmsley flashed through to score what was the winning try. Halfback Mark Sutton converted, and Johnsonville’s hardy supporters were celebrating a 32-21 lead.

Norths hit back and scored a consolation try on fulltime, which also gave them what could be two crucial bonus points from the match.

The match started in steady drizzle but not long into it, heavy rain started falling and the southerly breeze kicked in, in Johnsonville’s favour.

Sutton opened the scoring with a penalty, but Norths struck back only a few minutes later with their first foray into the 22. From an attacking scrum they went blindside and loose forward Luca Rees scored in the corner. The conversion was good and Norths led 7-3.

Playing to the conditions, Johnsonville played for territory, which included kicking at least three 50-22s, Johnsonville were all over Norths for most of the rest of the first half. Their reward was two tries, including a popular try to centre Finlay Sharp who cut through from close range to score under the posts, and another Sutton penalty. Norths also lost a man to the sinbin late in the first half.

Norths came out with a head of steam after halftime, and their forwards got a roll-on and Norths scored two converted tries to cut the gap to four points. It looked as though they would get on top.

Norths then appeared to lose momentum after making several substitutions including bringing on an entire new front row.

The Upper Hutt Rams quelled Petone 26-18 at the Petone Rec. A tight tussle was decided with about a dozen minutes remaining.

Down 18-16 the Rams were making little headway, shifting from side to side until Emmanuel Solomona barged through the Villagers’ defence at the 10 metre mark visitors territory and roared ahead.

A nonchalant pass was delivered to a supporting Jack Wright, and the openside had a clear runway to the paint until prop Isikeli Fukofuka emerged from Jackson Street somewhere to pull off a miracle intervention.

No panic from Wright was able to get an arm-free and supply fullback Todd Svenson for the winning try.

With his purple hair and bustling charges throughout, Solomona resembled Barney the dinosaur on steroids!

Territory and precision were the order of the day in inclement weather. Upper Hutt was marginally better in both departments.

The Rams hassled a fragile Petone lineout and turned the scrum into a furnace. Tynan Barrett kept the scoreboard ticking over with four penalties and two conversions. Two of Petone’s penalties were conceded for careless tackles, a metaphor for their persistent lack of accuracy.

The worst mistake Petone made was from the second-half restart. The lift to secure the ball was miss-timed and Jack Wright pounced sending Soli Malatai away.

Wright, Jarred Woodward, Pene To’o (who returned to the field to cover injury), and Leon Tulioma headlined a gritty forward display.

Petone led for large periods with Mason Henry, Conner Tuifao, and Lennon Easthope dogged. There were sporadic breakouts from whippet backs, but even the two tries scored were messy.

In the first half, down 3-6, Petone tapped swiftly from a penalty, and Upper Hutt was caught napping. TJ Clarke had two unmarked to his left but wanted to write a headline himself. Sandwiched between two Rams the straightforward scoring chance was dashed until Clark somehow wriggled an offload (Houdini style) towards the left wing. Emery McGill could trust the ball to stay idle in a puddle. A simple collect and dot down saved face for Petone’s Captain.

In the second-half Jarrod Adams propelled Petone 18-16 ahead rummaging through a pile of sweaty, soggy bodies. Clarke kicked eight points but missed a couple of critical strikes in a typically lively contribution.

Harper Lock Shield

Four teams are two from two at the head of the Premier 2 Harper Lock Shield.

HOBM were too good for Avalon winning 52-12, Poneke put Wellington aside 61-16, and OBU bested Wainuiomata by 36-24. Petone are a point back after beating the Rams.

Tawa got back to winning ways with a 33-5 win over Pare-Plim, Johnsonville won 38-22 over Norths, and Ories got over MSP 20-12.

The early action at the Petone Rec was a tit-for-tat affair that confounded last weekend’s results as the home side had to work hard to ultimately subdue an Upper Hutt Rams side that was much better than the mauling they got last Saturday. In an entertaining encounter the home side never trailed, but it was 29-all early in the second half as they exchanged three tries in the first half with the difference being a couple of kicks off the boot of Rory Woollett. However as the drizzle settled in Petone got the break in the scoring they needed, though the Rams had the last say in the 43-34 scoreline.


As with Premier 2, four teams are unbeaten after two rounds of the Paris Memorial Trophy Colts.

OBU powered past Wainuiomata 46-5, MSP beat Ories 43-29, and Petone left it late again to edge Upper Hutt 22-20. HOBM are a point off the lead after a 26-0 win over Avalon. In the remaining matches Tawa got up 29-19 over Pare-Plim, Norths got past Johnsonville 25-22, and Poneke retained the Misiluni Moananu Shield with a 25-12 win over the Axemen.

The script of the Colts curtain raiser at Helson Park ran along similar lines to the Premier match that followed, except it was visitors Norths who built and held on to win against Johnsonville.

Unlike the main game, the Colts game started in bright sunshine and warm conditions, and Johnsonville opened the scoring with a penalty before Norths scored three consecutive tries. None of these were converted, while Norths also missed at least two more clear opportunities to go further ahead.

Johnsonville rallied at the interval, and after a long build-up, scored a try which was converted from the sideline to close the gap to 15-10.

Johnsonville scored again later in the second half to lead 17-15 as Norths’ discipline, which included conceding two yellow cards, was proving costly for them.

However, Norths retook the lead when they won a penalty 38 metres out, and their hooker Augustino (Tino) Afele kicked the penalty. The same player then finished off a sweeping move to score a try, putting Norths 25-17 up with a couple of minutes to play.

Johnsonville scored a bonus point try on full time to make the final score 25-22.


Petone are the team to beat after two rounds of the Women’s Rebecca Liua’ana Trophy after they accounted for a plucky Pare-Plim 46-5. Norths won a struggle 12-0 over Avalon, while Wainuiomata’s terrific start continued as they toppled Ories 31-24.


A day of tight results in the U85 JC Bowl.

OBU won an arm wrestle 10-6 over MSP while it was even closer between Petone and Eastbourne with the Villagers prevailing 8-6.

HOBM won 22-5 over Avalon with a similar 20-5 scoreline for Poneke over Wellington. The exception was at Redwood Park as Tawa were rampant 59-0 winners over Pare-Plimmerton.


The Tawa College First XV beat the Porirua College First XV 43-15 in their pre-season match today.


Three close results and a blowout on a wet afternoon of Senior 1 club rugby in the Manawatu.

College Old Boys, minus Jordi Viljoen and the Bason brothers who were away playing in a representative match for the Hurricanes Development team, made it three from three with a 32-15 win over Freyberg.

Varsity beat Feilding Yellows 31-25 in a feature match, while Te Kawau edged Linton Army 29-28 in a battle of the teams from the south of the province and Kia Toa accounted for FOBO 88-7.


The third round of Premier Ramsbotham Cup matches saw Rahui maintain their unbeaten record and competition favouritism with a 36-5 win over Waikanae in the battle of the expressway, Shannon defeated Paraparaumu 31-19 and Foxton too strong for Levin Wanderers 38-10.


Martinborough and East Coast are the only unbeaten sides after two rounds of the Wairarapa-Bush Lane Penn Cup.

Martinborough won away at Greytown 24-15, while East Coast pipped newcomers Red Star 18-17 at Whareama. Defending champions Carterton rebounded from their loss last Saturday to beat Marist 35-19, and Eketahuna got the win 24-19 over Pioneer.

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