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OBU on top in Swindale Shield, Petone and HOBM keep pace as Axemen break 43-match losing run

Old Boys University centre Fuka Paongo on his way to scoring one second half try and helping set up another in his team’s big win over Paremata-Plimmerton in perfect conditions this afternoon.

  • By Steven White, Scott MacLean & Adam Julian

The Swindale Shield is Old Boys University’s to lose of the final three weeks. They can afford to drop one of their three remaining matches against Oriental-Rongotai, Marist St Pat’s and Northern United and win the first round title on their own terms.

This after they sizzle to a 45-14 win over Paremata-Plimmerton at Hammerhead Stadium this afternoon to maintain a 6-point lead at the head of the standings to second placed Petone on 40 points and third placed Hutt Old Marist on 37.

In home games for the pair, Petone beat MSP  37-31 for the Bill Elvy Shield this afternoon and HOBM defeated the Johnsonville Hawks 48-32. Petone and HOBM also meet next weekend for the famous McBain Shield.

Ories are fourth on 36 after picking up the pieces from their loss to Tawa last week and beating Poneke 41-23 for the Jimmy Grbirch Memorial Shield on Poneke’s Old Timers’ Day. This was a mighty close match with scores locked at 3-3 throughout much of the first half and  Ories were subsequently leading 22-20, so it was a late blow-out that flattered Ories.

Try time for Poneke in their derby match on Old Timers’ Day for the Grbich Shield. Photo: Andy McArthur.

The Upper Hutt Rams are fifth  on 35 after beating Northern United 38-13 today on their Old Timers’ Day and for the Terry Farrow Trophy.

Paremata-Plimmerton (unchanged on 33), MSP (32) and Tawa (32) round out the top 8 in the standings and in the running for the championship Jubilee Cup in a month.

Tawa beat Wainuiomata 39-38 in the closest contest of the round today, taking home both the Chris Sterling Cup and Bill Brien Challenge Trophy.

The other big news of the day was the Wellington Axemen beating the Avalon Wolves 19-13 in the match is predicted to be the wooden spoon game of the Swindale Shield. More on this below.

Wainuiomata (25), Johnsonville (24), Poneke (21), Norths (9), Wellington (4) and Avalon (3) round out the bottom six sides, with three weekends to play in the first round.

Some extended Swindale Shield reports from games we were at follow.

Old Boys University laid down their credentials at a picture postcard Ngāti Toa Domain to win this year’s first round Swindale Shield while all but extinguishing Paremata-Plimmerton’s hopes of defending the title.

OBU won 45-14 and effectively had the game in the bag five minutes into the second half when they effected a turnover 40 metres out and No. 8 Dougal Perrers charged through a gaping hole up through the 22 to score their bonus point try and put them up 25-0.

OBU maintained their advantage and ran in two further tries in quick time, the first to centre Fuka Paongo, and the second to wing Ty Poe following a Paremata-Plimmerton dropped ball and another Paongo burst that sent the try scorer into the corner.

First five Callum Harkin put the icing on the cake by kicking a long-range penalty to put the visitors up 40-0.

Paremata-Plimmerton broke out and scored the first of their two consolation tries to No 8 Alex Fidow, but OBU were in again through lock Boston Hunt. Paremata-Plimmerton finished the game with their second consecutive try to fullback Esi Komaisavai but it was scant comfort for them as OBU had dominated throughout the match with a hungry, committed team performance.

Earlier, OBU had scored three tries to lead 18-0 at halftime.

Their first was scored by flanker Cody Quinn from a penalty and lineout in the corner. Their second was scored by No. 8 Perrers off the back of an attacking scrum near the line, and the third was scored also off the back of a scrum but from halfway. Halfback Kyle Preston made several surges up the middle during the game and he made one here, up into the 22 which led to left wing  scoring in the far corner. Harkin had also earlier kicked a penalty.

Following this third try, Paremata-Plimmerton’s kick-off went out on the full, so OBU attacked through another scrum on halfway and went desperately close to scoring their fourth try right then and there.

Players who stood out for OBU included Preston, Perrers, Paongo, Hunt, captain and hooker Louie Calvert, and blindside flanker Harry Irving.  For Paremata-Plimmerton this was a day to forget and they will regroup during the week.

Paremata-Plimmerton halfback Jake Tibbits feeds his backs from the scrum.

The Wellington Axemen have won a game for the first time in 43 matches (1085 days), defeating Avalon 19-13 at Hatatai Park today.

Wellington conceded 2,364 points in their losing streak but led for over an hour today in their first triumph since beating Avalon 18-5 on June 19, 2021.

The Axemen thoroughly delivered their success gaining impetus from an imperious scrum. Portuguese powerhouse Antonio Prim was outstanding at tighthead and Wellington lost no momentum when loosehead Cameron Roseingrave was replaced at halftime by Tui Tuia.

The first two tries were ugly. Avalon pushed over in a stockpile initially and Wellington followed suit through No.8 Ami Paongo.

Wellington was able to dictate territory through their set pieces and they turned at halftime with a 12-5 advantage following a try to burly, sprightly second five Ben Tuiatua

Hatatai was hysterical three minutes into the second half when silky debutant Heta Leapoamo busted down the embankment touchline inside the Avalon 22. Leapoamo linked with Deni Caucau near halfway. The right winger scurried 20m before Tuiatua received a precise pass supporting inside to stride euphorically clear.

Leading 19-5, Wellington was in unfamiliar terrain. Over excited, their discipline wavered and Avalon rallied. Winger Nathan Fa’apusa scored a try in the corner after sustained attack to make it 19-10 and then first-five Thomas Kirwara kicked a penalty to close the gap to 19-13.

Wellington missed two kickable penalties and Tuitua was denied a hat-trick from a forward pass.

Avalon threatened out wide but Wellington was resolute. Other standouts included openside James Tuia, lock Jack Laureson and halfback Will Cosgriff.

Avalon’s openside Asola Taape, lock Paris Palepoi and halfback Jack Ena were industrious.

It was tit-for-tat between two sides battling to make the top eight, but ultimately Tawa had enough of a buffer to hold out Wainuiomata 39-38 at William Jones. It was back-and-forward for much of the first half; Tyler Tane kicked an early penalty for the hosts before Tawa found space down the middle and Kemara Hauiti-Parapara scampered 25m to score.

Wainui responded through the seemingly indestructible Teru Time, then Joyner Gaualofa burrowed over from close range. Tane kicked a second penalty, before Tawa broke the sequence. Hemi Fermanis scored before a set piece moment of magic. Tawa kicked a penalty to touch 10m from the Wainui line, and in something reminiscent of the Tony Woodcock “dunk the teabag” try from the 2011 World Cup final Wainuiomata were left baffled as to where the ball was and Hauiti-Parapara breezed through as if Moses had parted the Red Sea. Tane would reply with a third penalty on the stroke of half-time to leave it at 22-16 to the visitors.

Tane would open the scoring after the break when he burst through close to the line but was unable to add the extras. Tawa were next to score when lock Lipa Saveatama of all people put through a perfectly weighted grubber kick for winger Reweti Leat to score.

Wainui’s response was outstanding; from a midfield scrum right wing Saita Tuaoi made a long run down the flank before the ball found fullback Campbell Cowie, and when Tane kicked his fourth penalty the home side were ahead. Tawa took the lead back when Akira Ieremia reached out, and put the margin to eight when replacement Solomon Uelese kicked a penalty from dead in front. That should have been the end of matters but the 80th minute went on for about five, and another sweeping move saw Matt Jacobs cross, but it was too late for any resumption.

Tawa blindside George Risale was simply immense for the 65 minutes he was out there, and only just shaded Tane for the Man of the Match. With the win Tawa claimed both the Chris Stirling Cup the two play for, as well as being the latest team to take possession of the Bill Brien Challenge Trophy.

Premier 2

Like their Premiers, OBUs second side remained at the head of their table winning their Harper Lock Shield clash with Pare-Plim 39-29.

Defending champs Tawa moved into second with a 59-14 win over Wainuiomata, with HOBM a point back after winning 33-24 over Johnsonville. Petone and Poneke both lost ground; Petone were upset by MSP 29-26 and Poneke went down 24-19 to Ories. In the other matches Upper Hutt were too good for Norths 51-29, and Avalon got their second win of the year 33-17 over Wellington.

A strong start and blazing finish carried Tawa to a flattering 59-14 win over Wainuiomata in the early game at William Jones. The three-time defending champions got out of the gate with three tries in the first 15 minutes to lead 21-0, and scored three times again in the last 10 minutes. But in between the home side gave a good account of themselves despite their season record and in that 55 minutes it was only 19-14 to the visitors. Tawa first-five Cullen Dexter bagged a hattrick and a personal haul of 25 points, while the ageless Peni Tokakece got through a full 80 minutes and had a hand in many of Tawa’s nine tries


HOBM kept their perfect record intact in the Paris Memorial Trophy Colts competiton, crushing bottom side Johnsonville 83-10.

Petone were surprisingly big winners in the match with MSP 43-17, with Upper Hutt now in third after edging Norths 24-19. Defending champs Ories moved into fourth after accounting for Poneke 43-5, with OBU beating Pare-Plim 27-17, Tawa over Wainuiomata 58-31, and Avalon accounted for Wellington 48-24.

In the Colts curtain raiser on Ngāti Toa Domain, the OBU Green Colts beat Paremata-Plimmerton Colts 27-17. OBU led 17-5 at half time, and crossed for their bonus point try soon after.

Paremata-Plimmerton made a comeback and scored their second try, but OBU sealed the game with about 10 minutes to play by scoring the try of the match from a turnover near half way and a kick ahead by the fullback which was regathered and led to the No 8 Matt Ifi scoring his second try of the match.

Paremata-Plimmerton played attacking rugby to the end and scored their third and final try, and went close to scoring again at the end which would have given them two bonus points instead of nothing from the match.

Earlier, OBU had scored first from a penalty and lineout in the corner, followed by Paremata-Plimmerton’s first try late in the first half to flanker Otis Baker.

OBU’s second try came not long after from another lineout in the corner and No 8 Ifi scoring the first of his tries.


The playoffs for the Women’s Tia Paasi Memorial were set almost before kick-off today after Wainuiomata defaulted to Norths on Thursday due to injuries.

The Petone machine rolled on, beating Ories 41-19, and they’ll host Wainuiomata in one semifinal next weekend, with Norths at home against Ories.

In the sole second tier Izzy Ford Cup match the combined Poneke-OBU side blitzed Avalon 48-5 to notch their first win of the season, and as we understand it will host Avalon again next weekend with Paremata-Plimmerton going directly through to final the following week.

The Poneke-OBU women’s side after their match today. Photo: Andy McArthur.


The U85kg JC Bowl resumed this afternoon after a week off and competition leaders the Tawa Titans sailed to their eighth straight bonus point win. Tawa beat Eastbourne 61-7 beside the seaside. Eastbourne were celebrating Dan Hewson’s 300th match.

The OBU Scallywags are second, five points back on 35, after they went on a try scoring frenzy against the Paremata-Plimmerton Piranhas and won 78-3.

Poneke’s Wanderers are back  on 25, but didn’t have to leave the clubrooms on Old Timers’ Day, beating Petone by default.

In the other match today, the Johnsonvilee Terrahwaks defeated the HOBM Howlers 26-24 and last night the Avalon Wolves beat the Wellington Axemen 40-24.


St Pat’s Silverstream and Wellington College are the two unbeaten teams after three rounds of the College First XV Premiership.

Silverstream overran St Bernard’s College 66-5 at SBC today, while Wellington College had earlier beaten Rongotai College 47-13 on Wednesday.

St Pat’s Town and Rongotai are joint third on 10 points – following St Pat’s Town’s eye-catching 44-7 win over Scots College this afternoon.

It was tight at Tawa and Paraparaumu Colleges respectively, with Tawa beating HIBS 38-26 and Paraparaumu missing out to Wairarapa College 5-12 – in a reverse of their recent grading round game.

There was a moment of silence at the start of Murray Jensen Cup Premier 2 games this afternoon, following the recent passing of the man the trophy is named after.

In Premier 2, the Hutt Valley High School First XV is unbeaten in three games, defeating the Rongotai Second XV 43-0. Silverstream’s Second XV are second after dismantling Naenae College’s First XV 76-0.

Porirua College First XV, Wellington College Second XV and Aotea College First XV are also on two wins from three, Porirua beating the SPC Second XV 29-14, Wellington College beating BVC First XV 34-10 and Aotea edging Taita College’s First XV 14-14.


Kia Toa and Old Boys Marist were the winners in today’s ‘Top Five’ matches in the Manawatu Senior 1 competition. Unbeaten Kia Toa kept their record intact with a 48-24 win over Massey, while Old Boys Marist were too good away at Feilding Yellows with a 35-14 win. College Old Boys had the bye. In the ‘Bottom Four’ Linton Army beat fellow strugglers Feilding Old Boys-Oroua 33-14, while there was a mild upset as Freyberg got up 21-19 over Te Kawau

The Rahui machine rolls on in Horowhenua-Kapiti, besting Shannon 58-26. Waikanae got up at home 26-19 over Levin Wanderers, while at the Levin Domain, Foxton continued their good recent form by topping Levin College Old Boys 40-35 in an entertaining clash.

Marist remain top of the Wairarapa Bush Moose Kapene Cup standings through three rounds after leaving Greytown winless with a 19-8 win. Carterton were too good for Eketahuna winning 57-14, as were Pioneer 50-18 in the Masterton derby with Red Star. Things were much closer at Whareama, with home side East Coast edging out an injury-ravaged Martinborough 31-29.

Below a couple of photos from U15s and U65kg college games at St Pat’s Silverstream today, by Mike Lewis:

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