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Home > Club Rugby > Sideline Conversions 24 June (some rugby news and information to start the week)

Sideline Conversions 24 June (some rugby news and information to start the week)

Ardie Savea has mustard with his sausages. He played for Ories against Wellington and scored two tries, to take his club rugby career tally to 16 tries in 19 games since his debut in 2012. PHOTO: Brad Roberts.

Evening edition: Welcome to week 13 of the Wellington club rugby season were contenders in all the leading competitions will be hoping to catch a lucky break this Saturday in the concluding rounds of the Premier Swindale Shield and Premier 2 Harper Lock Shield and penultimate round of the Colts Paris Memorial Trophy.

Only Old Boys University and Petone are left standing as the two teams who can win or share the Swindale Shield, while most other teams won’t know their championship round fate until late on Saturday afternoon.

For example, the Polo Ground could be the key venue this weekend. The winner of the Ories v HOBM match for the Bondy Memorial Cup stays in the top 4 , while the loser will get leapfrogged by Tawa &/or Upper Hutt should both get 5 points from their matches.

The newly polished Swindale Shield and Harper Lock Shield trophies will likely both be circulating in town this weekend ready to present to the winners. In Premier 2, leaders OBU are on 55 points and second placed Tawa on 52, so OBU will need a minimum of 3 points from their match with mid-table Norths to ensure raising the spoils high into the MacAlister Park sky. Otherwise a quick dash to Tawa will be the order of the day.

UPDATE: It is understood that the Tawa – Wellington Axemen matches are all being played on Friday afternoon, by mutual agreement. Confirmation to come.

Matches at a glance in round 13 are (home team first, Premier 2 and Colts the same draw):

#1 – J’ville v Marist St Pats
#2 – OBU v Norths
#3 – Ories v HOBM
#4 – Poneke v Petone
#5 – Wainui v Pare-Plim
#6 – Tawa v Wellington (now on Friday)
#7 – Upper Hutt Rams v Avalon

As always look out for our comprehensive preview on Friday.


Beard Trophy match three of four this Wednesday. Holders Tawa College take on Bishop Viard College. Premiership side Tawa are coming off a 19-34 defeat to St Pat’s Town on Saturday, while Premier 2 team Bishop Viard are coming off a 25-22 win over the St Pat’s Town Second XV. Bishop Viard are fifth in Premier 2 with three wins and two losses.


Wellington College are in Nelson this week for the 98th Quadrangular Tournament.

The defending champions face a big match on Tuesday when they face Nelson College first up. Christ’s and Whanganui play the other day one match and Thursday’s games are between the two winners for the title and the vanquished sides in the 3 v 4 match. Strangely (in a good way), Sky TV is broadcasting the tournament again too, so look out for that if you have their service.

Outright winners have been:

  • Wellington College (33) – 6 shared.
  • Nelson College (24) – 6 shared.
  • Christ’s College (15) – 1 shared.
  • Whanganui Collegiate (15) – 7 shared.

The last drawn final was between Wellington and Nelson 31-31 in 2012.


Updated: Wellington club rugby All Blacks named on Monday: Ardie Savea (Ories), TJ Perenara (Norths), Billy Proctor (MSP), Pasi Tosi (Paremata-Plimmerton), Asafo Aumua (Avalon).

Two exciting Women’s finals on Saturday. The last time the Poneke women’s team made the final in 2015, on the same ground as Saturday’s decider, three players from Saturday’s team also played in that game (all centurions): Kamila Leota, Maria Apera – Jones and Megan Tulili.


The Tawa Ducks are back in action this Saturday following their bye, where they will be looking to wrap up the first round U85kg JC Bowl. They are on 45 competition points ahead of second placed OBU on 40. The Ducks have scored 484 points in their nine wins so far, so will also be looking to go past 500 when they play sixth placed Wellington at home at Redwood Park. The Scallywags play HOBM on the Hutt Rec.


Are the Wellington Lions coaches ‘cotton wooling’ players and starting to hold players back from club rugby for the NPC campaign, five-six weeks out from the end of the club season?


Club Rugby has been impressed all season with all the well performing loose forwards on show in the Colts competition. It was good watching two more openside flankers on Saturday go toe to toe, with Tawa’s Anthony Hunt and the Upper Hutt Rams’ Harry Cresswell.


The Colts playoff format was confirmed last week.

Following the conclusion of the Paris Memorial Trophy in a fortnight, the 14 teams will split to Top 7/Bottom 7 divisions. Teams finishing first in each split (so 1st and 8th) get the first-round championship bye. There are thus three quarterfinals in each division, then semi-finals, then the finals.


When the waterboy joins the fray. Tawa’s waterboy, a certain former Premier player of the side, showed good dash to sprint 50 metres to join the fray of a fulltime skirmish at Lyndhurst Park on Saturday. It started after Tawa first five Solomon Uelese scored a fulltime try to make it 32-32. A Tawa forward embraced an Upper Hutt forward defender on the tryline in the celebrations and the latter retaliated and it all kicked off. Good composure by Uelese to then kick the winning conversion, 15 metres inside from the terraces touchline. He finished the match with 19 points.


The All Blacks are named at 5.30pm today. Who from Wellington will make the first squad of the year? Who will be made captain? The ‘Bolter’? The players left out? The usual baying media types will be going crazy, so watch this space.


Congratulations to Jordan Gillies for playing his 100th Premier match for Hutt Old Boys Marist on Saturday. Pictured with Ben Power, Taylor Edwards and Brandyn Laursen. Photo: Warwick Burke.


News last Thursday that Julian Savea has re-signed with Moana Pasifika for 2025.

Per the media release: The 33-year-old had a spectacular maiden year with Moana Pasifika playing in 12 of 14 games. He was a devastating presence with consistent performances every week, solidifying his spot in the midfield.

The Bus recorded a whopping 302.4 post contact metres in 2024 and played the second most minutes out of the team (852). This was the highest among all Moana Pasifika backs.

The 54-test All Black’s resume speaks for itself. A 2015 Rugby World Cup champion, 2016 Super Rugby champion with the Hurricanes and Super Rugby’s second most prolific try-scorer (62).

Savea said he was excited to keep building with Moana Pasifika.

“I’m really happy to re-sign with Moana Pasifika. What I’m looking forward to most about 2025 is getting another opportunity to make the playoffs and get better as a team. Also for me personally just becoming the best 12 in the competition,” said Savea.

“This environment has been amazing experiencing my culture everyday and getting the best out of myself and the team.”


Club Rugby met Gerald Arthurs last week, former Marist St Pat’s, Poneke and Wellington halfback, who was back on this side of the Tasman visiting family and friends. Arthurs has lived on the Gold Coast for a number of years, but was MSP’s founding halfback in the early 1970s and subsequently moved over to Poneke and was a key member of that team that won the Jubilee Cup in 1975. He said he laid on the final pass to wing Peter Peilua to score in the SW corner of Athletic Park delivering Poneke a famous 12-9 win over Petone. He also played for Wellington in four seasons, in 1973 and between 1975-77. After retiring, Arthurs became a gun golfer and has won a number of club golf titles.


Biggest 10-12 combination in the Premier 2 grade in Wellington?

Jayden Treviranus and Konelio Feaunati at the Rams, OR Norm Fatialofa and Herman Seumanufagai at Ories?


In Hawke’s Bay club rugby watch, Taradale are the favourites to win the Maddison Trophy in a few weeks. They earned their fourth straight win of the second round on Saturday beating Napier Old Boys Marist 52-24. Majella Tufaga scored four tries.


Congratulations to Club Rugby contributor and writer Scott MacLean for reaching the milestone of 100 matches on the whistle in the Premier 2 grade. He is also refereeing for the Wairarapa-Bush union this season.


In college rugby chat, Wellington College maintained their unblemished record with 52-7 hiding of St Bernard’s College – ideal warmup for their blockbuster clash with Nelson College at Quad on Tuesday (as noted above).

Wellington outscored the Lower Hutt school eight tries to one with prop Hyrum Betham and winger Teina Hingston-Mill each scoring two tries. Archie Sims continued his terrific form with 17 points.

Defending champions Scots College were down a dozen in as many minutes against Wairarapa College but rallied strongly to prevail 36-12. Damaging No.8 Brandon Lo scored two tries.

St Pat’s Town have won six on the bounce in all competitions improving to 4-1 in the Premiership with a 34-19 win over Tawa College.

At the lower end of the table Paraparaumu College won a tense tussle against Hutt International Boys’ School 16-13. In the 65th minute Finlay Hourigan kicked a penalty to prod the visitors 13-11 ahead. Paraparaumu kept their cool and with the last play of the match fullback Frederick Kreuzer scored to consign HIBS to a second last play loss in a week.

Wairarapa’s Rathkeale College has made a promising start to the Central North Island competition with four wins, while Feilding High School is on a tear.




Extra Time Games

2013: Oriental-Rongotai beat Hutt Old Boys Marist in a 100 minute Jubilee Cup semi-final.

2021: Old Boys University beat Petone 25-21 in a 100 minute Colts final at the Hutt Rec. Soane Fakahau scored the winning try but soon after Petone was held up over the line claiming they had scored a try.

2021: Poneke beat Petone 32-24 in the Hardham Cup final after 20 minutes of extra time.

2024: Petone beat Oriental-Rongotai on ‘most tries scored in the final’ countback after the two teams drew 24-24 in the Women’s Division 1 Championship decider.

Note: Ponsonby & Marist shared Auckland’s Coleman Shield final 0-0 after 120 minutes of play.


Connor Garden-Bachop won a Wellington, Hurricanes Regional, National Top Four and Moascar Cup while in the Scots College First XV between 2014 and 2016. In 2016 Garden-Bachop was selected for the New Zealand Barbarians team alongside future All Blacks Leicester Fainga’anuku, Folau Fakatava, Quinn Tupaea and Tupou Vaai and they beat Australian Schools 28-17 and Fijian Schools 46-20 in Auckland. In the Australia test at Mount Albert Grammar, Garden-Bachop busted 40m and made a try for first five-eighth Lincoln McClutchie. College Sport Media noted of his display against Fiji at Auckland Grammar: “Garden-Bachop had a great game for the Barbarians, constantly breaking the line and causing the defence problems.” Ironically, he opposed future Highlanders teammate Timoci Tavatavanawai – recently named Highlanders Player of the Year.


The Blues were worthy Super Rugby champions with a 15-2 record, beating every side and smashing the listless Chiefs in the final. Though the Blues did score more tries (87) than any other side, ‘Stren Vern’s’ men played a style of rugby largely foreign to Kiwi supporters. The prolific Rieko Ioane, who had scored 103 tries in 192 games coming into 2024, did not score a try the whole season. The All Blacks centre has gone 15 games without a try for the Blues.

The Blues game was built on power, patience, simplicity, and discipline. One pass of the ruck and kick on third phase if nothing is doing. It was boring to watch but it worked for a side that hadn’t won a championship since 2003. The 2003 Blues side were a thrilling outfit headlines by the likes of Keven Mealamu, Ali Williams, Carlos Spencer, Doug Howlett and Rupeni Caucaunibuca.


Awesome to see Taine Plumtree at blindside flanker for Wales against South Africa over this past weekend.


First round winners the Upper Hutt J8s had a hard fought 27-17 win over the Petone Brotherhood in their second round Reserve Grade Division 1 fixture on Saturday, to go 3/3 in the John Davies Cup. Norths beat the UHR Pirates 42-25 and the Johnsonville Cripples defeated the Poneke Ruffnuts 28-19 in the other match.


200 Premier games for Teru Time on Saturday:


The WRFU are making an announcement today:

This column is a collaborative effort and on or off the record contributions are welcome. Please get in touch. 

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