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Top seeds beaten on opening Jubilee Cup weekend, HOBM presented with first round Colts trophy

Hemi Fermanis and his Tawa teammates celebrate the second of their three second half tries set up off attacking lineouts this afternoon. Tawa beat beat OBU 31-30. Photo: Andy McArthur. 

  • By Steven White, Scott MacLean & Adam Julian

Draws & results (as received) are here:

Updated: Finishing order from the just completed Swindale Shield counted for little amongst the top four qualifiers this afternoon, with newly crowned Swindale Shield champions Old Boys’ University and runners-up Petone both beaten by the third and fourth placed finishers on the opening day of the championship club rugby.

At Rugby League Park, fourth qualifier Tawa beat top qualifiers Old Boys’ University 31-30, and at the Petone Rec third placed Hutt Old Boys Marist defeated Petone 37-17. These results mean that today’s winners Tawa (seeding 4 after the Swindale Shield) and HOBM (3) earn a bye weekend next Saturday while OBU (1) and Petone (2) have to keep playing.

OBU’s and Petone’s opponents next week will be the Upper Hutt Rams (5) and Oriental Rongotai (6) respectively, after the Rams and Ories beat Marist St Pat’s and Paremata-Plimmerton in their games, to also relegate MSP and Paremata-Plimmerton to the Tier 2 Hardham Cup for the remainder of the season.

At Maidstone Park, the Rams beat MSP 45-18, after running hot in the first half and racing to a 22-3 lead. MSP rallied as part of a come back, but the Rams got a second wind and pulled away for a well-deserved win.

At the Polo Ground, the replay of last year’s Jubilee Cup final was much closer, with Ories sealing a late 20-17 victory over the Hammerheads after leading 17-7 at halftime.

The other three Hardham Cup matches today went the way of the home teams as Wainuiomata defeated Avalon 64-12, Poneke beat Northern United 64-19 and the Johnsonville Hawks were pushed close by the Wellington Axemen throughout much of their contest before winning 37-15.

Hardham Cup second round matches next Saturday will see Paremata-Plimmerton (7) play the Avalon Wolves (14) at Ngati Toa Domain, Marist St Pat’s (8) meet the Wellington Axemen (13) at Evans Bay Park, Wainuiomata (10) host Northern United (12) at William Jones Park and Johnsonville (9) playing Poneke (11) at Helston Park.

The Wainuiomata and Avalon Premier teams after their opening Hardham Cup match, with referee Steve Newson in his 100th match and his son and recent WRFU community rugby officer Brad the assistant referee. Photo: Mike Lewis.

Round-ups of two Jubilee Cup games we covered today follow:

Tawa rocked the boat at Rugby League Park by tipping over the first round champions OBU and earning themselves a week off with their late 31-30 win. Lock Akira Ieremia scored the winning try that was coolly converted by first five Luke Warmsley with about a minute to play. From the restart, Tawa’s forwards closed the game out and Warmsley booted the ball into touch on referee’s time.

The winning try was scored after a lineout in the corner and almost a minute of possession in which they moved the ball to the far side of the posts and then swung it back to Ieremia who seized a gap and scored.

Previously, it seemed that OBU had done enough to win. They had been trailing 24-20 following Tawa’s second of three tries from lineouts in the corner. The home side had the wind at their backs in the second half and sailed back on to attack, and first five Callum Harkin kicked a penalty to make it 24-23.

Moments after the next re-start, Harkin effected a pinpoint kick into the corner from a penalty for a lineout and OBU scored a try, although it appeared that Tawa had initially stolen the ball. Harkin’s conversion took OBU up 30-24 with only a few minutes to play.

Tawa went into the game with a powerful forward pack and dominated the scrums and controlled much of the close quarter play. However, a few errors had crept into their game over the final quarter – but rectified when it mattered at the end.

Tawa had led 12-10 at halftime before scoring almost straightaway after the mandarins from the first of their three lineout drives in the corner, as OBU flanker Cody Quin was sinbinned. But a 14-man OBU hit back with a converted try and a penalty to take a 20-17 lead into the final quarter.

Previously, there had been no scoring in the match for about 20 minutes. Both sides missed early chances, before Harkin put OBU on the board with a penalty.

In the 25th minute, Tawa scored the game’s first try, attacking from a lineout on halfway and first five Warmsley firing the decisive pass out to the flanks and right wing Rewiti Katene Leat scored in the carpark corner.

OBU went ahead 10-5 when left wing Ty Poe scored the first of his two tries after a concerted build-up and blindside foray by halfback Kyle Preston.

Tawa retook the lead with perhaps the best try of the match when they stole an OBU lineout 70 metres out on the embankment touch line and then ripped the ball wide and sliced up the grandstand side to within metres of the line. Quick recycling followed, and lock Ieremia was on hand to score the first of his two tries.

Similar to McBain Shield, Hutt Old Boys Marist and Petone was settled by halftime. However, this time, it was the Eagles celebrating after a resounding 37-17 victory.

Hutt led by 30-3 at halftime mixing forward brutally with back enterprise largely absent throughout the Swindale Shield.

Hutt was two tries to the good after 10 minutes. Prop Brett Manaia hardly needed the support of three teammates to push him over the line in a pod, but the collective surge was a metaphor for untied strength. Hutt was a different beast from the listless and muddled outfit that succumbed so meekly a month ago.

Fritz Rayasi didn’t feature in McBain. The mercurial Eagles fullback caught the restart and busted 50m. Kienan Higgins spotted space on the opposite wing and dispatched a perfect kick for Sapati Tagoai to gather and score.

Harry Press could be regarded as a dark horse for Wellington Lions selection. Big, mobile, and accurate, the hooker scored his ninth try of the season from a rolling maul.

Petone was shell-shocked, and errors piled up.  Fereti Soloa showed Hutt can ‘razzle dazzle’ before the interval with a chip and chase try that traversed 40 metres.

It took 23 minutes for the first scoring of the second half. Hearty prop Taualai Tofilau smashed over for Petone.

Crash, bash, and smash is the Eagles style though and Rayasi (the size of a lock) finished unrelenting graft from the lower numbers.

Petone needs to urgently repair their set-piece deficiencies if they are to revive their Jubilee Cup prospects.

HOBM survives another week and will have the rest of the competition weary after their best display of 2024.

Premier 2

A pair of close results to start the Premier 2 Ed Chaney Cup playoffs.

Top qualifiers OBU were made to work by Petone before prevailing 33-30 (short report follows below), while defending champions Tawa also had to fight to get past HOBM 25-20.

The two winners move onto the semi-finals in a fortnight’s time, while the losers face the teams that won the elimination games; Poneke were too good in beating the Upper Hutt Rams 50-22, and Pare-Plim were comfortable 38-17 victors over Ories.

In the tier 2 HD Morgan section MSP were pushed by Wainuiomata before winning 38-33, Johnsonville edged out Avalon 22-19, and Norths beat Wellington 25-12

The Top Four Premier 2 curtain raiser at Rugby League Park was also a thriller like the main game that followed, with OBU beating Petone 33-30. It took first five Tom Henderson to kick two late penalties to level and then win the game after there was a strong chance that the game would be going into extra time at 30-30.

Minutes earlier, Petone had come back to score a well taken try to second five Alex Foy, after they launched a decisive raid up the shortside towards the corner.

OBU themselves had scored a great try not long before when they attacked from a scrum on halfway after a Petone kick-off error. Right wing Ollie Cuff kicked ahead, and the ball bounced up from a defender’s grasp and first five Henderson ran in the try.

Petone had led 23-17 at half time against the top qualifiers, scoring their second try right on the interval following a skirmish and OBU fullback and former Petone player Ben Brooking being sinbinned.

Previously, both sides had scored one additional try in the first half and the rest of the scoring was from penalties off the kicking tee. OBU first five and goal-kicker Tom Henderson scored 23 of his team’s points.

OBU had scored the first try of the match when they attacked up the blindside from a scrum to score in the righthand corner.

Petone’s first try was also well executed from similar beginnings when they attacked up towards the city end from a scrum themselves.


HOBM signed off the Paris Memorial Colts in style, cruising past Upper Hutt 38-8 to post a perfect 65 competition points from their 13 games played.

With the grade splitting for the playoffs it was Ories and OBU who claimed the last two places.

Norths did what they needed to, beating Wainuiomata 48-7, but OBU beat Wellington 59-17 and Ories were surprisingly big winners 48-10 over Tawa. There was a mild upset as Poneke beat neighbours MSP 22-20, and Pare-Plim beat Johnsonville 41-7. The final match of the round was dealt with during the week with Avalon forfeiting to Petone.

There will now be a three-week knockout phase to crown the Division 1 John E Kelly Cup (top 7) and the Division 2 Vic Calcinai Memorial Trophy (bottom 7).

The top qualifiers from each division have the opening round off next weekend, these being HOBM (1) and Norths (8).

Quarterfinals in the John E Kelly Cup will see Petone (2) host Tawa (7), OBU Green (3) v MSP (6) and Upper Hutt Rams (4) v Ories (5).

Quarterfinals in the Vic Calcinai will see Poneke (9) v Wainuiomata (14), Paremata-Plimmerton (10) v Johnsonville (13) and Avalon (11) v Wellington (12).

Tawa and Norths tied the round-robin on 43 points, but Tawa went through becasue they won the head-to-head tiebreaker.

The Rams and Ories finished tied on points as well, the Rams finishing higher because they won their head-to-head game.


Just three matches played on the opening weekend of U85kg knockout rugby.

All went the way of the higher qualifier and home team. In the top tier Paul Potiki Shield, Avalon (3) beat HOBM (6) 12-0 and Poneke (4) beat Johnsonville (5) 29-20.

Avalon and Poneke move on to play OBU (2) and Tawa (1) in next weekend’s semi-finals.

In the second tier MSP (10) beat Petone (11) 43-23. Again, the top two qualifiers, Wellington and Eastbourne, had the bye, while Paremata-Plimmerton had the bye.

The WRFU will confirm the draws for next Saturday early this coming week.


Liam Slight kicked the winning conversion for St Patrick’s College, Silverstream in their never-wracking 15-14 win over Scots College in Strathmore.

This was kicked in the 69th minute. Replacement hooker Dylan Davey tenaciously bustled through the dogged, fatiguing defence prior.

It took Silverstream 55 minutes to crack Scots. Lock Samuel Thompson battered his way clear to make it 14-5. Silverstream kept on pressing thereafter and smartly Liam Slight kicked a penalty in the 66th minute.

Scots secured the lead curiosity of tries to prop Tobias Mene and No.8 Brandon Lo. Happy Valley-Patu slotted two conversions.

Remarkably 14 of the last 19 matches between the schools’ have been decided by a converted try or less with wins split nine-apiece.

Elsewhere in the Premiership, Wellington College remained unbeaten with a 38-3 victory over Paraparaumu College. Wairarapa College stayed in semifinal contention by consigning HIBS to a seventh consecutive defeat (38-10) and St Pats Town won their sixth consecutive match with a 30-15 win over Rongotai College. No.8 Jeremy Perez had a productive afternoon with two tries.

In Premier 2, the Hutt Valley High School First XV – who have yet to have their bye –  will go into the school holidays with a 4-point lead at the top of the standings to the second-equal placed Silverstream and Wellington College 2nds.

In today’s matches, HVHS beat the Aotea First XV 20-7, while Wellington beat the St Pat’s Towns Seconds 50-14 and the Silverstream Seconds defeated the Porirua College First XV 22-15.

In today’s other Murray Jensen Cup match, Bishop Viard College’s First XV beat Rongotai College’s Second XV 24-12. The Taita Firsts had the bye.


Kia Toa and College Old Boys will contest next weekend’s major final in the Manawatu. Unbeaten Kia Toa were too good for Old Boys Marist winning 32-10, but it was a surprising result at the university as COB simply blew Massey off the park in winning 54-15. The minor final will see Freyberg face Linton Army; Freyberg crushed minnows Feilding Old Boys-Oroua 84-0, while it was closer in the other as Linton held out Te Kawau 30-25.

Mixed results in Horowhenua-Kapiti. Foxton earned the right to host a semi-final after thumping Waikanae 80-17 today, while Shannon and Levin College Old Boys will need the bylaws to determine who avoids the Rahui machine next week after Shannon’s 27-22 win in their match today left both teams on 39 points. In the battle to avoid the wooden spoon, Paraparaumu beat Levin Wanderers 39-31.

Not exactly a banner weekend in Wairarapa-Bush with just one match going ahead. Eketahuna were the first to drop out, conceding their match against Martinborough owing to a lack of front-rowers. Masterton Red Star were next, defaulting to Marist after injuries and illness reduced them to just 16 players, and Pioneer followed suit last night, defaulting to Greytown. In the one match that was played, Carterton beat East Coast 39-12. The upshot is that Pioneer’s default leaves them behind Martinborough on the table so next weekend’s championship semifinals sees Marist host Pioneer, and Carterton welcome Martinborough.

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