The 15th annual presentation of the Andy Leslie Trophy will be made this Saturday afternoon. But where will it be?
The Andy Leslie Trophy, named after the former All Blacks captain and eight-time Jubilee Cup winner for Petone, is the silverware for finishing top of the Jubilee Cup round-robin series.
Heading into this coming Saturday’s final round, any of four teams can win this – Tawa. Hutt Old Boys Marist, Oriental-Rongotai and Northern United.
At the same time, these four teams plus Wainuiomata are all chasing the four semi-finalists positions with the second placed qualifier joining the Andy Leslie Trophy winner in hosting a home semi-final next weekend.
Just Petone and Poneke are out of the running to make the Jubilee Cup semi-finals, and while Petone have finished their season (with the last round bye), Poneke can still play a major spoilers role.
The points table with one round to play is: Tawa 20, HOBM 17, Ories 16, Norths 15, Wainuiomata 13, Petone 7, Poneke 6.
The draw for this weekend is: Poneke v Ories at Kilbirnie Park, Wainuiomata v Hutt Old Boys Marist at William Jones Park and Northern United v Tawa at Jerry Collins Stadium.
In the Hardham Cup, the situation is clearer, with Wellington’s last-gasp 18-15 win over Paremata-Plimmerton locking in the four semi-finalists with this week’s last round to spare. Wellington has the bye this weekend and OBU and MSP will finish first and second, so all that is to be decided is who they will host in their respective playoff fixtures.
The confirmed top four heading into this last round is: Old Boys University (24 points), Marist St Pats (20), Wellington (19) and the Upper Hutt Rams (14). Avalon (9), Paremata-Plimmerton (4) and Johnsonville (3) are all playing their final matches of the year on Saturday.
The Hardham Cup draw for this weekend is: Avalon v Marist St Pats at Fraser Park, Old Boys University v Upper Hutt Rams at Nairnville Park and Paremata-Plimmerton v Johnsonville at Ngatitoa Domain.
In the Premier Reserve Ed Chaney Cup, Norths and Petone are both locked on 24 points and have both qualified for the semi-finals, with third placed Tawa on 21 the only other side that can challenge for a home semi-final and they play Norths. Poneke and Ories are both locked on 12 points in fourth so their match this weekend is a straight quarter-final.
In the Premier Reserve HD Morgan Memorial Cup, MSP on 24 just need a point from their match against Avalon to secure top spot for the semi-finals. If they do, then the match between OBU on 21 and the Upper Hutt Rams 19 will be for hosting rights for the other match. Johnsonville on 10 can finish fourth if they earn a point against Paremata-Plimmerton on 5.
The Division 1 Les Mills Colts is also set to go down to the wire this coming weekend, with HOBM Green on 25 and having already qualified top, but with three teams in the hunt to host the second semi-final. OBU Green lead the chasing pack on 19, followed by first round Division 2 winners Ories on 17 and Tawa on 15. MSP on 14 and Norths on 11 can still mathematically make the top four.
John E Kelly Memorial Cup games this Saturday see games between HOBM and OBU, Norths and Tawa, Paremata-Plimmerton and Ories and Petone and MSP.
The WRFU tiebreaker rules can be found here.
Andy Leslie Trophy winners 2005-2018:
2005: Northern United
2007: Marist St Pats
2008: Marist St Pats
2014: Hutt Old Boys Marist
2015: Old Boys University
2016: Marist St Pats
2017: Old Boys University
2018: Northern United
Of note, in the first 14 years of the Andy Leslie the winner has gone on to win the main prize, the Jubilee Cup, on just six occasions. These being MSP in 2008, Ories in 2011, Tawa in 2013, HOBM in 2014, OBU in 2015 and OBU in 2017.