Avalon topple MSP as OBU win well over Eagles in 10 round

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Photo: Hugh Pretorius

Avalon produced the Premier club rugby upset of the season thus far in beating Marist St Pat’s on their home ground Evans Bay Park 27-19 in the tenth round of the Swindale Shield on Saturday.

Avalon’s win for the Joe Aspell Cup and Paremata-Plimmerton’s 25-11 over Poneke at Ngatitoa Domain were two results that have served to tighten up the mid-table standings before the top 7 and bottom 7 teams are found to contest the second round competitions.

At the top of the table, the Old Boys University Goats blew away the Hutt Old Boys Eagles in the second half at Nairnville Park to win 48-16 and take the competition lead.

Northern United are now second after defeating the Upper Hutt Rams 42-28 for the Terry Farrow Cup, while HOBM,  Marist St Pat’s and Poneke round out the top five.

Petone and Tawa both won important bonus point victories, Petone beating winless Johnsonville 65-0 at the Petone Rec and Tawa accounting for the Wellington Axemen 51-30 at Hataitai Park. 

Oriental-Rongotai defeated Wainuiomata 26-20 at the Polo Ground in another key result in the context of the competition. Ories remain outside the Jubilee Cup cut-off line but are still in the hunt to make the top 7. 

There are three weeks of the first round to play. The points table is:

Old Boys University 43; Northern United 40; Hutt Old Boys Marist 39; Marist St Pat’s 35; Poneke 33; Petone and Tawa 32; Oriental-Rongotai 27; Wainuiomata 24; Upper Hutt Rams 22; Avalon and Paremata-Plimmerton 16; Wellington 12; Johnsonville 0. 

The Marist St Pat’s – Avalon Wolves game came to life in the 25th minute, with Avalon adding to an early 3-0 lead and scoring the game’s first try to first five-eighth TK Kiwara. MSP hit back through a forwards drive try to No. 8 James Tuia, before MSP wing Ryan Saunders was yellow carded and the Wolves scored a length of the field try to lock-turned wing Laman ah Wong to lead 17-7 at halftime.

Avalon centre Chris Aumua scored a clutch try immediately after halftime and Kiwara converted to put the Wolves ahead 24-7. A Kiwara penalty followed and they now led by 20 points. MSP came back and scored tries through midfielders Isaiah Petelo and Ryan Setefano but the Wolves held on to record a famous win. 

Paremata-Plimmerton won for the second consecutive week tipping over Poneke at home. They lost fullback Josh Witana to a broken leg early in the match and he was replaced by Blake Neve who was to score a second half race.

Poneke scored the game’s first try, through prolific wing Nick Robertson, but the home side struck back through blindside flanker James Hansen to cut Poneke’s lead to 8-7 at halftime. Paremata-Plimmerton overtook them in the second 40 minutes, going up 17-8 and then 25-8 at one point.

Paremata-Plimmerton host Old Boys University next weekend, who trounced previous leaders Hutt Old Boys Marist. HOBM led 16-14 at halftime, but OBU scored 34 unanswered points in the second 40 minutes with a southerly wind at their backs..

Halfback Tomasi Palu scored four tries. The halfback was in the right place three times after powerful forward surges and supported a breakout by fullback Sam Reid in the first half. Together Palu and first-five Dale Sabbagh (21 points) allowed the Goats to control territory with astute kicking and tactics.

Glen Walters kicked HOBM into a 6-0 lead with two penalties before Reid slipped through and Palu backed-up. The lead changed twice more in an entertaining opening. OBU scored two tries in the first five minutes after the interval and never surrendered the ascendancy as the Eagles’ error rate soared. 

At the Petone Recreation Ground, No. 8 Tupou Sopoaga also scored four tries as part of Petone’s 65-0 win over Johnsonville.

Petone’s dominant scrum and big games from new Junior All Black prop Kaliopasi Uluilakepa and halfback Carlos Price that helped pave the way. Uluilakepa and Price helped set up the second two of Sopoaga’s tries, before left wing and captain Jarro Adams crossed to make it 33-0 at halftime.Hurricane Murray Douglas scored first after the break and it was game over.

Ories skipped out to a lead over Wainuiomata in their match, but the green and blacks crossed for their second try on 40 minutes to make it 16-15 to Ories at the break.

A key try came soon after when Wainuiomata No. 8 Greg Lealofi was sin-binned and from the resulting play Ories monstered their scrum and crossed to put them ahead 23-15. The rest of the contest remained close but Ories kept their noses in front.

The Northern United - Upper Hutt Rams fixture was a helter-skelter affair early as Norths raced to a 14-0 lead, only for the Rams to strike twice and draw level at 14-14.Norths then score three quickfire tries, two to fullback Esi Komaisavai and one to No. 8 Peter Pili. The remainder of the match remained lively and the Rams won the second half but couldn’t reel in the earlier advantage.

Tawa’s midfield pairing of Kalim Kelemete and Pepesana Patafilo was to the fore against the Wellington. Patafilo scored the game’s first two tries as they took a 13-6 lead midway through the first spell. They advanced this to 25-11 by the break with the Axemen still in the match.

But Kelemete raced away to scored virtually from the second half kick-off and then prop Sitiveni Paongo scored their sixth try and at 39-11 it was all over. The Axemen scored two late tries to close it up.


Swindale Shield Points Table:
OBU 43, Norths 40, HOBM 39, MSP 35, Poneke 33, Petone 32, Tawa 32
Ories 27, Wainui 24, UHR 22, Avalon 17, Pare-Plim 16, Wgtn 12, Jville 0



Northern United defeated Oriental-Rongotai 32-22 at Jerry Collins Stadium in this weekend’s feature Women’s first round Rebecca Liua’ana Trophy fixture. 

Ories scored the game’s opening try to No. 8 Tina Paulo but much of the remainder of the first half was all Norths, who ran in four consecutive tries playing into the wind to lead 24-5.

A Norths player was sin-binned late in the half, allowing Ories to come back and score to close the gap to 12-22.

Norths midfielder Helen Collins and both props, Dora Laupola and Patsy Schwalger, were outstanding, and it was Laupola who scored soon after halftime to increase their lead to 29-12.

Ories cut the gap to 17-29 but Norths closed with the match-winner that made it 34-17. Centre Ayseha Leti’l’iga scored an 80 metre counter-attacking try for Ories with a few minutes to play.

Both these teams are behind Paremata-Plimmerton who lead the standings with an extra game played after beating Poneke 77-5. Wellington Pride wing Tove Svanborg scored four tries and three other players scored two tries.

Injury-depleted Marist St Pat’s had a good 38-22 win over Avalon and Petone beat Old Boys University 21-7.


Harper Lock Shield

The curtain-raiser Premier Reserve match at Hataitai Park saw Tawa win 38-0 but it was much closer than that, with a burst of late scoring blowing the margin of victory wide open.

The Upper Hutt Rams won their Harper Lock Shield clash with Norths 15-12 as that game was called off 10 minutes early due to an incident involving players and spectators.

Marist St Pat’s slayed the Avalon Wolves second XV 94-5, meaning that MSP are the only unbeaten side in the Harper Lock Shield following Norths’ defeat.

Third-placed Poneke beat Paremata-Plimmerton 36-0, OBU beat HOBM 33-14 and Johnsonville tipped over Petone 25-24.


Les Mills Colts

Marist St Pat’s remain unbeaten in the Les Mills Paris Memorial Trophy Colts grade, beating last year’s winners Petone 31-12.

The OBU Goats are second second with their 38-14 over HOBM. Ories beat Tawa 38-19, after leading 24-0 at halftime. The fourth match between the Upper Hutt Rams and Northern United has been postponed. 

In the Colts RD Cup second division, Wellington beat Avalon 24-14, OBU Black beat OBU White 47-7, Wainuiomata beat Johnsonville 19-15 and Paremata-Plimmerton beat Poneke 29-10 to claim their fifth straight win.


In U85kg rugby for the Paul Potiki Shield, Avalon won an early season table-topping clash, beating Eastbourne 15-6.