After an unscheduled opening round weekend off, first round winners Northern United are on the board in the Jubilee Cup, beating Marist St Pat’s in a repeat of their win a fortnight ago that saw them lift the Swindale Shield.
Northern United won a tense and willing match at Evans Bay Park 35-22, also putting MSP on the back foot with two losses to start their Jubilee Cup campaign.
MSP shaded Norths throughout and the visitors led 21-17 at halftime. Captain Parekura Lalaga then scored a clutch try just after the break to extend the lead to 28-17. MSP closed the gap to 28-22 with a try from halfway to fullback Andrew Wells and the match hung in the balance for long periods thereafter until Norths broke free and scored another converted try and the match-clincher.
Earlier, Norths had started the scoring with a try to openside flanker Du'Plessis Kirifi, before MSP halfback Ken Kapeli stole the ball from an attacking Norths scrum and set up a long-range to No. 8 Matt Peni. Norths scored twice more in the first half, including from a penalty try, but MSP always kept in touch and threatened with a slicing try second five-eighth Isaia Petelo.
Defending champions Old Boys University returned from their bye and week off to beat last week’s winners Hutt Old Boys Marist 40-22, repeating their win over them in the Swindale Shield.
OBU led 20-12 at halftime with the Hutt Rec wind behind them, with Greg Mullany kicking eight goals from as many attempts and creating the first try for second five-eighth Izzy Foai.
HOBM took a 12-10 lead with tries to Jerome Harimate and Anthony Utanga. The hosts used the breeze effectively and gained some control in the forwards. However a fumble from the kickoff, straight after the Eagles second try, gifted Te Wehi Wright a five-pointer as OBU turned with the lead.
The mistake allowing Wright to score was indicative of an error-ridden Eagles performance. Down 23-15, HOBM conceded a yellow card and another spillage allowed Wright to collected a double. HOBM closed to 30-22 when Fereti Soloa crossed the chalk, but Mullany's fourth penalty and a late runaway for Matt Flower sealed OBU’s win.
The third Jubilee Cup match saw Oriental-Rongotai reverse their narrow first round loss to Poneke with a 41-27 win.
Ories are on a roll and they beat Poneke in a forwards dominated win, their lineout on top throughout and their scrum dominant.
Following the game’s opening try to flanker John Tuia, the next four Ories tries were scored by the backs, including one each to second five-eighth Alex Ropeti and centre Malo Tuitama and one to fullback Trent Renata who scored 21 points. It was Renata’s try late that sealed the contest, after Poneke had threatened a late comeback with two Ories players sent to the sin-bin for separate incidents.
Captain and lock Cole Stewart and Best and Fairest leader Greg Foe scored second half tries, but 20-31 and later 27-38 was as close as they got in the second half.
Earlier, right wing Andrew Ellis scored on the stroke of halftime and Renata converted from the sideline to give Ories a 21-17 lead at the turnaround. Poneke made a booming break early in the second half but this broke down, Ories regrouped and Tuitama put in a stab kick for Ropeti to run on to to score to extend their lead to 28-17.
Tawa had the Jubilee Cup bye in the second round.
The three matches in the second round of the Hardham Cup were all close affairs, resulting in two draws and a hard-fought first-up win to Petone.
At William Jones Park, Wainuiomata scored a late converted try to snatch a 29-29 with the Upper Hutt Rams. Replacement wing Eden Monu scored the try, which was converted by fullback Justin Wilson.
Earlier, Wilson had opened the scoring with a penalty, but the Rams replied with a try to fullback Todd Svenson to give them a 10-5 lead after 30 minutes. Wainuiomata No.8 Greg Lealofi scored off the back of a scrum to give the green and blacks a 10-5 halftime lead.
Lealofi scored his second try from a pushover try to extend the lead to 17-5, shaking the Rams into action and they mounted a comeback that saw them take the lead later in the second half.
At Ngatitoa Domain, home side Paremata-Plimmerton were unlucky not to beat the Wellington Axemen, with a last-gasp long-range penalty to Pare-Plim fullback Blake Neve sailing between the posts but disallowed. The Axemen held on for a 13-13 draw.
At the Petone Recreation Ground, Petone beat the Avalon Wolves 24-3, but were made to work hard for their win. Petone led 7-3 late in the first half, before scoring their second try just before halftime. Turning to play into the wind, Petone scored twice more in the second 40 minutes. Captain and wing Jarrod Adams scored a brace.
Johnsonville had the Hardham Cup bye in the second round.
In the Premier Reserve Ed Chaney Cup, first round winners Marist St Pat’s rebounded from their first loss of the season last week to beat Northern United 52-5. MSP led 24-0 at halftime.
At the Polo Ground, Ories held on to beat Poneke 19-17. Ories led 12-5 at halftime and Poneke scored two tries to one in the second spell but failed to land both their conversions from handy positions.
HOBM won their second match on the trot, beating Old Boys University 36-29, while In the HD Morgan section, the Upper Hutt Rams defeated Wainuiomata 20-17, Wellington beat Paremata-Plimmerton 27-15 and Petone crushed Avalon 74-12.
First round winners Marist St Pat's battled to a 25-22 win over last year's champions Petone in the second week of the John E Kelly Cup Division 1 Colts competition.
Old Boys University Green came back from 0-10 down to beat HOBM Green 19-10, while Norths beat the Upper Hutt Rams Colts 24-12 and Tawa edged Paremata-Plimmerton 16-13 in the other two Division 1 fixtures.
In two Friday night Division 2 JRD Cup Fixtures, Johnsonville clipped Avalon 62-12 and Wainuiomata overcame OBU Black 17-15.
The Women’s competition had the weekend off between rounds. Leading players contested a Wellington Pride trial match at the Petone Recreation Ground. The second round gets underway next weekend.