Oriental-Rongotai and Old Boys University will go into next weekend’s Jubilee Cup and Hardham Cup semi-finals as the respective top qualifiers from the round-robin, after a hard-fought final regular season afternoon of rugby on Saturday.
In finishing top at the end of the Jubilee up round-robin, Ories also won the Andy Leslie Trophy. This is their third time winning this, after 2011 and 2012.
In the Jubilee Cup semi-finals, Ories (1) will host Wainuiomata (4) and Tawa (2) will play Northern United (3).
Of note, Ories and Tawa finished equal top on 21 points, but Ories finish on top of them courtesy of their head-to-head win earlier in the round.
In the Hardham Cup semi-finals, Old Boys University (1) will meet the Upper Hutt Rams (4) and Marist St Pats (2) and the Wellington Axemen (4) will contest the other.
Two of those match-ups will be repeats of the games played in this weekend’s last round, with Norths beating Tawa 24-17 and OBU defeating the Upper Hutt Rams 48-0.
In other Jubilee Cup results, Ories beat Poneke 53-13 at Kilbirnie Park and Wainuiomata beat HOBM 28-19 at William Jones Park. Petone had the bye.
In other Hardham Cup results, Marist St Pats beat the Avalon Wolves 74-7 at Fraser Park and Paremata-Plimmerton pipped the Johnsonville Hawks 22-20 at Ngati Toa Domain.
Semi-finalists were also found in six other grades on Saturday.
In the Premier Reserve Division 1 Ed Chaney Cup, Norths (1) and Ories (4) will clash in one semi-final, while Petone (2) will host Tawa (3) in the other.
Ed Chaney Cup last round results saw Northern United beating Tawa 26-21, Ories edging Poneke 24-20 and Wainuiomata and Hutt Old Boys Marist meeting.
The Marist St Pats second XV cemented top spot for the HD Morgan Memorial Premier Reserve Division 2 semi-finals with a 97-7 win over Avalon. OBU and the Rams drew 22-22 and Paremata-Plimmerton beat Johnsonville 32-10.
The HD Morgan top 4 matches will see MSP (1) hosting Wellington (4) and OBU (2) and the Upper Hutt Rams (3) meeting in the other fixture.
It’s semi-finals time for both Colts divisions next weekend.
In the John E Kelly Division 1 Colts HOBM (1) will play Marist St Pat’s (4) and Ories (2) and OBU (3) will contest the other knockout game.
In Saturday’s Division 1 games, HOBM beat OBU 18-7, MSP beat Petone 22-5, Ories beat Paremata-Plimmerton 31-7 and Norths edged Tawa 29-24.
The Colts Division 2 Vic Calcinai Memorial Cup semi-finals will see Poneke (1) playing the Upper Hutt Rams (4) and Avalon (2) OBU Black (3) deciding the other.
In final afternoon regular season Division 2 Colts fixtures, Poneke missed out to Avalon 15-26, the Rams edged OBU Black 21-17 and Wainuiomata beat Johnsonville 36-14.
The other men’s grade to move into semi-finals mode next weekend is the First Grade Johnsonville Centennium Cup. The Avalon Wolves earned top spot by beating first round winners Stokes Valley 38-7. Wainuiomata beat OBU 14-12 in the other game, while HOBM had the bye.
Avalon (1) will play Wainuiomata (4) in one semi-final while Stokes Valley (2) will play HOBM (3) in the other.
Meanwhile, the U85kg competition has a week to play before its semi-finals the following Saturday. In Saturday’s penultimate Paul Potiki Shield U85kg matches, the Upper Hutt Rams beat Avalon 16-5 and the Johnsonville Terrahawks defeated the HOBM Howlers 12-7.
In Women’s club rugby, Division 1 has a week to run before a straight final in a fortnight, while Division 2 moves into semi-final mode next weekend.
The two Division 2 Izzy Ford Cup semi-finals are between Paremata-Plimmerton (1) and Wainuiomata (4) and Marist St Pats (2) and Hutt Old Boys Marist (3).
Paremata-Plimmerton earned top spot with a come-from-behind 27-19 victory over Marist St Pats at Ngati Toa Domain. MSP led 2 tries to 1 at halftime and kept their noses in front, but the home side finished strongly. HOBM also had a hard-fought win, beating Wainuiomata 24-17. Poneke had the bye.
There was a noted result in the Division 1 Tia Paasi Memorial Trophy competition, with Old Boys University defeating first round winners Oriental-Rongotai 31-26.
In a close game throughout, centre Thamsyn Newton scored the match-winner with about 5 minutes to play, before staunch defence on their own try-line held Ories out to fulltime.
Northern United beat Petone 49-0 in the other Division 1 fixture, with Black Ferns Sevens player Dhys Faleafaga scoring four tries and left wing Ofa Tuangalu scored a hat-trick in the 9-try win.
In some of the scoring and run of play in the Jubilee Cup games, the Umaga-Jensen brothers, Thomas and Peter, were key players for Wainuiomata in their 28-19 win over HOBM.
Wainuiomata had first use of the wind and moved ahead 14-0, through tries to Thomas Umaga-Jensen and prop Kade Tiatia. Left wing Solomona Mapesone crossed for a third try to put them up 21-0 at halftime.
The Eagles scored twice early in the second half to close to 21-12, before Peter Umaga-Jensen pounced for a key try from a scrum 20 metres out and fullback Josh Robertson-Weepu converted.
HOBM came back with another try to make it 28-19 and needed to score a try to earn 2 bonus points and qualify ahead of Wainuiomata for the semi-finals. They pressed hard to the end but were unable to come up with the score they needed.
In a similar early run of play At Porirua Park, Tawa took a 12-0 lead over Norths through tries to lock Tito Ioane and wing Tane Heremia. But Norths came back to take a 19-12 lead by halftime, with tries to wing Jordan Mellars-Rose (2) and fullback Johnny Teleaga.
Tawa closed the gap to 19-17 when captain and prop James Coburn scored off a lineout move, but Norths later scored the winning try when wing Connor Garden-Bachop broke from 80m out and off-loaded to Esi Komaisavai who in turn found replacement wing TK Bishop in support.
At Kilbirnie Park, Poneke had first use of the wind and held an 8-7 lead by midway through the first half, with an early try to centre Alex Morrissey. Ories pulled well clear from that point and went on to win by 40 points.
For Ories, centre Alex Ropeti scored a hat-trick and the brothers Va’a, Reuben (2) and Steven scored three tries between them in the 9 tries to 2 win.
Around the Hardham Cup grounds today, two of the matches were one-sided and the third was a thriller.
Marist St Pats wing Faresa Tasele scored five tries in his side’s 12 tries to one win over the Avalon Wolves. Right wing Willie Schutz scored two tries and kicked seven conversions for 24 points.
MSP were fast out of the blocks and effectively had the game wrapped up inside half an hour when leading 21-0. Avalon hit back with a try to wing Poata Tuisamoa but MSP moved ahead to 38-7 with Tasele’s hat-trick. From there, they doubled their score.
At Nairnville Park, the OBU Goats were similarly clinical against the Rams. OBU raced to a 22-0 lead and later to 43-0 before a long period of no scoring and then the final try of the afternoon. Finbarr Kerr-Newell scored a hat-trick from tighthead prop.
At Ngati Toa Domain, visitors Johnsonville went close to winning for the first time this season before falling short 20-22 to Paremata-Plimmerton.
With the wind, home side Paremata-Plimmerton went to a 19-5 lead at halftime, scoring two tries, including a beauty to fullback Justin Wilson first phase off an attacking scrum, while Johnsonvlle kept in touch with one to lock Campbell Tait after a penalty and lineout in the corner.
Johnsonville hit back early with a 70-metre intercept try to centre Waisea Yabakivou, closing the gap to 19-12. Now with momentum, the Hawks swept back up field and eventually scored again to close to 19-17. The home side had a man in the bin, as Johnsonville kicked a penalty to move ahead 20-19.
With several minutes still to play, Paremata-Plimmerton launched an attack raid up the left touchline, which led to a penalty in a handy position and fullback Wilson kicked this to put them ahead 22-20. Paremata-Plimmerton then defended gamely as Johnsonville came right back at them but couldn’t break through.