Hutt Old Boys Marist and Petone both warmed up for their McBain Shield clash next weekend with convincing wins in Wellington Premier rugby on a cool, blustery day on Saturday.
The HOBM Eagles secured their fourth straight bonus point win to sit alone at the top of the table, beating the Wellington Axemen 69-15 at Hataitai Park.
Petone beat Tawa 36-9 at home at the Petone Recreation Ground, and they return to the same venue next weekend to host the Eagles in the McBain match.
In other results, both Old Boys University and Marist St Pat’s earned high scoring bonus point wins over the Upper Hutt Rams and Paremata-Plimmerton. OBU beat the Rams 52-31 at Nairnville Park and defended the Bill Brien Challenge Cup for the first time this season. Marist St Pat’s beat Pare-Plim 39-5 at Evans Bay Park.
Across the road on Kilbirnie Park, Poneke beat Northern United 40-35 for the Cyril Collett Memorial Shield, while Wainuiomata defeated Johnsonville 32-21 and Oriental-Rongotai beat Avalon 26-20 at the Polo Ground.
In beating the Axemen, the Eagles ran in 11 tries, with centre Francis Tunuvasa and replacement prop Simon Malaeulu scoring his second consecutive brace of tries. For the home team, left wing Gillies Robertson and midfielders Eremia Tapsell and Olly Sapsford scored tries.
Petone halfback Logan Henry kicked well scored a try and have his backs good service in the Villagers’ 36-9 win over Tawa. Petone led 12-6 at halftime but sailed to victory in the second spell with a flurry of scoring. For Tawa, their only scoring was three penalties to first five-eighth James So’oialo.
Ories left it late to beat the Avalon Wolves. The Wolves were leading 20-19 with just a few minutes to play before a penalty driving them inside the 22 and subsequent try to No. 8 Luca Rees off the blindside of a scrum gave them the win. After trailing 3-5 at halftime, Avalon moved to a 20-12 lead midway through the second half after scoring two tries in five minutes, to midfielder Ben Peni and left wing Chris Aumua. Rees then scored his first try to close the gap to one point, before crossing for the match-winner.
At Kilbirnie Park home side Poneke were fast out of the gates against Norths, scoring two converted tries and taking a 14-0 lead. Norths came back, but Poneke closed a lively first half by taking a 28-14 lead into the turnaround. Norths struck first in the second-half, but Poneke pulled ahead 40-21 and hung on.
Directly over the road, MSP took their third win straight win. No. 8 Jake Goodger (2) and openside flanker Jay Hawkins on starting debut scored three tries between them. Wing Marcus Issac scored the visitors’ sole try of the contest. MSP led 22-0, Pare-Plim scored first in the second spell from a kick and chase, but MSP hit back straightaway and pulled clear.
It was different tale at Nairnville Park as the OBU Goats went ahead early, leading 35-7 late in the first half. The Rams came back strongly and closed the deficit to 31-40 with 10 minutes to play. However, OBU pulled away and raised their half century near the end.
At Helston Park, Wainuiomata grabbed their second win in four games, also consigning Johnsonville to their fourth straight loss, along with the Upper Hutt Rams. Captain and lock Jalan Farris scored two tries, while both wings, Nash Fiso-Vaelei and Caleb Nicholas, crossed the try line for the green and blacks.
Harper Lock Shield
The fourth round of the Premier Reserve Harper Lock Shield concluded with Northern United and Marist St Pat’s emerging as the two unbeaten teams.
Norths beat Poneke’s second XV 34-7 in a top-of-the-table clash, after leading 20-0 at halftime. Across the road at Evans Bay Park, Paremata-Plimmerton rocked Marist St Pat’s early but MSP came back to win 41-12.
At the Polo Ground, Ories came back from 0-15 at halftime to close to 14-15 with five minutes to play. The Wolves went close to scoring again in a late rally but were kept out. But they were successful with a penalty on fulltime as a result of this raid and they won 17-15.
The Old Boys University second XV had the day’s biggest win of any team, defeating the Upper Hutt Rams 85-5, HOBM got their first win of the season with a 28-10 victory over Wellington, Petone edged Tawa 22-19 and Wainuiomata beat Johnsonville 33-26 in the other Harper Lock Shield fourth round.
There were two matches played in the first round of the First Grade Thompson Memorial Cup competition, HOBM beat Stokes Valley B 37-31 and OBU defeated Tawa 54-5.
In U85kg first round knockout games played, HOBM beat MSP Green 31-17, Eastbourne beat MSP Re 38-19, Avalon blanked the OBU Bunnies 39-0, the Tawa Titans beat the Wests Roosters 19-7 and the defending champions the Wellington Axemen beat Wainuiomata 73-27.