In association with The Bond Sports Bar on Bond Street in Wellington, some highlights from this week in Wellington club rugby history are below.
2000: In a replay of last year’s Jubilee Cup final, defending champions MSP defeat Petone 27-22 in today’s season opener. MSP leads 20-0 at halftime and holds on into the wind in the second turn. Elsewhere, Hurricanes wing Shannon Paku scores a hat-trick in OBU’s 34-13 win over Tawa.
2013: The two clubs that met in last year’s Hardham Cup final, Old Boys University and Poneke, both start the new season with a bang by beating 2012 Jubilee Cup giants Marist St. Pat’s and Northern United respectively. OBU conquer last year’s champions MSP 21-15 away at Evans Bay Park, while Poneke lower Norths’ colours 22-17 on neutral ground at Ian Galloway Park. Elsewhere, Tawa impress in beating Upper Hutt 32-0.
1977: A noted first round result with MSP beating Wellington 28-10, six tries to two, at Athletic Park. Flanker Paul Quinn is the Player of the Day. Defending Jubilee Cup champions Petone pull clear to beat Naenae Old Boys 29-4.
1983: The Poneke FC’s 100th anniversary celebrations are marred slightly when their top team loses 7-9 to Wainuiomata in their Swindale Shield opener. Elsewhere, Western Suburbs, an off-season amalgamation of Athletic, Onslow and Karori, draw their first ever match 15-15 with Upper Hutt.
1994: Stokes Valley cause an upset in the first round beating Upper Hutt 17-15. A last-minute penalty by former Upper Hutt first five-eighth Alan Henderson propels Stokes Valley to their second Premier win in the last two seasons.
2004: It’s the Waldrom brothers’ show at Fraser Park in today’s season opener, Scott Waldrom crossing for four tries and brother Thomas one against Johnsonville. From the moment that Crusader Scott gallops from halfway to score three minutes into the match, Avalon are on-song. Long-serving lock Jason Goble and up and coming hooker Mahonri Schwalger also stand out in the 43-16 win
1982: Wellington upset defending champions MSP 12-6 in this season opener, fullback Evan Hopkin landing a whopper 60-metre penalty and three others to put the Axemen ahead 12-0 at halftime. They hold on in to the wind to set up a Swindale Shield-winning season.
2010: The new season starts with a bang, with last year’s Jubilee Cup finalists Northern United and Marist St’ Pat’s clashing first-up. Norths fullback Buxton Popoalii scores a hat-trick and wing James So’oialo scores 19 points as Norths win 54-26 and reverse the final result. Elsewhere, Poneke first five-eighth Sam Rasch kicks a death-knock penalty to give his side a 20-18 win over Ories and Petone and Old Boys University draw 20-20.
1981: Competition co-favourites MSP and Petone each score eight tries in their season openers, as MSP beats Upper Hutt 41-0 and Petone outshines Titahi Bay 51-12 with Mike Clamp scoring a hat-trick.
1998: Western Suburbs edge Tawa 19-15 in this second round match, withstanding a fierce late rally in windy conditions. These two teams are destined to meet in the Jubilee Cup final later in the season.
2009: In two significant results in second round matches today, Petone defeat Norths 30-25 at the Petone Rec to hand Norths its second straight loss of 2009, and Poneke beat defending co-champions Marist St. Pat’s 18-8 at Evans Bay Park to inflict the first defeat of MSP on their home patch for almost two years and also claim the inaugural Miller-Horan Trophy between these sides. Norths and Petone will go on to share this year’s Swindale Shield, while MSP will beat Norths in the Jubilee Cup final later in the year.
1986: Wing Wayne Gray scores a hat-trick and halfback Neil Sorenson kicks 20 points as MSP open the season with a 48-8 win over Paremata-Plimmerton. Rocked by an early Bernie Fraser try, Petone rebound to beat Hutt Valley Marist 22-4 in their match, while Western Suburbs step out for their first time in their new French Roosters’ playing kit and lose to Wellington 6-27.
2000: Ories spring a surprise in beating Poneke 18-14, Samson Nonu scoring two tries and ories lock Roy Kinikinilau – later a Super Rugby wing – having a strong game.
1963: The first round of matches see the previous year’s joint champions Marist Brothers Old Boys and Onslow held to tight winning margins by two “bottom six” sides from 1962 – Wellington and Poneke. Marist beats Wellington 19-16 after trailing 6-11 at halftime and Onslow defeats Poneke 11-6 after being behind 0-6 at the break. This sets the tone for a tight season, in which Marist claims the Jubilee Cup outright on the last afternoon at Athletic Park.
1990: New club Northern United grabs a famous 21-14 win over Petone. Led by captain and hooker Hika Reid, Norths hold on to lead defending champions 10-6 at halftime with the wind. After halftime first five-eighth Ken Kakahi slams a dropped goal and Billy Parsons grabs an intercept try under the bar to seal victory.
2001: The cliché “game of two halves” is appropriate at the Polo Grounds today where home side Ories turn around a 7-22 deficit to beat Johnsonville 34-29 in a 9-try thriller. Johnsonville dominates the first half, but a different Ories side starts the second and lock Ma’afa Pale scores the winner in the 76th minute. Elsewhere, Petone pip Wests 30-29 and Upper Hutt edge Norths 23-20.
2007: Newly promoted Wainuiomata stun reigning champions Northern United 30-29 at William Jones Park. With All Black Piri Weepu playing a leading hand at first five-eighth, Wainuiomata leap to an early lead and hold on for the rest of the match.
2018: Poneke overcome a week of disruption to topple Norths 40-35 in a high-octane game for the Cyril Collett Shield at Kilbirnie Park. Poneke have had a coaching change mid-week with Mason Lawrence ousted, but the street kids channel this disruption to a positive performance on the field. In an entertaining match, they lead 14-0 early, Norths hits back, Poneke scorch ahead 28-14 at halftime and later 40-21, before a late rally by Norths sees the outcome on tenterhooks to the end.