Some of what happened in Wellington club rugby in the past below, in association with the Bond Sports Bar
1950: Joint defending champions St Pat’s Old Boys open the new season with a come-from-behind 14-10 win over Wellington College Old Boys, while Marist Brothers Old Boys, fielding their heaviest pack in the history of Wellington rugby according to the Dominion, steamroll Onslow 15-3.
1989: Ories beat MSP 19-3 in front of a monster Polo Ground crowd of 3,500. Elsewhere, University score their winning try from a controversial forward pass in their 13-9 victory over Porirua – Titahi Bay United.
1955: Petone, having dropped their star first five-eighth Jackie Dougan, look the goods in beating WCOB 34-8 in today’s season opener. University beat Wellington 20-10 and Marist defeat St Pat’s Old Boys 21-5 in the ‘battle of the Irish’. Soon-to-be champions Onslow struggle past Athletic 6-5.
1994: After trailing 8-18 at halftime, Johnsonville come storming back to beat previously unbeaten Avalon 24-23, while Tana Umaga scores twice in Petone’s 56-21 win over Tawa and Poneke No. 8 Paolo Savelio scores a second half hat-trick in his side’s 55-13 win over Wainuiomata.
2003: All Black Pita Alatini scores a stunning 40-metre individual try for Norths in a big midweek 13-5 victory under lights against Poneke. The sixth round win propels Norths towards their maiden title.
2006: OBU end a 19-game Swindale Shield losing streak in style by thrashing Western Suburbs 52-17 at Ian Galloway Park and consigning Wests to their previously occupied wooden spoon position on the points table. In another surprise thrashing, Tawa run in seven tries to beat defending Jubilee Cup champions Petone 46-21.
1954: Back-to-back defending champions University beat Oriental 23-17 in today’s season opener thanks to a 90-metre runaway try to All Black wing Ron Jarden.
1999: MSP wing Lome Fa’atau scores a stunning solo try to help MSP beat Petone 12-11, while defending champions Wests snatch an 18-18 draw with Poneke courtesy of a last-gasp penalty to first five-eighth Scott Leighton.
2004: They were wooden-spooners last year, but HOBM lead the Swindale Shield and are unbeaten after four rounds after seeing off Petone 27-17 in a classic McBain Shield clash at the Petone Rec. Blindside flanker Polonga Pedro is the individual star, scoring two tries, while lock Doug Power and halfback Nick Risdon are influential as the Eagles soar to a 17-0 lead by halftime. Petone come out firing, but HOBM hang on in the second half. In another Hutt Valley derby, Avalon grab a dramatic 34-32 win over Upper Hutt.
2013: The power and passion of Tawa’s forwards eventually win over Norths at Lyndhurst Park, rumbling over for the winning try a couple of minutes from the end to win 28-27 and capture the Sammy Saili Memorial Shield.
2015: HOBM take home the Father Cleary Shield and also defend the Bill Brien Challenge Cup with a remarkable 54-49 victory over previously unbeaten Marist St Pat’s, coming back from a 10-29 deficit, and Tawa defeat Johnsonville for the Carman Cup with a last-gasp James So’oialo 50-metre penalty to win 18-15. Oriental-Rongotai break Poneke’s hearts, with first five-eighth Trevor Marama kicking an extra time penalty to give them a 28-27 Jimmy Grbich Shield win.
2017: Oriental-Rongotai and Poneke finish all square in today’s ANZAC Day Swindale Shield round played in glorious sunshine. Ories and Poneke are locked up at 30-30 at the end of their Jimmy Grbich Shield match. Trailing 25-30 late, Ories halfback Adam Deck ducks under a ruck and slices through on a 20 metre run to score under the poles. But his handy conversion is charged down by the Poneke players.
1952: University set alight the new season with a dazzling 37-0 win over playing through champions Poneke. Poneke loose forward Jim Grbich goes within a hair’s breadth of opening the scoring in the early exchanges, but its University from then on. Flanker Bill Clark is everywhere and left wing Ron Jarden scores two tries and kicks five conversions.
1958: Halfback Vince Bevan is prominent in Poneke’s 11-6 win over WCOB in the main game at Athletic Park. The curtain-raiser for this match? The second hockey Test between New Zealand and Pakistan. The two teams battle out a 2-2 draw in front of 8,000 sports fans.
2014: The Hutt Old Boys Marist Eagles come back from 17-40 down to bonus point 41-40 winners over the Upper Hutt Rams. Seemingly down and out, the Eagles lay on three converted tries and then a penalty on the stroke of fulltime to Glen Walters to win the game.In another stunning last-gasp win today, Old Boys University halfback-turned first five-eighth Tomasi Palu kicks the match winning penalty with the final play of the game to give Old Boys University a 30-29 win over Marist St Pat’s.
1997: Tawa are convincing 40-12 winners over Petone, while Johnsonville take a meritorious 17-12 victory over MSP and a 75 metre breakout try by Toto Moananu seals a 14-6 win for Poneke over Wests.
2002: Avalon’s Mano Flutey kicks a penalty on fulltime to see his side beat Wests 11-10 in atrocious conditions to extend Avalon’s unbeaten run to six rounds.
1973: Petone right wing Vern Winitana scores four tries in his side’s one-sided 43-10 win over Onslow. Winitana has now scored tries in Petone’s first four matches and they their fast start to the season has seen them 155 points and concede 30.
1994: Petone first five-eighth Tim Perez lands five penalties in his side’s 18-16 McBain Shield win over HOBM, before breaking his leg and being stretchered off the field early in the second half.
2007: Upper Hutt overtake Wainuiomata with a last-gasp try to win 19-17 and register their first win of the season. Halfback Daniel Beckett proves the hero in the shadows of fulltime, charging down a clearing kick and scooting over in the corner for the winning try. Old-Boys University and Hutt Old Boys Marist fight out a 15-15 draw at the Basin Reserve, with HOBM coming from 10-15 behind to draw the contest with a length-of-the-field try.
2018: Derby Day in the Swindale Shield and four of seven matches are thrillers. Marist St Pat’s inflict the first defeat of the year on Hutt Old Boys Marist, beating the Eagles 28-26 for the Father Cleary Shield. MSP have had their noses in front throughout but their Old Timers’ Day supporters breathe a collective sigh of relief when Eagles first five-eighth Glen Walters’ sideline conversion at the end to equalise misses. Elsewhere, Petone and Wainuiomata draw 26-26, The Upper Hutt Rams hang on to beat Avalon 31-26 and Poneke beat Oriental-Rongotai 28-25 in their Jimmy Grbich Shield match.