Above: Ories beat Tawa 18-13 at neutral Kilbirnie Park in a storm this week in 2013. Tawa reversed the five-point deficit in the final by winning 26-21 in the rematch later in the season.
In association with the Bond Street Sports Bar on Bond Street in Wellington, some highlights from this week in Wellington club rugby history are below.
1967: Petone retain the lead at the halfway stage of the season by beating defending champions university 9-6 courtesy of two tries and a dropped goal to first five-eighth John Dougan and a fantastic game by halfback Ian Stevens.
1978: Athletic capture the first round Swindale Shield, beating MSP 22-18 in a ‘virtual’ first round final. Prop Kevin Phelan scores an inspirational try that sets up victory.
1989: Hutt Old Boys (on 46 points) and Poneke (44) are fitting ‘finalists’ in today’s Swindale Shield decider, and in a a gripping conclusion to the first round, Hutt lead 9-3 at halftime, before pulling away with Poneke a player down after being red carded and winning 21-9.
1995: Unbeaten duo Petone and MSP will meet next week in a big Jubilee Cup clash after Petone comes back from being 19-20 down after 60 minutes to beat Wellington 41-27 today and centre Phil Gray scores a hat-trick in MSP’s 73-12 win over Johnsonville.
2006: A Tana Umaga inspired second half comeback helps Petone scramble to a 25-25 draw over MSP after the visitors had opened up a 25-13 lead at halftime with two quick tries. halfback Reece Poutawera scores the first and flanker Dane Coles crosses for his fourth try in a fortnight. But Petone talisman Umaga helps put in motion a valiant fightback by setting up two tries for Petone to draw level
1955: A three-way fight at the top of the table has developed between Onslow, Petone and hotshots University after each win their games today. Ron Jarden scores 14 of 29 points and livewire flanker and Jarden’s All Blacks teammate Bill Clark is on fire for University in their win against Oriental. Elsewhere, Petone edge out St Pat’s Old Boys and Onslow dispatch minnows Taita 31-3 with former Petone first five-eighth Jackie Dougan running the ship at Nairnville Park. Onslow go on to win the 1955 Jubilee Cup.
1988: MSP first five-eighth Peter O’Shaughnessy scores a try and kicks nine from 10 shots on goal in MSP’s 55-12 win over Tawa. O’Shaughnessy has now scored 130 points this season in just eight outings. Wellington beats Petone 25-13 in their match today, and MSP and Wellington will meet next week in a ‘virtual’ Swindale Shield final at Athletic Park.
1994: Brothers Mike and Tana Umaga put on a club rugby clinic in unbeaten Petone’s 49-10 win over Johnsonville. The brothers launch several sweeping movements and set up two tries to second five-eighth Jason O’Halloran. Elsewhere, a last-gasp Steve Hirini dropped goal gives Poneke a 24-22 win over Norths.
2011: At Porirua Park, Hutt Old Boys Marist survive a late comeback and two late tries to Nene Va’alepu to beat defending champions Northern United 20-19. HOBM come out firing against the Norths side missing its points scoring fullback James So’oialo. The Eagles lead 20-7 at one point but hang on to inflict a first defeat of the year on Norths.
1965: After losing their opening six games of the season, Poneke win their fourth game on the trot and beat previously unbeaten Athletic 9-8 in a major upset. Athletic are now joint leaders with University after the students defeat Hutt 27-9.
1982: Petone come back from 3-11 down at halftime to beat Athletic 22-17, the competition’s leading try scorer Eddie Morgan dotting down twice in the corner and Murray Blandford sealing victory by potting a late dropped goal. In other games, lock Murray Pierce scores twice in Wellington’s 27-10 win over Avalon and Bernie Fraser scores his 91st try for Hutt Valley Marist in their 21-7 win over Upper Hutt.
1999: Poneke and Western Suburbs fight out a 12-12 draw at Ian Galloway Park in a hard fought battle between the top two sides. It’s a battle of the first five-eighths but neither Scott Leighton (Wests) or David Holwell (Poneke) are able to out point the other. Meanwhile, Petone midfielder Lotu Filemu scores four tries in his side’s 54-9 win over Ories and Tawa first five-eighth Ryan Craig scores 20 points in Tawa’s 30-25 win over Johnsonville.
2004: Petone first five-eighth Riki Flutey steals the limelight from his Old Boys University opposite Seminar Manu in the dying minutes at the Basin Reserve. It seemed that Manu had sealed an upset win for OBU with a late dropped goal. But Flutey has slotted a 45 metre penalty into the wind to give his the 20-19 win, Through the tunnel at Kilbirnie Park, second half replacement loosies Faifili Levave and Serge Lilo help give Norths a 6-3 win over Poneke in a desperate struggle in the mud.
2010: Norths and MSP are the big winners in today’s opening round of Jubilee Cup matches. Fresh from scoring a record 18 tries to help his side through to an unbeaten Swindale Shield winning run, fullback Buxton Popoalii helps ignite Norths to a sizzling 45-23 win over Oriental Rongotai at Porirua Park when it looked to many that they might have been heading for their first defeat of the season. Trailing 10-23 midway through the second half, Popoalii and his electric Norths teammates flicked the switch and scored four unanswered tries and 35 points. At Evans Bay Park, defending champions MSP are ruthless against Upper Hutt in a clinical display of attacking rugby for their 49-0 victory.
1969: There’s still two rounds of the inaugural Swindale Shield to be played and a moon landing is imminent. But the talk of the inaugural Swindale Shield is of an eventful set of matches played today. [First round champions] Petone have been upset 6-15 by Wellington and two tries to the latter’s All Black wing Michael Knight has taken his tally to a record 21 for the season. Flanker Graham Williams is Man of the Match for the Axemen.
1981: Petone wins the Swindale Shield, beating MSP 10-6 in the ‘final’ at Ahtletic Park. Petone wing Mike Clamp grabs the only try of the match to give him 21 for the season so far.
1992: The new Harlequins club starts the Jubilee Cup in style with a seven tries to one 48-11 win over Upper Hutt, who had finished second in the just completed Swindale Shield.
1998: Western Suburbs register their fourth consecutive win to skip 6 points clear at the top of the table, beating Upper Hutt 31-6 at Maidstone Park.
2009: A biting southerly and icy conditions proves a leveler, with all four losing Jubilee Cup teams from last week winning all four round-robin games to leave all eight teams with a win and a loss. It is especially close at Kilbirnie Park, where favourites Norths beat Poneke 18-8, Alapati Leiua scoring his 18th try of the year. Norths and Poneke are destined to meet in the final in several weeks from now.
1975: Petone all but seals the Swindale Shield title by beating Ories 32-16, although they lose captain Andy Leslie to a broken nose in the second half. Elsewhere, All Black wing Grant Batty scores a brilliant solo try in MSP’s 24-6 win over Hutt Old Boys.
1980: MSP capture the Swindale Shield, beating Petone 13-0 in the ‘virtual’ final. Mike O’Leary, lock Steve Hinds and captain and hooker Kevin Horan are all standouts for MSP. It’s MSP 35th consecutive club victory, while Petone are held scoreless for the first time in five years.
1997: Harlequins sting Avalon 31-11, to end Avalon’s run of eight consecutive victories, second five-eighth Paul Steinmetz having a blinder and orchestrating a second half revival.
2008: The clash of the round at Evans Bay Park sees MSP use their get out of jail free card against Petone, MSP come back from a 10-point deficit to scrape past the Villagers and register their 12th consecutive win of 2008. It takes back-to-back tries, to No. 8 Alex Tulou and first five-eighth Fa’atonu Fili, to ease MSP into the lead late in the match after trailing 5-15 midway through the second half. Earlier, Petone hold sway through tries to super quick wing Fautua Otto and No. 8 Shaun Mahoney and their fans grow increasingly hopeful of toppling the in-form Swindale Shield champions.
1985: Already confirmed as first round winners, Wellington are presented with the Swindale Shield after today’s final set of first round matches, after beating Upper Hutt 10-3 in sheeting rain. But there’s heartbreak for Wellington College Old Boys supporters who must beat Petone to make the ‘top 8’. WCOB leads 9-3 right up to injury time when Petone first five-eighth Murray Blandford crosses for a converted try to even the ledger up to 9-9 to send WCOB into the Hardham Cup.
1996: A try to flanker Martin Wallis seconds before fulltime gives HOBM a 14-10 win over Norths who moments before are leading 10-9 and attacking HOBM’s line. But a breakout from a defensive scrum sees Wallis score at the other end. In another tight match, Avalon wing Colin Sullivan scores two quickfire tries to guide Avalon to a 13-11 win over neighbours Upper Hutt.
2002: 4,000 club rugby fans attend Maidstone Park to watch All Blacks superstar Christian Cullen in action for Norths. But it is his All Blacks teammate Pita Alatini who steals the show with a Man of the Match performance in the midfield in Norths’ 23-7 over home side Upper Hutt.
2013: Club rugby heats up on the worst day of the year today, following a frightful storm on Thursday night. Ories beat Tawa 18-13 in the battle of the heavyweights at Kilbirnie Park, MSP defeat Poneke 23-6 at the first ever Premier game on the new St Pat’s Artificial ground, Old Boys University defeat Wainuiomata 26-8 at the Hutt Rec and Hutt Old Boys Marist blank Petone 20-0 at the Petone Rec.
1979: MSP win their 13th straight match of the season to claim the Swindale Shield, its forward power a key weapon in beating Wellington 21-4. MSP finishes the first round having scored 246 points and conceded 88. Petone finish second after dispatching bottom placed Ories 50-0.
1990: Upper Hutt wins the Swindale Shield for the first time, beating close rivals Petone 18-3 away. With the strongest pack in the competition, Upper Hutt are deserved first round winners. First five-eighth Alan Henderson strikes three penalties and a dropped goal to give Upper Hutt a 12-3 lead at halftime. Flanker Mark Purdy scores the winning try 10 minutes into the second half.
2001: Hurricanes first five-eighth David Holwell scores 22 points in Poneke’s 27-6 win over Avalon to give Poneke the Jubilee Cup lead, while Petone’s back run rampant to beat MSP 42-27, while young Upper Hutt fullback Ben Aoina kicks a late penalty to see Upper Hutt beat Wests 25-22.
2007: Hutt Old Boys Marist stamp their mark on the 2007 Jubilee Cup with an emphatic 64-0 round two away win over the Wests Roosters. Following up their first round win the previous week against mudlarks Poneke, HOBM cut loose in the sunshine, overpowering the Roosters eight tries to nil. First five-eighth Jon Bentley kicks every conversion. HOBM are joined at the top of the table by Tawa and MSP who both enjoy second round wins over Petone and OBU respectively. MSP overcame OBU 26-22 at Evans Bay Park, while Tawa won 30-18 at home.
2012: Captain and hooker Henry Smith scores three tries for Norths in their 31-10 win over MSP at Porirua Park. Roles will be reversed when they meet again in the Jubilee Cup semi-final later in the season when MSP will prevail 33-6 and then go on and win the title.