Above: When Petone beat Wainuiomata 27-27 this week in 2014 in a thriller. PHOTO: NZLenz
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
1939: The Dominion: “Rugby interest ran high today, a record crowd [10,000] for the season being attracted to Athletic Park for the meeting of [top of the table] Wellington and Petone”. Scores are locked up at 8-8 when Fulton chases a kick and scores the match winner under the posts for Wellington. Players to stand out in a losing cause for Petone in a high quality include Petone’s All Black fullback Bunk Pollock and their All Black hooker Artie Lambourn.
1972: Petone coach Ian Upston walks out of Athletic Park late in the match, the tension too great. But Petone – thanks to two earlier dropped goals and a penalty to Richard Cleland – hold on to beat University 9-7 and thus share the first round Swindale Shield with Wellington.
1989: A late try by wing Carl Burr, converted from the sideline by Alan Henderson, gives Upper Hutt an 18-16 win over Avalon. Henderson, who had missed five of his previous six attempts, landed the one that mattered most to the delight of the 2,500 spectators at Maidstone Park.
1994: Avalon wing Solomon Su’a is the toast of his club, scoring the winning try on fulltime to give his side a 13-9 win over Johnsonville. First five-eighth Craig Laursen adds the conversion to add salt into the wound as Johnsonville had dominated much of the match.
2000: With two rounds to play, Petone and MSP (both on 23 points) have a 10-point lead to third placed Poneke (13), after Petone forwards Thomas Tupuivao, Inoke Afeaki and Ross Filipo lead them to a 48-10 win over Poneke and MSP account for Avalon 42-34.
2006: Poneke come back from 10-18 deficit to beat home side Avalon 26-21 at Fraser Park in an important round-robin win that ultimately pushes them to top spot at the end of the round-robin series. Avalon, well led by No.8 Thomas Waldrom, score two tries through wing Siu Katoa but Poneke prop Kwain Auelua carves through to score a key try to get them back in the game.
2017: The Jubilee Cup comes alive with three of the four matches this afternoon decided on the last play. MSP fullback Andrew Wells finishes off a sweeping movement to see his team beat HOBM 33-27, Cameron Craig slots a late penalty to give Norths a 28-25 win over Petone and James So’oialo nails a dropped goal in his 50th match for Tawa in their 16-15 edging of OBU. Later tonight the All Blacks lose to the British & Irish Lions 21-24.
1949: Atrocious conditions today as Petone takes the lead in the Jubilee Cup after beating Wellington 8-5 and St Pat’s Old Boys lose 6-8 to WCOB – after the latter kick the match winning penalty in injury time to snatch victory. This proves to be a vital defeat for St Pat’s OB who go on to win the Jubilee Cup for the first and only time but its shared with Petone.
1955: Strugglers Hutt provide the major upset of the season by downing three-time defending champions University 6-3 to knock the students out of title contention.
1966: While Wellington’s representative players are away in Canterbury, an understrength Athletic is pipped 16-17 by St Pat’s Old Boys. The loss is significant, giving University a two-point (one win) lead over the defending champions Athletic . University and Athletic are on a collision course to meet in the final next month, especially after the students are held to a 11-11 draw by Wellington next week.
1988: Right wing Chris Welch scores five tries in MSP’s 73-3 win over Jubilee Cup newcomers Wainuiomata, while Wellington survive a withering late comeback to beat University 34-30 and Petone fullback Naera Parata kicks a late dropped goal to give his team a 10-7 win over Upper Hutt.
1994: It’s a top-of-the-table clash between two unbeaten teams but Petone make no race of it, beating Avalon 57-6. Mike Umaga is Petone’s star, scoring a try and setting up several more.
2005: Avalon come from 3-19 down to pip MSP 28-26 in a classic encounter at Fraser Park. As part of a rousing comeback, Avalon wing Noel Woods scores the match winner with time almost up.
2011: Two super-tight Round 4 Jubilee Cup matches today, resulting in wins for Norths and Poneke. Norths upstage Petone 25-23 in front of a large home crowd at Porirua when centre Alapati Leuia skips through the bootlaces tackle of Petone flanker and New Zealand U20 winner Brad Shields to score the winning try with about three minutes left on the clock. At Kilbirnie Park, home side Poneke comes from behind to beat Upper Hutt, left wing Ben Huntley crosses with a few minutes remaining to give his side a 27-24 win. Across the road, Ories are marching towards the semi-finals, ending MSP’s 2011 challenge, 31-6.
2016: Is this the comeback of the year? The Upper Hutt Rams end Oriental-Rongotai’s unbeaten record in the second round with a stirring come-from-behind 46-29 win in their fourth round Jubilee Cup fixture. The Rams are seemingly dead and buried at 7-24 behind late in the first half, but launch a furious five-try assault on Ories either side of halftime. Flankers Mitchell Markov and Daniel Schrijvers and centre Max Pearson are key players in the comeback that sees them snatch a 26-24 lead at halftime and then 38-24 midway through the second spell. Meanwhile, after dropping their first three games, Tawa beats Wainuiomata 29-15 at Westpac Stadium.
1976: The Wellington Axemen prevail 10-7 over MSP. The match is locked up at 7-7 late in the piece when Wellington captain Graham Williams hands the ball to fullback Geoff Stone for a crucial penalty. Stone, who has already missed two easy kicks today, makes no mistake. MSP had led 7-0 at halftime. Meanwhile, favourites Petone open their second round account with a 24-10 win over Hutt Valley Marist.
1983: A day after the All Blacks beat the British Isles 15-8 in Dunedin, Murray Mexted (Wellington) and Stu Wilson (WCOB) step off the plane and on to the club field for this Sunday round to help their sides to first round Jubilee Cup wins. Meanwhile, Ken Laban scores a try in West’s first ever Jubilee Cup match, the Roosters losing 7-10 to Petone.
1993: Avalon prop Huia Gordon scores a hat-trick in his side’s 66-15 win over Norths. The win sees Avalon alone at the top of the table after MSP loses 13-35 to Harlequins at Athletic Park.
2010: Poneke grab one of the more sensational Wellington club rugby victories, coming from behind late in the match to pip neighbours Marist St. Pat’s 23-21. In a dramatic finish to their third round Jubilee Cup clash, Poneke come back from a 6-21 deficit after 75 minutes with two converted tries and a penalty at the death to complete a stunning turnaround.
1981: The opening round of Jubilee Cup rugby on Athletic Park today results in comfortable wins for Wellington and MSP. Wellington defeats Athletic 36-0 and MSP beats WCOB 46-4. Wellington has scored 47 tries so far this season – 35 of them by the backs. MSP has scored 52 tries to date this year – 35 by the backs.
1987: Poneke hold Swindale Shield winners and Jubilee Cup favourites MSP to a 7-7 draw. MSP lead 4-3 at the break and were expected to ram home the second half advantage of the wind. But Poneke have other ideas.
1998: Competition leaders Western Suburbs kick an injury-time penalty to scramble a 9-9 draw with MSP. First five-eighth Scott Leighton steps up in the 85th minute to kick the equaliser. Elsewhere, Tawa first five-eighth Ryan Craig lands seven from seven in his side’s 41-20 win over Petone. Wests and Tawa will meet in the Jubilee Cup final in a little over three weeks.
2009: A late try to captain and No. 8 Misipalauni Moananu clinches a stunning victory for Poneke over Hutt Old Boys Marist in a heart stopper at the Hutt Recreation Ground. Moananu scores off the back of a scrum in the 78th minute and first five-eighth Sam Rasch adds the conversion to give Poneke a 31-29 victory over HOBM. The result is significant for both teams, helping propel Poneke to the top qualifer’s position for the semi-finals while helping to shut the Eagles and 2007 champions out of the playoffs.
1958: Defending champion Petone’s Jubilee Cup hopes receive a sharp setback when St Pat’s Old Boys carry off the major upset of the season thus far, beating them handsomely. University – who draw their match today with Onslow – hold a 3-point lead and go on to win this year’s Jubilee Cup. This is the first time in many years that Petone has lost on their home ground to any other than a leading club. St Pat’s Old Boys fullback J.D.P Taitako is a star in the 13-6 win.
1969: Petone win the inaugural first round Swindale Shield competition today, but Oriental-Rongotai are desperately unlucky to miss out on the Jubilee Cup. Needing a win to go through, Ories lose to Wellington 12-9 after leading with several minutes to play. Ories will win the Hardham Cup later in the season.
1980: Petone race to a 17-0 lead and then hold off a gallant Athletic to win 17-12. Mike Clamp scores his 15th try of the season, while Brian (three penalties) and Grant (dropped goal) Cederwall combine to kick all of Athletic’s points. MSP beat HV Marist 28-6, leaving Petone and MSP unbeaten after two rounds of the Jubilee Cup.
1986: Upper Hutt beats defending champions Wellington 18-17 in a key upset of the season. Wellington led 10-0 at halftime but, despite Murray Pierce ruling the lineouts, let Upper Hutt back into the game and first five-eighth Sam McLean kicks the winning penalty with almost five minutes left.
2008: Swindale Shield champions Marist St. Pat’s take a major step towards their 12th Jubilee Cup title in defeating Northern United 25-17 in today’s fourth round clash at Porirua Park. MSP’s 14th consecutive win this season sees them maintain their two-point lead at the top of the points table, while Norths have now lost their last two games. Norths outscore MSP three tries to one, including a 70 metre effort by fullback Buxton Popoalii, but they let themselves down through poor discipline and MSP first five-eighth Fa’atonu Fili boots 17 points. MSP and Norths will go to draw the Jubilee Cup final 10-10.
2014: Not one, but two remarkable come-from-behind wins in the Jubilee Cup has made the race to the 2014 playoffs one of the most exciting in years. The two headline results today in the Jubilee Cup are Petone’s 27-25 win over Wainuiomata and the Upper Hutt Rams’ 34-30 victory over Old Boys University. Both are achieved in the dying minutes of play when the outcomes appeared to be sewn up.
1957: Defending Jubilee Cup champions Petone are pushed hard by St Pat’s Old Boys, winning 13-6. An injury hit University cruise to victory over Marist Old Boys, 20-6. These wins keep Petone and University four points clear at the top of the table after 11 rounds. Petone go on to defend their title this season.
1959: The Lions are touring and in Christchurch. Meanwhile in Wellington, the race for the Jubilee Cup is intensifying with Wellington (on 19 points), Athletic (19), Petone (18) and defending champions University (17) all in the mix. Today’s significant result has the Axemen holding off Athletic 14-9.
1973: Horrendous weather forces the cancellation of all Senior club rugby in Wellington , putting the competition back a week at the end of the season.
1991: Flanker Mark Purdy and No. 8 Isaac Adams have blinders for Upper Hutt as they pip Avalon 13-9 at Maidstone Park. Soon-to-be champions Hutt Old Boys beat Wellington 28-21 at Athletic Park.
1996: All Black Alama Ieremia scores one and wing Steve Skinnon scores a hat trick as Wests go to the top of the table with a 43-15 win over Upper Hutt. Soon-to-be Jubilee Cup champions Poneke are back in the pack, despite beating Norths 25-11.
2002: Norths show superior hunger and commitment to steal a 14-11 victory off competition leaders MSP at Porirua Park. MSP took an 8-0 lead into halftime, but, with the win, Norths storm to victory with tries to flanker Tui Meavao and wing Cassidy Godinet after a clean break by first five-eighth Rob Aloe. Elsewhere, Ma’a Nonu scores his 8th try of the season in Ories’ 34-17 win over Upper Hutt to them move to third after five rounds of the Jubilee Cup.
2013: Old Boys University beat red-hot Tawa 31-28 in the Nairnville Park mud. After trailing 21-8 at halftime, OBU come roaring back with the wind in their favour to tie the score up to 21-21 midway through the second half and then 28-28 with the clock winding down. Player of the match, Wellington and Highlanders first five-eighth Lima Sopoaga then kicks the winner at the end for the Billy Goats. Tawa goes on to beat OBU in their semi-final three weeks later.
1956: Leading contenders Petone are given a fright by the Ivan Vodanovich -led Marist Old Boys side, before racing clear toward the end and winning 22-3. For Petone, former All Black Bob Scott and new All Black Don McIntosh are outstanding figures, while New Zealand Maori wing T.PKatene scores a hat-trick. It’s 3-3 at halftime, but Petone are a different side in the second spell. They play some wonderful rugby over the final 20 minutes, showing the form that is to carry them to the Jubilee Cup title several weeks from now.
1962: Petone keeps the McBain Shield for the 10th straight year, beating Hutt 11-9, Oriental grabs their first win of the year, overwhelming Athletic 13-12, while Onslow are swept from the top of the table, losing 8-12 to University.
1979: Unbeaten MSP are trailing Athletic 9-10 deep into the match when first five-eighth Tu Wylie carves through to score a 50-metre try that sets up a 21-19 win. Meanwhile, MSP’s main rivals for the title Petone defeat Poneke 38-14, despite Poneke wing Wayne Collins scoring two brilliant solo tries.
1984: MSP let slip a 15-0 halftime lead to lose to Petone 16-15. In a heart-stopping finish, Petone first five-eighth Murray Blandford pots a dropped goal with only a few minutes left. Blandford has previously scored a 60th minute try off a charge-down to get Petone to 13-15. Elsewhere, Grant Griffith boots seven penalties in Poneke’s 21-0 win over Wellington.
2001: An upset at Maidstone Park as a determined Upper Hutt beat MSP 15-12, running in two tries to nil and then withstanding a late barrage on their try line by MSP at the end.
2007: MSP emerge today as the only unbeaten side after four rounds of the Jubilee Cup, beating Tawa 23-16 away at Lyndhurst Park to move two points clear of second placed Hutt Old Boys Marist who lose their first second round game to Northern United 28-5 at home. HOBM are undone by a brilliant Sinoti Sinoti double and never recover. MSP and HOBM are destined to meet in the final at Westpac Stadium five weeks from now.