This week in club rugby history: 3-9 June

Above: Marist St Pat’s win the Swindale Shield this week in 2008. See more below.

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.

3 June

1933: A grandstand finish at the Hutt Rec! Hutt score the match-winning try on the stroke of fulltime to beat Athletic 18-17 in perfect rugby conditions. The Hutt team, who are wearing black armbands in respect to the recent passing of Alexander McBain, are troubled by the sun in the first half and scores are locked at 8-8 at halftime. Athletic gain a 17-14 lead late in the contest before Hutt wing Stevenson dives through to score in the corner and former Canterbury and now Wellington All Black and railway worker Herb Lilburne converts from the sideline to give Hutt the win.

1978: Allan Hewson scores four tries and Kevin Hewson two in Petone’s eight-try 46-0 win over Naenae Old Boys. Petone’s opposition next week, MSP, score nine tries in beating Taita 48-6.

1985: Wellington beats Petone 15-12 in today’s top-of-the-table Queen’s Birthday weekend clash. However, it could have been a draw after Petone fullback Allan Hewson’s late penalty is flagged as good by the two touch touches behind the poles but their decision is over ruled and it’s no goal. Asked afterwards if his kick was successful Hewson said: “Yes. It went about three inches inside the right hand upright.”

1989: Swindale Shield decider. In a gripping conclusion to the first round, Hutt Old Boys lead Poneke 9-3 at halftime. Two John Jackson penalties level the scores up to 9-9. Poneke flanker Amico Tovia is sent off for a head high tackle, leaving Poneke competing with 14 men. Hutt flanker Mark Shaw scores a decisive try and Hutt pull clear to win 21-9.

2006: Northern United defeat HOBM 26-24 in their top-of-the-table round 10 clash, meaning they just need to beat Tawa next week to win the Swindale Shield (they do, 47-0). Elsewhere, a pattern of this season is a series of remarkable comebacks and close wins. One today sees Upper Hutt beat Petone 34-20 after being behind by a whopping 17 points at the turn.

OBU – winning the Swindale Shield in 2017. 

2017: Old Boys University teams win Wellington club rugby’s top two division men’s first round titles today. OBU teams annex the 2017 Premier Reserve Harper Lock Shield and Premier Swindale Shield trophies within two hours of each other at Nairnville Park this afternoon. Just needing to beat Avalon Wolves teams, OBU’s Premier Reserves won 61-21 to clinch the Harper Lock Shield. In the main game that followed, OBU’s top side defeated Avalon 43-10 to make sure of retaining the Swindale Shield.

4 June

1951: Poneke’s 14-3 King’s Birthday Monday defeat of eastern suburbs rivals and competition leaders Oriental sets up a tight points table, with three points separating the leading nine teams at this point of the competition! In bitterly cold conditions at Athletic Park, Poneke scores a decisive try early in the second spell when electric No. 8 Jim Grbich charges down a clearing kick and Vic Calcanai converts. Nineteen years after their first Jubilee Cup win in 1932, Poneke wins its second standalone title later this season.

1977: All Black wing Stu Wilson is on fire for Wellington College Old Boys. With his side trailing Titahi Bay 7-11, Wilson intercepts a cross-kick and sprints 75 metres to score a spectacular solo effort, to see WCOB draw 11-11.

5 June

1937: Winter rugby hits Wellington. Heavy, sleety rain turns to a blanketing of snow that arrives just in time for the leading matches of the afternoon. The feature match of this opening second round Jubilee Cup fixture is between the two undefeated teams of the first round, Athletic and Johnsonville . Athletic prevails in the conditions and wins 6-3, scoring the only try. It’s a decisive result as they go on to win their second successive title in several week’s time.

1965: University lead 14-0 after as many minutes and go on to beat Marist 20-8 in the biggest match of the season to date in front of 9,000 at Athletic Park. University fullback Mick Williment surpasses 100 points for the season in this match – just seven games into the season.

1982: The big cold hits Wellington club rugby hard today. Petone fullback Allan Hewson is treated for exposure at halftime in his side’s 4-3 win over MSP. Athletic captain Brian Cederwall discusses the possibility of calling their game with Wainuiomata off during the second half after two players from each side are forced from the field in need of respite from bitter cold.

2005: Upper Hutt win the Swindale Shield for the first time in 15 years. Upper Hutt’s nine tries to two 62-20 win over winless Old Boys University gives them the title outright with next week’s last round to spare after title rival Norths go down 5-12 to  a Thomas Waldrom-inspired Avalon. The previous day Waldrom was in Suva playing for NZ Maori against Fiji.

6 June

1936: Competition leaders Poneke have their colours lowered by Petone, 13-10, a loss that is to spell the end of Poneke’s challenge this season. Instead, it is Athletic who come through several weeks later to win the Jubilee Cup.

1964: In an extraordinary match between Marist and Taita, Marist come back from a 3-11 deficit at halftime to lead 13-11 after halftime and then 40-11 late in the match. The final score is eventually 50-24 to Marist and 50 points have been scored in the second half (3-point tries).

1983: Upsets are the order of the day in Queen’s Birthday matches. WCOB wins at Petone, 19-15, for the first time in at least 20 years. Wellington’s chance of retaining the Swindale Shield takes a nose dive when they are defeated 15-18 by Upper Hutt, allowing MSP to go to the top of the table after they beat Johnsonville 21-10.

1992: The value of a try has just been upped from four to five points and with it scores have noticeably increased. One example today is Poneke’s 35-35 draw with Poneke, MSP No. 8 Matt Christie scoring a last-gasp try from a pushover scrum. Elsewhere, Harlequins beat Stokes Valley 50-22, Tawa beat Hutt Valley Marist 59-5, Avalon spank Norths 69-20 and Petone re-claim the McBain Shield off Hutt Old Boys, 51-5.

1998: Western Suburbs announce themselves as the team to beat in this year’s Jubilee Cup, clubbing Tawa 61-7. Wests, boosted by Filo Tiatia, score nine tries. Wests and Tawa will meet again in the Jubilee Cup final.

2004: Petone  win the Swindale Shield outright, with first five-eighth Rikki Flutey orchestrating a bonus point 38-17 win over mid-table Avalon. Needing to score four tries to win outright, they are well on their way by halftime leading 21-3 with two tries. Fluttey sets up the third and wing Willie Moala runs 65 metres for the fourth.

7 June

1954: The hardworking forward pack and the enigmatic play of All Black superstar Ron Jarden lay the foundation for University’s 21-3 Athletic Park win over keen rivals Hutt. University outscore Hutt by the margin of five tries to one penalty. This win helps make the race to the 1954 Jubilee Cup tight with University, Hutt, Poneke and Petone all tied up at the top of the table. University emerges from the pack however to claim its third successive championship win.

1986: Petone clinch the Swindale Shield with a round to spare, beating Upper Hutt 29-12, to give them 23 competition points from 12 outings (2 points for a win). Coach Andy Leslie praises his pack. “That was the best forward effort I’ve seen by a team in Wellington for some time,” he states afterwards.

Victor Vito and MSP with the Swindale Shield in 2008.

2008: Marist St Pat’s beat Upper Hutt 41-0 in today’s last round to capture their 10th Swindale Shield title and their first since 2000. MSP have won 10 consecutive games on route to the first round title, after dropping their season opener to Old Boys-University on Gala Day in Porirua. Young loose forward star Victor Vito holds the Shield aloft in celebration. MSP have conceded just 99 points in 11 games.

8 June

1929: “Rugby Surprises. Oriental Out Point Poneke”, says the Dominion. “Oriental, who had previously only won one game, upset all calculations by routing the powerful Poneke fifteen at Newtown Park by 19 points to 18.” Not necessarily a ‘routing’, but they do climb off the bottom of the table and knock Poneke off the top in this first ever season of Jubilee Cup rugby. Poneke are leapfrogged by Athletic who beat Wellington 15-11. First-season Cup champions University defeat Berhampore 12-11 in their match.

1985: The Wellington Axemen are all but sure of retaining the Swindale Shield when they defeat Titahi Bay 58-4 today. Wellington scores 10 tries and Evan Hopkin kicks 22 points. Elsewhere, Ories fullback John Gallagher kicks his team to a 30-24 win over Avalon.

9 June

1945: The war is almost over and winter rugby arrives in Wellington for the final set of matches in the first round of the Jubilee Cup. At the end of the first round Petone are the leaders having beaten WCOB 9-3 this afternoon. Petone wins the game with the southerly behind them and holds on grimly at the end. In other notable results, the combined Poneke-Oriental side beats Army 11-9, while eventual champions Athletic topples Hutt 14-9.

1976: Ories upset University 11-0 in the mud under lights at the Hutt Rec. Stars for Ories are hooker Malcolm Bridge, who secures six tightheads, and fullback Clive Currie, for his defence.

1990: Northern United beat Poneke 24-23 in a key mid-table match with Jubilee Cup places keenly c

Glen Walters flashes in to score the first round title clinching try in 2017.

ontested in the last few weeks of the Swindale Shield. Norths lead 12-11 at halftime, Poneke re-takes the lead, and then Ken Kakahi scores the late match winner for Norths. Elsewhere, first five-eighth Allan Henderson scores 32 points as competition leaders Upper Hutt slay WCOB 52-15.

2001: With a midfield combination of Jason O’Halloran and Tana Umaga, Petone have little trouble beating Upper Hutt 39-13 today. Their Hurricanes teammate David Holwell is also instrumental in guiding Poneke to a 28-13 win over Ories, while young No.8 Thomas Waldrom and first five-eighth Mano Flutey help recently crowned Swindale Shield champions Avalon beat Wests 25-9.

2012: When the competition’s leading points scorer Glen Walters dives over to score underneath the posts, Hutt Old Boys Marist have clinched a 24-11 win over Wainuiomata at home on the Hutt Rec and are Swindale Shield champions. HOBM’s only rivals for the title, MSP, lose 16-22 to Petone.

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