Eagles go top after Kilbirnie thrillers


Draws & Results HERE 

UPDATED SUNDAY MORNING: The Hutt Old Boys Marist Eagles have soared to the top of the 2019 Swindale Shield standings after the opening month, hanging on to beat Poneke 36-34 this afternoon and registering their fourth straight win to start the season.

The Eagles put on a strong performance in the first half against a positive and determined Poneke side to score four converted tries and lead 28-19 at the break. They scored their first try from the initial passages of the opening kick-off, from which Poneke hit right back from the next re-start through hooker Andrew Jones, before their big forwards and organised play saw them score three more tries. Poneke also scored two tries, including a try to first five-eighth Pakai Turia right on halftime that kept them firmly in the match.

HOBM went further ahead in the 47th minute when right wing Blake McGregor intercepted and sprinted 60 metres to score. Halfback Sheridan Rangihuna added a penalty and at 36-19 up the game appeared to be in their control.

But Poneke threw caution to the wind and came roaring back with back-to-back long-range tries, the first to fullback Nick Robertson, who had earlier appeared to have taken a nasty blow to his finger, and the second to centre Levi Harmon. This made it 36-29 and there was hope. Poneke launched more frantic attack in the dying minutes and No. 8 James Mose came up the try in the far corner. Pakai Turia’s match-equalising conversion from wide out missed and the Eagles held on by two points to retain the Roy Johns Shield.

The Eagles sit on top of the Premier competition standings on 19 points, two ahead of second placed Northern United who defeated the Wellington Axemen 36-17 at nearby Hataitai Park to also be unbeaten but having also drawn once.

Norths scored two unconverted tries to lead the Axemen 10-7 at the end of a tight first 40 minutes, before scoring another from a forwards drive early in the second and later the match winner to captain and flanker Parekura Lalaga who galloped 50 metres. For Wellington, lock James Poloniati scored both their tries and wing Ollie Marshall kicked their other points.

Petone’s Ryan Imrie scores the try today that was to lock up a 24-24 draw with MSP.

Norths and Petone drew last week, and this afternoon it was a repeat dose for Petone supporters, who finished locked up 24-24 with Marist St Pat’s at Evans Bay Park.

A low scoring, tight fixture had Petone ahead 7-3 throughout the majority of the second half after No. 8 Tupou Sopoaga scored early from an attacking scrum.

The roar of the crowd could be heard from across the cycleway and Kilbirnie Park when MSP left wing Faresa Tasale crossed at the gymnasium end to put MSP ahead. Petone reclaimed the lead and went ahead 17-10 after a try and penalty. MSP struck back with a try to hooker Tyrone Thompson an it was 17-17 with about 15 minutes to play.

MSP then hit the lead with bustling wing Tasale bagging his brace. Down 17-24, Petone hooker Ryan Imrie took a quick tap and scored. Halfback Logan Henry added the extras and it was 24-24.

Right on fulltime, Petone had a penalty from 50 metres out but couldn’t nail it and the game finished a stalemate.

The fourth fixture in the Eastern Suburbs saw Oriental-Rongotai defeat the Upper Hutt Rams 27-18, in a match much less dramatic than the two in Kilbirnie.

The Rams took the early lead through a pair of Tyler Tane penalties, before Ories struck three times through Malachai Unasa, Reuben Va’a, and Takumi Yashimoto to jump to a handy lead before the Rams narrowed the gap from close-range just on half-time. The second half was a hard-fought affair, with Unasa scoring his second – his fourth double in as many games this season – and a Yashimoto penalty to put the game out of reach. The Rams remained committed but their only reward was a penalty try when Josh Brown was held back after the ball spewed out of an Ories defensive scrum.

Yashimoto was the star of the day for the Magpies, with his influence only growing after he moved into first-five early in the second half.

At Ngati Toa Domain, Wainuiomata beat Paremata-Plimmerton 39-24.

The Swindale Shield points table after 4 rounds.

Playing against the wind in the first half, Wainuiomata sailed to a 17-3 lead after 15 minutes, with tries to John Monu, Uale Mai and Mike Lealava’a. Paremata-Plimmerton cut this to 17-10 despite having a man in the sin-bin and then to 17-17 by halftime with a late first half try to outside back Matt de Terte. Wainuiomata took control in the second spell and held on to register their second straight victory.

The other two fourth round Swindale Shield encounters resulted in comfortable wins for the home teams in the two northern suburbs suburban venues.

At Nairnville Park, the Old Boys University Goats unleashed a first half scoring spree and maintained the pressure in the second half to beat the Avalon Wolves 54-14.

As expected, OBU had too many guns for Avalon’s pack in the set-pieces and tight exchanges. They raced to a 21-0 lead, led 33-7 at the break and then when lock Caleb Delany crossed first after the oranges it was 40-7 to the Billygoats. Other highlights were galloping tries to prop Finnbarr Kerr-Newell (first half) and lock Agustin Escalona (second)

At Helston Park, Tawa retained the Carmen Cup against Johnsonville with a 74-3 slaying of home team Johnsonville.

Tawa led 29-3 at halftime with the win in their favour, and then kept up the scoring in the second half into it to win their second straight match after dropping their first two. Right wing Caleb Cavubati finished with four tries.

The Marist St Pat’s, Tawa and Upper Hutt Rams second XVs kept their unbeaten records alive in the fourth round of the Premier Reserve Harper Lock Shield this afternoon.

Defending first round HLS champions Marist St Pat’s beat Petone 45-21 in the early fixture at the Evans Bay Park, Tawa accounted for Johnsonville 41-10 and the Upper Hutt Rams pipped Ories 29-26, with the latter having a player red carded early in the second half following an earlier yellow. Ories’ final try in injury time saw them nab two well-deserved competition points

In the early HLS match at Kilbirnie Park, Poneke pulled away from HOBM courtesy of a stunning four tries to right wing Bruce Siale. Poneke led 14-7 at halftime, but the Eagles hit back to make it 17-17. Then Siale came out to play. He scored three outstanding solo tries to seal Poneke’s second win.

Norths accounted for Wellington 57-12, OBU beat Avalon 21-0 and Tawa overcame Johnsonville 41-10 in three other HLS results to hand.

Two second round Women’s Rebecca Liua’ana Trophy fixtures were played under lights on Friday night, with Ories beating Poneke 59-0 and MSP overcoming Wainuiomata 54-0.

Today at the Hutt Rec, the HOBM and OBU sides battled to a 12-12 draw. HOBM scored tries to Danica Tavite and Michelle Kitiseni.

At the Petone Rec, the Petone Ponies beat Paremata-Plimmerton 39-29. Petone laid on three unconverted tries in the opening 25 minutes to lead 15-0. Paremata-Plimmerton scored from their first meaningful attacking passage, but Petone’s bigger forwards were all over them by this stage and when tighthead prop Leah Uila intercepted a pass in general play and set up a runaway try to livewire halfback Milly Mackey, Petone were up 22-5.

Early in the second half, Petone’s set-piece put pressure on Paremata-Plimmerton’s and lock Stacie Tutaki-Harper came up their fifth try. Another turnover and another runaway try to Mackey put Petone up 34-5.

Paremata-Plimmerton rallied over the last 20 minutes but the deficit was too steep for them to make up. Both sides now have a win and a loss after two weeks.

In Division One Les Mills Colts Paris Memorial Trophy matches, OBU Green and Marist St Pat’s sailed to their second straight bonus point wins.

OBU came out 48-8 winners over Northern United and MSP emerged 36-17 victors over Petone.

The other two Colts Division 1 results saw HOBM Green beat Paremata-Plimmerton 24-12 and the Upper Hutt Rams and Tawa draw 31-31.

The second weekend of JC Bowl U85kg Division 1 encounters resulted in the HOBM Howlers beating the OBU Scallywags (nee Bunnies) 42-17 and Eastbourne beating the Wests Roosters 43-5 in two convincing wins.

Avalon beat MSP 37-15, while in two close results, Wellington beat the Johnsonville Terrahawks 19-12 and the Upper Hutt Rams overcame the Paraparaumu team 14-13.

A relieved Hutt Old Boys Marist at fulltime today in their 36-34 win over Poneke.

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