Above: Jeremy Thrush in hot pursuit of Afa Fa’atau in the 2013 100-minute semi-final between Ories and HOBM. Ories won 30-27 in an extra time thriller.
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
1978: The Wellington Axemen – led by outgoing captain and talisman Graham Williams and No. 8 Murray Mexted – topple title contenders MSP 12-0. With just three rounds to play, MSP, Wellington and Athletic are tied at the top. Wellington and MSP go on to share the Jubilee Cup.
1995: MSP retain the Jubilee Cup with a 20-18 win over Petone in the final, winning the Jubilee Cup – Swindale Shield double for the second consecutive year. Protecting a two-point lead, MSP hold off Petone for the final 20 minutes, the Villagers unlucky not to score when a pass between first five-eighth Simon Mannix and wing Alex Telea is knocked down.
2006: Petone and Poneke are big winners in round 6 matches. In a season of highs and lows, Petone pull out the round’s surprise result, beating Northern United 16-8 at home to move into the top four and relegate a tottering Norths from first to third. Poneke are the new leaders after they have a comfortable 23-3 win over Marist St Pat’s at Evans Bay Park.
1938: Petone beat Athletic 6-3 by the margin of “two penalty goals to a try” in their top of the table clash. The two teams went into this game as joint leaders, but this win gives Petone the edge and they go on to win their third Jubilee Cup against the 1936 and 1937 champions.
2011: Ories hold on to earn top spot for next week’s 2011 Jubilee Cup semi-finals with tenacious 12-8 win over Wainuiomata in terrible conditions in the last round. Ories will host Hutt Old Boys Marist at the Polo Ground in one Jubilee Cup semi-final after HOBM beat winless Upper Hutt 22-5 away at Maidstone Park, while second placed qualifier Poneke and third placed Northern United will do it all again at Kilbirnie Park after Norths overrun the red and blacks 19-13 on their own turf. Ories collect the Andy Leslie Trophy for the first time for winning the round-robin and also qualify for their Jubilee Cup semi-finals berth since 2002.
2016: Points differential. That’s what this year’s Jubilee Cup semi-finals come down to after a drama-filled final day of round-robin matches played in appalling conditions. While Marist St Pat’s seal top spot for next week’s semi-finals and with it the Andy Leslie Trophy, and four teams are left in second equal place on the ladder. Tawa, Wainuiomata, Oriental-Rongotai and defending champions Old Boys University all finish the regular season on 19 points. With just three semi-finals places to be filled it came down to who had the better points differential and Tawa’s was +26, Wainuiomata’s +4, Ories’ -4 and OBU’s -26. OBU are particularly disappointed after beating Ories 25-24 on the day but missing out.
1937:Wellington thrash Poneke 30-11 at Anderson Park, in a notable upset result of the season. Both teams finish mid-table, however, defending champions Athletic going back-to-back and winning the 1937 Jubilee Cup.
1982: Petone play effective 10-man rugby to beat leaders Wellington 20-16 in front of 5,000 at Athletic Park – thus ensuring that the 1982 Jubilee Cup is shared between the Villagers and the Axemen.
1999: Poneke beat Petone 20-7 and MSP edge Wests 16-15 in the Jubilee Cup semi-finals. Poneke beat Petone with a typically tradesmen-like performance while MSP wing Lome Fa’atau swoops on a dropped ball and runs away to score the try that ends defending champions Wests’ season.
2010: At Maidstone Park, Upper Hutt are desperately unlucky not to have scored themselves a major scalp in Swindale Shield champions Norths – who had put 82 points on them in the first round. It takes a late penalty to fullback Buxton Popoalii to seal the tied 23-23 result for Norths. Scores were locked at 10-10 late in the first half, but a converted try to lock James Wall puts the home side ahead 20-10 at the break. Norths come back, but Upper Hutt fullback Jason Woodward scores 13 points. Norths go on to win this year’s Jubilee Cup.
1959: Petone will have to wait another round to claim the Jubilee Cup after losing dramatically to Marist 9-11. Petone think that they have scored the match and championship winning try at the end, but the referee rules otherwise. Heading into next week’s last round, the points table thus has Petone on 22 and University, Wellington, Athletic and Marist all on 21. With two points for a win, Petone can still claim the title outright. They do.
1981: MSP are now clear-cut favourites to take out this year’s Jubilee Cup in three weeks from now, beating Wellington 24-14. Murray Tocker kicks five out of seven of his attempts on goal. Petone are now clear second, after coming back from 0-3 at halftime to beat Poneke 19-3.
1987: Veteran midfield back Jim Moragn takes full advantage of a drifting Poneke defence to dash in for tries in Wellington’s 25-6 win to see them clear leaders at the top of the Jubilee Cup table after four rounds. Wellington goes on to win this year’s Jubilee Cup – its last championship win.
1998: Western Suburbs are too slick for Tawa in the Final at the Petone Recreation Ground. Their outside backs score all eight tries in the 53-21 win – centre Mark Fatialofa and fullback Toby Robson scoring two tries each. For Wests, it’s their first (and only) Jubilee Cup since the club’s formation in 1983, while Tawa are playing in their first final.
2009: Already confirmed semi-finalists Northern United beat Petone 29-20 in the last round set of matches today, this result ensuring Poneke, who beat Ories 18-5, qualifies top and wins the Andy Leslie Trophy. Petone finish second, MSP third and Norths fourth – the latter pair going on to meet in the final.
2015: Top qualifier Old Boys University and Marist St Pat’s will contest the 2015 Jubilee Cup final, after each winning epic semi-finals in Wellington today in bright sunshine. At the Basin Reserve, Old Boys University scored a late try, converted from the sideline by fullback Sam Chamberlain, before watching a death-knock James Proctor sail wide to hold on and beat Oriental-Rongotai 20-18. At Evans Bay Park, Marist St Pat’s beat Tawa 27-23 in a titanic struggle.
1986: MSP and Petone are locked in a two-horse race for this year’s Jubilee Cup honours, both recording their sixth straight victories today –albeit in contrasting circumstances. MSP demolish Wests 33-10 but Petone snatch a last second 13-12 win over Wellington. MSP and Petone will meet next Saturday in the ‘final’.
2008: Oriental-Rongotai lose to Upper Hutt 12-13 in this last round match, meaning they miss out on the Jubilee Cup playoffs – after another one-point result much closer to home had transpired to fall in their favour. Northern United’s 12-11 win over Poneke means that if Ories had beaten Upper Hutt they would have made the semi-finals for the first time since 2002. Instead, next week’s Jubilee Cup playoffs are between Norths and Petone and Poneke and Marist St. Pat’s.
2014: In an All Hutt Valley final, HOBM will appear in their first Jubilee Cup final since 2007 and
Wainuiomata will be playing in their maiden season decider.The two clubs win their semi-finals in contrasting circumstances.Top qualifier HOBM beat Oriental-Rongotai 43-26, ending Ories’ run of three consecutive finals appearances. Wainuiomata pull clear to defeat Marist St Pat’s 26-13.
1929: University throw the ball about in “dazzling fashion” to beat Poneke 24-9 and take a decisive three-point lead at the top of the table to Petone, closely followed by Athletic who themselves are “upset” 13-8 by Marist Old Brothers in this round. The Dominion reports that the 5,000 spectators present at Athletic Park “enjoyed the bright display given by the ‘Varsity fifteen’” against Poneke. University, renowned for running rugby in later years, go on to win the first ever Jubilee Cup title.
1963: University beat previous leaders Marist 20-11 in icy conditions, Ken Comber scoring a stunning individual try from his own side of halfway by ducking and weaving way through half the Marist side. Despite the loss with two rounds to play, Marist regroup and win the Jubilee Cup.
1991: Hutt Old Boys defeat Upper Hutt 21-10 and Poneke draw 13-13 with Petone, meaning Hutt and Poneke will meet in next Sunday’s final. Hutt’s young side continues its revival after just scraping into the top 8, while Poneke must rely on the boot of Steve Hirini to save them from defeat. Hirini kicks a penalty with about five minutes to play.
1996: Poneke and Wests will square off in next week’s final after winning their respective semi-finals today in tough battles. Poneke beats Harlequins 23-13 and Wests defeats Avalon 16-8. Elsewhere, Petone beats Wellington 43-15 in their Hardham Cup semi-final, bringing up their 600th point of the second round with their last try.
2001: MSP are trailing 15-16 with barely five minutes left in tonight’s semi-final at Westpac Stadium when MSP flanker Joe Lawn latches on to an errant Petone defensive lineout and scores the winning try. Previously, Tana Umaga had seemingly done enough for Petone with his try. MSP will meet Poneke in the final, after Poneke lose long-serving lock Richard Watt to injury during their 30-21 semi-final win over Avalon.
2013: Is this the greatest playoff of all time? Ories pip home side HOBM 30-27 in an extra time Jubilee Cup semi-final thriller. It takes a 97th minute penalty to Cup veteran Fa’atonu Fili to break the deadlock after scores are locked at 20-20 at regulation fulltime and 27-27 deep into extra time. HOBM had thought they had the game won seven minutes from fulltime with a try that put them ahead 20-15. But Ories flanker Tutasi Masoe crashed over in the corner with the last play of the game, leveling the scores up.
1974: Petone account for Onslow 30-6 and are on track to meet Wellington in the Jubilee Cup “Final” in a fortnight. But two leading players, prop Gareth Head and centre Jim Brown, are both ordered off the field for fighting. Onslow also lose two players, flanker Rick Kaye and second five-eighth Bruce Niven. The four are the first players that match referee Colin Guppy has send packing in 11 years of refereeing.
1979: It’s a two-horse race for the Jubilee Cup. After four rounds. MSP defeats Poneke 13-3 and Petone battle to a 6-0 win in the Fraser Park mud over Hutt Valley Marist. In pelting rain Murray Mexred emerges in a pile of bodies to score Wellington’s try in their 4-3 win over University. MSP go on to win the title outright for the first time.
1984: With the representative team playing NPC rugby in Dunedin today the WRFU runs its annual American Ambassador’s Sevens club tournament, played in Petone. Avalon bolt away with the title, beating MSP 24-6 in the semi-final and Western Suburbs 35-7 in the final.
1990: Petone score four second half tries to come back from 7-9 down at halftime to beat Wests 34-13. In the match at Athletic Park that follows this, Steve Pokere marks his retirement from Senior rugby by scoring two tries and 21 points for Hutt Old Boys as they defeat MSP 39-23.
2000: Petone beats Poneke 20-17 under lights at Westpac Stadium in front of 7,000 club rugby fans. Poneke first five-eighth David Holwell is left ruing missing a straightforward penalty with time almost up that would have leveled the scores and seen the Jubilee Cup shared. Petone had led 13-0, but Poneke came back to lead 17-13 before a seven-pointer gave Petone the win and first Jubilee Cup since 1993.
2012: Wainuiomata beat Northern United 25-19 in the seventh and final round of the 2012 round-robin to qualify for their maiden semi-finals series. The fourth place finish sees them book their place in the top four where they go on to play defending champions Ories (losing that next match. Wainuiomata qualifies for the top four ahead of first round Swindale Shield champions HOBM.