Wellington Club Rugby – Report
MSP 28, TAWA 21
Marist St Pats 28 (Ryan Setefano 2, Cardiff Vaega tries, Fa’atonu Fili 2 con, 3 pen) Tawa 21 (Jonetane Koroi, Randall Bishop tries, James So’oialo con, 3 pen). HT: 15-9.
Venue: Kilbirnie Park
Red cards: Pago Haini 58′
Best and fairest: 3 points: Ryan Setefano (MSP wing); 2 points: Sam Blair (Tawa No.8); Gabe Papuni (MSP blindside)
What happened: Marist St Pats produced a heroic second half defensive effort to lift the Swindale Shield from a fast-finishing Tawa.
MSP had the match well in control until No 8 Pago Haini had a brain fade and stomped Tawa prop Tolu Fahamokioa right in front of the touch judge with about 22 minutes to play.
At that stage MSP were well in control, up 25-14 on the scoreboard and with the wind behind them.
The final 20 minutes became an exercise in survival as Tawa threw everything into defending their title. They closed to 25-21 when fullback Randall Bishop scored in the corner with about 10 minutes to play, but couldn’t finish numerous opportunities to win the match.
Those included No 8 Sam Blair stretching over the try line, but being correctly adjudged to have made a double movement.
Tawa had led early thanks to two James So’oialo penalties, but had squandered the wind and a mountain of possession in the first half to trail at the break.
MSP got the only try before the break when halfback Peter Sciascia’s off load got his side in behind the ruck, creating an overlap out wide for wing Ryan Setefano to cross for a 12-6 lead.
Tawa then fell asleep after the break conceding two tries in two minutes as the score blew out to 25-9.
The first came from a wayward pass from blind-side Jonetani Koroi that was toed through by MSP for centre Cardiff Vaega to run in beside the posts.
A minute later first five eighth Fa’atonu produced a moment of magic to grubber into the in-goal for Setefano to grab his second.
Tawa were slowly working their way back into the match with their reserves making an impact and after a series of lineouts on the MSP line, Koroi crashed over to close the gap.
Then Haini snapped and the complexion of the match turned.
Tawa threw everything at their undermanned opponents, but couldn’t crack a resolute defence.
Who stood out: Setefano was a decisive figure in the match and not because of the two tries he scored. The little wing made two try saving tackles late in the match, that many a player would have missed.
The first was on Tawa’s New Zealand sevens wing George Tilsley and the second, on Tawa replacement Josh To’omaga, who seemed certain to score near the posts with less than 10 to play.
MSP blindside Gabe Papuni was tireless in his work and well supported by openside Isaac O’Connor, while the midfield of Isaia Petelo and Cardiff Vaega was solid.
For Tawa, lock and captain Filisone Koloamatangi put in a solid shift alongside Blair. Tilsley was a handful on the wing and replacements Jeff Makapelu and To’omaga made good impact.
The upshot: MSP won their first Swindale Shield since 2008, while Tawa will be kicking themselves for losing their last three matches and their title in the process. It wouldn’t surprise if these teams met again in the Jubilee Cup playoffs.
– Toby Robson
JOHNSONVILLE 0 PETONE 36
Johnsonville 0 Petone 36 (Keanu Moran 2, Josh Hrstich 2, Mateaki Kafatolu, Michael Kainga tries, Jared Kahu 2 con, Taylor Henry 1 con). HT 0-19.
Best and fairest: 3 points: Michael Kainga (Petone Prop), 2 points: Jared Kahu (Petone Halfback), 1 point: Josh Hrstich (Petone No8).
Venue: Helston Park, Johnsonville.
What happened: Petone resisted the opportunity to rest players prior to the Jubilee Cup and were simply too strong for a spirited Johnsonville side.
Two of Petone’s tries were scored from very accurate set piece moves while the others came from sweeping fast paced attacks that showcased the talent the Villagers have at their disposal.
Petone’s defence was also strong and very rarely did the Hawks threaten their line.
Who stood out: Big Petone prop Michael Kainga had a storming game, his charging runs and powerful defence impressed many in the large crowd. Petone captain and Number eight Josh Hrstich had another outstanding match, his line breaks and off loads sparking many Petone attacks, as always he was well supported by the rugged flanker Jacob Gooch and replacement Cam Ross.
The young Petone outside backs were well served by their halves combination of Jared Kahu and Riki Flutey. Although the Johnsonville pack were under pressure for most of the match, their big prop Ha’amea Ahio remained defiant while livewire halfback Jack Taulapapa managed to show what a quality player he is with some penetrating runs early in the match.
Referee Daniel Mangin also had good match in his debut at this level.
The up-shot: Johnsonville have a few key players to come back and will enjoy playing Hardham Cup rugby where they can take the lessons learnt in the Swindale Shield and turn them in to wins. Petone will face Swindale Shield champions MSP at home and will not be overawed with the task.
– Doug Smith
OLD BOYS UNIVERSITY 47 WAINUIOMATA 22
Old Boys University 47 (Hamish Buick 2, Jesse Johnson, Teariki Ben-Nicholas, Ian Kennedy tries; Greg Mullany 5 con, 4 pen) Wainuiomata 22 (Attila Va’a, Greg Lealofi, Bevan Clark tries; Tyler Tane 2 con, 1 pen). HT 37-10.
Venue: Basin Reserve
Best and fairest: 3 points: Hamish Buick (OBU 1st five-eighth), 2 points: Jonathon Fuimaono (OBU prop), 1 point: Bevan Clark (Wainuiomata Lock).
What happened: Saturday’s contest started with a minute’s silence in honour of well-known Old Boys University rugby figure Richard Newsome, who passed away in Japan last week.
From the opening whistle Old Boys University looked like a team desperate to secure a spot in the Jubilee Cup round. Both teams spent time in the opposition’s 22 in the first half, but OBU made better use of their opportunities and held a 27-point advantage at halftime. After establishing such a large lead OBU never looked like losing but Wainuiomata fought to the bitter end, scoring two brilliant tries in the second half.
Who stood out: OBU 1st five-eighth Hamish Buick was the overall standout in a backline that ran with vigour all afternoon. Prop Jonathon Fuimaono made a number of effective runs and was impressive at scrum time against a hulking Wainuiomata font row. Lock Bevan Clark kept himself busy all afternoon and made a great run down the side line to score one of Wainuomata’s three tries. Locks Ian and Ross Kennedy were impressive in an OBU lineout that was far superior to Wainuiomata’s.
The upshot: OBU and Wainuiomata have secured their places in the Jubilee Cup. OBU finish the Swindale Shield round in fifth position with Wainuiomata finishing in eighth spot.
HUTT OLD BOYS MARIST 61 WELLINGTON 14
Hutt Old Boys Marist 61 (Simon Malaeulu 2, Parataiso Silafai-Leaana, Opetera Peleseuma, Blake McGregor, Chase Tiatia, Glen Walters, Jason Risdon, R Mania tries, Sheridan Rangihuna 4 con, Fereti Soloa 4 con) Wellington 14 (Jaco de Waal, Vaea Fifita tries, Hilton Mexted 2 con) HT: 28-7. Yellow card: Enoka Fonoti (35′)
Best and Fairest: 3 points: Chase Tiatia (HOBM wing), 2 points: Vaea Fifita (Wellington flanker), Parataiso Silafai-Leaana (HOBM centre).
Venue: Hutt Rec.
What happened: Hutt Old Boys Marist secured their place in the Jubilee Cup with a thumping victory over the bottom
placed Wellington Axemen. Taking advantage of ideal rugby conditions, HOBM were quickly in control with three long distance tries inside the first 20 minutes. Despite being a man down, with Enoka Fonoti sin-binned, they scored their bonus point try on half-time.
The Axemen looked sharper early in the second half, with their forward pack strong with ball in hand and HOBM emptying their bench early. The floodgates re-opened in the last 20 minutes, however, with the forward pack crashing over for four late tries.
Who stood out: The HOBM backline had an impressive day at the office with centre Parataiso Silafai-Leaana a strong
presence and Chase Tiatia having a hand in all of the first half tries. Flanker Jason Risdon capped a strong game with a try and prop Malaeula’s tries were reward for anchoring a rock solid scrum. For the Axemen, Vaea Fifita had another impressive game, destructive with ball in hand. His try looked likely from the moment he touched the ball.
The upshot: HOBM will take confidence in the manner of this victory and their dangerous backline can score from anywhere. If the Axemen can keep their key players fit, they will be competitive in the Hardham Cup. Next week: HOBM vs. OBU at the Basin Reserve, Wellington fixture to be confirmed.
– Warwick Small
ORIENTAL-RONGOTAI 31 PONEKE 10
Oriental-Rongotai 31 (Ben Komiti, Andrew Ellis tries; James Proctor 4 con, pen) Poneke FC 10 (Greg Foe try; Pakai Turia con, pen). HT: 10-7 to Ories. Yellow card: Hennie Tui (replacement prop) 49′.
Venue: Polo Park, Miramar.
Best and Fairest: 3 pts: Andrew Ellis (Ories winger), 2 pts: James Proctor (Ories 1st five-eighth) 1 pt: Greg Foe (Poneke openside).
What happened: Oriental-Rongotai end their Swindale competition with the Jim Grbich Memorial Shield in their cabinet for another year and will be amping for another strong finish as they head into the Jubilee Cup round next week.
Ories started slow from the outset and conceded the first try after Poneke’s first five-eighth Pakai Turia used the brilliant sunshine to create some confusion in the air with a timely placed bomb outside the 22. The contest was won by Poneke with Samoan sevens international Greg Foe scoring clean and clear under the posts, only for Ories to dot down moments afterwards.
The second half didn’t start well for Poneke after replacement prop Hennie Tui was sin-binned for a high tackle. In the interval that he was off – Ories took full advantage of the player deficit with winger Andrew Ellis scoring a hat-trick. Each back proved dangerous with fantastic line speed, furious pace and offloads a-plenty. Their backs ran outstanding lines and can be proud of their output on the park for their old timers on their club day.
Who stood out: Ories winger Andrew Ellis was on the receiving end of amazing set plays and can credit his hat-trick to his outside players but he also did amazing work to get over the paint. Breaking numerous tackles and proving troublesome on the wing, he also covered well and hustled in defence. Both clubs equally share in the player rotation of having representative players unavailable for their respective campaigns. The players around Poneke’s Greg Foe will have appreciated his desire, commitment and skill in playing alongside a fantastic rugby asset.
The upshot: Oriental-Rongotai go into the Jubilee Cup competition and will be aiming to repeat their appearance in the Jubilee Cup final. Poneke will head into the Hardham Cup with their young roster and will hope to build confidence while aiming to maintain their Premier status for next year.
– Florence Masoe
Upper Hutt Rams 27 (T Manu, J Hunt, R Wasley, A Heemi tries. L Berry 2 con and pen) Northern United 25 (R Lepupa, A Vardey, G Hasegawa, P Hayman tries. P Hayman con and pen). Awaiting match report.