Which team will win the Jubilee Cup this year?
Oriental-Rongotai continue to lead the Jubilee Cup, despite Saturday's 8-3 loss to Northern United.
But the gap to second-placed Marist St Pat's is now only one point, following their 55-5 thrashing of traditional foes Petone. Norths are up to third, a further two points back, with Tawa and Wainuiomata level in fourth place, with two rounds remaining before the semifinals.
Old Boys-University are top of the Hardham Cup, a point ahead of Poneke.
NORTHS 8 ORIES 3
Northern United 8 (Alapati Leiua try; Peato Lafaele pen) beat Oriental-Rongotai 3 (Sean Hay pen). Halftime: 8-3.
Best and fairest: 3 points: Tomasi Palu, Norths halfback; 2 points: Alapati Leiua, Norths centre; 1 point: Paulo Aukuso, Ories centre.
What happened: A frustrated Ories failed to adapt to the conditions and their poor accuracy was the result of their own impatience as much as Norths' desperate defence. Norths scored the only try of the match, after 20 minutes, directly off an Ories line out steal, kicked a penalty soon after and then held on for the entire second half into the wind and the rain.
Hurricanes hooker Motu Matu'u added fire when he came on for Ories at halftime but his presence failed to make a difference.
The big play: Centre Alapati Leiua scored the only try of the match, carving through on a 20-metre run.
Star turn: The influence of Norths' big game players was key, particularly Leiua, halfback Tomasi Palu, lock Eldon Paea and No 8 Mana Faraimo all telling. - Steven White
MSP 55 PETONE 5
Marist St Pat's 55 (Sio Tuia, Tevita Ah Wong, Johnny Gbenda Charles, Peter Sciascia, Thomas Veitch, Isaia Petelo, Andrew Wells tries; Fa'atonu Fili 7 con, 2 pen) Petone 5 (Murray Douglas try). HT: 20-0.
Best and fairest: 3 points: Liu Taituave, MSP hooker; 2 points: Fa'atonu Fili, MSP first five-eighth; 1 point: Bernie Upton, MSP lock.
What happened: MSP completely outplayed a hapless Petone side. The MSP forwards laid an outstanding platform in the first half led by robust hooker Liu Taituave, captain Kas Lealamanua and outstanding lineout forward Bernie Upton.
The second half was much the same with Petone unable to stay with the hard running of the MSP team.
The big play: MSP loose forward Sio Tuia scored the first try after gathering the ball on the halfway line; he beat Petone defenders and scored next to the posts.
Star turn: MSP first-five-eighth Fili returned to his best form and was outstanding in all areas, not least his perfect nine-from-nine with the boot. - Matt Buck
HOBM 3 WAINUI 0
Hutt Old Boys Marist 3 (Glen Walters pen) Wainuiomata 0. HT: 0-0.
Best and fairest: 3 points: Teru Time (Wainui wing); 2 points: Justin Va'a (Wainui prop); 1 point: Nick Risdon (HOBM halfback).
What happened: A large number of errors nullified the huge territory and possession Wainuiomata had. Prop Justin Va'a also showed his experience leading a dominant Wainui scrum but his team-mates couldn't capitalise. A last-minute change saw HOBM halfback Nick Risdon start and he distributed the ball well and organised his pack even though they got little reward on the scoreboard.
The big play: A pressure packed 65th minute penalty by HOBM fullback Glen Walters proved the decisive play of the match.
Star turn: Wainui wing Teru Time worked tirelessly as a fourth loose forward and featured prominently, albeit on the losing side. - Shane Kempson
TAWA 16 UPPER HUTT 3
Tawa 16 (Taniela Koroi, Randall Bishop tries; Bishop 2 pen) Upper Hutt 3 (Jason Woodward pen). HT: 3-3.
Best and fairest: 3 points: Steve So'oialo (Tawa halfback); 2 points: Brian Burridge (Tawa lock); 1 point: Anaru Rangi (Upper Hutt hooker).
What happened: The two forward packs quickly settled into an arm wrestle up front and for the first half neither gave an inch.
After halftime the big Tawa pack gained ascendancy with their pick-and-go play with prop Taniela Koroi and fullback Randall Bishop to the fore of a collective effort.
A couple of big scrums summed up Tawa's edge and both tries were the result of hard work up the middle of the park.
The big play: Koroi barged over to score, soon after the break, to give Tawa a degree of breathing space.
Star turn: Tawa halfback Steve So'oialo showed his experience to marshal his pack into good areas and keep the ball in tight. His box kicking was also influential in giving Tawa a key territorial advantage in the second half.
- © Fairfax NZ News
What do you put the Hurricanes' poor start down to in 2014?