OBU 26, TAWA 23
OBU 26 (Jesse Johnson try, Penalty Try, Greg Mullany 2 Con, 4 Pen)
Tawa 23 (Taniela Koroi, Sam Tuala, Tolu Fahamokioa tries, James So'oialo Con, 2 Pen) HT 10-10
Best and Fairest: 3 points: Jesse Johnson (OBU fullback), 2 points: Tolu Fahamokia (Tawa prop), Greg
Mullany (OBU second five-eighth)
Venue: Lyndhurst Park
What happened: Two late penalties from an ice-cool Greg Mullany were enough to sneak Old Boys-University past an
ill-disciplined Tawa, winning the Bill Brien Challenge Cup in the process.
In a tight first half OBU's forwards were impressive in standing up to the uncompromising Tawa pack. This effort was rewarded after 15 minutes when they were awarded a penalty try. Alfred Pelenise collared a try-bound Jesse Johnson, earning a yellow card in the process. But Tawa then got into gear and prop Taniela Koroi showed wingers instincts to score on halftime and lock it up at 10-10.
Tawa's other prop, Tolu Fahamokia, and OBU's Johnson each scored runaway tries early in the second half but James So'oialo, returning from an injury lay-off, slotted a penalty to put Tawa in front with 10 minutes to go. Then a moment of madness from Matt Treeby earned him a yellow card for stomping and Mullany's penalty tied the score from 40 meters. A further off-side penalty let Mullany goal from a tough angle and OBU withstood a furious last-minute assault on their goal line
Who stood out: Fullbacks Johnson (OBU) and Randall Bishop (Tawa) were dangerous on attack and good on defence.
Johnson's try-saving tackle on Joketani Koroi was crucial. Mullany showed composure under pressure. Tawa props Koroi and Fahamokioa were strong ball carriers.
Yellow/red cards: Alfred Pelenise (15') Matt Treeby (75')
The upshot: OBU deserved their victory, showing discipline and composure when it counted. Tawa will rue their
ill-discipline and, with key players So'oialo and Sam Blair back from injury for the second half, will
feel this is one that got away.
Next up: OBU vs. Upper Hutt at Basin Reserve and Tawa vs. MSP at Lyndhurst Park.
- Warwick Small
UPPER HUTT RAMS 27, PETONE 17
Upper Hutt Rams (Jordan Simpson-Heft, Tupeni Kamakorewa, Ben Aoina, Sam Wasley, Josh Hunt tries, Liam Berry 1 con)
Petone (Sam McNicol, Michael Kainga, Aleks Noble-Campbell tries, Carne Green 1 con)
HT 22-12 Upper Hutt
Best and fairest: 3 points: Christian Lloyd (Upper Hutt lock), 2 points: Josh Hunt (Upper Hutt flanker), 1 point: Michael Kainga (Petone prop).
Venue: Maidstone Park.
What happened: Young Upper Hutt Rams Lock Christian Lloyd returned to Premier rugby after a two year injury lay off with an impressive display as his newly formed club had their first ever Jubilee Cup victory.
The Rams started the match at pace, scoring two tries in the opening ten minutes, after dominating possession and running aggressively at the Petone defence. Petone came back with a try to Mike Kainga from a well-worked line out move.
Lloyd featured in the Rams third try putting Joyner Key's away for a touchdown in the corner.
The Villagers kept in touch with a Sam McNicol try and were starting to gain some parity until one of their best defensive players Mateaki Kafatolu was sin binned for a high tackle.
Just prior to half time Tupeni Kamakorewa finished off a good attacking move for the Rams bonus point fourth try.
The second half was a lot tighter with each team scoring a solitary try.
A feature of this match was the number of missed attempts at goal, with the teams successful with only one conversion each.
Who stood out: Christian Lloyd was outstanding in the Rams pack and got good support from Josh and Eli Hunt, Joyner Keys ran strongly in the unfamiliar wing position while Ben Aoina went well against his old club.
Big Prop Michael Kainga was the best of a Petone side which probably had its poorest performance of the season.
Yellow cards: Mateaki Kafatolu 37' (Petone flanker)
The up-shot: Both sides can still make the semi finals but have to win all their remaining games to do so, not an easy task in this tough competition.
Next up: Upper Hutt Rams v OBU at the Basin Reserve, Petone v Wainui at Petone.
- Wayne Smith
HUTT OLD BOYS MARIST 36, MARIST ST PATS 26
HOBM (Glen Walters 2, Opetera Peleseuma tries, Glen Walters 3con 5pen)
MSP (Cardiff Vaega, Aviata Silago, Isaac O'Connor tries, Fa'atonu Fili 3pen 1con) HT- 16-15
Best & fairest: 3 points - Glen Walters (HOBM five-eighth) 2 points- Isaac O'Connor (MSP openside flanker) 1 point- Jason Risdon (HOBM openside flanker).
Venue: Hutt Recreation Ground.
What happened: The battle of the Marist clubs lived up to its titanic reputation at Hutt Rec.
The home side were able to reverse their Swindale shield defeat to MSP from earlier in the season with another impressive victory in the fourth round of the Jubilee Cup.
Glen Walters amassed 31 points for HOBM and scored two of his sides three tries and led his team around the field strongly all game.
The home side appeared to have the breakdown battle won for much of the game and began to pull away in the second 40. Despite moments of brilliance from Fili and Vaega the home team were deserved winners. Despite losing, the try of the match came the way of Silago who had called for an opportunity for a cross-kick to his open wing and Fili obliged.
The work wasn't done there as Silago miraculously gathered the ball which appeared to be heading for touch in goal to pull off a stunning five-pointer.
Who stood out: Nobody can argue with how valuable Walters is to HOBM. His haul was an impressive one under any circumstances. Both teams' openside flankers went hammer and tongs all day, neither giving the other an inch. Fili showed glimpses of the class we all know he possesses but it wasn't enough to stem the Walters flow.
Yellow/red cards: None.
The upshot: Both teams look primed for finals rugby in 2014. HOBM have been particularly impressive in the Jubilee rounds after a lackluster Swindale shield campaign. It could well be the year of the eagle.
- Jack Briggs
WAINUIOMATA 23, ORIENTAL-RONGOTAI 20
Wainuiomata 23 (Tyler Tane, Teru Time 2 tries. Josh Robertson-Weepu 1con, 2pen)
Oriental-Rongotai 20 (Pau Halafihi, Paulo Aukuso, tries Trevor Marama 1con, Hayden Whelan 1 con, 2 pen)
Half-time: 18-7 Wainuiomata
Best and fairest: 3 points: Teru Time (Woa Centre), 2 points: Greg Lealofi (Woa Flanker), 1 point:
Fiu Gibbons (Ories Flanker)
Venue: William Jones Park, Wainuiomata
What happened: Ories substitute winger Tuga Matiua sent the home crowd into silence as he broke a number of tackles in a 50 metre run to put centre Paulo Aukuso into space to score a converted try that reduced their deficit to 3 in the dying minutes.
Wainui started strong, fullback Tyler Tane scoring in the third minute, followed soon after by the first of two penalty kicks by Josh Robertson-Weepu penalty.
With flanker Shahn Eru in the bin following a dubious early tackle call 40 metres out from their line, Wainui rallied and attacked the Ories line through big runs from the Va'a front row David, Attila and Justin resulting in a converted try to one of their outstanding centre pairing Teru Time for the first of his two tries. Ories struck back soon after with a converted try to flanker Pau Halafihi who benefitted from a great midfield break by fellow loose forward Fiu Gibbons.
Teru Times second try was similar to his first, Wainui stringing a number of phases in attack inside Ories 22, Time finally breaking through to take a 10 point lead into the final minutes.
The William Jones Park surface was very heavy - although not the muddy bog it has recently been -making the game quite lack lustre in the middle of each half, with a number of schoolboy errors being made by both teams.
Who stood out: Wainui's midfield pairing of Teru Time and Marvin Karawana were again outstanding. Both sides' loose forwards kept each other honest, Greg Lealofi for Wainui and Fiu Gibbons for Ories stood out.
Yellow cards: Shahn Eru, Woa Flanker (16th
Red cards: None
The up-shot: Wainui will maintain pole position to next week as they venture over the hill to Petone.
Ories will need to be at their best as they host HOBM at the Polo ground next week.
- Shane Kempson
Hardham Cup feature game
NORTHS 54, AVALON 8
Norths 54 (Rolagi Lepupa 2, Jackson Garden-Bachop 2, Leni Apisai, Konelio Feaunati, Anthony Masina, Perofeta Silva tries; Garden-Bachop 7 con)
Avalon 8 (Daniel Sione-Leota try; Peni Bulamaibau pen). HT 14-8.
Venue: Fraser Park
Best and fairest: 3 points: Jackson Garden-Bachop (Norths 2nd five-eighth), 2 points: Anthony Masina (Norths No. 8), 1 point: Daniel Sione-Leota (Avalon No. 8).
What happened: Norths found themselves up 14-0 just 20 minutes into the game after scoring two early tries. Both tries showed off the impressive quickness of their backs and the impressive pick-and-go tactics of their forwards.
Avalon fought their way back into the match after a very well-organised maul allowed Daniel Sione-Leota to dot down from close range.
Overall, the first half of Saturday's match was a disjointed affair with both sides guilty of some ill-disciplined play. A red card to Avalon lock Akuila Alatini did his side no favours.
Avalon would have been disappointed with their effort in the second half. Despite trialling by just six points at halftime they failed to close the gap.
Instead Norths scored 40 unanswered points as Avalon's backline defence fell apart.
Norths' forwards were excellent at the breakdown in the second half which ensured their backs received quick ball to work with.
Who stood out: Norths' 2nd five-eighth Jackson Garden-Bachop was superb. He showed of his full skillset including an astute kicking game and scintillating running game. No. 8 Anthony Masina stood out in a Norths pack that looked sharp on attack. No. 8 Daniel Sione-Leota tried hard all afternoon and ran some nice lines off the back of Avalon's scrum.
Yellow cards: Fala Tuala (Norths openside flanker), John Davidson (Avalon hooker).
Red card: Akuila Alatini (Avalon lock).
Around the grounds: Norths' win means they move into second on the table with Avalon now sitting third. Table-toppers Poneke thrashed Johnsonville 33-7 meaning Johnsonville remain mid-table. Saturday's bottom of the table clash between Paremata-Plimmerton and Marist St Pats B saw the latter emerge victorious with a tight 33-28 victory. Wellington sit
fourth after beating OBU B 24-12. OBU join MSP and Paremata-Plimmerton at the bottom
of the table.
- The Dominion Post
Where do you think the Hurricanes will finish in 2014?