Jubilee/Hardham Cups: July 5
OLD BOYS UNIVERSITY 30 UPPER HUTT RAMS 34
Upper Hutt 34 (Tupeni Kamakorewa 2, Jordan Simpson-Hefft, Taniela Manu tries; Ben Aoina 4 con, 2 pen). Old Boys University 30 (Mathew O'Connor, Hamish Buick, Jesse Johnson tries; Greg Mullany 3 con, 3 pen). HT: 13-20
Where: Hawkins Basin Reserve.
Best & fairest: 3 points- Sam Wasley ( UH no.8), 2 points- Christian Lloyd (UH Lock), 1 point- Jesse Johnson (OBU lock).
What happened: Upper Hutt pulled off a stunning late win over OBU away from home. OBU had the game well and truly in control for much of the fixture and dominated territorial advantage. Their set-piece, particularly the scrum, was a dominant asset in the opening stages yet Upper Hutt hung in until the bitter end.
OBU went into the break with a 7 point lead thanks largely to the boot of Greg Mullany and a sniping try from livewire halfback Mathew O'Connor. It wasn't always pretty for Upper Hutt who struggled to hang on to possession and build solid phase play but they ran in the points when its mattered.
Tupeni Kamakorewa bagged a try in each half courtesy of some slick footwork and speed from Jordan Simpson-Hefft in both instances. The latter being the eventual match winner.
Replacement loose-forward Taniela Manu singlehandedly ran through the entire OBU defence from halfway to ignite the comeback before Kamakorewa's second sealed the win with minutes remaining. Some inspirational substitutes made for an electric final twenty minutes.
Who stood out: Sam Wasley, fresh out of schoolboy rugby in 2013, stood out as a strong ball carrier and defender all day. Christian Lloyd continue his impressive return from injury and is clearly an elite player. His supremacy in the lineout kept his team in the hunt. Jesse Johnson was tactically sound at fullback for OBU and provided plenty of brilliant touch-finders which kept UH in their own half for long periods. Con Williams was strong in the scrum for OBU and Mathew O'Connor sparked plenty of enterprising play.
The upshot: Upper Hutt have now recorded successive wins in the Jubilee cup and will look to continue their winning form in the final weeks despite finals rugby looking a far-reach. OBU have stumbled at this hurdle in a game they would've been confident of winning but are by no means out of semi-final contention.
- Jack Biggs
ORIENTAL RONGOTAI 17 HUTT OLD BOYS MARIST 32
Hutt Old Boys Marist 32 (Chase Tiatia, Jason Risdon, James Wall, Lise Soloa tries, Glen Walters 3 Con, 2 Pen) Ories 17 (Lucky Tuiatua, Pau Halafihi tries, Trevor Marama 2 Con, Pen) HT 22-10.
Best and fairest: 3 points: James Wall (HOBM Lock), 2 points: Jason Risdon (HOBM Flanker), 1 Point Paulo Aukuso (Ories Centre).
Venue: Polo Ground
What happened: Hutt Old Boys Marist maintained their unbeaten record in the Jubilee Cup with a comfortable victory away at a depleted Ories. The forwards led the way with a strong performance throughout while Ories, without influential pivot James Proctor, did themselves no favours with an error-ridden performance.
It all started so well for Ories with Lucky Tuiatua charging 40 metres to score after two minutes. HOBM hit straight back however via a classy finish from Chase Taitia. Two further tries followed and by half time HOBM had extended out to a 22-10 lead.
The bonus point was in the bag for HOBM early in the second half when No.8 Lise Soloa strolled over out wide. With fresh legs on, Ories did mount a challenge briefly and closed within twelve points but HOBM absorbed the pressure and closed the game out with Glen Walters’s second penalty.
Who stood out: The Hutt forwards paved the way to victory with lock James Wall a standout, disruptive in the maul and strong with ball in hand. Captain Jason Risdon had a field day at the ruck, snaring numerous turnovers. Walters and Tiatia showed moments of class in the backline. For Ories, Paulo Aukuso was dangerous throughout and Tuiatua was a strong ball carrier while he was on the field.
The upshot: HOBM showed composure and class to pull through in this game. They are nicely balanced and look tough to beat. Ories made too many errors to get close. With a mounting injury toll, they will hope to have access to some of their Hurricanes in the coming weeks. Next up: HOBM vs. Tawa at Hutt Rec and Ories vs Upper Hutt at Polo Ground.
PETONE 27 WAINUIOMATA 25
PETONE 27 (James Blackwell, Keanu Moran, Eugene Smith tries, Carne Green 3 con, 2 pen) WAINUIOMATA 25 (Fa'atau Mamea, Shahn Eru, Jason Love try, Tyler Tane 2con, 2 pen) HT 13-3 Wainuiomata. Sin Bin: Mateaki Kafatolu, Donal McNamara (Petone) Ben Tupuola, Glen Angus (Wainui)
Best and fairest: 3 points: James Blackwell (Petone lock), 2 points: Carne Green (Petone 1stfive), 1 point: Greg Leolofi (Wainui Flanker).
Venue: Petone Rec.
What happened: Petone came back from a 25-13 deficit with three minutes on the clock to snatch a 27-25 victory and keep there Jubilee Cup hopes very much alive.
A Shahn Eru try and some accurate Tyler Tane kicking gave Wainui a 13-3 halftime lead.
The second half was all action, Petone opened with a try to James Blackwell, and Then Wainui took control of the match with tries to Jason Love and Fa'atau Mamea and was looking comfortable with the clock winding down.
The Villagers however knew a loss would end all hopes of a semi final and threw everything into the match, replacement winger Keanu Moran scorched away for a converted try that put his side within striking distance.
Then the play of the match gave Petone the win, Aleks Noble-Campbell kicked the ball deep into the Wainui 22 and followed up at great pace to trap Josh Robertson-Weepu, throwing him into touch and earning his side an attacking line out, from the ensuing maul reliable hooker Eugene Smith burrowed over for the try, Carne Green capped off an impressive match calmly slotting the conversion, giving his side an unlikely victory.
Who stood out: In a Petone pack that toiled hard all day, none were better than locks James Blackwell and James Saolele in his 100th game. Carne Green's kicking and general play around the field stood out. Greg Leolofi and Shahn Eru were the pick of the Wainui forwards while John Monu controlled the game well for them.
The up-shot: Wainui are now looking over their shoulders while Petone knows they have to keep on winning. Next up: Petone v OBU Basin Reserve, Wainui v MSP Evans Bay.
- Doug Smith
TAWA 20 MARIST ST PATS 19
Tawa 20 (Alfred Pelenise, Tu Umaga-Marshall tries; James So'oialo 2 con, 2 pen) Marist St Pat's 19 (Peter Sciascia try; Fa'atonu Fili 4 pen, con). Ht: 10-9.
Best and Fairest: 3. Taniela Koroi Tawa prop; 2. Isaiah Petelo MSP second five-eighth; 1. Fa'atonu Fili MSP first five-eighth
What happened: Winning home matches and accumulating bonus points are two key ingredients required in getting past the round-robin stages and playing Jubilee Cup playoff rugby.
Both at least achieved what they required as minimum outcomes from this match. Tawa scored two converted tries to win their final home game of the season and MSP earned what could be a crucial bonus point when captain and halfback Peter Sciascia scored on fulltime.
Tawa shot out to a 10-0 in as many minutes after a penalty and a try in the corner to left wing Alfred Pelenise, converted from the sideline by first five-eighth James So'oialo.
Poor discipline hampered Tawa, allowing MSP first five-eighth Fa'atonu Fili to knock over three consecutive penalties. His third on the stroke of halftime almost wiped the deficit.
Fili's boot pushed MSP ahead early in the second half. MSP remained in the ascendancy but couldn't break through. Instead, Tawa gained field position and from a ruck close to the line centre Tu Umaga-Marshall darted over.
Five minutes from fulltime, So'oialo kicked the winning penalty, but with time up, the ball squirted free from the back of an MSP scrum and Sciascia went on a weaving run to the line.
Who played well: For MSP, their high tempo style of play almost came unstuck again, but their pack put pressure on Tawa all day in the scrums and flankers Issac O'Connor and Gabe Papuni latched on to anything loose. Second five-eighth Isaish Petelo continued his good form, while Fili's boot kept them in the game. Tawa are benefiting from the return of captain and talisman prop Taniela Koroi. His presence alone lifts his team.
The upshot: MSP return home to Evans Bay Park to host Wainuiomata and then Old Boys University. Tawa's run in sees them play leaders HOBM and then the Upper Hutt Rams, both away.
HARDHAM CUP FEATURE GAME
NORTHS 28 PONEKE 20
Northern United 28 (Aukuso Tuitama, Perry Hayman, Adam Vardey tries; Jackson Garden-Bachop 2 con, 3 pen) Poneke FC 20 (Roy McGrath, Sosi Tuimavave 2 tries, Pakai Turia pen, Sosi Tuimavave con). HT: 18-8 to Norths. Yellow card: Adam Vardey 65'.
Venue: Porirua Park, Porirua
Best & Fairest: 3 points: Jackson Garden-Bachop, 2 points: Sosi Tuimavave, 1 point: Api Nakatini.
What happened: In a preview for the Hardham Cup final, both teams will be disappointed in what was a haphazard game riddled with errors and missed opportunities.
Norths looked like a squad of yesteryear with their forwards eager to run hard and straight, popping offloads that were cleared to their waiting backs. At one stage with three men outside and nothing in defence, a pass was dropped cold - missing the chance to push the score out to 20 unanswered points early in the half.
Poneke clawed back some points with a good try to blindside Roy McGrath but spent more time without the pill. While Poneke managed to improve their position with a brace of tries to returning U20s representative Sosi Tuimamave after the break, both goal kickers had an off-day with the boot and missed out on a bonus point which is needed in a congested table.
Who stood out: Norths first five Jackson Garden-Bachop did plenty on the park and crucially with his boot to keep Poneke pointless on the table this week. If given the opportunity it would be ideal to move back utility Sosi Tuimavave off the wing to touch the ball more given his ability to draw multiple defenders.
The upshot: Poneke and Norths swap table positions but look to be the most likely candidates come finals. Improvements and focus are needed - especially at set piece that broke down for both teams towards the tail end of the match.
What happened elsewhere: Avalon took another hit at their last home against Wellington and with Johnsonville taking maximum points against MSP with a 60-7 scoreline, points differential and bonus points become key. Para-Plim claimed their first win against OBU B and move off the bottom of the ladder. Next week: MSP vs Wellington, OBU vs Poneke, Avalon vs Para-Plim, Norths vs Johnsonville.
- Florence Masoe
The Dominion Post