Defending champions Oriental Rongotai, Marist St Pat's and Northern United booked their Wellington Jubilee Cup places with next week's seventh and final round to spare with each registering big penultimate round wins in bright sunshine on Saturday.
Ardie Savea was again the star as Oriental Rongotai blasted past Tawa 43-5 at the Polo Ground and Northern United ran through winless Petone 59-12 to record bonus point victories and maintain the top two places on the table on 25 and 23 points respectively.
MSP scored two tries in their 26-14 win over highly rated Wainuiomata at Evans Bay Park to move to 22 points.
Then there's a seven point gap back to Tawa and Wainuiomata, both still stuck on 15, with Hutt Old Boys Marist on 11 and the only other team that can challenge these two for the fourth playoff position after they smashed Upper Hutt 64-17 at the Polo Ground in the other Jubilee Cup match.
In the Hardham Cup, Poneke have leapfrogged Old Boys University at the top of the standings with a round to play after beating them 24-18 at Kilbirnie Park in the Premier 2 feature match of the round.
Poneke and Old Boys University had already booked the top two qualifying spots, but below them the battle for the other two Hardham Cup semi-final berths is set to go down to the wire next weekend.
In other round six scores, the Wests Roosters defeated Johnsonville 39-16, Marist St Pat's B overcame Wainuiomata B 59-5 and Rimutaka beat Northern United B 36-28.
These three results put Wests (18 points), MSP B (16) and Rimutaka (15) in positions third through to fifth and fighting it out for the two remaining Hardham Cup spots up for grabs next week.
Northern United and Wainuiomata will host the two Premier Women's Victoria Tavern semi-finals in a fortnight after the top two qualifiers and the top four were decided in the ninth and penultimate set of matches.
In round nine women's scores, Norths beat OBU 59-12, Wainuiomata scored a late converted try to beat Ories 12-10 and Eketahuna defeated Stokes Valley 22-14.
These results put Norths out in front on 35, followed by Wainuiomata on 32, OBU 26, Eketahuna 23, Ories on 10 and Stokes Valley on 7. All that needs to be decided in the last round is the order of finishing amongst the top four.
In the Senior 1 Ed Chaney Cup, the Wellington Axemen have retaken the lead after six rounds of nine, beating Avalon 41-3.
Second placed Petone and third placed Poneke maintain their positions on the Senior 1 table, despite both losing their sixth round matches.
Petone went down 14-48 to Old Boys University and Poneke were upset 20-15 by Paremata-Plimmerton in the early game on Kilbirnie Park.
Tawa have moved up one to fifth after beating Ories 27-19 and battlers Upper Hutt grabbed their second win over previous mid-table HOBM 24-10.
HOBM continue to set a hot pace in the HD Morgan Memorial Senior 2 competition, romping to a 55-20 win over Wests Roosters to record their sixth straight victory. With three rounds remaining before the playoffs their participation is all but guaranteed.
OBU remain in second and MSP in third following respective bonus point wins, MSP beating Avalon 46-10 and OBU ousting Ories 29-10.
In two close Senior 1 results, Stokes Valley climbed to fifth with a 25-19 win over Norths and Petone stayed in fourth after edging Poneke 22-15.
In Premier first XV college rugby in Wellington, Wellington College maintained their unbeaten season and will go into next week's quarterfinals as top qualifier after beating HIBS 41-0.
Scots College beat St Bernard's 19-0 and got up to qualify third behind St Pat's Silverstream who pipped St Pat's Town on Wednesday 22-20 and Rongotai leapfogged HIBs into sixth place by beating Aotea College 31-19.
Next week's quarterfinals see Wellington College take on eighth placed Aotea, Silverstream play seventh placed HIBS, third placed Scots meet sixth placed Rongotai and fourth placed St Pat's Town and fifth placed St Bernard's meet.
Ardie Savea scored two stunning individual tries in Ories' runaway seven tries to one victory over Tawa at home at the Polo Ground. New Zealand U20 right wing Ambrose Curtis also bagged a brace, while fellow backs Paulo Aukoso, Hayden Whelan and Ahtun Masun were also try scorers.
Ories scored their first three tries, including Savea's first and a 75 metre intercept try to Curtis, in the first half and still led 19-0 after about 50 minutes. Tawa replied with their only try, scored by prop Tolu Fahamokioa, before Ories put the afterburners on over the final quarter and won handsomely.
The Norths versus Petone and HOBM versus Upper Hutt clashes were both decided early on.Norths scored their first four tries and had their bonus point and a 24-0 lead midway through the first half. Wing AJ Va'alepu then finished off a 100-metre counterattacking team try and Norths went into halftime leading 31-0.
Norths eventually scored nine tries, including braces to wings Va'alepu and Timoci Serawalu, and had a half century on the board before Petone crossed for two consolation tries in the dying stages.
Needing nothing less than a bonus point win, HOBM came out all guns blazing against the depleted Upper Hutt at Maidstone Park.
The Eagles laid on two converted tries in the first 10 minutes and two more soon after to have their four try bonus point after 25 minutes. The scoring didn't stop there, and they eventually led 47-10 at the end of a high-octane first half. Eight players scored their 10 tries in total, wing Eroni Ekevati and flanker Jason Risdon scoring doubles.
MSP's two tries to one win over Wainuiomata was much closer, hooker Liu Taituave and second five-eighth Isaiah Petelo scoring key tries for the home side.The match was decided midway through the second half when MSP first five-eighth Fa'atonu Fili kicked his second penalty, to go with his two earlier dropped goals, to put his side ahead 23-9.
Wainuiomata gave themselves hope with a try to Jason Love off a break by second five-eighth Marvin Karawana but MSP had earlier done enough for the win.
Previously, Taituave had broken open a tense opening quarter by crossing after a lineout drive after a concerted raid in the left hand corner, moments after Wainuiomata prop David Va'a was marched 95 metres to the sin-bin. First five-eighth Fa'atonu Fili converted from wide out to put MSP ahead 7-3.
MSP lock Bernie Upton was sin-binned for repeated MSP infringing at the breakdowns and Wainuiomata halfback Frae Wilson closed the gap to 7-6. Fili kicked his opening dropped kick on halftime and MSP edged ahead 10-6 at the break.Soon after the break, the ball came loose from a ruck on Wainuiomata's 22 and Petelo was on the spot to scoot up the blindside for MSP's second try, Fili converted and MSP led 17-6.
Wilson closed the deficit to 17-9 with his third penalty after a storming run by No. 8 Genesis Mamea, but Fili snatched the three points right back with his second droppie and then kicked another penalty after a break by No. 8 Tevita Ah Wong after a mistake at the back of a Wainuiomata scrum on halfway.
Across the road at Kilbirnie Park, home side Poneke and Old Boys University shadow boxed their way through a tightly fought match in a likely dress rehearsal for the Premier 2 final.
Poneke made the early running and opened with a converted try to lead 7-0. Veteran midfielder Toto Moananu then scored to double their score to 14-0. OBU wing Luke Fiso answered with his side's first try and they went to the break trailing 14-8.
Much of the second half was played between the 22s. Both sides exchanged penalties and Poneke advanced their lead to 17-11. They then scored a third try to push the score out to 24-11 late in the contest, before OBU hit back with their second try almost straightaway.
It was a similar pattern of scoring for Rimutaka in their 36-28 win over Norths, the Rams ahead throughout the match but never managing to pull clear from the winless Norths side. Centre Jesse Dolman scored two of six tries for Rimutaka while Ethan Robinson-Mate scored two of four tries for Norths.
Johnsonville's slim semi-final chances evaporated at Ian Galloway Park in their 16-39 loss to Wests. It was 3-3 early, before Wests fullback Steve Johnson scored the first of his two tries. Wests eventually went into halftime leading 18-6 and then pulled clear over the remainder of the contest.
MSP B's 59-5 eight tries to one win over Wainuiomata was made much easier for them with the switch to uncontested scrums in the second half, after which they pulled clear with four tries in quick succession to win easily.Wainuiomata's obvious strength was up front and in their scrum, but MSP were always more dangerous through the backs. They scored two long range tries and a third from broken play and led 21-0 at halftime.
Both sides added a try apiece early in the second half and MSP led 26-5, MSP midfielder Blake Thompson eventually finishing with a brace of tries.