At Maidstone Park, The Wellington Maori successfully defended their RDO Cup title in beating Wanganui B 38-24 in their ‘virtual’ final in their sixth and final round-robin match.
At New Plymouth, the Wellington U18s completed their three Hurricanes competition round robin matches unbeaten, but not without experiencing some anxious moments before beating the Taranaki U18s 26-22.
Already assured of a place in next weekend’s final, Wellington started well, running in two converted tries without reply in the opening quarter. However, they were far from their best and, in contrast to previous competition games, it was Wellington’s opposition that finished the half stronger. Responding with a penalty goal and a try of their own, Taranaki would surely have gone to the break with confidence when down only 14-8 with a decent breeze at their backs in the second spell.
Keeping ball in hand and running from deep within their own half paid dividends for Wellington when powerful centre Falelima Siieni charged over for two tries – completing a hat-trick - in as many minutes. Coinciding with the introduction of fresh players off the bench, Wellington briefly looked comfortable with a 26-8 lead, Taranaki came back. First a Taranaki forward-dominated try cut the deficit, and when the amber and blacks scored and converted again with four minutes remaining, Wellington were forced to battle hard to hang on for the win.
Wellington takes on Manawatu in Palmerston North in the final of the Hurricanes U18 competition next Saturday. Manawatu beat the Wellington Centurions 22-9 in their match on Saturday.
At Palmerston North, the Wellington U20s, found themselves on the wrong end of a thriller and missed out 17-20 to their Hawke’s Bay counterparts in the final of the Hurricanes region U20 competition.
Hawke’s Bay scored the winning try and won the title in the 81st minute of the match. Hawke’s Bay spent the final several minutes hot on attack in front of Wellington’s line. It seemed that Wellington’s committed defence might have done enough to hold them off until weight of pressure saw them score at the end after a series of continuous pick and goes.
Earlier, Wellington had scored two first half unconverted tries playing into a stiff breeze, to first five-eighth Aviata Silago and second five-eighth Nick Grigg, and trailed 10-13 at the turnaround. But an errant kicking game from Wellington and a committed performance from the black and whites results resulted in Wellington adding just one more try after the break, scored by centre Timoci Serawalu.
At Evans Bay Park, the Wellington Development XV beat the Wellington Samoans 40-22. The comfortable win for the Wellington Development side ahead of their next two matches against Tasman Development at Porirua Park this coming Saturday and Canterbury Metro in a fortnight reflected an open, albeit messy at times, encounter.
At Christchurch, the Wellington Pride missed out to Canterbury 0-30 in the women’s NPC, relinquishing their hopes of making the final for the second successive year.
The Pride have one further match to play to complete their women’s NPC campaign, against Manawatu Women at Palmerston North this coming Saturday. They have their bye in the last regular season round in a fortnight.
At Palmerston North: Hurricanes U20 final: Wellington U20s 17 (Nick Grigg, Aviata Silago, Timoci Serawalu tries; Andrew Wells con) lost to Hawke’s Bay U20 20. Ht: 10-13.
At Palmerston North: Hurricanes U18 match: Wellington Centurions 9 lost to Manawatu U18s 22
At New Plymouth: Wellington U18 26 (Falelima Siinei 3, Aukuso Tuitama tries; Liam Berry 3 con) beat Taranaki U18 22. Ht: 14-8
At Maidstone Park: RDO Cup 'final' Wellington Maori 38 (Jared Kahu, Judd Baker, Deina Morata, Heemi Davis tries; Morata 3 pen, 2 con; Kahu pen) beat Wanganui B 24
At Evans Bay Park: Wellington Development XV 40 (Liu Taituave, James Wall, Greg Lealofi, Ryan Setefano, Hayden Whelan, Presely Tufaga tries; Seminar Manu 5 con) beat Wellington Samoans 22
At Christchurch: Wellington Pride 0 lost to Canterbury Women 30
At Dunedin: Ricoh Wellington Lions 49 (Matt Proctor 3, Ardie Savea, Julian Thrush, Frae Wilson, Jason Woodward tries; Woodward 6 con) beat Otago 22 (Tom Franklin, TJ Ioane, Shota Horie tries; Hayden Parker 2 con, pen. HT: 10-35
Men’s Cup quarterfinals
Tawa beat Petone 43-0
Upper Hutt beat Wainuiomata 29-12
Old Boys University beat the Wests Roosters 22-12
Marist St Pat’s beat Paremata-Plimmerton 21-15
Men’s Plate quarterfinals
Oriental Rongotai beat HOBM 1 33-0
Northern United beat HOBM 2 by default
Wellington beat __ by default
Oriental-Rongotai 2 beat Poneke 12-7
Men’s Cup semifinals
Marist St Pat’s 1 beat Upper Hutt 17-5
Tawa beat Old Boys University 36-5
Old Boys University beat Poneke 38-12
Hutt Old Boys Marist beat Poneke 24-19
Men’s Plate semi-finals
Northern United beat Oriental-Rongotai 2
Oriental Rongotai 1 beat Wellington by default
Men’s Plate final
Oriental Rongotai 1 beat Northern United 29-0
Oriental Rongotai beat Old Boys University
Old Boys University beat Hutt Old Boys Marist 26-22
Men’s Cup final
Tawa beat Marist St Pat’s 46-14