Hutt Old Boys Marist and Northern United are the two unbeaten teams after the opening four rounds of the 2019 Swindale Shield.
Both teams recorded hard-fought away victories on Saturday, in fine but cool, windy conditions around the region.
HOBM held off a withering Poneke comeback at the end of their match to win 36-34 at Kilbirnie Park and go to the top of the table with their fourth straight win. Norths pulled away in the second half to beat the Wellington Axemen 36-17 at Hataitai Park.
HOBM sit top of the standings on 19 competition points after four rounds of 10 in Wellington’s first round Premier competition, with Norths in second on 17, and Poneke and Oriental-Rongotai are back on 16.
Ories had a 27-18 win over the Upper Hutt Rams at the Polo Ground, while in a fourth match in the Eastern Suburbs, home team Marist St Pats (10 points) and Petone (11) drew 24-24.
In other games, Wainuiomata (14 points) beat Paremata-Plimmerton (4) at Ngatitoa Domain, Old Boys University (11) defeated Avalon (6) 54-14 at Nairnville Park and Tawa (10) accounted for Johnsonville (1) 74-3 at Helston Park.
At the top-of-the-table feature match at Kilbirnie Park, both HOBM and Poneke made hot starts, and HOBM led 7-5 after five minutes. HOBM’s forwards and organised team play saw them lay on another three converted tries in the first half, but Poneke hung in there and when first five-eighth Pakai Turia scored on the halftime bell it was 28-19 to the Eagles.
An intercept try and a penalty to HOBM put them ahead 36-19, but Poneke, playing into the southerly, threw caution to the wind and scored two quick long-range tries, to fullback Nick Robertson and centre Levi Harmon. They scored again with a couple of minutes to play to trail 36-34. Turia lined up a conversion into the wind from out-wide but couldn’t equalise and HOBM retained the Roy Johns Shield.
Across the road, Petone halfback Logan Henry converted hooker Ryan Imrie’s late try to draw 24-24 with MSP – for Petone’s second straight draw. Petone also had a penalty chance from 50m on fulltime to win the game, but the kick fell short.
In a tight first half, Petone led 7-3 at the interval, with No. 8 Tupou Sopoaga scoring their try.
MSP left wing Faresa Tasale crossed for the first of his two tries to put MSP ahead. Petone reclaimed the lead and went ahead 17-10 after a try and penalty. MSP struck back with a try to hooker Tyrone Thompson and it was 17-17 with about 15 minutes to play. MSP then hit the lead through Tasale. Down 17-24, Petone hooker Ryan Imrie took a quick tap and scored. First five-eighth Piri Paraone added the extras to lock it up.
Up at Hataitai Park, Norths scored two unconverted tries to lead the Wellington Axemen 10-7 at the end of a tight first 40 minutes, before scoring another from a forward drive early in the second, and later the match winner to captain and flanker Parekura Lalaga from half the length of the field. For Wellington, lock James Poloniati scored both their tries and wing Ollie Marshall kicked their other points.
Over in Miramar, Ories trailed 0-6 early, before scoring three tries. Centre Malachai Unasa, wing Reuben Va’a and livewire fullback Takumi Yashimoto scored. The Rams scored from halfway on halftime to narrow the gap from close-range.
Unasa scored his second try of the game in the second half and Yashimoto slammed a penalty to put the game out of reach. The Rams hung in to the end, and scored from a penalty try at the end.
At Nairnville Park, the Old Boys University Goats scored a clutch of tries in quick succession in the first half and maintained the pressure in the second half to beat the Avalon Wolves 54-14.
OBU were too strong in the forwards for Avalon, racing to a 33-7 by halftime and then when lock Caleb Delany crossed first after the break it was 40-7 to the Billygoats.
At Helston Park, Tawa retained the Carmen Cup against Johnsonville with a 74-3 defeat of home team Johnsonville.
Tawa led 29-3 at halftime with the win in their favour, and then kept up the scoring in the second half into it to win their second straight match after dropping their first two. Right wing Caleb Cavubati finished with four tries.
The Marist St Pat’s, Tawa and Upper Hutt Rams second XVs won their fourth straight wins in the fourth round of the Premier Reserve Harper Lock Shield (HLS).
Defending first round HLS champions Marist St Pats beat Petone 45-21 in the early fixture at the Evans Bay Park, Tawa accounted for Johnsonville 41-10 and the Upper Hutt Rams pipped Ories 29-26, with the latter having a player red carded early in the second half following an earlier yellow. Ories’ final try in injury time saw them nab two well-deserved competition points
In the early HLS match at Kilbirnie Park, Poneke pulled away from HOBM courtesy of a stunning four tries to right wing Bruce Siale. Poneke led 14-7 at halftime, but the Eagles hit back to make it 17-17. Then Siale came out to play. He scored three outstanding solo tries to seal Poneke’s second win.
Norths defeated Wellington 57-12, OBU beat Avalon 21-0 and Tawa overcame Johnsonville 41-10 and Pare-Plim met Wainuiomata.
Two second round Women’s Rebecca Liua’ana Trophy fixtures were played on Friday night, with Ories beating Poneke 59-0 and MSP overcoming Wainuiomata 54-0.
At the Hutt Rec, the HOBM and OBU sides battled to a 12-12 draw. HOBM scored tries to fullback Danica Tavite and fanker Michelle Kitiseni. Prop Rachel Dunn and halfback Raukawa Tuahuru scored for OBU. HOBM led 7-5 at halftime, OBU equalised by midway through the second half and there was no scoring in the last 20 minutes.
At the Petone Rec, the Petone Ponies beat Paremata-Plimmerton 39-29. Petone scored three unconverted tries in the opening 25 minutes to lead 15-0. Paremata-Plimmerton crossed for their first try, but Petone halfback Milly Mackey finished off a counter-attack and they pulled ahead to lead 22-5.
Early in the second half, Petone lock Stacie Tutaki-Harper came up their fifth try. Another turnover and another runaway try to Mackey put Petone up 34-5. Paremata-Plimmerton rallied over the last 20 minutes but the deficit was too steep for them to make up.
In Division One Les Mills Colts Paris Memorial Trophy matches, OBU Green and Marist St Pat’s sailed to their second straight bonus point wins.
OBU came out 48-8 winners over Northern United and MSP emerged 36-17 victors over Petone.
The other two Colts Division 1 results saw HOBM Green beat Paremata-Plimmerton 24-12 and the Upper Hutt Rams and Tawa draw 31-31.
In Division 2 Colts, Poneke beat Wainuiomata 26-19, OBU Black beat Avalon 14-12 and Ories beat Johnsonville 22-5.
The second weekend of the JC Bowl U85kg Division 1 resulted in the HOBM Howlers beating the OBU Scallywags (nee Bunnies) 42-17 and Eastbourne beating the Wests Roosters 43-5 in two convincing wins.
Avalon beat MSP 37-15, while in two close results, Wellington beat the Johnsonville Terrahawks 19-12 and the Upper Hutt Rams overcame the Paraparaumu team 14-13.