May 2012: In 2011 Norths were playing for their fourth Jubilee Cup title in the final against Oriental-Rongotai after wins in 2004, 2006, 2008 (shared with MSP) and 2010, and they were playing in their seventh final in the last eight years.
Unfortunately for their supporters, Norths couldn't quite bring it home, but with a record of 10 titles won out a possible 18 since their first Swindale Shield in 2003 they knew there's always a next time.
On the surface such a great record would make their indifferent start to 2012, in which they won just three of their opening Swindale Shield games, hugely disappointing. But with a new, young side, new coaches Ross Bond and Okasene Moananu were in a rebuilding phase after the loss of many key players.
Since winning their first Premier title in 2003, when they captured the Swindale Shield for the first time, Northern United has set the benchmark in Wellington club rugby.
The Norths Premiers were unstoppable in the 2011 Swindale Shield, winning their first 10 games straight (and drawing with Petone in the last round) and retaining the first round title by a whopping 15 points.
Although they were not as dominant statistically as 2010? when they scored 546 points in 11 games in the Swindale Shield and two of their players, James So'oialo (206 season points) and Buxton Popoalii (18 tries), broke Wellington club rugby point and try scoring records. In 2011 they scored 138 more Swindale Shield points than the next best attacking team (Petone) and also conceded 25 fewer than the next best defensive team (Ories). As well as presenting danger to any side right across the field, from their formidable scrum to their counter attacking brilliance and flair, they also played with tremendous heart under pressure.
When Norths won their first Swindale Shield in 2003 it was the culmination of over 13 years of hard work and dedication by the club's faithful, following the amalgamation of the Titahi Bay and Porirua clubs in 1990.
In the opening decade of the 2000s, when at full strength, they ranked as one of the strongest amateur teams running around in world rugby. Players such as Jerry Collins, ?Tamati and Jacob Ellison, John Schwalger, Alapati Leiua, Anthony Perenise, Serge Lilo, Robbie Fruean, Faifili Levave, Api Naikatini, Popoalii, So'oialo, the Palu brothers Davod and Tomasi, Sinoti Sinoti , TJ Perenara are all proud Norths players. The club's most famous player Jerry Collins first captained them aged 18, and is now embarking on a career in Japan although was spotted in the stands watching on in early 2012.
Norths' first title in 2003, the Swindale Shield, saw them end the first round with a nine-win two loss record and finished seven competition points ahead of nearest rival Oriental-Rongotai. Norths went on to make the top four of that year's Jubilee Cup and won their first Cup title in 2004 when they beat Poneke 20-18 in the final. They finished second in the 2005 Swindale Shield to Upper Hutt and were pipped 21-20 by Petone in that year's Jubilee Cup, ahead of their best season to date in 2006.
In 2006 Norths had a storming year, becoming the first club to do the Swindale Shield - Jubilee Cup double since MSP in 1999, calling on a great team spirit and a roll call of quality players to carry them to a 25-12 final win, again over Poneke, while their women's side also did the double in capturing both the Fleurs Trophy and Victoria Tavern Trophy. In 2006 the club also had its first All Black captain in Jerry Collins.
With several players on Lions duty, they missed out on the Jubilee Cup final in 2007, losing to eventual champions HOBM 15-5 in their semi-final, before bouncing back to make the 2008 final after Popoalii sensationally scored two tries to sink Petone in the away semi-final at the Petone Recreation Ground.
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|Date||Competition||Round||Team 1||Score 1||Team 2||Score 2|
|2012-04-21||Swindale Shield||3||Norths: Premier||27||Marist St Pats: Premier||35|
|2012-04-14||Swindale Shield||2||Norths: Premier||22||Poneke: Premier||16|
|2012-04-07||Swindale Shield||1||Norths: Premier||34||Upper Hutt: Premier||46|
|2011-08-07||Jubilee Cup Premier||9||Norths: Premier||18||Ories: Premier||40|
|2011-07-30||Jubilee Cup Premier||8||Norths: Premier||29||Poneke: Premier||3|
|2011-07-23||Jubilee Cup Premier||7||Norths: Premier||19||Poneke: Premier||13|
|2011-07-16||Jubilee Cup Premier||6||Norths: Premier||30||Ories: Premier||32|
|2011-07-09||Jubilee Cup Premier||5||Norths: Premier||7||Wainui: Premier||7|
|2011-07-02||Jubilee Cup Premier||4||Norths: Premier||25||Petone: Premier||23|
|2011-06-25||Jubilee Cup Premier||3||Norths: Premier||29||Upper Hutt: Premier||16|
|2011-06-18||Jubilee Cup Premier||2||Norths: Premier||19||HOBM: Premier||20|
|2011-06-11||Jubilee Cup Premier||1||Norths: Premier||13||Marist St Pats: Premier||8|
|2011-06-04||Swindale Shield||11||Norths: Premier||32||Petone: Premier||32|
|2011-05-28||Swindale Shield||10||Norths: Premier||18||Poneke: Premier||3|
|2011-05-21||Swindale Shield||9||Norths: Premier||21||Ories: Premier||15|
|2011-05-14||Swindale Shield||8||Norths: Premier||36||Tawa: Premier||8|
|2011-05-07||Swindale Shield||7||Norths: Premier||55||OBU: Premier||14|
|2011-04-30||Swindale Shield||6||Norths: Premier||84||Avalon: Premier||9|
|2011-04-23||Swindale Shield||5||Norths: Premier||53||Wests: Premier||8|
|2011-04-16||Swindale Shield||4||Norths: Premier||31||Upper Hutt: Premier||9|