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Old Boys-University: Premier

Updated May 2012: 2011 was an up and down season for Old Boys University Premier supporters, their team just missing out on the ‘top eight' and a spot in the Jubilee Cup, regrouping to clean sweep the round-robin and their semi-final and then lose the Hardham Cup final 20-25 to Tawa.

After a super-competitive Swindale Shield round, OBU had to beat Marist St. Pat's at home at the Hawkins Basin Reserve in their last match. After scoring two tries and leading 15-14 at halftime, they lost 21-27. In the Hardham Cup that followed they were clearly the best season during the round-robin, scoring 207 points and conceding just 69, before their loss at the end to Tawa.

Heading into the business end of the first round in 2012, OBU were locked in a tight struggle with several other clubs for the ‘top eight'. At the same time their Second XV were third in the Senior 1 Harper Lock Shield and their third XV were fourth in the Senior 2 National Mutual Cup.

OBU have been taking their fans on a roller coaster in recent seasons. Last year they made the Jubilee Cup but finished eighth. In 2009 they easily accounted for the Wests Roosters to win the Hardham Cup final 42-8, good consolation after having a forgettable first round - winning just one, drawing one and dropping nine of their 11 games. Previously in 2008 they led the Swindale Shield standings after the first eight rounds of the season before eventually finishing fourth.

In 2007 they were placed third in the Swindale Shield and fifth in the Jubilee Cup This was good reward for the team who, by their own admission, enacted a spectacular turnaround in 2006, storming up the Swindale Shield ladder from last to finish third and then were just pipped by Petone for a place in that year's Jubilee Cup semi-finals.

In terms of senior playing numbers, Old Boys-University is the largest club in Wellington and one of the largest in New Zealand. By 2007 OBU was fielding 19 teams and over 500 players represented the club each week. Being Wellington's university club there has never been a shortage of social sides playing under the OBU banner, and there has been a recent surge in age group teams playing for the club. They also field a women's team.

In recent years OBU have had a high proportion of Hurricanes players and All Blacks in their ranks, boasting Jon Preston, Paul Steinmetz, Mark Ranby, Inoke Afeaki, Tanner Vili, Jason Spice, Ross Kennedy, Luke Andrews, Shannon Paku, Jimmy Gopperth, Blair Stewart, Conrad Smith, Bryn Evans and Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph for a season not so long ago. First five-eighth Lima Sopoaga is a current Highlander, and in 2012 they have American Eagle Eric Fry playing for them. This has undoubtedly proved a double edge sword at times and there was the situation a few seasons back when OBU struggled in the Swindale Shield and then got all their Hurricanes players back just in time for the Hardham Cup and Kennedy, Andrews, Spice, Gopperth, Smith and Paku ran riot in a couple of games against ‘B' teams.

Former Taranaki and All Blacks halfback Dave Loveridge is the club coaching coordinator and has been assistant coach of the Premier team.

To find out more visit their website: www.obu.org.nz

Results from games played:
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Date Competition Round Team 1 Score 1 Team 2 Score 2
2012-08-11 Hardham Cup Premier 2 9 OBU: Premier 17 Poneke: Premier 20
2012-08-04 Hardham Cup Premier 2 8 OBU: Premier 15 Wests: Premier 14
2012-07-28 Hardham Cup Premier 2 7 OBU: Premier 92 J'ville: Premier 7
2012-07-21 Hardham Cup Premier 2 6 OBU: Premier 18 Poneke: Premier 24
2012-07-14 Hardham Cup Premier 2 5 OBU: Premier 46 Wainui: Premier Reserve 0
2012-07-07 Hardham Cup Premier 2 4 OBU: Premier 34 Norths: Premier Reserve 10
2012-06-30 Hardham Cup Premier 2 3 OBU: Premier 31 Marist St Pats: Premier Reserv ... 10
2012-06-23 Hardham Cup Premier 2 2 OBU: Premier 24 Rimutaka: Premier 2 8
2012-06-16 Hardham Cup Premier 2 1 OBU: Premier 29 Wests: Premier 0
2012-06-09 Swindale Shield 11 OBU: Premier 19 Upper Hutt: Premier 20
2012-06-02 Swindale Shield 10 OBU: Premier 13 Norths: Premier 25
2012-05-26 Swindale Shield 9 OBU: Premier 22 Poneke: Premier 20
2012-05-19 Swindale Shield 8 OBU: Premier 18 Petone: Premier 18
2012-05-12 Swindale Shield 7 OBU: Premier 0 Ories: Premier 21
2012-05-05 Swindale Shield 6 OBU: Premier 15 Wainui: Premier 15
2012-04-28 Swindale Shield 5 OBU: Premier 37 Rimutaka: Premier 2 0
2012-04-25 Swindale Shield 4 OBU: Premier 10 Wests: Premier 6
2012-04-21 Swindale Shield 3 OBU: Premier 12 Tawa: Premier 35
2012-04-14 Swindale Shield 2 OBU: Premier 13 HOBM: Premier 24
2012-04-07 Swindale Shield 1 OBU: Premier 19 Marist St Pats: Premier 15
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