May 2012: Upper Hutt are always a tough team to beat at home at Maidstone Park and in 2012 are back challenging for more title success to add to their 1990 and 2005 Swindale Shield wins.
With a clutch of young up and comers in their ranks, Upper Hutt always play positive, attractive rugby and have the personnel to equal or better their fifth placed finish in the 2011 Swindale Shield and certainly their eighth in the Jubilee Cup, when injuries took their toll on the squad.
Upper Hutt's current marquee player is All Black Cory Jane, while Jason Woodward, with a similar rugby and pedigree, is also a leading player. Others include former NZ U20 halfback Kayne Hammington, lock/flanker Christian Lloyd, lock James Wall, and veteran first five-eighth Ben Aoina who recently spent two years playing professionally in Romania.
Previously, the fortunes of the Upper Hutt Premiers rebounded in 2008 following a couple of lean seasons after their magnificent 2005 Swindale Shield success and their top four finish in the Jubilee Cup that followed. They had their best season then, winning their first ten matches straight to capture the Swindale Shield for the first time in 15 years and reaching the semi-finals of the Jubilee Cup before losing to Norths 26-21 in their playoff match.
But they couldn't emulate those feats the following year, largely due to a player drain and to higher honours and retirements. Some of these players included their captain and No. 8 Mike Robinson (later their coach), Jane, Alby Mathewson (Blues), Tim Fairbrother (former Hurricanes) midfielder Cory Aporo (former BoP) and Justin Va'a (to England and then Scotland).
Consequently, they finished tenth in the first round in 2006, before going on to capture the Hardham Cup and beating Wainuiomata 25-12 in the final at Westpac Stadium.
A major injury crisis severely affected coach Robinson's ability to even field something like his top team throughout most of 2007, eventually recovering from a difficult season to make the Hardham Cup semi-finals.In 2008 they finished seventh in the Swindale Shield and fifth in the Jubilee Cup and in 2009 they were again seventh in the Swindale Shield and eighth in the Jubilee Cup, with just one in the first round against HOBM.
This year Upper Hutt is fielding teams in the age-grade, Senior 2, social and Premier divisions. Their Senior 2 made a solid start to the 2012 National Mutual Cup, winning six from seven and lying second after seven rounds.
|Date||Competition||Round||Team 1||Score 1||Team 2||Score 2|
|2013-05-18||Swindale Shield||9||Upper Hutt: Premier||34||Wests: Premier||30|
|2013-05-11||Swindale Shield||8||Upper Hutt: Premier||13||Wainui: Premier||22|
|2013-05-04||Swindale Shield||7||Upper Hutt: Premier||21||Ories: Premier||55|
|2013-04-28||Swindale Shield||6||Upper Hutt: Premier||26||Petone: Premier||28|
|2013-04-25||Swindale Shield||5||Upper Hutt: Premier||60||Rimutaka: Premier||5|
|2013-04-20||Swindale Shield||4||Upper Hutt: Premier||30||OBU: Premier||23|
|2013-04-13||Swindale Shield||3||Upper Hutt: Premier||13||Norths: Premier||29|
|2013-04-06||Swindale Shield||2||Upper Hutt: Premier||16||MSP: Premier||37|
|2013-04-01||Swindale Shield||1||Upper Hutt: Premier||0||Tawa: Premier||32|
|2012-07-28||Jubilee Cup||7||Upper Hutt: Premier||47||Petone: Premier||27|
|2012-07-21||Jubilee Cup||6||Upper Hutt: Premier||17||HOBM: Premier||64|
|2012-07-14||Jubilee Cup||5||Upper Hutt: Premier||3||Tawa: Premier||16|
|2012-07-07||Jubilee Cup||4||Upper Hutt: Premier||10||Wainui: Premier||13|
|2012-06-30||Jubilee Cup||3||Upper Hutt: Premier||0||MSP: Premier||38|
|2012-06-23||Jubilee Cup||2||Upper Hutt: Premier||3||Ories: Premier||45|
|2012-06-16||Jubilee Cup||1||Upper Hutt: Premier||10||Norths: Premier||10|
|2012-06-09||Swindale Shield||11||Upper Hutt: Premier||20||OBU: Premier||19|
|2012-06-02||Swindale Shield||10||Upper Hutt: Premier||27||Poneke: Premier||5|
|2012-05-26||Swindale Shield||9||Upper Hutt: Premier||6||MSP: Premier||26|
|2012-05-19||Swindale Shield||8||Upper Hutt: Premier||32||Wests: Premier||13|