UPDATE: Please check Draws & Results across the top of this page for confirmed kick-offs and venues - some of these have changed since this article was published.
With so much of the focus on the goings-on in the Premier divisions, and in particular the Jubilee Cup, it’s easy to forget that there are five other competitions that are also lining up for the Finals Day at the Petone Rec on August 5.
We take a look at the situations in each of those five grades plus the top divisions of the First Grade and Under 85s as normal, with the regular look at the Jubilee and Hardham Cups to follow tomorrow
Note: With this week’s inclement weather all venues and times given are as per the initial WRFU draw, and it seems highly likely that there will be at least some changes.
The Ed Chaney Cup section of the Premier Reserve competition could find its playoff teams as early as this weekend if results go with the form book, leaving next week to sort out the pecking order for the semi-finals.
Sitting eleven points ahead of fourth-placed HOBM, leaders Old Boys-University (22) have already secured one of those four places. They haven’t wrapped up top spot as yet, but can do so on Saturday if they take the maximum five points when they head to Mary Crowther Park to face Wainuiomata (6), and if either MSP or Tawa lose without getting any bonus points themselves. Wainuiomata haven’t tasted victory in this competition yet with all their points being bonus ones, but need one and results elsewhere just to stay in contention.
Marist St Pats and Tawa (both 18) are also both in the race for a home semi-final berth where they could yet potentially face each other, but wins will secure playoff places. MSP head to Jerry Collins Stadium where they’ll face Norths (9) while Tawa host Oriental-Rongotai (6), with both these teams in the same situation as Wainuiomata –needing to win and for other results to go their way.
The fourth match is at the Hutt Rec between Hutt Old Boys Marist (11) and Petone (15), which promises to be as spicy as the main game to follow. Aside from winning their own games, the bottom three are each reliant on the Eagles winning and neither side getting bonus points, while the Eagles themselves have to win if they are to keep any hopes of retaining the trophy they won under last year’s format. A win for Petone will be enough to see them into the playoffs with a week to spare.
In the HD Morgan division leaders the Upper Hutt Rams (25) kept their perfect second-half intact in shutting up Johnsonville, and they head over the Haywards to face Paremata-Plimmerton (10) at Ngati Toa in the only match between sides that won last weekend. Second-placed Poneke (20) are the only side that could potentially catch the Rams and are scheduled make the short trip to Hataitai to take on winless Wellington (4), though it seems inevitable that given that state of that ground it will be relocated elsewhere by the WRFU tomorrow, with the third match out at Fraser Park where Avalon (10) and Johnsonville (7) take to the artificial turf.
All seven matches are currently scheduled for 1pm kickoffs.
The playoff contenders in both Women’s divisions have been found with only the semi-final match-ups to be decided over the next two weekends.
In the Division 1 Victoria Tavern Trophy the top two are already sorted with Oriental-Rongotai (30) and Norths (24) confirmed as 1 and 2 respectively, with both at home. Ories take on Marist St Pat’s (13) at Polo with Norths hosting Wainuiomata (0) at Porirua Park. The interest remaining is on the scrap for third-place with Old Boys-University’s (15) one-point win over MSP last weekend giving them the edge for now, but the Impala’s (who have this week’s bye) last round match is against Ories, while MSP have Wainuiomata.
In Division 2 Hutt Old Boys Marist (15) take on Poneke (20) on Saturday at the Hutt Rec, with the Eaglettes looking to leapfrog their opponents for a home semi, which Poneke will claim if they win this game ahead of their bye in next weekend’s last round. All three of these matches are at 11.30am.
The other match is at Ngati Toa on Friday night at 7pm with out-of-contention Tawa (0) visiting Paremata-Plimmerton (12). The home side will be looking to make up some ground towards avoiding a match-up with Petone (30) in the semi-finals, with the village ladies already having secured top spot even with this weekend’s bye.
Two of the semi-finalists have already been found in the Division 1 John E Kelly Memorial with both leaders Tawa (25) and second-placed Petone (21) having enough of a buffer to make that certain. Ories (19) will join them if they get at least two competition points (or results elsewhere favour them) but they face the leaders at Redwood at 12.45pm, while Old Boys-University (16) can also make certain of their place if they take the full five points when they head out to Ngati Toa to face Paremata-Plimmerton (8), but the hosts won’t make that easy with their own hopes still alive going into Saturday.
In the other two games Petone will look to rebound from their first defeat of the year when they head across the bridge to take on HOBM (10) at the Hutt Rec, with the young Eagles own playoff hopes pinned on a win and results in other games. MSP (10) heads to Porirua Park in the same situation against the only side already eliminated from contention in Norths (-4). These last three games are all 1pm starts.
Over in the Division 2 Vic Calcinai Memorial the leaders are the Upper Hutt Rams on 22 points, three ahead of the Kapiti team and five clear of Poneke, but have also yet to have the bye caused by the shelving of OBU’s second side. The Rams are at home against Wellington at Maidstone at 1pm, while Kapiti and Poneke will provide the early game (at 12.45pm) at the Paraparaumu Domain ahead of the club semifinal up there between Paraparaumu and Shannon. The remaining match is also at 1pm, with a Hutt Valley local derby between Avalon and Wainuiomata at Fraser Park.
It’s not quite at the same stage in the third-tier of senior rugby, but through two rounds the Petone Brotherhood lead the way followed by the Stokes Valley Chiefs. Both are on the road and playing side-by-side against the two Norths teams who both need wins after opening with a pair of losses; the Brotherhood face the Uso’s on Porirua #3 while next door the Chiefs take on the Reds, having edged OBU 21-20 last Saturday in the main game on their Old Timers Day. First-round winners HOBM are at home up against Poneke, while the OBU Wolfpack hosts MSP at Nairnville.
All four matches are at 2.45pm.
The lightweights are through three rounds, and the only unbeaten side is first-round winners Wellington who remain on course for the trophy double. They have one of the two 1pm kickoffs this weekend when they take on HOBM at Te Whaea. The other early game is at Kilbirnie Park where first-round Division 2 winners Poneke welcome defending champions Tawa, who are one of two sides just a point behind the Axemen.
In the 2.45pm games the second of those teams, Avalon, are on home ground against Eastbourne with the side that rounds out the top-four – Kapiti – taking on Johnsonville at Paraparaumu’s Te Atiawa Park.