The WRFU have released the draw for the 2018 Swindale and Harper Lock Shields.
The season will get underway on St Patrick’s Day, Saturday 17th March, again with a Gala day at Upper Hutt’s Awakairangi and Maoribank Parks with the same seven matchups that kicked off the season just gone.
Defending Swindale-Jubilee winners Old Boys-University get their campaign underway against Poneke and looking to retain their Beet Algar Rosebowl the two clubs play for, runners-up Hutt Old Boys Marist face Hardham Cup winners the Upper Hutt Rams, while beaten semi-finalists Marist St Pat’s and Tawa will again square off in the opening round.
Two more sides that contested the Jubilee Cup – Northern United and Petone – also clash while the two matches that played over at Maoribank this year, Oriental-Rongotai against Paremata-Plimmerton and Johnsonville against Wellington are at the main ground this time. With six grounds being squeezed into Awakairangi the odd pair out are Avalon and Wainuiomata who this time are over at Maoribank.
The Swindale Shield will conclude on Queen’s Birthday weekend, Saturday 2nd June. And with just seven teams making the Jubilee Cup for 2018 the pressure will be on for a good start.
The popular Derby Day round shifts back to the weekend after being played on Anzac Day this year, and next season immediately follows the midweek-round on April 28. That will again comprise the now-familiar six geographically-based contests and the one between the province’s two Marist clubs. The pick of those would seem to be the Jubilee Cup semi-final re-match between MSP and HOBM (for their interclub Father Cleary Shield) and the Jim Grbich Memorial Shield encounter between Poneke and Ories, a game that was drawn 30-all last year after Ories claimed one-point wins in both the two years prior.
Anzac Day’s seventh-round nonetheless features a number of tasty clashes. OBU and Tawa will reprise last year’s semi-final at Nairnville Park, Petone and MSP clash south of the Hutt River for their Bill Elvy Memorial Trophy while HOBM face Poneke north of it with their Roy John Trophy at stake. Ories make the trek to Maidstone to take on the Rams and Norths journey to Helston to clash with Johnsonville. The other matches that day have Wainuiomata hosting Pare-Plimmerton, and Avalon is at Hataitai to face Wellington.
To view the 2018 Swindale Shield and Harper Lock Shield draw go here
This draw will also be inputted into the Draws & Results section of this website (above) over the next few weeks.
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