In association with Lovelocks Sports Bar on Bond Street in Wellington, some highlights from this week in Wellington club rugby history are below.
1955: Fresh from joining Onslow from Petone, first five-eighth Jackie Dougan helps Onslow to a sensational upset 29-6 win over three-time defending champions University in this fifth round victory. Dougan and hooker Stan Judd were the match winners in this win in front of 7,000 at Athletic Park. Meanwhile, Petone beats Hutt by the same score, 29-6, in front of 5,000 at the Petone Rec to retain the McBain Shield and remain the only unbeaten team so far.
1977: Marist Hutt Valley account for Wainuiomata 47-0, a highlight being one of wing Bernie Fraser’s two tries when he races the length of the field to score under the posts. Elsewhere, MSP wing Ray Rennell scores a hat-trick in his side’s 46-0 win over another Hutt Valley side, Naenae Old Boys. Athletic, Jubilee Cup champions later this year, are only mid-table in Swindale Shield after overcoming Onslow 9-7 in a desperate struggle.
1965: Marist wing Pat Myers scores four tries in his side’s 31-0 over Poneke and B.H. Bockett scores a hat-trick for University in their 33-3 win over St Pat’s Old Boys. Both these games are played at the Basin Reserve.
2004: Petone surge toward the top of the table with a 26-0 win over previous leaders Northern United. Front rankers Neemia Tialata and Eugene Smith are at the forefront of a powerful scrum as Petone score three converted tries and lead 21-0 at halftime. Petone are now third behind HOBM and Poneke after HOBM beat OBU 20-10 and Poneke defeat Johnsonville 39-13. Petone goes on to win the 2004 Swindale Shield.
1947: Onslow are now the only unbeaten side left in the championship after lowering St Pat’s Old Boys 13-11. In a lively game, St Pat’s very nearly snatches victory at the death but for an awkward pass going to ground with the defence beaten. Elsewhere, the Wellington Axemen are upset 12-11 by Johnsonville, whose loose forwards play well against the bigger Wellington pack. The Axemen go on to play the entire second round unbeaten, including beating Onslow in a key return encounter, and win their second Jubilee Cup after winning their first in 1939.
1987: Star Ories fullback John Gallagher is away with the All Blacks at the inaugural Rugby World Cup. In his absence, fullback Tony O’Malley lands two key penalties for Ories in their 6-4 win over previously unbeaten Wellington. The Axemen’s loss means Petone are the only unbeaten side after eight rounds, after Petone have beaten University 31-13.
1997: HOBM clinch the Swindale Shield with two rounds remaining, beating Wellington 33-25. Their triumph, however, is overshadowed somewhat by Avalon’s 71-11 thrashing of an understrength Petone side that is missing several players to representative duty. Avalon crush Petone up front and win easily.
2003: Northern United win their maiden Swindale Shield title, beating Wests 35-21. Twinkle-toed fullback Tainafi Patu ‘s brilliance is the difference, Norths pulling away after leading 10-6 just before halftime. A bumper crowd at Porirua Park salute their heroes in jubilant scenes afterwards. For Wests, defeat is a double blow, pipped for the eighth and final place in the Jubilee Cup by Upper Hutt who celebrate captain Nathan Russell’s 150th game by beating Ories 26-23.
1985: Returning from a stint playing in Italy, Wellington Axemen sharpshooter Evan Hopkin scores a try and kicks two conversions to put Wellington ahead of MSP 19-0 after 30 minutes in their Athletic Park feature match. Wellington go on to win 29-9 and are clear favourites to retain the Swindale Shield this season.
1996: Northern United snatch a last-gasp 27-26 win over Harlequins to maintain their bid to make the Jubilee Cup round. Halfback Josh Loughnan scores the winning try. Another halfback, John Clarke, scores a hat-trick for Wests in their 23-13 win over Poneke
1976: Petone’s 27-13 win over University features one of the great tries scored on Athletic Park, according to Petone captain Andy Leslie. The try is scored by University fullback Peter Garty who finishes of a sweeping 80-metre movement. Elsewhere, Swindale Shield newcomers Wainuiomata upset Athletic 18-17.
1984: In the biggest upset of the season so far, Western Suburbs tip up MSP 17-13. Prop Scott Crichton is the Man of the Match as Wests win the Viv Haigh Memorial Trophy. Meanwhile the Dominion proclaims an orgy of scoring as Petone beat Titahi Bay 77-6. Mike Clamp scores four tries and Marty Clamp and Graheme Duffy score hat-tricks.
2001: Leaders MSP lose 30-29, opening the door for second-placed Avalon to hit the lead and all but win the Swindale Shield. However, Avalon miss their chance and lose to Johnsonville 20-21. It’s a tough defeat for their supporters after Johnsonville’s Corey Burt lands a 45-metre winning penalty with time almost up.
1935: Defending Jubilee Cup champions and soon to be 1935 year’s champions Petone meet Hutt Old Boys on this day for the second annual McBain Shield clash . Last season Hutt won by a narrow margin and are thus the holders. But Petone get their hands on the McBain for the first time winning 10-6. the Dominion records afterwards that “Petone were relentless from start to finish and despite the absence of their pack [including 24-year old All Black hooker Artie Lambourn] the forwards played like a match-winning combination.”
1989: MSP stun previously unbeaten Poneke 20-10. Poneke lead 10-7 at the break, but MSP wing Chris Welch crashes over and Poneke are cracked. Poneke’s loss sees Hutt Old Boys hit the Swindale Shield lead after they overcome Upper Hutt 25-7. Poneke and Hutt Old Boys will meet next week in a huge clash.
Photo credit: "Rain on the field at Athletic Park, Wellington. Evening post (Newspaper. 1865-2002) :Photographic negatives and prints of the Evening Post newspaper. Ref: EP/1955/1576-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/22756259"