Above: Smeagle the Eagle celebrates with Hutt Old Boys Marist on fulltime, followng their 14-11 win over Wainuiomata in the 2014 Jubilee Cup final. PHOTO: Hugh Pretorius.
In association with Lovelocks Sports Bar on Bond Street in Wellington, some highlights from this week in Wellington club rugby history are below.
1988: MSP beat Petone 16-12 to earn a place in the Jubilee Cup ‘grand final’ the following week against Wellington. Fullback Matt Smith scores the key try of the match late in the first half, giving them a 13-6 at the break.
1994: Petone first five-eighth Simon Mannix scores two charge-down tries in his side’s 25-13 semi-final win over fourth-placed qualifier Avalon. In the other semi-final, MSP beats Harlequins 39-11.
2005: Electric wing Willie Moala’s hat-trick gives Petone a 36-14 win over Wests and propels them to a home semi-final the following week against Poneke. They won that, and beat Norths 20-19 in the final.
2011: Norths wing AJ Va’alepu scores all five of Norths’ tries in this 29-3 semi-final win over Poneke. Va’alepu’s haul was the most known number of tries scored by an individual in a Jubilee Cup match, and certainly the most in a semi-final since the playoff series was introduced in 1993.
1977: Hutt Valley Marist shock Petone 8-6 on this Sunday round of the Jubilee Cup, knocking Petone off the top of the table and paving the way for Athletic to go on and win the 1977 title.
1982: Wellington and Petone share this year’s Jubilee Cup, Wellington winning its 10th club championship title and Petone’s its 32nd. In final round games today, Petone’s Allan Hewson scores 21 points in their 41-7 win over Avalon and the Murray Mexted led Wellington beat MSP 14-7. Elsewhere, Onslow is relegated – and will merge with Athletic and Karori in this off-season to form Western Suburbs.
1981: Rookie Poneke first five-eighth Ross Bond is the hero, kicking the match-winning dropped goal to give Poneke an 11-10 Jubilee Cup win over MSP. Prolific try-scoring wing Wayne Gray scores to put MSP ahead, before Bond pots from 30 metres in the 75th minute.
1992: Petone captain and utility back Naera Parata retires from club rugby after helping his side achieve the Swindale Shield-Jubilee Cup double, beating Poneke 18-9. With the wind, Petone race to an 18-0 lead at halftime and hold on well throughout the second spell. For Poneke, it’s their second successive defeat in the final after losing to Hutt Old Boys last year.
1993: MSP beat Avalon 23-3 and Petone beat Harlequins 21-14 in the Jubilee Cup semi-finals. MSP win comfortably enough against Avalon, but Petone’s playoff victory, in front of 2,500 people, is much closer. Harlequins wing Alaska Taula going close to scoring at the end and forcing extra time. MSP win the final against Petone the following week.
2015: Old Boys University Goats supporters are dancing in the Porirua Park stand this evening after OBU and Wellington Lions centre Wes Goosen plucks a high kick out of the air and scores to take the score in the Jubilee Cup final to 30-20 with several minutes to play. Their hearts are pounding a few minutes later when MSP lock Nick Harrison crashes over to score their third consecutive try of the second half from a forwards drive and evergreen first five-eighth Fa’atonu Fili adds the conversion to close the score up to 30-27. But the Goats hang on and win the club’s first championship since 1966. Earlier, the Upper Hutt Rams win the Hardham Cup and Northern United claim the women’s final.
1986: The Andy Leslie coached Petone beats the Brian Coulter coached MSP 21-13 in this Jubilee Cup season decider. Petone leads 12-0 at halftime but must turn into a cold southerly. Allan Hewson’s fifth straight penalty on 55 minutes and Mike Clamp’s late try prove enough. The retiring Hewson ends the season on 227 points. Elsewhere, Wests’ Brian Cederwall also retires from all rugby today having played for Athletic/Wests for 16 seasons and appeared in 205 senior first division games.
1999: They’re bruised and battered, but MSP are savouring winning the last ever Jubilee Cup final and last ever club game played on Athletic Park. MSP defeat Poneke 22-16 in the last of a long line of epic matches at the Park. It is one-way traffic for MSP in the first half as they play their best 40 minutes of the season and open up a 23-3 lead at the turnaround. Led by locks Richard Watt and Tau Tapasu, Poneke come back, but the gap proves too big to overcome.
1964: Marist and University go into this title defining clash as joint frontrunners on the table and 10 points clear of the field. In front of a 12,000-strong crowd, University triumph 16-6 after leading 16-3 at halftime. With one round to play, the Jubilee Cup is surely there’s outright. No. The following week the WRFU pulls five of their players out to play for Wellington against Taranaki and they lose to WCOB. Marist wins and the 1964 Jubilee Cup is shared between University and Marist.
1997: Two years after winning the Jubilee Cup as a player, Iain Potter guides MSP to the title as a coach. In the final against great rivals Petone, MSP turn to play into a strong southerly in the second half leading just 8-0. But they extend this to 13-0 with a try to wing Dominic Feauanati. Karl Te Nana scores an intercept try for Petone, but MSP hold on to win 13-7.
2014: Hutt Old Boys Marist are victorious in the 2014 Jubilee Cup, taking down Wainuiomata 14-11 at a packed Hutt Recreation Ground in the final. Led by their inspirational skipper, Jason Risdon, the Eagles come from behind to win in a nail-biting encounter.It really could have gone either way, and both teams were worthy finalists, but a solitary penalty kick is all that separated the teams. Poneke beats Norths 19-9 to win the Hardham Cup.
1991: Hutt Old Boys beat Poneke 18-15 to win the Jubilee Cup final. In a close match, Poneke has their chances but fail to capitalise. Instead, HOB are deserved champions with another solid performance and second five-eighth Sean Rigby scored the only try of the match from a charge-down.
1996: Poneke edge Western Suburbs 9-8 in the final to win their first Jubilee Cup since 1975. The final is won up front and on defence, led by retiring Poneke flanker Shane McClure. In Poneke fashion, they grind first time finalists the Roosters down. Poneke first five-eighth James Ogden lands two dropped goals and a penalty, and finishes with 226 points for the season, while for Wests, Shane Tiatia scores the only try of the final.
2013: Tawa out-passion Oriental-Rongotai to win their maiden Jubilee Cup final, holding off the 2011 champions 26-21 to lock the Swindale Shield - Jubilee Cup away in their cabinet. Steven and James So’oialo are key players in the win, Steven scoring a sweeping 36th minute try giving Tawa a 14-13 lead at the turn and James kicking back-to-back penalties in the 73rd and 76th minutes to take the final away from Ories.
2017: Silverware Saturday sees the Jubilee Cup final, the Women’s final, the Premier Reserve final and two Colts deciders at the Petone Recreation Ground. OBU beat HOBM 32-19 in the Jubilee Cup decider, Ories beat OBU 63-12 to take the Women’s Victoria Tavern Trophy, Petone ousts OBU 36-20 in the Colts Division 1 final and Petone edge OBU 21-19 in the Premier Reserve decider.
1939: On the cusp of WW2, that was to take the lives of 85 Wellington Axemen and many more from other clubs, Wellington captures its maiden Jubilee Cup title and first club championship since 1901. Wellington beats Petone 18-17 to finish on top. In a grandstand finish, Petone’s ace goal kicker Bunk Pollock missed a penalty at the end.
1967: Petone capture what will be the first of five consecutive Jubilee Cups, beating University 12-6 in the season finale. Individually, Petone’s fullback Jack Seymour is the season’s leading points scorer with 129 and Marist wing Mick Dennehy has scored the most tries with 14. Wellington, the only side to beat Petone all year (22-17) finish second.
1972: Bidding for its sixth straight Jubilee Cup title win, Petone loses to Wellington 9-12. Wellington comes back from 0-9 to beat Petone. Wellington thus shares the 1972 Cup with Athletic.
1978: Graham Williams retires from all rugby today by helping Wellington beat Onslow 20-3 and thus share the Jubilee Cup with MSP after MSP first five Tu Wylie scores a winning try on fulltime to give them a 15-12 win over Athletic. It’s MSP’s first Cup success and comes 14 years after Marist Brothers Old Boys had last won it.
2001: The WRFU’s decision to withdraw Wellington rep players from today’s Jubilee Cup final draws the ire of both MSP and Poneke camps, especially Poneke who aren’t allowed to play pivot David Howell. Kicking proves the difference, young MSP first five-eighth Fa’atonu Fili slotting key points - including a soon-to-be trademark dropped goal - in the 22-16 win with Holwell watching on in the stand.