Above: The dance of the mudlarks. Poneke holds on to beat Petone 13-10 in their 2010 Jubilee Cup semi-final, to book a place in the following week's final against Northern United.
In association with Lovelocks Sports Bar on Bond Street in Wellington, some highlights from this week in Wellington club rugby history are below.
2016: Tawa have held on in a nail-biting Jubilee Cup final to edge Marist St Pat’s 24-20 at Porirua Park. However, Tawa’s defence holds strong to the end. The win is only the second Jubilee Cup victory in the club’s history, with the first coming in 2013, though this championship will be all the sweeter due to Tawa’s early-season struggles. Losing their opening three Jubilee Cup games in 2016, stuck at the bottom of the competition’s ladder, an Etuale Togia-led Tawa team overcomes the odds to end 2016 as Jubilee Cup champions. Tawa’s left-wing Togia is awarded the Jim Brown medal for Man of the Match, scoring a brace of tries.
1989: Petone defeats Upper Hutt 19-13 to win the Jubilee Cup grand final. Trailing 3-7 just before halftime, Petone halfback Tui Bradbrook scores off an attacking scrum and Petone go to the break leading 9-7. They keep their noses in front in the second spell to reward former hooker and coach Frank Walker an eighth Jubilee Cup as a player or coach.
2005: Semi-final. Petone hooker Eugene Smith wins a tighthead scrum 40 metres out from the try line, which leads directly to the Villagers scoring a sensational try on fulltime and pipping rivals Poneke 24-23. The ‘strike of god’ sends Petone to the final at Westpac Stadium where they beat come back to beat Norths 21-19.
1965: Player-coach and former All Black lock Nev MacEwan leads Athletic to a 12-3 win over University in a ‘virtual’ Jubilee Cup final. MacEwan confesses afterwards that no victory in his career has been sweeter. Athletic’s other former All Black Russell Watt scores 9 of Athletic’s 12 points in his last ever match.
1988: MSP turns around a 6-26 loss a fortnight ago to Wellington to run away from the Axemen and win the Jubilee Cup final 44-19. With the wind, MSP race to a 24-0 halftime lead and on hold on in the second.
1993: Petone teams win both the Jubilee and Hardham Cup finals. Flanker Martin Leslie scores three minutes from fulltime to give Petone a 27-15 victory over MSP in the Jubilee Cup final while Petone’s second XV beats Stokes Valley 32-18 to win the Hardham Cup final.
1994: MSP upset Petone to win the Jubilee Cup final. Loose forwards Gordon Simpson and Issac Feaunati lead the way. Petone have only lost twice in 21 games this season - to MSP in the finale of the Swindale Shield and again to them today.
2011: A superb all-round team effort and some breathtaking tries gives Oriental-Rongotai its first standalone Jubilee Cup title and first since they won back-to-back when they amalgamated with Poneke during WW2. Ories run in five tries to blitz two-time defending champions Norths. In 20 minutes of play either side of halftime, Ories come from 13-6 behind to score four tries and take the game away from Norths. With 10 minutes gone in the second half, Ories have scored their third and fourth tries and opened up a 33-13 lead.
1981: Petone beat Wellington 31-12, Mike Clamp scores a hat-trick and takes his try-scoring tally to 25 for the season. Petone will meet MSP in next Sunday’s Jubilee Cup decider.
2010: There’s drama at the end of this Poneke - Petone semi-final in the Kilbirnie Park mud. Poneke holds on by a thread to deny Petone the opportunity to take the game into extra time. In a desperate finish, the match ends with Petone camped on Poneke's line but unable to score the try they need. Poneke had led 13-0 early in the second half, eventually winning 13-6 and qualifying for their first Jubilee Cup Final since 2006.
1969: Petone wins the Jubilee Cup for the third consecutive year, outscoring University five tries to two and winning 19-9 in the final. Meanwhile, Ories wins the Hardham Cup and Marist No. 8 Paul Russo romps home to win the Billy Wallace Best and Fairest competition.
2009: MSP wins their 13th Jubilee Cup title on the back of seven penalties to centre Chris Slade and a more disciplined and composed performance under pressure than Norths. Slade's seven penalties carry his side to a decisive come-from-behind victory over Norths, who score the game's only two tries. MSP caps an excellent second part of the season, winning five consecutive Jubilee Cup matches in the weeks leading up to the final. For Norths, the loss is their second in Jubilee Cup finals to go with three wins since 2004.
2008: Marist St. Pat's and Northern United battle to a 10-all draw in the Jubilee Cup final at a cold and wet Westpac Stadium. The Championship is shared for the first time since 1982 when Wellington and Petone jointly held the Jubilee Cup aloft, and for the first time since the current semi-finals and final system was introduced in 1993.
1985: The Wellington Axemen snare the Swindale Shield - Jubilee Cup double outright in the same season for the first time. Wellington beats Petone 18-3 in the ‘final’, with reliable fullback Evan Hopkin kicking four penalties and a dropped goal and centre Naera Parata also potting a goal. In 20 games in 1985 Wellington has scored 531 points and conceded just 137, and their solitary loss was 91-8 to Ories on Anzac Day. Hopkins ends the season as the top points scorer with 165 in just 14 games played. MSP wing Wayne Gray heads the try-scoring charts with 11.
1974: Petone is celebrating winning its third consecutive standalone Jubilee Cup, beating Wellington 11-3 in the ‘final’ at Athletic Park. Halfback Ian Stevens and wing Vern Winitana star for Petone, the pair responsible for both Petone’s first half tries. Without prop Gareth Head, Petone are shadowed in the forwards, but the Axemen can offer few attacks in the backs. In the curtain-raiser, Grant Batty scores a try and Joe Karam kicks 22 points in MSP’s 34-29 Hardham Cup ‘final’ win over Naenae Old Boys.
1963: Heading into today’s final round of the season, Marist (21 points), Onslow (21) and Athletic (20) are all in with a chance of winning or sharing the Jubilee Cup (two points for a win). Onslow meets Wellington in the early game on Athletic Park and Marist and Athletic meet. Wellington upsets Onslow 9-3, leaving Marist and Athletic in contention. Marist races to an 11-0 lead and wins 28-13, thus winning the Cup outright.
1990: Petone hooker Tim Mannix scores the try that pushes Petone to a 15-3 win in the Jubilee Cup final over Avalon. With the match on a knife-edge, scores are locked up at 3-3 midway through the second half when Mannix scores off a lineout drive. Halback Tui Bradbrook also scores a try and Simon Mannix kicks seven points to give Petone the title.
2006: Northern United become the first team in eight years to achieve the coveted Swindale Shield-Jubilee Cup double in the same season by beating Poneke 25-12 in the Jubilee Cup final. With their champion All Black Jerry Collins at blindside flanker, they take control in the opening 50 minutes of play, building a 20-0 lead before Poneke has fired a shot.
2012: Marist St Pat’s hold off defending champions Oriental-Rongotai to win their 14th Jubilee Cup title in extremely wet conditions at the Petone Rec. MSP keep their noses ahead all game and win 14-8, prevailing through their forwards and playing a smart territorial game. The result is an absorbing arm-wrestle but in the at times atrocious conditions MSP's tactics win over those of Ories whose best-laid plans of playing expansive rugby come unstuck. Leading 6-3 at the time MSP score the match-winning try through retiring veteran prop Kas Lealamanua.