Swindale Shield round four review: Petone beat Hutt Old Boys Marist 15-0 to retain the McBain Shield at the Hutt Recreation Ground on Saturday in round four of the? Swindale Shield. Petone scored three unconverted tries in accounting for HOBM in an uninspiring encounter in front of a large and good natured crowd to join Poneke as one of two unbeaten teams after the opening month of 2009 Wellington Club Rugby.
At William Jones Park, the Wests Roosters finally earned their first win of the season after two close losses and a draw with a solid 26-19 win against Wainuiomata. In a close match, the Roosters came back from an early deficit to score four tries against their hosts and climb to seventh on the points table courtesy of earlier bonus points and losses?by other teams.
But Petone's and the Roosters' hard fought victories proved the exception to a round of high scoring and two lop sided?contests out of the other four matches played, with Northern United, Oriental-Rongotai and Marist St. Pat's all making the most of the hard grounds and pleasant playing conditions around the region
The mercury hit 20 degrees in Porirua, but it was closer to boiling point on Avalon's goal line as the home team Norths reached three figures against them. Norths made the most of their first home game of the season by winning 106-0, slipping past Avalon's last line of defence 16 times and with midfielders Rob Fruen and Alipati Leiua both scoring hat tricks and Hurricanes loosie Faifili Levave also finding the try line.
Oriental-Rongotai also enjoyed having their sun on the backs, in? particular Julian Savea who scored a scorching five tries against Old Boys-University in a 12-try 78-17 victory at Nairnville Park. New Zealand secondary schools and New Zealand Sevens flyer Savea equaled the mark set by MSP winger Brendan Watt last week with his quintuple strike, while James Proctor continued his good form with the boot in nailing nine conversions.
At Maidstone Park, MSP?overcame Upper Hutt 51-28 in another high scoring game. But it was far from one-way traffic with Upper Hutt scoring four converted tries in the first half to jump to a 28-14 lead?just before the break.?MSP came back with a third try?before the break and Upper Hutt lead 28-21 at the turnaround.?The MSP?pack muscled up?after halftime and?the defending champions managed to?pull away with?three further tries and two dropped goals to Fa'atonu Fili?to make their win appear as?a straightforward one.?
Swindale Shield leader Poneke defeated Tawa 40-13 at Lyndhurst Park but their victory was also?far from assured, the red and blacks only making sure of it in the fourth quarter with two long-range penalties and three tries in the final 15 minutes.
A fired up Tawa, featuring new New Zealand U20 player Shaun Treeby and New Zealand Sevens and Bay of Plenty Steamers star Nigel Hunt in their midfield, took the game to Poneke and led 13-8 at halftime courtesy of a converted try to veteran flanker Senior Moli and two penalties to first five-eighth Gene Johnston.
Poneke came out and scored a try after halftime to left wing Ambrose Plaister to lock the scores up at 13-13. Poneke first five-eighth Adrian Grey was then unsuccessful with three penalties, before being replaced on the tee by centre Charlie Ngatai who sent over two long-rangers ?to put Poneke ahead 19-13. From there Poneke pulled clear and ran in three late tries to Plaister, right wing Marika Kau and flanker Justin Purdie.
This game also started in inauspicious circumstances on account of the Lyndhurst Park sprinkler system that was running when both Premier teams and those of Tawa and Poneke's National Mutual Cup Senior Two teams who were playing in the curtain raiser arrived. The delay forced the Senior Two match, won by Tawa 35-0, to be shortened to allow the Premier game to start in good time but 25 minutes past the scheduled start.
Meanwhile, four yellow cards and a constant torrent of penalties at the breakdown and two injuries to HOBM tighthead props that forced?the introduction of golden oldies scrums dominated an disjointed McBain Shield encounter at the Hutt Recreation Ground between the home side and Petone.
There were numerous turnovers and infringements, forcing referee Gordon Noble-Campbell to go to his pocket four times, including the sinbinning on three separate occasions of a Petone prop, lock and flanker. On the other side of the ledger, HOBM's replacement tighthead prop was yellowed in the first half and then later became the second tighthead prop to leave the field injured (knee) after starting prop Wayne Aquila had been forced from the field early (head gash).
Compounding Petone's frustration was their lack of a reliable goal kicking option due to injuries, leaving centre Farrand Turner and his replacement Michael Schmidt-Lealava'a to miss five shots on goal between them
Nevertheless, there were still glimpses of exciting rugby to keep the bumper crowd on the edge of their seats, not least Petone's first try in just the 3rd minute of play. An attacking lineout win, a barnstorming run inside HOBM's 22 by tighthead prop Thomas the tank Tupuivao and a great try in the grandstand touch corner by livewire halfback Curtis McLean gave the visitors a 5-0 lead.
Petone dominated most of the first half but were unable to add to their score as both tighthead props were shown yellow. Petone were restored to their full complement just after the break and they soon scored their second try after a concerted build-up inside HOBM's 22. ?The pressure finally broke when first five-eighth Jared Kahu sliced through a hole and offloaded to former Wainuiomata player and replacement midfielder Schmidt-Lealava'a who scored their second try to go 10-0 ahead.
HOBM then enjoyed their best period on attack of the match, with the de-powered scrums allowing them to attack more away from Petone's tight-five and with Petone down to 14 men for 10 minutes again, this time blindside Api Sione in the bin. But unlike the Senior One curtain raiser that saw HOBM beat Petone 24-19 after? being two converted tries down there was to be no epic comeback from the Eagles.
Instead it was Petone who rounded off the match with their third try to No. 8 Shaun Mahoney after hooker Eugene Smith won a turnover from a high Kahu kick up and into HOBM's 22. Petone poured through on attack and the refreshed Sione, only moments back on the field, passed to the hardworking Mahoney who rushed through to score the match winner.
The result decided, both teams wore the clock down with some more lacklustre rugby, Petone lock Chris Molenaar sent to the sin-bin for good measure at the end.
The McBain Shield win for Petone is their 57th since the first in 1935, and their third in succession against the 2007 Jubilee Cup champions.
Unbeaten Petone now turn their attention to another massive clash on their calendar next week against Poneke for the Fred Tilyard Memorial Cup at the Petone Recreation Ground, which will also serve as a top of the table clash between the only two unbeaten teams.
HOBM, missing some of their established stars such as Ash Parker (Canterbury), Mike Kingsbeer (MSP) and Steve Silva (Australia) will fancy their chances of bouncing back into the winner's circle next week at home against Avalon. Additionally, the expected return of halfback Nick Risdon who has been playing in Scotland in the off season and was waterboy against Petone will increase their attack and direction.
Elsewhere, the MSP seconds continue to lead the way in the Senior One Harper Lock Shield after grabbing their fourth successive bonus point win of the competition and earn a whopping eight-point break on the rest of the field - most of whom have won two and lost two and are bunched together.
MSP beat Upper Hutt 70-0 and have now scored 186 points and conceded just 10 from their four matches to date. In other Senior One matches, OBU upset second placed Ories 8-5 in a tight tussle at Nairnville Park,? Norths hit their straps at home against Rimutaka to win 17-14 and Poneke overcame Johnsonville 24-14 at the Paparangi Playing Fields.
In National Mutual Cup Senior Two games, HOBM beat strugglers Paramata-Plimmerton 34-19 at Ngatitoa Domain? to head the points table by four points to Tawa who won in the sprinklers against Poneke and third placed MSP who overcame Johnsonville 50-12 at Helston.
Norths and Johnsonville are neck and neck at the top of the Fleurs Trophy Women's first round competition after comfortable win over Waikanae and Poneke respectively. Norths beat the Kapiti team 104-0 and Johnsonville saw off Poneke 99-5.