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Who are the single season points and try scoring record holders?

Swindale Shield | 07 March 2015 | Steven White

Above: Brandyn Laursen (left) and Mike Clamp (right) who we think hold the respective Wellington club rugby single season points and try scoring records.

Who are the players who have scored the most points and the most tries in single seasons in Wellington club rugby? Who has been missed from the two lists below?

As we head towards the 2015 season, we want to compile the definitive all-time Wellington Premier club rugby individual season point and try scoring records. Please comment below or email editor@ if we have missed players out.

UPDATED?Unofficial Wellington club rugby top points scorers (qualification 200 points in a season):

286 Brandyn Laursen (Hutt Old Boys Marist) 2013
282 James So’oialo (Northern United) 2010
267 Craig Laursen (Avalon) 1993
258 Elton Moncrieff (Marist St. Pat’s) 1993
242 James So’oialo (Northern United) 2009
240 Ben Aoina (Upper Hutt) 2006
238 Alan Henderson (Upper Hutt) 1990
236 James Proctor (Oriental-Rongotai) 2009
236 Fa’atonu Fili (Marist St Pat’s) 2008
236 Scott Leighton (Western Suburbs) 2003
229 Tauaosi Tuimavave (Poneke) 2013
226 Allan Hewson (Petone) 1986
226 James Ogden (Poneke) 1996
226 James Reilly (Marist St Pat's) 2001
220 Peter O'Shaugnessy (Marist St Pat’s) 1988
218 Brad Cooper (Poneke) 2005
213 Allan Hewson (Petone) 1980
209 Fa’atonu Fili (Marist St Pat’s) 2014
205 John Gallagher (Oriental-Rongotai) 1984
200 Martin Pike (Western Suburbs) 1987

Unofficial Wellington club rugby top try scorers (qualification 16 tries in a season):

25 Mike Clamp (Petone) 1981
24 Michael Knight (Wellington FC) 1970
23 Buxton Popoalii (Northern United) 2010
22 Wayne Collins (Poneke) 1977
22 Greg Kingi (Petone) 1994
21 Alapati Leiua (Northern United) 2009
20 Bernie Fraser (Hutt Valley Marist) 1978
19 Alan Osborne (University) 1965
19 Pat Myers (Marist) 1965
19 Ben Koopu (Petone) 1966
18 Vern Winitana (Petone) 1973
18 Wayne Gray (Marist St. Pat's) 1981
18 Eddie Morgan (Petone) 1982
17 Geoff Skipper (Petone) 1976
17 Chris Welch (Marist St Pat's) 1988
17 Sinoti Sinoti 17 (Northern United) 2008
17 Chase Tiatia (Hutt Old Boys Marist) 2014
17 Dean Brunsdon (Northern United) 2013
16 Jim Morgan (Wellington) 1980
16 Damien O’Brien (Marist St. Pat’s) 1987

Like father, like son. Brandyn Laursen, who set the single season points record two years ago – surpassing Northern United’s James So’oialo (now with Tawa) is the son of Craig Laursen who established his then Wellington club rugby points scoring record exactly 20 years before him.

1993 was the year of the kicker, with both Avalon’s Craig Laursen and MSP’s Elton Moncrieff setting new points scoring records.

Laursen, who had joined Avalon in 1990 from Foxton and had helped Avalon win the Swindale Shield, became the first player to surpass 250 points in a single season with three rounds to play including the newly started semi-finals and finals series.

Avalon reached the Jubilee Cup final but lost to MSP, whose then current New Zealand Colts halfback Moncrieff kicked 15 points to also go past 250 for the season. Laursen finished with 267 points and Moncrieff with 258.

Alan Henderson’s mark of 238 points for 1990 Swindale Shield winners Upper Hutt could have been more but yellow cards and subsequent mandatory suspensions meant he missed the last two game of the season.

Another player who may have pushed for a high place on the single season points scoring list was Wellington Axemen fullback Evan Hopkin in 1985 who missed the first third of the season because he was still playing rugby in Italy but still posted 165 points. Hopkin also scored 172 points in 1984.


Oriental-Rongotai players were leading Wellington club rugby point scorers in consecutive years in 1983 and 1984. O’Malley’s 192 points in 1983 included 49 penalties, while Gallagher cracked the double century the following season.

Two other MSP players high on the single season points scoring list are Peter O'Shaugnessy in 1988 and Fa;atonu Fili in 1988. Both players helped their teams to win the Swindale Shield – Jubilee Cup doubles in these years. MSP wing James Reilly scored 226 points in MSP's Jubilee Cup winning team in 2001.?

Brian Cederwall played over 300 matches for Athletic and later Western Suburbs in a long career, kicking over 100 points in a season on several occasions. Martin Pike scoredexactly 200 points for Wests in 1987.

For the best part of a decade, from the late 1960s to the late mid-1970s, Petone were the best team in Wellington and one of the leading sides in New Zealand. Unsurprisingly then, these Villagers sides had some players who regularly featured on the points scoring charts each season.

In 1971, Petone fullback “Big Jack” Jack Seymour surpassed a century of points for the fifth consecutive year, topping the points scoring list with 151 that year.

Seymour hung up his boots, to be replaced by Richard Cleland whose multi-season points scoring spree netted him 153 points in 1973 – arguably Petone’s best season – 171 points in 1974 and 178 in 1978.

Left footed sharpshooter Allan Hewson took over the reins from Cleland and had several 100 plus points seasons with the boot. He surpassed 200 points in a single season in 1980 and again in 1986, his final season before retirement.

Dominating the points scoring each season in the 1960s was University’s Graham Wallis. In 1970 Wallis’s 160 points was a new single season scoring record up to that point.

Fast forwarding to contemporary times, two players set hot points scoring marks in 2013. Hutt Old Boys Marist’s Brandyn Laursen establishing the current record of 286 points. Brandyn Laursen fell just short of cracking 200 points in the Swindale Shield, ending the 2013 first round series with 192 points. Poneke’s Tauaosi Tuimavave scored 152 points in the 2013 Swindale Shield, finishing the season on 229. Both players’ numbers were boosted by individual half centuries against then minnows Rimutaka.

So’oialo scored 206 points for Norths in the 2010 Swindale Shield and 282 overall. Norths almost set fire to their own scoreboard that year as they posted a single first round team record of 546 points.

Jason Woodward scored 172 points for Upper Hutt in the 2011 Swindale Shield, but missed most of the Jubilee Cup and finished with 194 for the season.

Ben Aoina went on a solo points scoring spree in 2006 for Upper Hutt, scoring 240 points out of a possible 594 for that year’s Hardham Cup champions.

So’oialo’s teammate Peato Lafaele scored 193 points in 2005 and 161 in 2003, while other players that we think haven’t reached 200 points in a season [please correct us if we are wrong] include Sam Rasch (Poneke, MSP), Darren Kapene and Mano Flutey (both Avalon), James Ogden (Poneke), Corey Burt (Johnsonville) and Scott Leighton (Western Suburbs, a second time), Naera Parata (Petone) and Simon Mannix (Petone).

We think that the 25 tries that Mike Clamp scored in 1981 for Petone are the most in a single season by an individual.

Clamp was a teenaged wing sensation who played in the midfield while at school at Hutt Valley High School but moved to the wing and cut loose. Clamp first played for Wellington in 1980, but had to play second fiddle to Bernie Fraser (who scored 20 tries for HV Marist in 1978) and Stu Wilson. Clamp played two Tests and 15 matches for the All Blacks in 1984 and 1985 before moving to the south of France where he still lives.

Second on our list is Michael Knight who appeared on the wing for the Wellington Axemen in 1970 at the tail-end of a short career. Born in Auckland, Knight played first-class rugby for Hawke’s Bay in 1964, for Counties between 1965-68 and Wellington in 1969-70. He toured Australia with the 1968 All Blacks. Knight’s weapon was speed; he was the National junior 100 years titleholder in 1964 with a dash of 10.4 seconds.

Recent Northern United players feature high on a single season Wellington try scoring list, with recently retired Buxton Popoalii scoring 18 tries in the 2010 Swindale Shield and 23 in all in 2010. Popoalii and centre Alapati Leiua scored 27 tries between them in that year’s first round competition.

Leiua had scored scored 21 tries in 2009, and may have run down Clamp’s record if he hadn’t missed five full matches in the Jubilee Cup round with injury.

Other Norths players to have crossed for multiple tries have been Sinoti Sinoti for 17 in 2008 and a lock-turned-wing Francis Seumanutafa in 2007 with 15 (just short of making this list).

In 1977, Wayne Collins scored 22 tries for Poneke –including four hat-tricks. Collins had also scored 15 tries in 1972.

In 1972, Wellington FC captain and flanker Graham Williams scored 12 tries - a lot of tries by a forward then and now. Williams’ Petone rival, Andy Leslie, however, won the Billy Wallace Best & Fairest that season.

Williams’ efforts were surpassed by Northern United loose forward Dean Brunsdon two years ago. Brunsdon scored 17 tries and we think this is the most tries in a season by a forward. Brunsdon now plays for Wellington.


Notwithstanding the style of play and things like the advantage law being loosened up, allowing the game to flow more, factors to consider when comparing lists include:

  • Fewer games per season: Players whose teams reach the championship final can hope to play as many as 20 games per season. Prior to the semi-finals and finals format being introduced to club rugby in 1992, there were a maximum of 18 matches on offer per club season and even fewer going back a few decades.
  • Three and four point tries: The value of a try was 3 points prior to 1972 and then 4 points between 1972 and 1992.
  • Vastly improved ball technology: Rugby balls today are goal kickers’ dreams compared to previous eras. The old leather balls would get wet and heavy, making it a bar of soap to handle and difficult to kick.
  • Poor ground conditions meaning lower scoring games: Though in club rugby this isn’t so much of an issue. Club rugby was always played on Athletic Park, the union’s home ground.

Other points of interest:

  • As a comparison to the previous era of rugby and today, superstar Ron Jarden set the competiton alight in 1952 when he scored 14 tries (and 96 points) throughout the season.?
  • In one Premier match in 1965 between rivals University and Wellington College Old Boys, two players in University’s team, Alan Osborne and Mick Williment scored 18 points each. Osborne scored a then sensational six tries and Williment kicked six penalties. Today this would be worth a combined 48 points.?
  • In 1979, Grant Cederwall kicked 11 dropped goals for Athletic; in 1996 James Ogden kicked seven dropped goals for Poneke.
  • 1n 1985, the Dominion noted a marked drop-off in tries from the previous season, with 54 fewer Premier grade tries being scored than in 1984.?
  • In 1996, Petone were relegated to the Hardham Cup, owing to all its stars away playing in the inaugural Super 12 professional competition in the first round. They all came back to play the second round and the now powerful Petone side put on 558 points in the first seven rounds of the Hardham Cup en route to winning it. In one game alone, Simon Mannix slotted 49 points in a 124-0 win over MSP B.

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