National club rugby results from Saturday July 26, 2014.
The Gallaher Shield is back in the University clubrooms after a 17-year drought was broken in dramatic style during the grand final against Grammar TEC at Eden Park on Saturday.
University won 29-26 in extra time, the first time since 2002 when Ponsonby and Waitemata played out a humdinger, has an Auckland premier club decider gone to 100 minutes. The students themselves were on the receiving end of an extra time stalemate in the 1998 final against Teachers-Eastern.
This clash was a classic, high intensity seesaw affair, though Varsity were down 13-6 at halftime and only regained the lead twice, the second occasion with just six minutes to play in the second period of extra time. That was first five Brenton Helleur's seventh successful goalkick, in a flawless display which included one from near halfway, and helped erase memories of his missed penalty in the 2005 semifinal against Waitakere City. His role was decisive for the victors, as was that of industrious centre Liam Steel, flanker Sean Polwart and prop Marcel Renata.
Grammar TEC will be kicking themselves after wresting the initiative for much of the first 80 minutes. They defended tigerishly and presented the superior scrum, where the front-row of Ofa Tu'ungafasi, Andrew Makalio and Tom McHugh combined well, while captain Scott Scrafton commanded his share of lineout ball. Centre Matt Vaega was dangerous out wide, but the Hickey brothers, Jono and Simon, were not their usual impeccable selves off the tee. Had the latter landed a penalty in the last minute of extra time, the silverware would have gone to Grammar TEC, in their first season as a new club. Both sides had scored two tries, but they nailed the first, to Tu'ungafasi, and the rules dictated that the first team to score a try in an otherwise tied final would triumph.
In the dying throes of regulation time, University looked to have blown it after trailing 19-12 and turning down at least two kickable shots at goal. But replacement No 8 Sam Finau bustled over near the posts in the 82nd minute to tie it up and send the game into extra time.
This try galvanised University and they played with energy, showcasing their fitness. Renata shone in a busy outing, and the No 3 broke three tackles to score in a swift riposte to Grammar TEC halfback Scott Patterson's try. Varsity eventually cleared possession and send their vocal supporters into raptures.
The victory capped a red-letter day for the University club, whose Under 21s won the Arthur Bayliss Cup in the curtainraiser, defeating College Rifles 24-11.
In the other premier finals, Waitemata secured fifth place and the Jubilee Trophy final with a narrow 32-30 win over Manukau Rovers. Suburbs won the Portola Trophy, 23-20 over Marist, while Maungarua beat East Tamaki 13-12 in the Presidents Cup final.
In the George Nicholson Cup final for the premier reserve grade, Ponsonby edged Pakuranga 20-12.
Gallaher Shield final
University 29 Grammar TEC 26 (after extra time)
Jubilee Trophy final
Waitemata 32 Manukau 30
Portola Trophy final
Suburbs 23 Marist 20
Presidents Cup final
Maungarua 13 East Tamaki 12
Under 21 final (Arthur Bayliss Cup)
University 24 College Rifles 11
Premier reserve final (George Nicholson Cup)
Ponsonby 20 Pakuranga 12
North Shore completed a notable double on Saturday by winning both North Harbour premier rugby first and second finals.
After their reserves had won the premier two final 31-20 over Takapuna, Shore's premier one side, helped by 25 points from veteran first five-eighths Willie Walker and a powerful pack, over-whelmed the 2103 champions Massey, 50-18.
Shore scored early with a try from prop Alex Woonton and, though Massey battled back to peg the lead back to 16-13 late in the first spell, never looked like losing control with a comprehensive dominance up front.
As well as Woonton, flanker Josh Blucher and lock Brandon Nansen were the other leaders of a well drilled pack, which took full advantage of Massey's scrum problems with prop Adrian Smith unable to play and another prop, Chris Isoua, injured early in the match.
Massey's uphill task was then not helped by two of their loose forwards, Kane Moors and Matthew Howling, each receiving second spell yellow cards.
Walker, in his last game for Shore, complemented the forward dominance with his experience in the inside backs and from 11 goal attempts his only failure was a penalty which hit the upright, from which a try to Blucher resulted.
Northcote won the plate final 22-7 over Glenfield ASB Cup final
North Shore 50 Massey 18
Northcote 22 Glenfield 7
Bombay are the 2014 Champions after holding out Karaka 16-10 in the final. Karaka will be disappointed they could finish their impressive season off on a high after being the form team for the season. Dropping only two games in round robin play, Karaka headed into the match as favourites to win their first Premier title. Bombay however had other ideas and put in a complete performance to upset the form book and walk away with a deserved victory.
Early in the match, Bombay opened the scoring through impressive fullback Toni Pulu which was converted by Reece Joyce to head out to a 7-0 lead. Bombay was looking in control of the game and soon after, Joyce added a penalty to take Bombay's lead to 10-0 midway through the first spell. Karaka started to find their way in the later stages of the second spell dominating Bombay and having the better of territory and possession.
After a series of continued attacking plays, second five John Luteru managed to score for Karaka after beating his opposite on the outside and getting his side back in the game. The conversion to Kieron Rollinson and a penalty locked the score up at 10 all heading into the halftime break.
The second half was a tight encounter with both teams having opportunities, with neither teaming managing to cross the line. Two penalties to Bombay first five Ki Anufe in the second half proved the difference as Bombay secured their first Premier title in 25 years. In the dying minutes, Karaka had opportunities to attack the Bombay line but impressive defense with commitment and passion ensured the victory would go to Bombay.
McNamara Cup final
Bombay 16 Karaka 10
Superior backplay on the day saw Te Aroha College Old Boys capture the McClinnchy Cup on Saturday after beating Waihou 31-27 at Boyd Park in the final of the Thames Valley club rugby championship. The Cobras completed their season unbeaten in all 15 competition matches played.
McClinchy Cup final
Te Aroha COBRAS 31 Waihou 27
Playing through champions Hamilton Marist have retained the Waikato Breweries Shield after soundly beating Hamilton Old Boys 40-23 in the championship final, contested in front of a large crowd at Marist Park on Saturday. Playing expansive rugby, the green-and-whites always had the bettter of their opponents, winning comfortably and outscoring Old Boys five tries to three. Veteran flanker Marty Holah made a huge number of telling tackles and was the standout player in the Marist side.
Waikato Breweries Shield final
Hamilton Marist 40 Hamilton Old Boys 23
Hora Hora 33 Wellsford 6
Bay of Plenty
Mount Maunganui 26 Whakarewarewa 23
Havelock North 19 Napier Pirate Rugby and Sports 7
Taradale 65 Tamatea 14
Napier Old Boys Marist 21 Hastings Rugby and Sports 10
Clive 27 MAC 26
Central 34 Napier Technical 26
Pirates 18 Border 16
Ruapehu 23 Taihape 20
Paraparaumu 12 Shannon 9
Tui Cup final (Senior A championship)
Eketahuna 33 Gladstone 16
Hodder Steffert Cup final (Senior A plate)
Martinborough 17 East Coast 10
Jubilee Cup semifinals
Hutt Old Boys-Marist 43 Oriental-Rongotai 26
Wainuiomata 26 Marist-St Pat's 13
Hardham Cup semifinals
Northern United 34 Avalon 20
Poneke 18 Wellington 8
Senior Shield final
White Star 43 Ngakawau 12
WA Craddock Trophy
Old Boys 21 Westport 18\
Watters Cup final
Rakaia 29 Methven 27
Citizens Shield final
Old Boys 24 Athletic Marist 11
Burns Shield final
Excelsior 27 Valley 21
Taieri 51 University A 6
Clinton 11 Crescent 0
Toko 43 Owaka 7
Lawrence 34 Clutha 31
Heriot 31 Clutha Valley 15
Galbraith Shield final
Woodlands 32 Marist 3