National club rugby results: July 30, 2016
(Southern Districts final)
Old Boys-Marist 28 Mid Northern 10
(Gallaher Shield final)
Suburbs 12 Grammar TEC 9
(Jubilee Cup final)
Waitemata 32 Marist 13
(Portola Trophy final)
Eden 27 University 21
Manukau 10 Otahuhu 8
The party may still be going at Suburbs' Shadbolt Park base after their premiers annexed the Gallaher Shield for the first time since 1992 with a 12-9 win over Grammar TEC in a tense final.
Rugby was totally amateur 24 years ago and five point tries had only just been inaugurated.
The two tries to one victory was deserved reward for a club that endured the relative ignominy of failing to make the top eight in 2015, finishing in a lowly 10th position. And it meant that Charlie McAlister joined a select group of coaches who have won both the Gallaher Shield for Auckland club rugby supremacy and the Auckland 1A First XV title, which he last did with MAGS in 2010.
In often wet conditions at Eden Park, Suburbs led 12-6 at halftime via tries to fullback Pisi Leilua, who was a late replacement for a sick Lolagi Visinia, and flanker Shaun Devine.
They adopted an expansive game plan, despite the slippery ball, making for several handling errors but, in turn, their solid tackling forced the defending champions into myriad mistakes.
No 8 Nili Moala and lock Scott Scrafton were to the fore with their work-rates for the vanquished, while their scrum was superior for the first 60 minutes, until the injection of Emmanuel Ioane stiffened the Suburbs' set-piece.
The workers in the Suburbs pack rolled their sleeves up and did an admirable job, notably lock Dean Williams, and loose forwards Luke Cunis and Jaycob Matiu, while wing Jona Sawailau and No 12 James Taufa were penetrative on attack.
Jono Hickey's third penalty goal was the only scoring of a tight second half. Suburbs had to repel more than 20 phases in the dying throes.
Captain Carl Perry lifted the prized silverware for just the third time in Suburbs' 98-year history, and few neutral observers (and west Auckland rugby people) would begrudge them this moment in the sun.
In the other lower tier finals, Waitemata defeated Marist 32-13 to clinch fifth position, while Eden upset Varsity 27-21 to take the Portola Trophy. Manukau hung on 10-8 to edge Otahuhu in the Presidents Cup.
In the Under 21 final for the Arthur Bayliss Cup, Pakuranga beat Grammar TEC 27-24. - Campbell Burnes
(McClinchy Cup final)
Waihou 29 Waihi Athletic 14
Bay of Plenty
Mt Maunganui Sports 62 Rotoiti 7
Rangataua 24 Tauranga Sports 16
(Lee Brothers Shield final)
HSOB 16 OBM 2
Taradale 25 Napier Pirate Rugby and Sports 22
Napier Old Boys-Marist 18 Havelock North 16
Tamatea 47 Eskview 17
(Tui Cup final)
Greytown 27 Carterton 13
Paraparaumu 20 Levin College Old Boys 10
(Jubilee Cup semifinals)
Marist-St Pat's 24 Oriental-Rongotai 3
Tawa 16 Wainuiomata 10
(Hardham Cup semifinals)
Petone 39 Northern United 30
Hutt Old Boys-Marist 43 Paremata-Plimmerton 6
Marist Albion 41 University 34
HSOB 40 Shirley 19
NB. The Metro Cup final of Lincoln University v New Brighton is to be played on Sunday.
Southbridge 25 Darfield 22
Waihora 17 Lincoln 6
(North Canterbury semifinals)
Ashley 27 Saracens 23
Glenmark 20 Oxford 12
(Watters Cup final)
Southern 26 Rakaia 26
(Hamersley Cup final)
Celtic 16 Pleasant Point 10