Wellington Rugby's Finals Day was dominated by Marist St Pats with all three of our teams winning their respective finals and the silverware that came with them.
The Premier Women played the first final of the day, taking on top qualifiers Paremata-Plimmerton. It was a hard, physical encounter in the first half with MSP taking a 7-0 lead into the half time break. We ground the opposition down in the second and scored three tries in the final 20 minutes to win the game 26-0 and claim the Izzy Ford Trophy. Captain Taimane Siaosi played her 50th game and was recognised at the clubrooms on Saturday night; centre Para Murray was named the Player of the Final.
As the Women's final progressed, the Premier Reserves kicked off on the adjacent field taking on an Upper Hutt Rams side bolstered by a number of players with Premier experience. The sides traded blows in the first half to be tied at 11-11 at half time.
With an unbeaten season on the line our side roared into life in the second half to take a 26-15 lead midway through the second half. Upper Hutt weren't ready to roll over and stormed back into the last 10 minutes, scoring on full time to narrow the score to the slimmest of margins but MSP were victors at 29-28.
The win completed a perfect season with 18 wins and 0 losses and the side will lock up the HD Morgan Memorial Cup to join the Harper Lock Shield in Hataitai for the summer. With two tries, hooker James Holbrook was named the Player of the Final.
While neither club envisioned their season finishing in the Hardham Cup Final, the recent rivalry between Marist St Pats and Old Boys-University ensured this game meant plenty to both teams.
Marist St Pats controlled most of the territory and possession throughout the match but an intercept try and another long range try meant OBU would take a 14-8 lead at half time. Willie Schutz scored the lone MSP try in the first half.
The Red Machine came out of the break more clinical in their work and after an early penalty were rewarded with a try to outstanding prop Tui Tuiatua at the 54 minute mark. Continuing their dominance of territory Isaia Petelo scored a decisive try, cutting off an inside ball from evergreen Fa'atonu Fili to extend the lead to 25-14. Video of this try below, courtesy of Club Rugby.
A desperate OBU ensured the game would go down to the wire hitting back with a try of their own with seven minutes on the game clock. After trading penalties the score was 28-22 with three minutes on the clock. The game would end in tense fashion with six consecutive penalties to OBU attacking our line but the MSP defense was resolute and the perfect day was completed. Prop Tietie Tuimauga was named Player of the Final.