On a balmy autumn afternoon in Wellington, Marist St Pats had five wins from our six teams in action.
In the Swindale Shield, our Premier Men sent a warning to the rest of the competition with a comprehensive win over last years Jubilee Cup finalists Northern United at Evans Bay Park.
The side came out strong and with positive intent, turning down kickable penalties and turning them into tries. Tui Tuiatua opened the scoring at the five minute mark, rumbling over the line to score by the posts. After Norths struck back, Ryan Setefano and Willie Schutz would join the scoresheet to give the Red Machine a 21-7 lead after 25 minutes. A Norths penalty, brought the half time score to 21-10.
After the halftime oranges, the home side came out firing with intent to secure a win early. Within 20 minutes Aidan Morgan, Ben Tuiatua and Andrew Wells had scored and with a margin of 38-13 the game looked done and dusted.
But Wellington rugby supporters know never to rule out Norths who have a knack of scoring in bunches. They did just that, scoring two tries to narrow the margin to 38-25 with five minutes to play - it was too little, too late. On the stroke of full time, relacement winger Rez Tasele put the cherry on top for the Red Machine scoring the last of seven MSP tries to win the game by 45-25.
It was hard to single out performers for Marist St Pats as the team played as a unit with the forwards setting a strong platform for the backs on attack - but along with the blistering attack it was another strong defensive effort that will make the coaches happy.
Earlier, our Premier Women had their first win of the season with a 41-29 win over Petone at Petone Rec. Also at Petone, a somewhat depleted Premier 2 side earned a gutsy win over the Villagers by 25-24.
Our Colts continued their strong start to the season with a win over Hutt Old Boys Marist at Hutt Rec; with scores tied, a calmly slotted penalty by Boston Christie on the stroke of fulltime was the difference. Final score 25-22.
At MacAlister Park the mighty Internationals had their first competition game after two weeks of grading, they opened with a strong win 33-21 over Upper Hutt Rams.
In the early game at Evans Bay, it was the Under 85s who were the only team outside the winners circle. With the game tied at 12-12 at halftime, a strong OBU second half saw the home team go down by 12-31.
The Presidents had a week off for the long weekend.