Marist St Pat’s v Tawa for title
Marist St Pats will be in pursuit of their 15th Jubilee Cup title, when they meet Tawa in Saturday’s final at Porirua Park.
The Red Machine qualified courtesy of a comprehensive 24-3 win over Oriental-Rongotai and must be favourites to do similar in the decider.
Tawa, Jubilee Cup winners just once before, stand in their way after prevailing 16-10 over Wainuiomata in the other semi.
That was a far more even affair, with Tawa doing fantastically well to emerge victorious.
Down in the Hardham Cup, top-qualifers Hutt Old Boys Marist thrashed ParemataPlimmerton 43-6, before Petone prevailed 39-30 over Northern United in extra time after the teams ended regular time level on 25-all.
At Lyndhurst Park, Wainuiomata were left ruing a crucial mistake that gifted Tawa their only try and a lead they would not relinquish in an intense semifinal.
Wainui struck early when second five-eighth Isaiah Mamea found a gaping hole before offloading to centre Michael Lealava’a to score under the posts.
Tawa fullback Randall Bishop kicked two penalties to narrow the gap before Wainui flanker Matt Jacobs responded to open up a 10-6 advantage.
With halftime approaching a loose Wainui pass was gathered by Tawa’s replacement wing Elijah Vaa Brooking who raced 60 metres untouched to give Tawa a surprising 13-10 halftime lead.
Wainui continued to attack around the fringes in the second half and managed to get within striking distance a couple of times, but were repelled by desperate Tawa defence.
With 10 minutes left Bishop kicked his third penalty for Tawa and they held on as Wainui threw everything at them over the dying stages.
In difficult conditions at Evans Bay Park, it was Marist St Pats that got out to the better of starts, finding themselves in OrientalRongotai’s territory for most of the first half and the hosts went into the break up 8-0.
Ories were the first to score in the second 40 with the goalkicking hooker Joey Mears slotting a close-range penalty goal.
But MSP ruled the second half and were duly rewarded as they crossed for another two tries, booking a spot in their second straight Jubilee Cup final.
Defence was the key to Marist St Pats’ Jubilee Cup semifinal win over Oriental-Rongotai.