OBU 17 Wellington 0


They say sunshine is the best disinfectant. If that were truly the case we would have had no Covid issues to worry about. It was sunny, calm and a mild temperature. Perfect rugby conditions.

The surface was firm without being too hard.

The game was unusual in that no spectators were allowed and we were only allowed 45 people at the match including players support crew and those involved with the operations of the day. However the cunning spectators managed to find a perch high up on the bank out of the controlled area to watch the match.

OBU playing from right to left as we face from the Western side of the field beneath the Seaforth Terrace bank.

Notable Performances

  • Matt Sleith for his gate opening exploits
  • Hayden Smith for convincing the ambulance staff to drive unto the pitch to minimise the discomfort of our injured player.
  • Jack Green for sticking with Josh the whole time he was on the sideline and keeping him calm
  • Taine Plumtree had a strong match in particular his running, although at one point going backwards to get outside a player he was aggressive with the ball in hand, setup a try and scored one himslef.
  • Reece Plumtree who is picking up confidence and starting to show what a classy player he can be.
  • Shamus Hurley always looks dangerous with the ball in hand, today was no exception.
  • Callum Harkin slotting into 1st5 did a great job of it.
  • Josh Thomas was looking really dangerous with the ball in hand until the injury unfortunately ended his season. Hopefully we’ll see him back next season after doing everything the physio says!
  • Izzy was back to his best, a tower of strength in the midfield attracting lots of defenders which left unmarked Goats!

How the Game Unfolded

Minute What happened Score
1 Min OBU stamped their mark on the game early with a rolling maul that went close to 50 m  
2 Mins OBU penalised for holding on in the tackle. Wellington clear to touch in OBU territory. OBU puts defensive pressure on Wellington who spill the ball in contact.  
4 Mins From the scrum Matt Fowler manages to clear under pressure OBU reclaims the up and under which sets in motion some great play by the OBU forwards. Luke Chisholm manages to put Taine into a gap. Taine bursts down the sideline in a prickly run with knees and elbows everywhere, making the defenders reluctant to put the tackle on. Unfortunately, as he was looking to unload the pass inside the Wellington 22 the ball spills forward.  
5 mins Wellington work their way out of trouble toward the halfway.

OBU backs are penalised for offside. The kick to touch about the OBU 10 metre line doesn’t go out. Taine receives the ball and has some real fire under his sails as steams across the field even going backward for a moment to get outside his man. He connects with Josh Thomas playing on the left wing just in front of us on halfway. Josh hares off down the field with a better than even chance of scoring only to be whistled back as the pass was forward.

7 Mins From the scrum the Wellington No 8 knocks it on. He looks to be a strong runner but during this game he only seemed to run across the field making himself easy pickings for the OBU defence.  
8 Mins OBU feed to the scrum but are free kicked for some offence we couldn’t see.  Wellington take the quick tap and OBU are caught not back 10.

Then Wellington drop the next quick tap which might have caused OBU some issues had it got some width.

9 Mins In the resulting scrum Wellington halfback plays the ball early and is penalised. OBU take the quick tap but drop it in contact.  
11 Mins OBU are penalised from the resulting play but I’m not really sure what the offence was.  
12 Mins Wellington then spend a good period down on attack bear the OBU line. Heroic defence from several players stops Wellington from getting over the line. Eventually OBU knock it on.  
14 Mins OBU are penalised from the resulting scrum I think for pre-engagement.

Wellington elect to attack the line again. Once again some strong defence holds out the Wellington attack who knock it on and OBU try to play it out from our own line.

Wellington knock it on as OBU turn it over.

15 Mins Scrum OBU feed 10 m out from the line. Ball is cleared well downfield.  
  OBU are penalised for offside again. Wellington tack the ball back to near our 22 meter line but knock it on just outside OBU 22.  
22 Mins OBU makes a big breakout through Matt Sleith who pops it up to Izzy who crashes through and drags several defenders with him. Matt Fowler has lots of work to do and takes it up to the try line but loses it just short!  
24 Mins Wellington clear it from the scrum down to the 22m line.  
26 Mins OBU execute a lineout drive into the 22 m line and then releases it to the runners. There are a couple of crashes through in the midfield but good Wellington defence wins the penalty for hanging on.

Wellington try another quick tap but knock it on again. Perhaps their own worst enemies at the moment are themselves with knock-ons but you could say the same thing too for OBU and penalties!

29 Mins From the resulting scrum OBU attack the line. Reece shows some clever footwork and great evasion skills but doesn’t quite make the line there are a few pick and goes at the line from there with who else but Taine Plumtree crashing over for the try. Callum converts it OBU 7 – Wellington 0
34 Mins Wellington are penalised for side entry on their own 22m after a great run down the sideline from left wing Josh Thomas.  
37 Mins Scrum 5 meters out from Wellington line. The OBU scrum is dominant and eventually Shamus crashes over for the try! The conversion misses OBU 12 -Wellington 0
39 Mins From the kickoff there is a breakout from our own 22m Taine takes it wide on the far side from us deep into the Wellington half. He then brings it back infield and links up with brother Reece who finishes it in the right-hand corner.

This has an ominous feel that things are about to open up for OBU to really put the hammer down.

OBU 17 -Wellington 0
41 Mins From the kickoff the ball runs down into the Wellington in-goal. Josh Thomas jumps up claiming the try. There is discussion between the ref and officials with it not being awarded. Its too far away to see what the reason was.  
42 Mins Sam Reid gets the ball in OBU territory and sends a clever kick down the field into the Wellington 22m  
43 Mins From the next play OBU are putting heat on the Wellington line but play is stopped as Josh Thomas has gone down with a serious injury. A suspected broken leg.


  The ambulance is called immediately and there is some frantic but fruitless searching for a stretcher. Eventually the ambulance arrives and after a quick discussion the chain is removed with an angle grinder and the ambulance carefully ventures onto the pitch with the driver petrified it will get bogged. It doesn’t.

Josh’s parents are in town from Blenheim and join in making him as comfortable as can be until the ambulance workers can get some pain killers into him.

Jack Green also deserves a pat on the back for staying with Josh and helping him through the pain, especially early on before the ambulance officers got there.

The WRFU official (who was really there to check we were following our Covid promises) has been keeping in touch with the Union who eventually make the decision for the referee and the teams, calling the rest of the match off with the result standing. i.e. OBU take 4 points.


  Wishing Josh a speedy recovery and next time we hope to write more about his play than his injury! He really was having a great game too.

Great to meet his parents and hear about Josh’s brother who was playing in the Malborough competition at the same time!

In the end for OBU it was good to get the 4 points but gutted to get the injury and frustrating for the team to not be able to put away the opposition and take the bonus point.