Old Boys University marched onto their 10th win of 2018 in their final Swindale Shield match of the season, defeating Petone 19-5 at Nairnville Park on Saturday.
The win meant OBU finished the 2018 Swindale Shield in second spot, just one point behind Northern United, who denied the Club of their fourth consecutive hoisting of the Swindale Shield this season with a 64-36 win over Marist St Pat’s.
The Billy Goats’ win also meant Petone weren’t able to maintain their spot in the top-seven after the final round, meaning they will be playing Hardham Cup rugby for the remainder of the 2018 season.
The soggy conditions at Nairnville made it difficult for both sides to string together phases, though you wouldn’t have thought that was the case after just four minutes when Petone scored their only try of the match through wing Jarrod Adams.
There was a lot of one-way traffic in OBU’s favour after that, though the Villagers’ defence held strong for most of the half until Matt Fowler finally crossed the chalk towards the end of the half after consistent pressure at scrum time from the Goats.
The second half played out similarly to the first, but it was OBU who made the early strike this time courtesy of beautiful footwork from wing Tai Neli who is a real livewire every time he gets the ball.
OBU again enjoyed the bulk of territory and possession but struggled to convert that into points but for the second time in the match, the dominant OBU scrum won a penalty try to put them up 19-5 with eight to play.
Petone did their best to gain a losing bonus point in the final minutes of the game, which would have earned them a Jubilee Cup berth, but it never came as the OBU defence held strong to close out a hard-fought win on Old Timers’ Day.
Congratulations to Norths on a well-deserved Swindale Shield title. The 2018 Jubilee Cup shapes up like this and kicks off next weekend:
Old Boys University
Hutt Old Boys Marist
Marist St Pat’s