One of the rich traditions of Wellington club rugby is the number of trophies annually contested between clubs, usually in recognition of outstanding club members who have fostered relationships (or rivalries) between opposing clubs.
The trophies are usually contested by Premier sides in the Swindale Shield round, but from time-to-time have been played for in other grades when one club has not fielded a Premier team. Marist St Pats currently contests inter-club trophies with eight clubs.
Avalon and Marist St Pat’s contest the Joe Aspell Cup; Aspell played for Marist Old Boys in the 1940’s, was later the Club President and honoured as a Life Member and donated it for competition between Marist and Taita when he was the licensee of the Taita Hotel; it is now played for by the respective successor clubs.
Joe Aspell was a Wellington City Councillor. He also owned a number of Hotels in the Wellington region. They included the Taita Hotel where the then Taita RFC frequented as their “watering hole”. The Joe Aspell Cup was donated by the Aspell family to be competed for between the Premier grades of Taita and Marist St Pats. Taita merged with Naenae Old Boys to form a new Avalon RFC and the trophy is now played for between Avalon and Marist St Pats.
The Father Cleary Shield is named for the late sportsmaster and 1st XV coach at St Patrick’s College and a founder of the St Pats Old Boys club. It was donated by the Roache family for play between St Pats Old Boys and Marist Old Boys when relations between the two clubs was poor, and following the merger of those two it was played for by Marist St Pats against Hutt Valley Marist.
Following the merger between Hutt Old Boys RFC and Marist Hutt Valley RFC in 1993 the trophy is now competed for between Hutt Old Boys Marist and Marist St Pats.
Maurie Standish was an outstanding Premier player for Marist St Pats. He was a Jubilee Cup champion as a player and then coached the Premier team to Jubilee Cup victory in 1988. He also played at Titahi Bay RFC and later coached at Northern United RFC as he was a resident of that area.
The Cup was inaugurated in 2017 to be played for in the first round Premier game between Northern United and Marist St Pats in 2018. Maurice is a well respected member of both clubs.
Jack Lamason was a legendary figure in Wellington sport before and after the Second World War. He played senior cricket for Wellington College Old Boys for 20 years, represented Wellington and toured England with the New Zealand team in 1937.He also played senior rugby for WCOB, being captain and later coach.
He represented Wellington from 1929-36 and was part of the 1930 Ranfurly Shield winning team coached by the renowned Norman Millard. Also of note, Lamason was never in the 1st XV or 1st XI whilst at Wellington College.
This trophy was originally established for competition between St Patrick's College Old Boys and Wellington College Old Boys – largely at the instigation of MSP Life Member, Mr Vince Paino. Vince was also a Wellington selector and WRFU Executive member.. It is now played for between Marist St Pats and Old Boys-University. Jack Lamason died in 1961.
The trophy was originally established for competition between St Patrick's College Old Boys and Wellington College Old Boys – largely at the instigation of MSP Life Member, Mr Vince Paino. Vince was also a Wellington selector and WRFU Executive member.
Bill Elvy was originally from Canterbury but played for Petone soon after seeing the light and arriving in Wellington. He was a Wellington representative in the late 1920s and made the North Island and New Zealand XV teams (1929). Bill's son Norm played for both the Marist Old Boys and St Pat's Old Boys clubs and his grandson Martin played for Marist St Pats.
This is an important clash on the calendar of both clubs. Petone and MSP have contested many epic matches down the years.
The Horan-Millar Trophy, first played for in 2009 and named after former MSP coach and Marist hooker Mick Horan who played 175 Senior games between 1955-1965 and former Poneke legend of the 1950s-1970s and life member Ken Millar who passed away in 1982. Both Mick and Ken were great club men who locked horns over many seasons in Wellington club football and were good friends off the field who had great respect for each other. MSP Club legend Kevin Horan, and Mick Horans brother, presented the initial Horan-Millar Trophy in 2009.
Mick Horan played hooker for Marist Bros Old Boys from 1955 to 1965. He captained that team to win the Jubilee Cup three times. He coached the Marist Senior team in the late 1960’s. He coached the very successful Wellington Colts team from 1975 to 1977. This team produced five All Blacks – including Tu Wyllie and Brian McGrattan from MSP). He then coached the Wellington B team from 1978 to 1980 winning the initial National B Competition, unbeaten. He had played 175 consecutive games for Marist when he lost 5 teeth in a tough game against Poneke! He was made a Life Member of MSP when he died suddenly in 1982, aged 47.
Ken Millar was a Poneke legend through the 1950’s and 1960’s. A very hard man, he was also the Wellington Heavyweight Champion as a boxer – he won 18 Wellington heavyweight titles and 5 National Titles. He represented Wellington at Rugby from 1952 to 1960. He coached the Poneke Premiers in the 1970’s and became Life Member of the Club in 1981 and died in 1982.
Cliff Rona played for Marist St Pats from 1972 to 1982. He was in at least one Jubilee Cup winning team.
In 1977 he was the Vice-Captain of the first MSP team to win the Swindale Shield and were also runners up in the Jubilee Cup. In 1978 the Premier team shared the Jubilee Cup with Wellington before winning both trophies in 1979. Cliff was assistant coach of the MSP Senior 3rd team that won the National Mutual Cup and the HD Morgan Memorial Cup in 1983.
Cliff Rona returned to Wainuiomata in 1984 and played for that Clubs Premier team.
John Morrisey is a long serving member and President of the Wainuiomata RFC. John played for the Marist Bros Old Boys Club for some years. He has been involved with coaching at the Wainuiomata RFC for more than 4 decades and has been that Club’s President.
Because of their joint association with Marist and Wainuiomata Clubs the Clubs donated the Rona-Morrisey Cup for annual competition between the top teams of the two Clubs.
(Picture: Former Premier player Aviata Silago with the Rona-Morrisey Cup in 2012)
This Cup was first played for in 1960 having been donated following the death in office of the Onslow Club Treasurer, Viv Haigh. He died suddenly at the age of 46, having had a continuous association with the Club for more than 30 Years, the last 16 as Treasurer.
At the suggestion of the donor, the trophy was contested between Onslow and Marist. The trophy has been contested since 1971 by MSP and following further amalgamations, as the successor to Onslow, by the Western Suburbs RFC. In recent years the trophy has been played for between the equivalent top teams of the two Clubs.