Our Premier and Premier Reserve sides have both beaten Old Boys-University at Evans Bay Park this afternoon and now look forward to semi finals next weekend. OBU were top of the table in each grade.
As gale-force southerlies lashed across Evans Bay the games were played in challenging conditions with one side enjoying a strong advantage and the other a stiff challenge when kicking the ball ahead.
In the Jubilee Cup match, MSP played with the wind in the first half but failed to capitalise. The home side trailed for most of the first half but struck right on halftime as Isaia Petelo made a break off a restart that was then finished by in form wing Ryan Saunders, this narrowed the gap to 10-12 at the half.
Having taken the lead despite facing the wind, OBU quickly extended the margin with a 41st minute penalty and again in the 61st minute. Facing an eight point deficit the Red Machine was not about to rollover and Nick Harrison drove over the line soon after to make it a one point ball game. Another penalty to OBU then saw the home side down by four.
With fresh legs in the pack our forward began to gain ascendancy at scrum time and pushed the big OBU pack off their own ball a couple of times before earning a five metre attacking scrum. It was this dominant scrum that led to the game winning try - also to Nick Harrison!
Our Premiers will host Hutt Old Boys Marist in a Jubilee Cup Semi Final at Evans Bay Park on Saturday.
In the early game our Premier Reserves led a previously unbeaten OBU side from start to finish, pulling away in the second half for a 24-17 win.
The will have a repeat fixture next weekend against OBU in their Ed Chaney Cup Semi Final, to be played away.
Our Women had their game against Wainuiomata moved to Petone and fell 19-27. The will also play a semi final next weekend, against unbeaten Oriental Rongotai.
But the day was all about celebrating Michelle Smyth's outstanding achievement by becoming the first player to play 50 games for the Marist St Pats Women's side. She was presented with a blazer in a great celebration at the clubrooms.