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NPD Tasman Trophy kicks off in Div 1

The 2018 NPD Tasman Trophy kicked off today with a rematch of last year’s Nelson Bays final.

The Car Company Nelson Bays Div 1

BY Jonty Dine [Nelson App]

The 2017 NPD Tasman Trophy replay result was the same with a comprehensive 54-7 victory for Nelson over Wanderers at Neale Park.

Willy Havili ran the ship superbly for Nelson while number 8 Isaiah Miller was also brilliant in the loose, bagging a brace of five pointers. 

Nelson 54 (Isaiah Miller 2, Joel Brown, Tom Eelman, Matt Soper, Chris Kerslake, Nick Foxley, Leicester Faingaanuku tries; Willy Havili 7 cons) Wanderers 7 (Sam Brooks try; Jayden Woolley con)

In the match of the round, competition favourites Waimea Old Boys took on Stoke at Jubilee Park in a see-sawing affair.  

Waimea playmaker Billy Guyton was making his 50th appearance for the club after a stint with the Blues in last year’s Super Rugby campaign.

Stoke captain Sam Chamberlain opened the season’s scoring for the visitors, after the fullback latched on to a beautiful cross field kick to put Stoke 5-0 ahead after only two minutes.

Waimea replied through Michael Stringer who showed fleet footwork to put his side on the board. 

There were a number of bone crunching hits in the opening exchanges, as both teams played some enterprising rugby in the season opener.

Blindside flanker Jeff Lepa was a constant menace for Waimea with his powerful running, while Chamberlain threatened throughout.

Another stunning run from Chamberlain lead to Stoke’s second try and put the visitors 12-5 ahead after 30 minutes.

Stoke halfback Jack Grooby was on song with the boot, nailing a fifty-meter penalty to extend Stoke's lead soon after.

Waimea clawed their way back into the contest and a long ball from Guyton saw replacement outside back Tommy Allen crash over in the corner just before the break to make it 15-10.

Both sides came out firing in the second spell, but a relentless period of attack from Waimea lead to second five Alex Coventry dotting down to put Waimea ahead for the first time in the game 17-15.

The tit for tat continued as former warrior Thomas Aoke skinned his opposite to score his first of two tries after a powerful surge from Fijian Isei Lewaqai.

Waimea’s response was emphatic as winger Erenimo Tau scored the try of the match after sithing infield from his right wing and outsprinting the opposition to finish under the bar.

Guyton then moved into halfback as Buller’s James Lash came on for Waimea and immediately made an impression as Mitch Amberger completed a slick backline move to score what seemed like the match winner.

Stoke refused to go away and Aoke got his second try soon after to set up a tense final few minutes.

However, an expertly placed cross from Lash saw Tau nab his second and seal the win for Waimea 38-34.

Waimea captain Billy Guyton says it was a good start for his troops.

"We’ve got a bit to work on but it's good to get the win, Stoke have a really good young team and they took it to us, so really pleased to get away with that one.”

Billy says his milestone appearance was made even sweeter with the win.

"I’ve been lucky enough to play 50 games for the club so that’s been pretty special.”

He says his side will have plenty to work on during the week.

"Just a bit of tackle technique and holding onto the pill.”

Waimea Old Boys 38 (Erenimo Tau 2, Michael Stringer, Xavier Albert, Tim Coman tries; Billy Guyton 5 cons, pen) Stoke 34 (Tomas Aoake 2, Sam Chamberlain 2, Blayne Wanoa-Commons tries; Jack Grooby 2 con, 1 pen, Chamberlain con)

In the weekends other fixtures, Kahurangi hosted Marist at Sport Park in Motueka.

Kahurangi snuck home 21-20 despite being outscored four tries to three.

Jake Wetere, Jacob Norris Joe Taylor and Isaac Laga all crossed for Marist while Stein Schreiber, Miro Mitchell and Jack Kohler scored for the hosts.

Kahurangi 21 (Stein Schreiber, Miro Mitchell, Jack Kohler tries; Aaron Coe 2 cons, Kohler con) Marist 20 (Jakob Norris, Isaac Laga, Jake Wetere, Joe Taylor tries)
HT: 7 -15 Marist

Motorworld Marlborough Div 1

BY Peter Jones [Marlborough App]

Renwick made an emphatic early statement of intent as Marlborough division one club rugby kicked off today, downing Waitohi 31-13.

The Green Machine, sub-union finalists in 2017, have been widely tipped as the team to beat this year and they underlined that projection with a five-try performance on the Renwick Domain that, while far from perfect, showed their scoring potential.

The game was delayed for an hour due to a serious injury to a player in the previous match, a division two warm-up match between Central and Renwick. A Central player sustained a neck injury and was unable to be moved from the main ground. He was eventually put in an ambulance and then transferred to a rescue helicopter on the number two ground.

The main match opened with a see-sawing half, although the home side dominated the scoring to lead 19-6 at halftime.

Waitohi came out strongest after the break, inspired by rampaging hooker Ray Niuia, No 8 Taimi Fangatua and midfielder Stefan Roguski, to close the gap to 19-13 before two tries in quick succession gave the home side some breathing space and an opening win.

Renwick’s best were prop Quinn Harrison-Jones, elusive centre Faiaula Fotu Moala, who bagged a double, Regan Marshall and winger Atu Taufa.

Renwick 31 (Faiaula Fotu Moala 2, Regan Marshall, Kyle Marfell, Glen Ballam tries, Kurt Schollum 3 con) Waitohi 13 (George Tuineau try, Corey Bovey 2 pen, con) HT: 19-6

Meanwhile, at Lansdowne Park, Moutere made a strong start to their Marlborough title defence with a 34-24 win over Central.

The Magpies, who have been scrambling for players of late, showed they meant business in the first spell, racing to a 22-0 lead.

Although Central had much the better of the second 40 minutes, winning it 24-12 and scoring four tries in the process, Moutere held on for a vital and well-earned victory.

Best of the Magpies were loosie Vernon Fredericks, the versatile Mike Curry, lock James McAnallen and first five Max Freydell.

Moutere 34 (Vernon Fredericks 2, James McAnallen, Willie McCormick, Mike Curry, Ben Finau tries, Max Freydell 2 con) Central 24 (Jesse MacDonald, Braden Stewart, Simi Volavola, Mitch Smith tries, Smith 2 con). HT 22-0 Moutere

Standings: