NPD Tasman Trophy Round 11 Wrap
BY JONTY DINE [Nelson App]
In the final regular season round of the NPD Tasman Trophy, Marist booked third spot on the ladder after their 54-24 rout of Renwick at Tahunanui. Renwick finished fourth to also contest the semi-finals.
The clash featured the blockbusting battle of brilliant fullbacks Glenn Ballam and Jamie Spowart, the latter making his return from the Baby Black’s unsuccessful World Cup campaign in France
The green machine was in ominous form early, marching inside Renwick’s 22 with little resistance.
Marist opened the scoring through livewire half back Cleve Barrell who stretched over from the base of the ruck. James Hawkey converted from a handy position for a 7-0 lead.
Marist’s second came soon after when Matthew Stevenson found himself unmarked on the right wing and nonchalantly ran it in to stretch the lead to 12-0 after only ten minutes.
Renwick were rattled, putting the restart out on the full.
Jamie announced his return in style from the ensuing scrum, breaking the line with his blistering speed and linking with Stevenson who raced in for his second. Stevenson looked set for a quick-fire hat-trick on the back of another scintillating break by Spowart, however he was dragged down just short of the chalk and lost possession. Barrell made amends moments later, sneaking over for his second from short range.
Renwick’s woes were compounded after two players were taken off inside the first 25 minutes with serious looking injuries.
The visitors finally got on the board, prop Ty Bampton muscling his large frame over the line after a sustained period of attack.
Marist’s response was swift, Teu Sami burrowing under the defence for the bonus point try.
Renwick were too eager from the restart, pinged for a man in front, gifting the home side a golden opportunity to end the half on a high.
The green machine took full advantage, Stevenson sprinting down the right edge and setting Barrell away for a first half treble. Hawkey nailed a tough conversion for a 38-7 half-time lead.
Caleb Havil’s break right after oranges ensured the momentum remained with the hosts. However, as the rain started to fall, the fluency wavered for Marist as they adjusted to the wet.
Cayden Edwards replaced the hat-trick hero at half back, while one of the competition’s leading try scorers replaced Spowart who’s final act was a classy chip, chase and regather.
New personnel and combinations allowed Renwick to claw their way back and mount a mini comeback.
Dangerous winger Kavekini Tabu was potent with ball in hand and brushed aside several tacklers to score Renwick’s second.
Marist responded immediately as Renwick dropped the restart cold, Patrick Finau pouncing on the loose pill and sliding over for the hosts seventh. Havili brought up Marist’s half century after forcing the pill at the base of the posts after Hawkey went within inches of the line. The second five slotted his sixth conversion as the score line began to blow out.
Tanu was rewarded for his tireless efforts on attack with another superb try, waltzing past some tiring Marist defenders. The home side were camped on their own line for final few minutes, Renwick eventually cracking their defence through left winger Regan Marshall who strolled in for the matches final say.
Despite a sloppy second half, the returning Spowart says his side delivered a pleasing performance. "It’s great to be back with the boys having a bit of fun on and off the field.”
He says the team have been progressing well in his absence. "They have done unreal, everyone has done their roles and it has been very smooth so I’m happy to slot in and just do my job.”
The fleet-footed fullback is confident his side can go one better than their second-place finish in the Nelson Sub-Union competition. "There are some great teams out there and it will be tough but if we all do our jobs, train well and stick to our processes I think we will have a good crack at it.”
The young gun says despite the results not going the way of the Baby Blacks, his time in France was an invaluable learning experience. "I was there to just do my job and do it well and I did that, It has started a fire and motivated me to carry on and go to higher honors.”
Marist 54 (Barrell 3, Stevenson 2, Sami, Finau, Havilli, tries, Hawkey 6 cons) v Renwick 24 (Tabu 2, Bampton, Marshall tries, Schollum, 2 cons)
BY PETER JONES Marlborough App]
At Seddon, Waimea Old Boys needed a win against a resurgent East Coast outfit and looked to be cruising, up 17-0 after 20 minutes, their outside backs running riot. However the Coasters dug deep with tries to Billy Collins, Sam Houston and Steve Crudis helping level the scores by midway through the second spell.
Unfortunately for the home fans their side was unable to finish the job, Waimea scoring again and adding a couple of late penalties to ensure their third-placing in the top four. Their best were winger Erenimo Tau, midfielders Michael Stringer and Alex Coventry, flanker Vianga Filimoeulie and loosie Tim Coman.
Pick of the Coasters were hooker Billy Collins, flanker Jake Collins, halfback Nemia Kenatale and winger Heath Forsyth.
In other results today, Central scored a valuable away win over Stoke, 41-36, while Kahurangi did the same against Waitohi, prevailing 19-15 in Picton after the home side had led 10-0 at halftime.
The fifth scheduled game, between Wanderers and Moutere, was defaulted by Moutere who were unable to field a team.
The top four sides will play off next week for a chance to contest the premiership title, while the next four teams (provisionally Stoke, Central, Waitohi, and Wanderers) will battle for a chance to get their hands on the championship trophy. As top qualifiers, Stoke and Central will host the games.
Kahurangi, East Coast and Moutere look set to play-off for the Bowl, with the top qualifier (Kahurangi) having a bye in the semis.
Standings (provisional): Nelson 42, Marist 41, Waimea Old Boys 41, Renwick 36, Stoke 27, Central 25, Waitohi 23, Wanderers 22, Kahurangi 21, East Coast 19, Moutere 13.
Tasman Senior Women Semi-Finals
The Moutere women’s team made their way into the final of the Tasman competition in unfortunate fashion, after Marist defaulted their semifinal game on Friday.
The defending title-holders will meet the Waimea Old Boys, who prevailed 27 – 3 over Motueka High School, to contest the title decider in Blenheim next Saturday.