Burnett’s double helps Stoke sink Waimea OB
Jonty Dine [Nelson App]
Stoke flanker Anty Burnett announced his return from injury with a blockbusting burst of tries to lead his side to victory over Tasman Trophy runners up Waimea Old Boys on Saturday.
The 2018 sub-union champions continued its strong start its season with a hard fought 40-27 win.
Both sides scored some thrilling tries in a topsy-turvy affair at Jubilee Park, with Burnett shining on the side of the scrum.
After missing a large chunk of the Tasman Trophy season with a broken hand, Burnett was back to his best with his trademark running game proving a handful for the hosts.
“It is good to be back,” he said after the game. “It was tough watching from the sideline, especially having a slow start to the season.”
Burnett said the side was beginning to gel as they looked to defend its title.
“It’s cool to see the boys have had a momentum shift moving into the second round and are now playing as a team.”
The electric Joey Scott created the first try with a mercurial dummy and inside kick which sat up perfectly for Chris Little.
However, the response from Waimea was immediate as Campbell Parata produced a superb offload to his skipper Michael Stringer, who strolled over for the host’s opening points.
Burnett then showed great speed and agility to elude the last line of defence and put his side back in front.
Stoke stretched its advantage further when Declan Smith went over after following up a kick ahead before Bennett broke the line again and scored his second as Stoke took a substantial lead with thirty gone.
After sustained pressure, Waimea finally replied through Erenimo Tau who was simply too strong close to the chalk and powered his way over to close the gap to 14.
The points dried up as the defence intensified until James Lash finally snuck through and found Mitch Amberger to put Waimea within four.
Waimea then took the lead for the first time as Scott failed to clean up a kick at the back and Tau pounced for his second try.
A frenetic final ten ensued as both sides looked to seal the result, but it was Stoke’s skipper who would spark the defining score.
Blair Prinsep made a brilliant offload to send Ryan Churchill screaming down the touch as he drew last man and turned it inside to Smith.
The defending champions then put the game to bed as Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta went in under the bar to seal it
Elsewhere, Wanderers upset Nelson 37-27 in Brightwater and Marist accounted for Kahurangi 43-19.
Stoke 40 (Little, Smith 2, Burnett 2, Crikidaveta tries, Smith 5 cons) beat Waimea Old Boys 27 (Stringer 2, Tau 2, Amberger tries, Parata 1 con)
Tohis book top spot for play-offs
By Peter Jones [Marlborough App]
Waitohi claimed top seeding for the Marlborough sub-union rugby semifinals with an emphatic 47-15 win over Moutere in Picton on Saturday.
A 21-point scoring burst just prior to halftime at Endeavour Park allowed the Tohis to take control of a tough encounter. After 30 minutes of see-sawing play Waitohi trailed 5-8, battling to hold off a strong challenge from the Magpies.
However, within 10 minutes the game’s complexion changed completely, converted tries to centre Daniel Samita, flanker Taine Cragg-Love and No 8 Taimi Fangatua allowing the Tohis a commanding 26-8 halftime lead.
Three more second half tries clinched the deal for the home side, with Moutere claiming a consolation touchdown on full time to make the final score 47-15.
Waitohi’s versatile player/coach Jimmy Giles, who wore the 10 shirt this week with ace goalkicker Corey Bovey unavailable, said they had expected a tough challenge.
“Things haven’t been going their way this season but they are a better team than results suggested … so we knew they were going to come our house and give us a good go.
“After a week off [with the bye] I reminded the lads that we couldn’t be low in the first part of the match, but I think we were.
“We missed Corey today, especially his direction, but we eventually worked out where we could attack them and once we got some momentum we went on from there.”
Giles had praise for a couple of “guys who often fly under the radar”, winger Euygene Taylor, who stepped up both with the boot and in general play, plus hard-working lock Jack Evans. Flanker Cragg-Love was again energetic and prominent, along with exciting backs Saia Tokai at halfback, centre Daniel Samita and fullback Fetuli Paea.
Hooker Aiden Gane, lock Mike Leger-Kula and No 8 Matt McCormick shone up front for the Magpies, with halfback Ben Finau, midfielders Aki Kaumavae and Petueli Taufaga creative out wide.
Things were a lot closer in Seddon, where East Coast and Central battled to a 12-12 draw. The Blues led 7-5 at halftime, with the home side winning the second half by the same margin to share the points.
With two rounds to be played before the semifinals Waitohi are assured of top spot, with Moutere, who have a bye next week, now very likely to miss the cut.
Standings (provisional): Waitohi 39, Central 31*, East Coast 28, Renwick 18, Moutere 13*. *Still have a bye.
Scores: Waitohi 47 (Daniel Samita 2, Taine Cragg-Love, Taimi Fangatua, Stefan Roguski, Saia Tokai, Duane Aholelei tries, Euygene Taylor 3 con, Fetuli Paea 2 con, Cragg-Love con) Moutere 15 (Matt McCormick, Max Freydell tries, Freydell con, pen). HT: 26-8 Waitohi.
Central 12 (Jake Cresswell, Logan Robinson tries, Glen Smith con) East Coast 12. HT: 7-5 Central.
The Moutere’s women’s team returned to their winning ways with a 50-7 win over Awatere in Seddon on Friday night. Moutere, who lost their unbeaten record to Waimea Old Boys the previous weekend, now sit just a single point behind leaders Waimea on the Tasman division one table.
Waimea Old Boys continued their winning way with a 47-10 victory over Motueka High School at Jubilee Park.
First XV Rugby
The Marlborough Boys’ College First XV were unable to reverse a recent trend in their UC championship campaign, losing 28-19 to Lincoln Combined today. Their sixth loss sees MBC slip to 10th on the standings.
Head coach Matt MacDougall said a high error rate from his charges, plus some crucial missed tackles, allowed the country side to take control of the match after MBC led 14-12 at the break.
With 10 minutes to go MBC trailed 25-19 before conceding what MacDougall described as a “silly penalty”, allowing Lincoln to close out proceedings.
He said midfielder Tristan Taylor had “one of his best games” along with centre David Asiata and the tireless William McKenzie on the flank.
Next up for MBC is a home game on Saturday against powerhouse Christchurch BHS.
Scores: Lincoln Combined 28 v Marlborough Boys’ College 19 (Tino Vakaloa, Monu Moli, Ryan McLeod tries, Keelan Murrell 2 con). HT: 14-12 MBC
Other UC championship results from Saturday: Christchurch BHS 88 Waimea 0; St Andrew’s 62 Mid Canterbury 6; Shirley 38 Roncalli 7; Nelson 24 Timaru 22; St Bede’s 32 St Thomas 17; Christ’s College 29 Rangiora 10.