By Peter Jones [Marlborough Weekly Marlborough App]
Central announced their return to premier rugby, post lockdown, with a
convincing 38-14 victory over Waitohi at Picton’s Endeavour
Park on Saturday afternoon, and in the process claiming the John Goodman Challenge Trophy.
The match was a replay of last year’s Marlborough sub-union division
one final, but this time with a different result as the Blues, who had a bye
last week when rugby resumed, gained revenge for last year’s defeat.
They led 18-6 at halftime through tries to
prop Lockie McCormick and exciting
midfielder Timoci Tavatavanawai, plus two penalties and a conversion
to Mitch Smith, then added three more touchdowns in the second spell, a
contentious penalty try augmenting touchdowns by flanker Braden Stewart and
utility back Ra Tamati.
Central No 8 Matt McCormick
and Waitohi prop Losi Malimali were red carded near
the end of the second half for fighting, on an afternoon when plenty of cards
were dished out by referee Vaughan Warburton during a scrappy, stop-start
The home side picked up a try to hard-working lock Dylan Burns and lost
a couple of key players through injuries. However, they would have few reasons
to quibble over the final result as they relinquished their hold on the John
Goodman Challenge Trophy after just one week.????????
Tavatavanawai and fellow midfielder Nigel Satherley were
heavily involved on both attack and defence for the Blues, who were
well served by the cool head and ability to clear pressure of utility back
Stewart, plus fellow loosie Matt McCormick, impressed up
front, along with Jesse MacDonald, who was tireless on defence, plus lock Jone Lasaganibau.
Taine Cragg-Love showed the way for the Tohis, along
with fellow loosie Burns, lock Andre Hebberd and
hooker Taimi Fangatua.
No 10 Tim O’Malley, until leaving the field injured early in the second
spell, dictated play well for the home side, while fullback
Gannon Karena and halfback Karlos Tautari did their
best to provide spark.
Meanwhile, at the Renwick Domain, the home side continued their
unbeaten run with a 21-10 victory over Awatere, leaving the Green Machine and
Central as the only unbeaten sides.??
Renwick led 7-5 at the break, two further converted tries in the second
half propelling them to victory against a committed Awatere outfit, who scored
their second try late in the match and finished stronger than the home side.?
Renwick coach Glenn Blackmore described this encounter as his side’s
toughest game of the season. “It was a tough grind. Awatere came back well at us, they have a very
good midfield and a good scrum … it turned into a bit of a war,” he said.
Like the Picton game, there was not a lot of continuity
for either side, a stream of penalties interrupting the flow of
proceedings. Blackmore said Kyle Marfell, Thomas, replacements Daniel Jones and
Jayden Lister, plus skipper Josh Holdaway and Tuineau were
the pick of the home side’s performers. Awatere’s best were midfielder Vea, Will Chaffey and Jake Collins.
The second round of the Nelson premier competition got underway this afternoon with some major upsets to mark the resumption of rugby.
After three successive draws in 2019, Waimea and Marist played out another thriller at Trafalgar with the sub-union champions prevailing 25-24.
Elsewhere, the unbeaten Wanderers are setting the early pace after two rounds with a 28-15 win over Stoke at Greenmeadows,
Division One Scores:
Central 38 (Lockie McCormick, Timoci Tavatavanawai, Braden Stewart, Ra Tamati tries, Mitch Smith 3 pen, con, penalty try) def Waitohi 14 (Dylan Burns try, Tim O’Malley 2 pen, Dylan McManaway pen). HT 18-6.
Renwick 21 (Josh Thomas, Cody Weir, George Tuineau tries, Michael Dillon 3 con) def Awatere 12 (Sione Vea 2 tries, Franco Quinones con). HT 7-5
Waimea Old Boys 25 def Marist 24
Wanderers 28 def Stoke 15
Kahurangi 21 def Nelson 10