Marist tip up table toppers Kahurangi
[By Jonty Dine – Nelson Weekly / Nelson App]
Marist picked up its third win in seven days as the Tasman Trophy champions pipped competition leaders Kahurangi 33-30 at Trafalgar Park.
A late surge from the visitors ensured a flattering scoreline as Kahurangi’s missed shots at goal came back to haunt them.
Marist coach Gavin Briggs says it was always going to be tough to get his men up again after a mid-week match. “Kahurangi have shown that they stick in it for 80 minutes, we had opportunities to make it much easier for ourselves, but our discipline let us down.”
Gavin says it was disappointing to let the foot off the throat late in the piece. “We will take the win, one point or 100 points, it doesn’t really make a difference.”
He says the schedule has been demanding, but they are making the right noises at the right time.
“From where we were when the comp started to where we are now, it’s pleasing to see.”
Fullback Jamie Spowart opened the scoring as he picked up a low pass off his boots and waltzed over.
Taina Fox-Matamua scored a second shortly after as he busted through some poor defence to take an early 12-0 lead.
Kahurangi responded in breath-taking fashion as Michael Wells bust Marist’s line wide open, linked with Stein Schreiber who turned it back inside to Wells.
The visitors then reduced the margin to two, after a breakout from its own line led to a penalty in-front of the posts which Wells nonchalantly nailed.
However, just before the break Sam Briggs stretched the lead to 19-10 as he brushed off more poor defence to score a third.
Niko Barton ensured the momentum remained with Marist after half time, scoring the bonus point with some fleet footwork to pick up the bonus point.
With the wind picking up, Kahurangi showed why it sat at the top of the table with a clinical back line move to send Schreiber over for his second.
Spowart quashed any hopes of a comeback as he exploded into a hole, brushed off three tackles and slid in under the bar for a brace.
Hooker Qori Guake rumbled his way over the chalk for a consolation before Schreiber and Guake each went in for their second to put them just three shy of Marist, but it was too little too late.
The result sees Kahurangi knocked off the top off the table, surpassed by Waimea Old Boys who enjoyed a 31-30 win over Stoke.
In the round's final fixture, Nelson picked up its second win of the season over Wanderers, 39-14.
Marist 33 (Spowart 2, Fox-Matamua, Briggs, Barton tries, Briggs 4 cons) def Kahurangi 30 (Schreiber 2, Guake 2, Wells tries, Wells 1 con, 1 pen)
Waimea 31 def Stoke 30
Nelson 39 def Wanderers 14.
Central, Waitohi claim wins
[By Peter Jones – Marlborough Weekly / Marlborough App]
Central underlined their division one rugby pedigree at Awarua Park on Saturday afternoon, romping past home side Moutere 54-0.
In gloomy conditions, with constant light rain throughout and the floodlights on, the Blues achieved a commendable level of co-ordination, enabling them to run in eight tries, seven of which were expertly converted by fullback Mitch Smith.
Moutere’s cause was not helped by the fact they were reduced to 14 men midway through the first half when No 8 Peceli Katonawale was sent off for a breakdown infringement.
The Blues, who were without Braden Stewart and Nigel Satherley this week, were on the board early through inspirational hooker Jesse MacDonald. Soon after, Moutere lost hooker Pene Toa to the sin bin for a high tackle and Central scored again, through a clever bit of work from first five Liam Duncan.
That pretty much summed up the afternoon for the Magpies, who battled away but too often turned over possession cheaply and were unable to string lengthy phases together.
By halftime Central had three more tries, the score was 33-0 and the match was effectively over.
However, they kept their foot on the throat during the second spell, a double to centre Timoci Tavatavanawai and a final touchdown by No 8 Matt McCormick against his former club rubbing salt into the wound.
Young loosie Edan Fitzpatrick was outstanding for the Blues, along with halfback Ethan Jones, Duncan, Smith and midfielder Jake Cresswell.
Tristian Taylor, who played in a variety of positions, was Moutere’s best, along with hard-working skipper Luke Scott.
Victory ensured the Blues remain unbeaten for the season, and retain the Weekly Challenge Cup which they claimed from Renwick last week.
Meanwhile, in Picton, the home side rebounded from their loss to Moutere a fortnight ago to tip over Renwick 32-20 at Endeavour Park.
The match was a see-sawing affair, the return of experienced Mako utility back Tim O'Malley and player/coach Jimmy Giles at No 8 making a difference in the latter stages when Waitohi assumed control.
The home side held a narrow 10-8 advantage at the break and picked up a further three second half tries to claim a bonus point, while Renwick relied on the trusty boot of fullback Michael Dillon, who landed five penalties to keep them in touch as the match see-sawed throughout.
Giles said the difference was that his side won a few of the key moments in the latter stages.
“It was tit-for-tat, in the end a few turnovers made the difference,” he suggested.
“The last couple of weeks have been below our best work … this time we played for each other, became brothers again.”
Waitohi’s player of the day was lock Dylan Burns, who bagged two of their tries.
Giles had praise for their young front rowers Saka Kavila and Luke Bergman who anchored a capable scrum in the absence of the experienced Manu Mataele and Losi Malimali.
Taine Cragg-Love, Mote Malimali, Karlos Tautari, fullback Gannon Karena and first five Dylan McManaway also made big impacts.
For Renwick, No 8 Kurt Schollum had a strong game on both attack and defence, halfback Ruairidh Swan cleared the ball well and kicked intelligently while Dillon had another top outing at the back.
Division one scores:
Central 54 (Jesse MacDonald 3, Timoci Tavatavanawai 2, Matt McCormick, Jake Cresswell, Liam Duncan tries, Mitch Smith 7 con) def Moutere 0. HT: 33-0.
Waitohi 32 (Dylan Burns 2, Gannon Karena, Taimi Fangatua tries,Tim O'Malley 3 con, 2 pen) def Renwick 20 (Alex Barnsley try, Michael Dillon 5 pen). HT: 10-8 Waitohi