Kahurangi, Marist continue strong form
By Andrew Board [Nelson Weekly / Nelson App]
A massive Marist defensive effort has helped it to a well-deserved 28-16 win over hosts Waimea Old Boys in Richmond on Saturday afternoon.
Facing a strong wind in the first half, Marist's plan to hold onto possession set the foundation for the win with the visitors running in three first half tries to take a 19-9 lead into the half time break.
Waimea gifted the ball back to Marist in an attempt to take advantage of the wind, but Marist were accurate with the ball, punishing any defensive lapse. For Waimea, it's nine first half points all came from the boot of first five Campbell Parata.
Waimea were far more hungry for the ball in the second half but Marist's defense held until Waimea halfback Mitchell Barry finally ducked over for his side's first try, five minutes from full time to close the score to 22-16.
Marist then showed its class with two late penalty goals to take the game 28-16.
At Trafalgar Park, Kahurangi beat hosts Nelson in a nailbiter, 29-27. The third game between Stoke and Wanderers was a non-starter after Wanderers defaulted.
The results mean Kahurangi retain top spot with Marist second and Waimea third.
Renwick & Waitaohi narrow gap on Central
By Peter Jones [Marlborough Weekly / Marlborough App]
Marlborough's rugby grounds were fully utilised on Saturday, as junior rugby returned after the lockdown delay.
Under clear, blue skies the region's younger brigade finally put the skills they had been practicing at home to good use on the field, while the senior players were also back in action, heading towards finals late next month.
In Picton, a 30-15 victory over Awatere today ensured Waitohi are firmly back on track to defend their Marlborough sub-union division one crown.
The Tohis recently dropped back-to-back games to Central and Moutere but, after tipping over Renwick last weekend and Awatere today, showed they are still the team to beat. They led Awatere 18-3 at halftime and, although the second half honours were shared 12-12, they had enough points on the board to get the job done. They also registered four tries to pick up a valuable bonus point.
Player/coach Jimmy Giles was happy with the amount of scoring opportunities his side created, although they were unable to take advantage of them all.
Outstanding for the Tohis in what Giles described as an “all-round team effort” was prop Losi Malimali, back from suspension, hooker Taimi Fangatua, flanker Taine Cragg-Love, halfback Karlos Tautari and young first five Dylan McManaway who is relishing the opportunity to learn from Mako utility Tim O’Malley.
It was also Waitohi’s club day, the rugby club joining with Tokomaru netball and Picton’s footballers to make it a community occasion at Endeavour Park.
Awatere’s best were midfielders Sione Vea and Ben Filipo, plus hard-working forward Jack Roberton.
In Saturday’s other match, Renwick comfortably accounted for Moutere 53-16 at the Renwick Domain. The Green Machine led 24-6 at the break and continued to rack up the tries against a side who went a player down after 25 minutes when their midfielder was shown a second yellow card for a no-arms tackle, then a red.
In top form for Renwick were midfielder Kyle Marfell, loosie Cody Weir, lock Atu Taufa, first five Alex Barnsley, loose head prop Sione Lonitenisi and No 8 Kurt Schollum. A “cameo” appearance late in the game by former Mako player Cory Holdaway underscored a growing injury toll in the home side’s ranks.
Head coach Glen Blackmore said his side had “been a bit more ruthless”.
“The last couple of weeks we haven’t finished well, fell off the pace late in the game, so we put a lot of emphasis on that this week.”
Competition leaders Central had a bye. With three rounds remaining until the play-offs the Blues, Renwick and Waitohi are already assured of places in the semi-finals. The battle for the final position will come down to Awatere and Moutere, who meet at Awarua Park in the final round on August 15.
Renwick 53 (Atu Taufa, Sione Lonitenisi, Alex Barnsley, Mesake Bula, Regan Marshall, Michael Dillon, Ty Bampton, Sailasa Legeti 2 tries, Dillon 4 con) def Moutere 16 (Pene Toa, Ben Finau tries, Amco Cassidy 2 pen). HT: 26-6
Waitohi 30 (Stefan Roguski, Taimi Fangatua 2, Losi Malimali tries, Tim O’Malley 2 con, 2 pen) def Awatere 15 (Sione Vea, Javi Nivevs tries, Franco Quinones con, pen). HT: 18-3
Division one standings: Central 23, Renwick 20, Waitohi 18, Awatere 6, Moutere 6.