Waimea OB triumph at Trafalgar
By Jonty Dine [Nelson Weekly / Nelson App]
It was a bruising and brutal Car Company Nelson Bays division one battle at Trafalgar Park on Saturday, but Waimea Old Boys emerged from the war with Nelson victorious and with the coveted Noel Barton Trophy.
Down 25-10 at halftime, Nelson showed plenty of character to fight back in the second and out-score last year’s Tasman Trophy finalists four tries to three.
However, it was the deadly accurate boot of Campbell Parata who scored 16 points which ultimately proved the difference in the 31-27 win.
A bloodied Waimea skipper Ben Eder says it was a gutsy effort from his men. “It was always going to be a fight, it was always going to be tough, but we are just stoked to get it done.”
He says the culture in the team is one of self-belief and hard work. “We are willing to work for everyone, it was a team effort.”
Ben says while Campbell’s contributions off the tee were crucial, he brings so much more to his role at first five.
“He directs us around the park, makes his tackles, he really is an outstanding player.”
Ben says they are still right in the hunt to win the Nelson competition. “We have dropped a couple, but we believe we should be there at the end and in finals footy, you never know what can happen.”
Nelson were rampant early on, Nick Foxley scoring the opening try after he ran a decisive angle off Matthew Soper to score the games opener.
Nelson was enjoying a wealth of territory and possession and just as they looked set to score a second, Michael Stringer nabbed an intercept and sprinted 80 metres to square the ledger.
The try sparked Waimea into life and Erenimo Tau waltzed through some feeble defence to give Waimea a 17-10 lead.
Parata pushed his side further ahead with his second penalty before Eden Beech went over right on the brink of half time to put Waimea in a strong position at the break. 25-10
However, it was Nelson to strike first after oranges, winger Ben Fainga’anuku pirouetting out of a tackle to score in the corner and reduce the gap to ten.
Nelson then went back to back with Cameron Suafoa the beneficiary of some enterprising attack and slick offloading.
Parata kept his 100 per cent record alive with a third penalty giving Waimea an eight-point advantage and some much-needed breathing room.
Fainga’anuku was then sent to the bin for a high shot as tensions began to heat up.
Waimea were unable to take advantage of the extra man and Ben returned with no further damage to the scoreboard.
Back to a full complement, Nelson scored the try of the game as Apetoni Vaka broke out of his own half.
The blockbusting centre linked with Chris Kerslake who gave it to Jackson Harvey with plenty of work still to do.
Harvey fended off the remaining defence and went over to put Nelson just one point behind.
Parata made it four shortly after and despite some desperate attack from Nelson, Waimea held firm and closed out the thrilling win.
At Greenmeadows, Marist enjoyed a 54-31 over Stoke to go within two points of competition leaders Kahurangi with two rounds to play.
Waimea Old Boys 31 (Stringer, Tau, Beech, tries, Parata 2 cons, 4 pens) def Nelson 27 (Foxley, Fainga’anuku, Suafoa, Harvey tries, Soper 1 con, 1 pen)
Marist 54 def Stoke 31.
Central & Renwick consolidate spots at top of the table
By Peter Jones [Marlborough Weekly / Marlborough App]
In Wadsco Motorworld Marlborough division one action, Central came out on top of a 2019 grand final replay at Lansdowne Park.
They headed off Waitohi 26-16, maintaining their unbeaten 2020 record and underlining their favouritism for end-of-season honours. They also held on to the Tasman-wide John Goodman Challenge Trophy and the weekly MRSU challenge cup.
Both teams scored a try in the first spell, Tim O’Malley’s two penalties plus a conversion of Taine Cragg-Love’s touchdown giving the visitors a 13-8 advantage at oranges.
However the second spell told a different story, Central scoring the first 15 points through tries to lock Jesse Eising and centre Timoci Tavatavanawai, plus a Mitch Smith penalty and conversion.
O’Malley booted his third penalty to close the gap, before Smith slammed over a long range effort to allow the Blues a 10-point lead which proved enough, despite a late flurry from the defending champs.
For Central, props Peter and Tino Vakaloa had strong games, along with hard-charging flanker Siatoki Baker, while halfback Ethan Jones, plus midfielders Timoci Tavatavanawai and Jake Cresswell, were prominent.
Cragg-Love was outstanding for the Tohis, along with hooker Taimi Fangatua and prop Losi Malimali, while Dylan McManaway and O’Malley steered the ship expertly.
In Seddon, the home side were unable to grab a much-needed win over Renwick, the Green Machine prevailing 31-21 to consolidate second spot on the table. They scored two tries in each half and led 17-14 at halftime. Awatere closed to 24-21 midway through the second spell before a late try to prop Ty Bampton clinched a bonus point win for the Green Machine. Try-scoring prop George Tuineau was Renwick’s player of the day.
Central 26 (Jesse Eising, Timoci Tavatavanawai, Mitch Smith tries, Mitch Smith 3 pen, con) def Waitohi 16 (Taine Cragg-Love try, Tim O’Malley 3 pen, con). HT 13-8 Waitohi.
Renwick 31 (George Tuineau, Josh Holdaway, Ty Bampton, Atunaisa Taufa tries, Michael Dillon 4 con, pen) def Awatere 21 (Sione Vea 2, Flynn Struthers tries, Franco Quinones 3 con). HT: 17-14 Renwick.
Division one standings: Central 27, Renwick 25, Waitohi 18, Awatere 6, Moutere 6.