STUFF TASMAN TROPHY - WEEK TWO RECAP
By Nick Jeffrey - Stuff
Nelson's 10 Riaihe
Jacobs scores a try during the Nelson v Moutere/Awatere Stuff Tasman Trophy
rugby game at Trafalgar Park on Saturday. Credit: Virginia Woolf/Stuff
Waimea Old Boys moved to the top of the Stuff Tasman Trophy points table banking its second win of the young club rugby season on Saturday while Wanderers recorded a second successive draw to emphasise the tight-knit nature of the 2021 competition.
Saturday’s pleasant weather suited Waimea Old Boys’ mobile game plan perfectly and the team made the most of the conditions to bank a bonus point in a 39-23 victory over Renwick.
Whilst the final margin of victory flattered the competition front-runners, coach Scott McKenzie said it did take a good old fashioned half time “rev up” to get his side over the line after Renwick led 15-14 at the break.
“We needed to make smarter decisions. We didn’t have much ball in the first half and what we did get we wasted. I’m very happy with the way we kicked into life. After our lack of a pre-season we were always going to be underdone but to have two wins in the bank and a big game against Marist next week before our bye, I’m rapt,” McKenzie said.
Barnstorming winger David Paulo was a standout, bagging three tries, Ropati Matangi was solid on defence and a menace at scrum time while young loose forward Sio Latu at just 19 years of age was named Player of the Day.
There is a major traffic jam behind WOB on the points table with a solitary point separating the next six teams.
Wanderers also has an unbeaten record over the opening fortnight, but not one that coach Glen Grant is ecstatic about, after his side drew for the second week in a row, finishing knotted together with Waitohi after 80 minutes at 24-all.
Both sides had opportunities to win the game with late penalty goals but neither was successful, leaving Grant ruing another win that got away.
“It’s frustrating but we scored four tries to bank a bonus point so to take three points from the game is better than none. We lacked some discipline and didn’t make the most of our chances but you’ve got to credit Waitohi who really stuck to their guns and played well,” he said.
Waitohi player/coach Jimmy Giles was proud of his charges after a host of injuries saw his side lose both their midfielders, halfback and first five-eighth during the game which saw Giles switch from his spot on the side of the Waitohi scrum into midfield.
“I’ll take a draw in a game like that any day. We’ve played a lot bigger sized opponents to start the season so we’ve had to scrap and the boys did a great job, especially when we lost our playmakers. It meant some of our guys got the chance to step into a close game and a pressure situation that they normally wouldn’t so to share the points was a great result,” Giles said.
For Waitohi, fullback Dan Monaghan and young prop forward Luke Bergman were among their best while Gabba de Kock had a great game at the back of the Wanderers’ scrum and Jayden Woolley showed some nice touches at fullback.
Kahurangi weathered a late Central comeback to claim its first victory 35-33. After an opening weekend bye Kahurangi had the better of the first half and took a 25-14 lead into the break. A try after the resumption looked to have the game in the bag before Central roared back into the contest and had a late penalty attempt from a handy angle to take the lead five minutes from time. The kick sailed wide meaning Kahurangi lifted the John Goodman Challenge Trophy and celebrated winger Stein Schreiber’s 100th game for the club in style.
Schreiber did his part, scoring three tries in an eye-catching display. Qori Gucake and Manu Parkin controlled proceedings up front for the victors.
Likewise, Nelson also took its first steps the season 2021 after an opening round bye and banked maximum points in its 33-19 win over Awatere/Moutere. Coach Gary Stevens was happy with what he called a good club effort, with his side having to call on players from the Division Two squad with eight players unavailable due to various commitments including clashes with the Super Rugby Under-20 competition and Touch Nationals.
“We controlled the first half of both halves but they put us under a lot of pressure and were camped on our line for what seemed like 20 minutes before scoring just before half time. I was pleased with how we played after the half and even though it was five tries to three it was definitely a closely fought game. They turned up and were a formidable opponent,” Stevens said.
Kershawl Sykes-Martin led an 80-minute effort from the Nelson pack in the absence of Isaac Salmond who was rested after tweaking his calf at training during the week.
In a quirk of the draw, Nelson has a second bye this weekend but has Club Day planned with players to take juniors through skills training on Saturday morning before the team takes on Nelson College at 1pm.
Elsewhere, Division 2 also kicked off with Riwaka, Waimea Old Boys, Tapawera, Takaka and Collingwood banking wins in The Car Company Nelson Bays competition while Pelorus, Moutere and Central (by default) all banked wins in the Wadsco Motorworld Marlborough section.
Stuff Tasman Trophy Results:
Waimea Old Boys 39 def Waitohi 23,
Nelson 33 defeated Moutere / Awatere Combined 23,
Kahurangi 35 defeated Central 33,
Wanderers 24 drew with Waitohi 24.
Marist and Stoke had the bye.
Waimea Old Boys 10, Marist 5, Stoke 5, Nelson 5, Kahurangi 5, Wanderers 4, Central 4, Waitohi 2, Renwick 0, Moutere / Awatere 0.
The Car Company Nelson Bays Division 2 Results:
Waimea Old Boys 49 defeated Huia 13
Collingwood 45 defeated Wanderers 12
Takaka 31 defeated Marist 29
Valley Stags 32 defeated WOB Colts 31
Motorworld Marlborough Division 2 Results:
Pelorus 27 defeated Renwick 25
Moutere 19 defeated Awatere 12
Central v MBC Old Boys was cancelled.