Kahurangi claim lead in the Stuff Tasman Trophy
By Nick Jeffrey [Stuff]
Waitohi's win over Nelson at Trafalgar Park. Credit: Braden Fastier/Stuff
Kahurangi made an early season statement in Saturday’s round of the Stuff Tasman Trophy, handing Wanderers its first loss of the club rugby season and in the process moving to the top of the standings after four weeks.
With Waimea Old Boys sitting the round out on the bye, Kahurangi kept its perfect record intact with its 26-7 win to move to the head of the competition points table on point differential.
An even first half saw the sides level at 7-all at the break with Wanderers having the better of the run of play early, but some stout Kahurangi defence meant they went into the sheds happy to concede only one try.
It took until the final 10 minutes for the game to be put away, Kahurangi scoring twice to bank its third bonus point victory and ensure its first defence of the John Goodman Challenge Trophy was a successful one.
“We had the shield at training during the week and between that and Thomas Robinson’s 50th game for the club, our boys were up for it,” Kahurangi coach Brendan Smith said.
For the victors, Willie Havili was a steady influence at first five eighth, directing his side around the park while the front row of Sam Matenga, Qori Gucake and Josh Te Hira led a strong forward effort against the bulky Wanderers pack.
“We are going well but we were up against some big human beings on Saturday and our boys did take a bit of a hiding so it will be another challenge this week back over at Picton against Waitohi,” Smith said.
Marist returned to the winners circle, bouncing back from the heartbreak of last week’s crazy 49-48 loss to Waimea Old Boys to record an emphatic 40-8 victory over Central.
After a mistake from the opening kick-off, Central applied all the early pressure but Marist was able to hold them out and ultimately kick away, in a six tries to one effort, pleasing coach Gavin Briggs.
“It was the complete team effort we needed to bounce back after last week. We are far from a finished product but all we can do is keep chipping away because it is always a work in progress at this time of the year. It’s up to us to prepare and get better each week for what we have ahead of us,” Briggs said.
Niko Barton directed traffic well for Marist will Nikola Vikena was a constant threat from the back and Hoppo Taufa was a standout around the field and in the physical exchanges.
Stoke was another to hit back from a loss last weekend with a big win on Saturday, defeating Awatere/Moutere by 64-15.
Stoke was missing a number of key players but turned in a hearty team performance, highlighting the club’s depth this season.
“We’ve got a good group and have worked hard on our culture and to be able to have guys come in like they did this week and perform is a reflection of that,” coach Brad Allam said.
He also singled out their opponent for praise.
“I’ve got a lot of respect for what the Awatere/Moutere guys are doing. We talk about playing without a few key guys but they have literally been thrown together and they are a really hearty group. Keeping that extra team in the competition is really important and I’m really impressed with how they hang in there and they definitely aren’t a walkover and will get a few scalps by the time the season is over,” Allam said.
Asher Veamatahau was totally dominant in the first half, earning a seat after halftime while up front Lachie Doyle was named Player of the Day for his efforts at hooker and Antonio Shalfoon was his usual busy self.
BRADEN FASTIER / STUFF
Nelson inside centre Pita Siale makes a break.
Stoke will get a good guide as to where it is at this weekend when they face Waimea Old Boys for the Ken Mansfield Cup, with its one point loss in the corresponding game last year still fresh in the Stoke players’ memories.
Waitohi earned its first win of the season with a gutsy 24-21 victory over Nelson in Spring-like conditions at Trafalgar Park.
In a game of momentum swings Waitohi had the best of the early exchanges before Nelson started to take ascendancy leading into halftime. Waitohi were able to get out to a 10-point lead with 15 minutes to play before a Nelson try six minutes from time closed the game right back up again.
Nelson pressured the Waitohi line in the final moments before a relieving turnover penalty closed the game out and secured the win for Jimmy Giles’ men.
“That was a good team win for us. We were only able to take 17 players over on Saturday and the boys dug deep knowing we were limited on the bench. It was a physical battle and we are rapt to come away with the result,” Giles said.
Hooker Taimi Fangitua was in everything with ball in hand and crossed for three tries in what was a game-winning performance while Dan Monaghan handled his shift into the number 12 jersey from fullback with aplomb.
Waitohi face a stern test this weekend, with the table-topping Kahurangi coming to Picton.
Golden Bay Fruit Tasman Trophy - Senior Women
A32-all draw between Waimea Old Boys and Moutere highlighted the third round of the Golden Bay Fruit Women’s Competition.
Waimea chased down a 32-7 deficit, scoring four tries, including two to Sophie Hart, in a remarkable stretch over the final 10 minutes to share the points. Neve Anglesey and young halfback Keeley-Mae Ridley, who is part of a four-strong Buller contingent which makes the trek over for games, were outstanding for Waimea.
Riwaka proved too strong for Wanderers in the other game, running out convincing winners, 38-18. Courtney Clark played almost every position in the forward pack and provided front football all day while the inside back combination of Cora Delany and 16-year-old Ashley Wood controlled proceedings well.
In Division Two action on Saturday Stoke, Waimea Old Boys Colts, Collingwood, Marist and Huia all recorded wins in the Nelson competition while in Marlborough Central maintained its perfect record and Moutere and Waitohi played out a 22-all draw.
BRADEN FASTIER / STUFF
The Nelson-Waitohi match was played in Spring-like conditions on Saturday at Trafalgar Park.
STUFF TASMAN TROPHY POINTS TABLE (After 4 weeks): Kahurangi 15, Waimea Old Boys 15, Stoke 12, Marist 12, Wanderers 10, Central 9, Waitohi 7, Nelson 6, Renwick 0, Awatere/Moutere 0.
GOLDEN BAY FRUIT TASMAN TROPHY – WOMEN (After 3 weeks): Waimea Old Boys Women 5, Riwaka 4, Moutere 3, Wanderers 0.
THE CAR COMPANY DIVISION 2 – NELSON BAYS (After 3 weeks): Collingwood 15, Waimea Old Boys 12, Marist 12, Tapawera 10, Waimea Old Boys Colts 9, Stoke 7, Takaka 5, Wanderers 5, Huia 5, Riwaka 5, Nelson 0.
WADSCO MOTORWORLD DIVISION 2 – MARLBOROUGH (After 3 weeks): Central 15, Waitohi 7, Moutere 6, Awatere 5, Pelorus 5, Renwick 3, MBC Old Boys -5.