Upper Hutt premier teams in that winning way

COLIN WILLIAMS
Last updated 11:18 23/05/2012

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A bounce back win by the Tigers in Wellington rugby league was a feature in another strong round of results for Upper Hutt's premier sporting teams on the weekend.

The Tigers were good enough to beat Petone, claim the Hughie Paul Trophy and keep alive their top-four aspirations as the WRL's second round began.

The previous big loss to the leading Porirua was a memory as the Tigers' forwards rampaged around the park with Ben Manu and Ngatu Mauheni dominant.

A second half surge had the locals in the driving seat, but it needed a late and deserved try to Kerry Whaangato seal the deal at 26-20.

The win leaves the Tigers fifth spot and makes Saturday's home game against third-placed Randwick (2.30pm) an important fixture.

In Senior First play the Trentham Titans are making waves, unbeaten after six games and having gathered 360 points along the way and two points clear at the top of the table.

The front running Upper Hutt City men and women's premier football teams kept things ticking over with convincing wins over bottom- placed Petone (4-2) and third- placed University (6-2) respectively with the veteran Wendi Henderson knocking in a hat-trick.

Such is the dominance of both teams the goals conceded were only the fourth and fifth for the men, from seven games, and the second and third for the women, from six.

Mid-table Marist are the men's next challenge at Kilbirnie, Saturday, (2.30pm) while the women will look for another goal feast when they meet bottom-placed Waikanae at Harcourt Park, Sunday (1pm).

In Swindale shield rugby a strong first half effort meant Upper Hutt were always in control of their home game against Wests but needed a late try from Chris Gorrie to grab a valuable bonus point in their 32-13 win.

Early tries to George Faingaa, Apa Heemi and Nick Pearson came on the back of a purposeful first half but Upper Hutt went off the boil for much of the second 40 till a Kayne Hammington dab from a quick penalty on the five metre line saw Gorrie over.

Pearson, on debut, was creative and strong.

His try was well taken and he was busy, working well with Faingaa at centre while Jason Woodward made a good fist of the number 10 jersey.

The consistent Brook Cowan and Richard Wasley worked hard in the pack with Gorrie, hopefully injury free, making the most of his first run-on in 2012.

The win lifts Upper Hutt to third and makes Saturday's away game to second-placed MSP a cut-throat affair at Evans Bay, 2.15pm.

The Upper Hutt senior twos dismantled their Wests opponents by 124-0. They have three tougher games ahead but look good for a top two finish and mid-season promotion.

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Back in the Swindale, Rimutaka found no relief from an improving Tawa crashing out 0-56 in a troubled season. They remain willing though and results, when they come, will be both needed and deserved while Saturday's game against Wests could always produce something tangible (Ian Galloway Park, 2.15pm).

- Upper Hutt Leader

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