TAWA 27 PETONE 31
TAWA 27 (Tu Umaga-Marshall, Alfred Pelenise, Kalim Kelemete tries, James So'oialo 3 con, 2 pen) PETONE 31 (Sam McNicol, Lewis Marshall, Riki Flutey 2 tries, Carne Green 4 con, 1 pen). HT: 10-10. Yellow card: Kalim Kelemete 23'
Venue: Lyndhurst Park, Tawa.
Best and fairest: 3 points: Mateaki Kafatolu (Petone No8), 2 points: Pati Gaualofa (Tawa lock), 1 point: Riki Flutey (Petone 1st five).
What happened: Petone came to Tawa and did what no other team has managed since June 2012, coming away with a bonus point win.
Petone started the match well, putting pressure on the home team but cruelly a former Villager, Tu Umaga-Marshall, intercepted a Sam McNicol pass to run 95 meters for the opening try.
Kickers James So'oialo and Carn Green traded penalties then in the last act of a very evenly contested first half Petone levelled up the scores with the try of the match, Centre Lewis Marshall finishing off a move that swept the length of the field.
Petone's Sam McNicol atoned with an intercept try of his own, then the big Tawa forwards took control and reverted to a tight driving game, the resolute Petone defence held strong until Kalim Kelemete crashed over to regain the lead.
Riki Flutey then struck, scoring a brace of tries in quick succession and even though Tawa scored again it was the visitors who held on tenaciously for a well deserved win.
Who stood out: Petone leaders Mateaki Kafatolu and Eugene Smith inspired their team mates with outstanding defensive efforts while Riki Flutey was the conductor of the exciting Petone backline. Tawa's lock Pati Gaualofa and No8 Sam Blair played them selves to a stand still.
The up-shot: Petone coach Rodney So'oialo will have bragging rights over his Tawa-based brothers Stephen and James but it's Petone who still need more points from their last two games to ensure they play Jubilee Cup, Tawa are still hot favourites to take out the Swindale Shield. Next up: Tawa v OBU Basin Reserve, Petone v Ories at Petone.
- Doug Smith
MARIST ST PATS 16 ORIENTAL-RONGOTAI 23
Ories 23 (Matt Proctor, Tuga Mativa tries, James Proctor 2 cons, 3 pens) Marist St Pats 16 (Penalty Try, Fa'atonu Fili con, 3 pen) HT 17-9. Red card: Nemani Waaka (40')
Best and Fairest: 3 points: Matt Proctor (Ories second five-eighth), 2 points: Isaia Petelo (MSP second five-eighth), Meto Mata'afa (Ories Prop).
Venue: Hataitai Park
What happened: Ories caused a minor upset in beating the fancied Marist St Pats at a neutral Hataitai Park. In a sometimes feisty encounter, they made hard work of it after MSP were reduced to 14 men just before half time when Nemani Waaka was sent off for a dangerous tip tackle.
By that stage Ories were already in front after withstanding a strong MSP start and taking advantage of the two try-scoring opportunities presented. In the second half, MSP came back into the encounter and a penalty try early on had them behind by just a point. Ories ground MSP down however and a further two penalties provided enough of a
buffer to withstand late goal line pressure.
Who stood out: Hurricanes squad member Matt Proctor seemed a class above others on the field, showing good anticipation and speed to score his try, and being assured in defence. His head-to-head battle with the impressive Isaia Petelo was a match highlight. Up front, the Ories front row was prominent, none more so than Meto Mata'afa who anchored a big scrum and made a number of line denting charges.
The upshot: With a congested mid-table, Ories needed this victory to stay in touch and on the balance of things, they deserved their win. They have a propensity to run hot and cold during matches which should worry future opposition. A missed opportunity for MSP with Tawa also losing, but they are still in with a chance. Next up: Ories vs. Petone at Petone Rec and MSP vs. Wellington at Hataitai Park.
- Warwick Small
HUTT OLD BOYS MARIST 33 NORTHERN UNITED 31
Hutt Old Boys Marist 33 (Tries: Chase Tiatia, Brian Lima, Nick Risden. Conversions: Glen Walters 3/3. Penalties: Glen Walters 2/3 Sheridan Rangihuna 2/2) Norths 31 (Tries: Teala Seumanutafa, Konelio Feaunati, Perofeta Silva 2. Conversions: Perry Hayman 0/2 Dudley Parsons 1/2. Penalties: Perry Hayman 3/5 Dudley Parsons 0/1). HT: 21-14 HOBM. Yellow cards: Jason Risdon (HOBM), Parry Hayman (Norths), Konelio Feaunati (Norths).
Best and Fairest: Nick Risdon (HOBM half back) 3 points; Perofeta Silva (Norths Centre) 2 points; Sheridan Rangihuna (HOBM reserve first five) 1 point.
Venue: Hutt Rec
What happened: Hutt Old Boys Marist pull off a nail-biting victory over a strong Norths side. HOBM played almost a perfect first half putting the pressure on the away side, scoring two tries early got their spirits up. Strong defence kept
Norths scoring only one try in the first half and accumulating penalties. Hutt weren't done in the first half scoring one more try to go in to the sheds seven points ahead.
Norths turned it up in the second half, putting pressure on the HOBM backline. However, the game was reduced to 14 a side because of a little scuffle that took place. Norths' patience paid off, scoring right under the black dot, and this opened up the flood gates to score two more tries to take the lead for the first time in the game.
With five minutes to go, Norths' Konelio Feaunati was yellow-carded for a shoulder charge which gave reserve first-five Sheridan Rangihuna the chance to take back the lead, and he slotted down the middle.
Who stood out: Nick Risdon from HOBM led his team around the park well, scored a good try and was also solid on defence. Perofeta Silva for Norths was a strong ball carrier and got two tries. Sheridan Rangihuna from HOBM held his nerve to slot the winning kick from the sideline.
The upshot: HOBM jump to fifth spot on the leader board, and Norths let another game slip to stay ninth.
- Zac Ringrose
OLD BOYS UNIVERSITY 31 WELLINGTON 22
Old Boys University 31 (Luke Campbell, Tom Lawday, Finbarr Kerr-Newell, Teariki Ben-Nicholas tries; Greg Mullany 4 con, 1 pen) Wellington 22 (Jaco de Waal, Vaea Fifita, Tony Smith tries; Nick Butterworth 2 cons, 1 pen). HT: 17-10. Yellow card: Hayden Lewis (Wellington second five-eighth).
Venue: Ian Galloway Park
Best and fairest: 3 points: Tom Lawday (OBU flanker), 2 points: Luke Campbell (OBU halfback), 1 point: Vaea Fifita (Wellington lock)
What happened: Old Boys University's well-structured play paid dividends at Ian Galloway Park on Saturday, in a game that featured several changes in momentum. The OBU set piece was superior to Wellington's, as was their organisation at the breakdown. Leading 17-10 at the break, OBU came roaring out of the gates to start the second half, scoring two more tries in quick succession.
Wellington fought back by scoring the last two tries of the match but ultimately the gap had become too big to close.
Who stood out: OBU openside flanker Tom Lawday was impressive at ruck time, securing several turnovers for his side. Lawday's effort on defence was also outstanding. OBU halfback Luke Campbell marshalled his forwards expertly and scored a classic halfback's try close to the line in the first half. Wellington lock Vaea Fifita stood out in a forward pack that was largely outplayed. Fifita ran the ball strongly and created several opportunities for the Axemen. Fullback Jesse Johnson made several strong runs in his 50th.
The upshot: OBU remain in the running for a Jubilee Cup berth. They now hold a four-point buffer over ninth-placed Norths but face big tests in Tawa and Wainuiomata in coming weeks. Wellington have been competitive against several well-established premier sides, but may be turning their attention to putting on a strong showing in the upcoming Hardham Cup.
- Nick Truebridge
PONEKE 20 UPPER HUTT RAMS 37
Upper Hutt 37 (Hayden Schrijvers 2, Matthew Luamanu, Murphy Taramai tries; Ben Aoina 4 con, 3 pen) Poneke FC 20 (James Pointon, Michael Sage tries; Edwin Ainsley 2 con, 2 pen). HT: 20-17 to Upper Hutt. Yellow card: Morgan Tilbin (Upper Hutt hooker).
Venue: Kilbirnie Park, Kilbirnie.
Best & Fairest: 3 points: Ben Aoina (Upper Hutt 1st five-eighth), 2 points: Matthew Luamanu (Upper Hutt no.8), 1 point: Joseph Scheres (Poneke openside).
What happened: Upper Hutt will have secured their Jubilee Cup round aspirations with a bonus point win at Kilbirnie, simultaneously confirming that Poneke will be playing for the Hardham Cup after the Swindale competition concludes.
Poneke started the half with both urgency and a tactical effort to put their backs into an offensive running position. The strategy paid off with both their tries coming off quick play and ball, leaving space and time for centre James Pointon to score unopposed and fullback Michael Sage finding the line soon after.
The tactic to unsettle the Rams didn't last long. Once they regathered their composure they went to back to business, giving their monster-sized loosies the ball to run hard and straight and then feed their runners. The Rams got great output from their halfback Hayden Schrijvers, who got a brace of tries for his effort around the park.
Who stood out: Ben Aoina runs a tight ship and led by example by securing all the points on offer. 100% on conversions and penalties and rarely makes a bad decision on defence or attack. Rams captain Matthew Luamanu shows rare agility for a beast his size and deserved his try for the carries he made throughout the game. Joseph Scheres had an outstanding game for Poneke with turnovers aplenty.
The upshot: Upper Hutt will face Johnsonville at their home ground of Maidstone Park. Another four points will surely put them clean and clear and into the Jubilee Cup round. Poneke will play Norths for the Cyril Collett Memorial Shield at Kilbirnie Park.
- Florence Masoe
WAINUIOMATA 23 JOHNSONVILLE 10
Wainuiomata 23 (Jason Love 2, Greg Lealofi tries. Tyler Tane 1con, 2pen) Johnsonville 10 (Hadleigh Parkes try. Hiro Nakata 1con, Matt Geange 1pen). HT: 11-10.
Best and fairest: 3 points: Ben Tupuola (Woa Number 8), 2 points: Jason Love (Woa Wing), 1 point: Hadleigh Parkes (Johnsonville 2nd Five)
Venue: William Jones Park, Wainuiomata
What happened: Johnsonville were only in the game for the 15 minutes following their 25th to Hurricane Hadleigh Parkes. Although they were close on the scoreboard their continual infringing in defence contributed heavily to making it a very lacklustre game. That, the appalling condition of William Jones Park, and with Wainuiomata attempting to run the ball a little more than they should have, the game remained stagnant between the 22s for long periods.
With ball in hand Johnsonville were impressive, halfback Jack Taulapapa directing a solid forward attack which resulted in the Parkes try. With time up on the clock Wainui openside Greg Lealofi crossed the line to take an 11-10 lead into the break. The Piri Weepu guided home side dominated the second half in both territory and possession scoring the only points of the second spell through two tries to wing Jason Love and a Tyler Tane conversion. Love had a lot of work to do to score his first, a clever chip over the defensive line and outright speed to get around Parkes to regather and score.
His second a little easier gathering a nicely placed Michael Lealava'a chip kick to secure the win. Johnsonville's single
visit to Wainui's half of the second spell came from the powerful boot of Hadleigh Parkes.
Who stood out: Ben Tupuola was huge, he consistently broke tackles and kept the home sides attack going forward. Second five Marvin Karawana also impressed. For Johnsonville, Parkes, Taulapapa and prop Ha'mea Ahio kept Johnsonville in touch.
The up-shot: Wainui hold strong in third position and have HOBM and OBU to close the Swindale shield. Johnsonville need to keep pushing for upsets against Upper Hutt and Petone in preparation for the Hardham Cup.
- Shane Kempson
- The Dominion Post
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