OLD BOYS UNIVERSITY 16 WAINUIOMATA 23
Old Boys University 16 (Matthew O'Connor,Tom Brown tries Greg Mullany 1 pen Tom Brown 1 pen, 1con, Matt Geange 1 pen) Wainuiomata 23 (Shahn Eru 2, John Monu 2 tries. Josh Robertson-Weepu 1pen). HT: 13-5 Wainui.
Best and fairest: 3 points: John Monu (Wainui First Five), 2 points: Shahn Eru (Wainui Flanker), 1 point: Matthew O'Connor (OBU halfback).
Venue: William Jones Park, Wainuiomata
What happened: Wainui made good use of the northerly in their 4-try bonus-point win and jump HOBM to the top of the standings. First five John Monu placed a number of kicks in behind the OBU back three to gain huge metres and put his team on the front foot for the majority of the match.
Flanker Shahn Eru opened the scoring inside 5 minutes after evading three defenders to score beside the posts; and Eru was celebrating again in the closing minutes of the half as he scored again following some outstanding work from lock Glen Angus. John Monu also scored twice in the second spell, the first after a 15+ phase period of play where Wainui threw themselves at the OBU line after re-gathering a clever Josh Robertson-Weepu chip kick fumbled by OBU.
The first of OBU's two tries came after an excellent 50-metre run from halfback Matthew O'Connor from the back of a midfield scrum to get outside Wainui's defence and put Second Five Greg Mullany into space then following up and receiving the ball back to score.
Substitute wing Tom Brown scored a last-minute try in the corner to secure a bonus point in the loss. Brown and Mullany each kicked a penalty for OBU's other points.
Who stood out: John Monu and Shahn Eru were excellent, with two tries each, just reward for their efforts. For OBU halfback Matt O'Connor distributed what minimal ball they had well. Prop Jonathon Fuimaono was also productive.
The up-shot: Wainui are starting to look the complete package. A big, powerful and smart pack and a backline not shy to do the hard yards when required. They will need to sort out their kicking woes, however, as they host Ories next week. OBU are right in the mix as they travel to Lyndhurst Park to face Tawa.
- Shane Kempson
MARIST ST PATS 26 ORIENTAL-RONGOTAI 23
Marist St Pats 26 (Peter Sciascia, Gabe Papuni, Isaia Petelo tries, Adam Blake 2 pens, Andrew Wells con, pen) Ories 23 (James Proctor 2, Whetu Henry tries, Proctor con, 2 pen) HT 16-20.
Best and fairest: 3 points: Isaia Petelo (MSP second five-eighth), 2 points: James Proctor (Ories first five-eighth), Lucky Tuiatua (Ories flanker)
Venue: Evans Bay Park
What happened: Marist St Pats will be toasting Isaia Petelo after the diminutive and elusive second five-eighth scythed through a raft of Ories players for a late match-winning try. MSP did just enough and Ories will feel deflated after playing much of the rugby and clinging to a slender lead through much of the second half.
In a match-up of contrasting styles, MSP's forward orientated game seemed to be working after 30 minutes, with territorial and possession dominance leading to a 16-5 advantage. But Ories came storming back, finding yawning gaps in the MSP backline. When big prop Whetu Henry was at the end of a backline to crash over just before half time, they had a narrow lead.
In a testy second half, Ories were guilty of wasting chances to put the game away and gradually MSP gained territorial ascendency. It seemed this ascendency would equate to nought until Petelo provided the late heroics with a jinking run.
Who stood out: Petelo will take the headlines. With a re-jigged MSP backline, minus Fa'atonu Fili (Singapore 10s), if
anyone was likely to break a resolute Ories defence it was him. The forwards provided the platform with the loose trio prominent. For Ories, James Proctor was impressive once again both with ball in hand and boot. Flanker Lucky Tuiatua sparked the turnaround in the first half with some damaging runs.
The upshot: MSP have made an art-form of grinding out victories where perhaps they shouldn't have and, with key players missing, this game was a prime example. Ories will feel aggrieved to lose this after playing more of the rugby but blew chances to stretch their lead in the second half. Next up: MSP vs. HOBM at Hutt Rec and Ories vs. Wainuiomata at William Jones Park.
- Warwick Small
PETONE 12 TAWA 19
PETONE 12 (Josh Hrstich, James Blackwell tries, Carne Green 1 con) TAWA 19 (Alfred Pelenise try, Randall Bishop 1 con 4 pen). HT 5-6 Tawa.
Best and fairest: 3 points: Joketani Koroi (Tawa flanker), 2 points: Josh Hrstich (Petone No8), 1 point: Nick Grigg (Petone 2nd five).
Venue: Petone Rec.
What happened: Tawa reclaimed the Bill Brien Challenge trophy and kept their goal of back-to-back Jubilee Cups alive with a hard fought away victory against a gallant Petone side.
The visitors played a well structured forward dominated game into the strong wind and opened the scoring through a Randall Bishop penalty. Petone seized on the rare turnovers offered up to them and kicked well for field position through Sam McNicol and Jared Kahu. They turned down three kickable penalties electing to back their scrum and were rewarded with a try to James Blackwell.
Tawa capped off a strong first half with a second Randall Bishop penalty then followed this up with a third early in the second half.
The second half was much the same as the first with the two sides battering away at each other, outstanding defence by both teams kept line breaks to a minimum so it took everyone at the ground by surprise when Tawa's Alfred Pelenise burst into the open close to half way and scored untouched.
Bishop kicked a fourth penalty which looked like denying the Villagers a bonus point but Nick Grigg sliced open the Tawa defence passing on to Josh Hrstich who dove over under the sticks.
Who stood out: All players deserve a mention here such was the quality of defence from both sides. This was never a game where individuals stood out from others.
The up-shot: Tawa are back and join Petone and two other teams in equal fourth on the ladder, both sides need wins next week to stay in the top four. Next up: Petone v UH Rams Maidstone Park, Tawa v OBU at Lyndhurst Park.
- Doug Smith
UPPER HUTT RAMS 11 HUTT OLD BOYS MARIST 12
Upper Hutt Rams 11 (Tries: Troy Mohr. Penalties: Liam Berry 2/3) Hutt Old Boys Marist 12 (Tries: Chase Tiatia Jason Risdon Conversions: Sheridan Rangihuna 1/1). HT:7-6 HOBM. Yellow Card: Evan Gwilliam (HOBM Flanker).
Best and Fairest: Chase Tiatia (HOBM) 3 points, Tomasi Alosio (HOBM) 2 points, Hayden Schrijvers (Upper Hutt) 1 point.
Venue: Maidstone Park
Hutt Old Boys Marist came away with a tight win over a strong Upper Hutt side. In the first half The Rams were able to take the early advantage through their opponents' ill discipline. Hutt Old Boys really showed their attacking prowess as they were shying away from kicking into the wind, and it paid off with Chase Tiatia scoring under the posts.
Upper Hutt never really looked like scoring with the strong defence from the away side. Hutt Old Boys went into the shed with the slimmest of leads.
Upper Hutt came out strong in the second half and the took back the lead. HOBM were reduced to 14 men but this didn't faze them as neither team scored any points in the 10 minutes. HOBM scored a try with five minutes to play to seal the victory.
Who stood out: Chase Tiatia (HOBM) made breaks all day and scored HOBM's first try, Tomasi Alosio (HOBM) linked up with his back like well and was a strong ball carrier, Hayden Schrijvers (Upper Hutt) consistently performs week in, week out, and Saturday was no different, it was like Upper Hutt had another flanker on the field with his tackling and turnovers.
The upshot: HOBM remain unbeaten but drop to second in the standings, behind Wainuiomata, on points difference. Upper Hutt come away with a bonus point but are still on the bottom of the board.
- Zac Ringrose
HARDHAM CUP FEATURE MATCH
PONEKE 21 WELLINGTON 5
Poneke 21 (James Solomon 2, Jarrod Burnett tries; Pakai Turia 3 con) Wellington 5 (David West try). HT 14-5.
Venue: Hataitai Park
Best and fairest: 3 points: Greg Foe (Poneke openside flanker), 2 points: Cole Stewart (Poneke centre), Vaea Fifita (Wellington lock).
What happened: Poneke made a quick start to Saturday's game as wing James Solomon crossed the try line in the first five minutes. Wellington were unable to break Poneke's strong defence for much of the first half. 1st five Hilton Mexted resorted to his boot and stabbed a grubber kick through his opposition's backline, handing a try to fullback David West.
Poneke's well-organised play led to their second try. The visitors used their backline to make their way up the field before lock Jacob Burnett barrelled over from close range.
It was anyone's game heading into the second half. Wellington stopped trying to attack with their forwards and used their backline more effectively.
The Axemen had a number of calls go their way to start the second half but were unable to
make Poneke pay for their mistakes. Eventually it was an intercept try to Solomon that killed of Wellington's chances.
Who stood out: Poneke openside flanker Greg Foe made a number of darting runs that gave his side some real momentum. Centre Cole Stewart ran hard all afternoon and was a key exponent in a midfield that was impressive on defence. Vaea Fifita stood out in a Wellington pack that struggled to match the nous of Poneke's forwards on attack and defence.
Around the grounds: Poneke sit second on the table behind a pace-setting Avalon side. Avalon secured a 30-12 win over a struggling OBU B team. Norths hold third position after keeping MSP B tied to the bottom of the table with a 60-0 win. Johnsonville are fourth after defeating a winless Paremata-Plimmerton side 20-19.
- The Dominion Post
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