Wellington club rugby, May 11
Match by match reports of Round 8 of the Swindale Shield on May 11, 2013.
HUTT OLD BOYS MARIST 50
HOBM 50 (James Kusel 4, James Wall 2, Brandyn Laursen tries, Laursen 6 con, Laursen 1 pen) Petone Randwick Meats (Josh Hrstich, Naph Sulusi, Nick Grigg tries, Jared Kahu 2 con, 1 pen). Halftime: 36-3.
WHAT HAPPENED: The Eagles will have bragging rights in the Hutt City after a high-scoring battle for the McBain Shield at the Hutt Rec. Considered one of the fiercest local derbies at club level in New Zealand, this match didn't disappoint and in front of a large number of supporters the Hutt backs were outstanding in the first half to lead by 33 points at the break.
Wing James Kusel and fullback Brandyn Laursen had far too much pace for their opposites and it seemed every time Petone turned the ball over the home team would launch immediately on to attack. The first three tries were direct results of counter attacks from turnovers.
Late in the half the home team forwards also joined in, with flanker James Wall scoring two almost identical tries from rolling mauls close to the line.
The second half was a different match, with Petone starting very strongly and scoring directly from the restart. However, Hutt saw off this challenge and always had the match under control.
Laursen and Kusel aside, the Hutt loose forwards Wall and Jason Risdon were outstanding, as was young hooker James O'Reilly.
For Petone, prop Thomas Tupuivao was everywhere, throwing his body into everything, flanker Josh Hrstich also impressed in the forwards while Jared Kahu was dangerous every time he touched the ball.
THE BIG PLAY: The big play came five minutes into the second half, with Petone having already crossed for a try in the half and almost scoring a second with Jared Kahu jinking his way to the line right underneath the posts. Somehow, however, he was tackled short and from that point the momentum Petone was building was extinguished.
STAR TURN: James Kusel was outstanding with his blinding pace and ability to beat a man on the outside, giving him a haul of four tries.
BEST and FAIREST: 3 points James Kusel (HOBM), 2 points James O'Reilly (HOBM), 1 point Thomas Tupuivao (Petone).
By Doug Smith
MARIST ST PATS 27
Poneke FC 24 ( Simon Tevita, James Solomon, Sam Tui, Peter Shand tries; Tauasosi Tuimavave 2 con) Marist St Pats 27 ( Julian Tupai, Pago Haini, Sean Bridge tries; Andrew Wells 3 con, 2 pen). HT: 3-0 to MSP. Yellow cards: Darren West, Greg Foe, Judd Baker (all Poneke).
WHAT HAPPENED: The Horan-Millar Memorial Trophy remains with Marist St Pats for another year after another nail-biting finish at Kilbirnie Park.
Poneke's kick-off woes from last week continued from the get-go, with MSP workhorse Isaac O'Connor claiming the first ball in the air and setting up the first series of phases, resulting in the first
defensive scrum on the 5-metre line. The return serve from Poneke was to drive the ball deep and play for territory which worked out well until the home team proceeded to knock the ball on from the resulting re-start.
The match for Poneke will be largely forgettable for various reasons; losing their hooker to injury (a jinxed jersey to wear with Dane Coles, Andrew Castle and Kelvin Harper all succumbing to injury
this year), three players sent to the bin for ruck infringements in the 17th, 42nd and 53rd minute and for Tuimavave the missed penalty to have at least drawn the match.
MSP's quick reaction time to awarded penalties can be largely credited to their outstanding halfback Peter Sciascia. His quick taps handed MSP more territory and possession, with Poneke players putting themselves under pressure and force no option but to be penalised for being either offside or playing the ball illegally.
No 8 for Poneke Sam Tui continues to shine bright and his try assists now increases again after throwing the last pass to first try-scorer Simon Tevita. MSP instantly responded with Julian
Tupai, Pago Haini and Sean Bridge touching down and all converted by fullback Andrew Wells.
In a busy ten minutes Poneke managed to find enough momentum to get tries; however, missed conversions ended up being the difference in a match that Poneke will write down as the one that got away.
THE BIG PLAY: Andrew Wells and his kicking boot deserve a good rub down with the penalty in the first half being the points difference between these two great clubs and nailing the conversions.
STAR TURN: For MSP you can't go past the workrate and efficiency of Sciascia and O'Connor. And, of course, congratulations to JP Tocker who played his 150th Premier match for the Red Machine. The Tui brothers for Poneke were outstanding with Sam Tui's try coming off a dam-busting run from his younger brother Heemi Tui who came off the bench and made an immediate impact.
BEST and FAIREST: 3 Peter Sciascia (MSP), 2 Sam Tui (Poneke) 1 Isaac O'Connor (MSP).
By Florence Masoe
UPPER HUTT 13
Wainuiomata 22 (Jason Love, Tyler Tane, Shahn Eru, Uale Mai tries; John Monu con) Upper Hutt 13 (Max Pearson, Anaru Rangi tries; Liam Berry pen). Halftime: 15-3.
WHAT HAPPENED: Wainuiomata saw off a gutsy Upper Hutt side to secure their fourth win on the trot. Wainui controlled large parts of the game without being dominant, as fundamental errors stunted any continuity Upper Hutt tried to gain.
William Jones Park was a mud-bowl even before the kick-off but both sides showed good skills despite the conditions.
The home side got off to a flyer when Jason Love was first to a stab down-field by hooker Dion Laelofi in the second minute.
The Wainui forward pack had another strong game at scrum time, winning three 90-degree and one penalty turnover in the first half alone. From one of those turnovers they set a solid scrum and after some good 8-9 play, Michael Williams was set free down the right wing and found Tyler Tane on the inside for Wainui's second try in the first 15 minutes.
Upper Hutt fought back well after that and still had a sniff going into the sheds 12 points down.
Who knows what was in the oranges at halftime but Upper Hutt came out charging in the first 10 minutes and scored two unconverted tries to get within two points.
The game became tense after that and as mud started to cake everything and everyone, errors started to creep in from both sides.
With 15 minutes to go Wainui scored what would prove to be the winning try after a rugby league-style cross-field kick from John Monu was collected by Uale Mai to dot down in the corner. Wainui shut the game out by camping in Upper Hutt's half for the remainder of the game.
Upper Hutt were good value but simple things, like letting the ball bounce from kicks and kicking the ball out on the full, let them down.
With three games now remaining in the Swindale Shield, Wainui will travel to Poneke next week for a crucial Jubilee Cup qualification fixture.
THE BIG PLAY: With the game evenly poised at 15-13, Monu delivered the cross-field kick, Teru Time challenged for the ball and it was tipped to Uale Mai who darted in to score in the match-winning try in the corner.
STAR TURN: The entire Wainuiomata forward pack deserves a mention but in particular Kane Gush had a great game, with great defence and a great appetite for work at the breakdown.
BEST and FAIREST: 3 Kane Gush (Wainui lock), 2 Anaru Rangi (Upper Hutt hooker), 1 Uale Mai (Wainui half-back).
By Liam Hyslop
WESTS ROOSTERS 52
Wests Roosters 52 (Aukuso Aukuso 3, Matthew Mulanay, Inoki Rasabele, Chris Eaves, Taiyo Ando, Ofa Ueseli tries; Hiroshi Tashiro 6 con) Rimutaka 7 (Charles Vailalo try; Ray MacDonald con). HT: 33-7.
WHAT HAPPENED: If Rimutaka could have started again at the 30-minute mark they would have been pleased with their afternoon's work on Old Timers' Day at Ian Galloway Park, all thing considered.
The points flowed in the first half hour, as the Roosters broke through some pretty flimsy defence and chalked up a 33-0 lead. They had their four try-bonus point in 26 minutes. Rimutaka were playing with the wind in the first half.
But then the visitors got themselves into the contest. Awful set-pieces aside, namely a lineout not functioning and a scrum mostly going backwards , Rimutaka started competing with Wests. They stopped dropping off tackles, their forwards started winning some ball on the ground and in the close-quarter exchanges, and veteran Ray MacDonald provided direction at first five-eighth.
Rimutaka scored the next try, deservedly to No 8 Chris Vailalo who toiled hard all game, and they kept Wests scoreless until almost midway into the second half when right wing Aukuso Aukuso ran in his hat-trick.
Although Rimutaka couldn't offer much on attack, they kept fighting and it wasn't until the last five minutes that Wests scored their next two tries. The Roosters scored their eighth and last try on fulltime and raised their half century when fullback Inoki Rasabele shot clear.
After conceding 50 points to the next worst team, are Rimutaka good enough to stave off relegation in the second round? They're missing several players to injury, but with the likes of the Wellington Axemen, Johnsonville and Avalon all desperate to reclaim their Premier status next year, the jury remains out.
THE BIG PLAY: Wests scored five tries in 30 minutes and a rout was on. In this period Aukuso scored two tries in two minutes, his second a long-range strike virtually from the re-start. Wests won back possession, fullback Rasabele found space, put in a Ron Jarden centering kick and his wing re-gathered and scored under the bar.
STAR TURN: Powerful Wests prop turned No 8 Chris Eaves was clearly a class above the rest, while Wests debutant 8 Ofa Useli also impressed. Lock Nemani Waka ruled the lineouts and dangermen Aukuso and Rasabele each got their reward. But for a consistently high workrate and for scoring a wonderful solo try, Wests hooker Matthew Mulanay was a standout.
BEST and FAIREST: 3 Matthew Mulanay (Wests hooker), 2 Charles Vailalo (Rimutaka No 8) , 1 Aukuso Aukuso (Wests right wing).
By Steven White
NORTHERN UNITED 43
OLD BOYS UNIVERSITY 30
Northern United 43 (Parekura Lalaga 2, Johnny Teleaga, AJ Va'alepu, Tomasi Palu tries, Jackson Garden-Bachop 4 pen, 3 con) OBU 30 (Jesse Johnson try, Ian Kennedy try, Adam Hill try, Joe Hill try, Hamish Buick pen, 2 con, Luke Campbell pen) Halftime: 22-25 to OBU. Yellow card: John White-Silva (Norths).
WHAT HAPPENED: Northern United confidently defeated a flat OBU in the eighth round clash at Porirua Park. In a game where they were should have been desperate for a win, OBU looked anything but that.
OBU started off the right way with a try in the first minute to Joe Hill. An injury to scrumhalf Luke Campbell left Quade Cooper-lookalike Hamish Buick in sole charge of kicking. Buick made a couple of superb runs, though it was obvious he was returning from injury today.
In the first half the two teams were evenly matched. For every try by one team the other team responded with one of their own.
It was the second half that really set the two teams apart. OBU made many basic handling errors while Norths' forward pack were physical and defended well, even with 14 players at a point when John White-Silva was in the sin bin.
In the 68th minute Norths made an excellent 50-metre run to set up a try for AJ Va'alepu, which put the team ahead by 12 and give them some more breathing space.
Even a last-ditch effort -- OBU fullback Jesse Johnson dotting down in the 75th minute -- was not enough to turn things around for the team.
Supporters of both teams will have their own question to ponder this week: For Norths, can we capitalise on this win next week? For OBU, is this going to be another season that starts with potential, only to fizzle?
THE BIG PLAY: The 68th-minute try by Va'alepu for Norths really was the nail in the coffin for OBU.
STAR TURN: In a mostly close match, North's Jackson Garden-Bachop's reliability with the boot kept Norths on the front foot. He scored 18 points.
BEST and FAIREST: 3 Jackson Garden-Bachop (Norths), 2 Tomasi Palu (Norths), 1 Jesse Johnson (OBU).
By Jessica Roden
Tawa 33 (Taniela Koroi, Tito Ioane, Etuale Togia tries; Randal Bishop 3 con, 4 pen) Oriental-Rongotai 23 (Andrew Ellis, Hayden Whelan, Peme Heiataua tries; Faatonu Filu con, 2 pen). Yellow cards: Kelipi Halafihi (Ories), Taniela Koroi (Tawa).
WHAT HAPPENED: Tawa continued their dominance in the Swindale Shield competition with a win over Oriental-Rongitai despite the return of Hurricane Ardie Savea, who had a less-than-convincing game as the home team's flankers outplayed the New Zealand Under-21 representative.
Oriental-Rongitai started off with ill-discipline, gifting Tawa two early penalties which were easily kicked by fullback Randall Bishop.
It took sometime before either team broke through the opposition defences until Tawa flanker Joketani Koroi ran straight through the line. When finally being brought down, he recycled the ball to his forwards and prop Taniela Koroi bundled over for a try.
Not long after Tawa got the ball back in hand and were awarded a five-metre scrum. With a good set-piece play just like in training, their No 8 ran it off the back, passed it to the halfback, who then gave it to winger Tito Ioane for a score in the corner. This gave Tawa a commanding 20-0 lead.
Ories finally decided to stop throwing the ball away and fought back smartly. Two penalties and a very good counter-attack ended with Andrew Ellis scoring a try, making the score 20-13 with 10 minutes of the first half to go.
Just as it seemed Ories were building up steam, Tawa performed a great steal in a lineout close to their opposition's line, allowing first-five Etuale Togia to slice through a gap score under the posts.
While on continuous defence in the second half, Ories lock Kelipi Halafihi was yellow carded after repeated infringement at the rucks. Tawa were able to score only three points despite the extra man before their own Taniela Koroi was sent to the bin for a high tackle.
Ories took advantage when they had the full team on the field, scoring two tries in 10 minutes. But, when it came down to the pressure situation, Ories' kicking let them down to train 30-23 with time running out.
The nail in the coffin came with five minutes to go when ill-discipline again led Ories down, the converted penalty making the score difference more than a converted try. All in all, a 33-23 win to Tawa on their Old Timers Day.
THE BIG PLAY: Ories' discipline cost them dearly, and the last penalty put the match beyond doubt. With better discipline, who knows what might have happened?
STAR TURN: Tawa prop Taniela Koroi showed his strength in attack and defence, but his yellow card could have proved disastrous.
BEST and FAIREST: 3 Joketani Koroi (Tawa), 2 Taniela Koroi (Tawa), 1 Matt Proctor (Ories).
By Zac Ringrose
For full results around the Wellington region, click here
The Dominion Post