Kia Toa find attacking rhythm in rain to slay frisky Freyberg in second half
Big hits were the order of the day as Kia Toa piled on the points in the second half to beat Freyberg 46-10 in Manawatu Club Rugby on Monday.
Freyberg managed to stick with Kia Toa early in the match, with memories of their upset victory against the club last year looming just before halftime.
But the second half dominance of Kia Toa quickly removed any doubt of a repeat.
Kia Toa came into the match acting if they were playing on a dry surface and the heavy rain that greeted them as they kicked off did nothing to change their tactics.
They were intent on giving the ball air and while they were able to stack on the pressure with some promising movements, too often they lost the ball and came away empty handed.
Their sloppy play allowed Freyberg to stay in the match.
Shortly before halftime, Freyberg flanker Graham Sullivan scored to cut the score to 10-5 and Kia Toa looked to be in trouble.
But a try to flanker Jackson Iose on halftime ensured they had the momentum.
Shortly after halftime captain Brayden Iose dotted down for his second try of the match after throwing an outrageous dummy pass after picking the ball off the back of a 5m scrum.
The tries kept coming with Robert Rongotea, Sione Asi and Moeli Mauola all getting on the board.
That was despite being reduced to 14 men for 10 minutes with Vilikesa Raboiliku yellow carded for a no-arms tackle.
Freyberg pulled one try back through replacement halfback Jacob Freeman-Broderick, who provided plenty of energy when he was injected into the match.
Kia Toa had the final say with Raboiliku putting in another thunderous tackle and Jordan Bunce on the receiving end of a movement from the spilt ball.
Kia Toa's best were Iose, wings Moeli and Malua Mauola and hooker Tyler Goodwin.
Freyberg had good service from No 8 Josh Leung-Wai and prop Regan Hunt, while Karl Stewart and Freeman-Broderick offered good impact off the bench.
But they lost Mapa Tuipulotu in the second half with what looked to be a serious leg injury.
Meanwhile, Kia Toa halfback Atu Henare looks set for an extended stint on the sidelines after having plates put in his arm after breaking it in Friday's match.
Kia Toa 46 (Brayden Iose 2, Sione Asi 2, Robert Rongokea, Jackson Iose, Moeli Mauola, Jordan Bunce tries; Joey Te Huna 3 con) Freyberg 10 (Graham Sullivan, Jacob Freeman-Broderick tries) HT: 15-5 Kia Toa. At Arena.
Old Boys-Marist's losing skid extended to three games after they were soundly beaten 20-7 by Varsity.
The Sky Blues dominated the ball for much of the first half, but were let down by some poor final passes.
Nick Birchfield cashed in with the first try for the students.
When OBM did get the ball they were predictable running pods just off the ruck.
They turned down three kickable penalties which would have tightened the match.
OBM's attacking chances were limited to just two visits to Varsity's 22 for the match.
Down by 13-0 at halftime, OBM showed some more fight in the second half.
Varsity's Wille Cribb was the victim of his team's repeated infringing at the breakdown and was yellow carded.
While he was off the field, OBM fullback Luther Hirini grabbed a try which sparked his side's best attacking period of the match.
But the Varsity defence held firm.
OBM wing Michael Gattsche then got yellow carded.
Despite Varsity looking the stronger side, the game was still anybody's late with the score 13-7.
Centre Kameli Kuruyabaki made a break and looked to be setting up an OBM surge, but the ball squirted out of the ruck. Varsity flanker Doug Juszcyzk scooped it up and passed Jamie Booth who sprinted 60m for the match-sealing try.
Varsity 20 (Nick Birchfield, Jamie Booth tries; Sam Malcolm 2 pen, 2 con) Old Boys-Marist 7 (Luther Hirini try; Bain Champion con) HT: 13-0 Varsity.
Linton Army came within 10 minutes of securing a major scalp only for them to fall off and lose 31-17 to College Old Boys.
The soldiers gave COB a scare for much of the match with their hard working pack putting the pressure on.
It was not a typical cynical showing from COB.
COB were guilty of too much dropped ball and were ill-disciplined.
But despite Linton's improved effort, they still went into half time down 13-5.
The break did little to ease the errors of COB.
With 10 minutes remaining, COB were down to 13 men with both Brice Henderson and Kurt McNamara yellow carded for breakdown infringements and held a narrow 23-17 led.
But Linton failed to make the most of their opportunity.
A botched lineout ruined a top attacking chance and then a late penalty and a try to COB lock Manaaki Selby-Rickit sealed the game.
College Old Boys 31 (Brice Henderson 2, Manaaki Selby-Rickit, Tyler Rogers-Holden, Patrick Reid tries; Kurt McNamara pen; Bryce Grant pen) Linton Army 17 (TeJay Oliver, Mckenzie Oliver, Josh Devine tries; Jaxon Tagavaitau con) HT: 13-5 COB. At Arena
A tense final kick being pushed wide of the posts was the only thing separating Te Kawau and Feilding Old Boys-Oroua.
FOB-Oroua ended up winning the game 19-18 after Te Kawau's final; conversion went wide of the posts.
The one-point differential summed up how evenly matched the two sides appeared to be.
Neither side took control of the match with both teams having periods where they looked capable of winning.
But in wet conditions, they were both guilty of turning the ball over at crucial times.
James Holland scored a try for Te Kawau and Ollie Brosnahan grabbed one for FOB-Oroua with the Stags leading 8-7 at halftime.
Brosnahan got another in the second half, as FOB-Oroua pushed out to a 19-13 lead.
But in te dying minutes, Te Kawau got the ball to their pacey wing Adam Boult who scored a potential match winner, but the kick sailed wide and the Stags escaped with the win.
Feilding Old Boys-Oroua 19 (Ollie Brosnahan 2 tries; Tom Stewart 3 pen) Te Kawau 18 (Adam Boult, James Holland tries; Temm Kauri 2 pen, con). HT: 8-7 FOB Oroua. At Kimbolton
BEST AND FAIREST
KIA TOA v FREYBERG
3 Brayden Iose (Kia Toa) No 8
2 Josh Leung-Wai (Freyberg) No 8
1 Malua Mauola (Kia Toa) wing
VARSITY v OB-MARIST
3 Jamie Booth (Varsity) halfback
2 Luther Hirini (OBM) fullback
1 Mickey Woolliams (Varsity) lock
COLLEGE OB v LINTON
3 Manaaki Selby-Rickit (COB) lock
2 Rewi Hudson (Linton) wing
1 Patrick Reid (COB) centre
FOB-OROUA v TE KAWAU
3 Alex Hawira (FOB-O) flanker
2 Adam Boult (Te Kawau) wing
1 Ollie Brosnahan (FOB-O) wing
Points: Varsity 20, Kia Toa 20, FOB-Oroua 19, COB 19, OB-Marist 16, Te Kawau 12, Feilding 5, Linton 5, Freyberg 5.
Next Saturday (all matches kickoff at 2.45pm): Freyberg v Varsity, Colquhoun 1; Linton v Kia Toa, Linton 1; OBM v Feilding, Arena 2; Te Kawau v COB, Rongotea 1.