Kia Toa survive scare against FOB-Oroua as Varsity secure Jubilee Cup
Kia Toa escaped from Kimbolton with five competition points, but not without being given a huge scare by Feilding Old Boys-Oroua.
They ended up with a 29-23 win, but that only came after a controversial try three minutes from fulltime.
Regular fullback Daniel Monaghan, who had a rough day at the office filling in at first five-eighth, stabbed an ugly cross-field kick to Moeli Mauola.
Mauola bumbled the ball, before re-gathering and sprinting 50m to the tryline while the FOB-Oroua bench, who were right in front of the regather, appealed for a knock-on.
But only a slow motion television replay would be able to confirm if he knocked the ball on, or if it came off his shin.
It was a rough way for the Stags to lose the match, but a further reminder for them on the need for an 80-minute performance.
Early in the match it had looked to be a blow-out on the cards.
Kia Toa lock Fraser Stone had a barnstorming start to the game.
He opened the scoring after taking a quick-tap 10m out from the tryline and powering through four tacklers for a try.
He then set up the second try with a big fend that opened up a hole for him to gallop 30m before finding Jordan Bunce with an offload.
No 8 Jackson Iose, who had a strong game with ball in hand, picked up the third try after a Bunce break to put Kia Toa up 19-0.
When FOB-Oroua opted for a kick at goal from a penalty, it had the feeling of ensuring there was not a nil-scoreline.
But it ended up being the catalyst for their comeback.
Monaghan put the kickoff out on the full and Tuimanua-Fryer's quick throw-in put Cody Shailer in a massive gap with wing Ollie Brosnahan grabbing the try.
Monaghan then put another kick off out on the full allowing the Stags to continue to pile on the pressure with No 8 Alex Hawira crossing from short-range.
With Kia Toa flanker Spencer Bishop yellow carded for a high tackler, FOB-Oroua would have been happy to enter the break trailing 19-15.
The gap was closed to 19-18 after a Zeon McNabb penalty shortly after halftime.
Stone bagged his second try only for FOB-Oroua to answer straight back with Tuimanua-Fryer dotting down in the corner after a back-handed offload from Lewis Marshall.
That left the Stags trailing 24-23 setting up a pulsating finish with Mauola's try securing Kia Toa's win.
Kia Toa 29 (Fraser Stone 2, Jordan Bunce, Jackson Iose, Moeli Mauola tries; Daniel Monaghan 2 con) Feilding Old Boys-Oroua 23 (Ollie Brosnahan, Alex Hawira, Jeremiah Tuimanua-Fryer tries; Zeon McNabb con, 2 pen) HT:19-15 Kia Toa.
Varsity locked away the Jubilee Cup with a 34-12 win over Te Kawau.
Te Kawau, who were missing four players due to the start of duck shooting, came out firing.
They were hitting rucks with power and getting good go-forward from midfielders Te Atuarere Albert and Jordan Henare.
They grabbed the first try of the match, but that seemed to wake up the Sky Blues.
Fullback Te Rangatira Waitokia proved the hard to handle for Te Kawau. They gave him too much space and he had the pace to exploit it.
Once Reece Brosnan opened Varsity's account, the tries kept coming and the 24-7 lead at the break flattered the Sky Blues.
But the second half was all Varsity.
Te Kawau can thank their desperate goal-line defence for the scoreline not being bigger as they held up a number of Varsity surges over the tryline.
Varsity was well served by their bench with Hamish Northcott coming on late and looking damaging.
Once agains the Sam and Kirk Tufuga were prominent for the Sky Blues in their relentless charges.
But Taylor Lowe and Harrison Brewer got through plenty of work to repel the attempts.
Wing Adam Boult added Brosnan to his list of players he has burnt off this season as he scored his customary try in the second half.
Varsity were missing first five-eighth Sam Malcolm for the match, who could be out for up to 12 weeks after picking up a high-ankle sprain during the New Zealand Universities tour.
Varsity 34 (Reece Brosnan 2, Nick Grogan, Matt Hathaway, Nick Birchfield tries; Scott Davidson 3 con, pen) Te Kawau 12 (Temm Kauri, Adam Boult tries; Kauri con). HT: 24-7 Varsity. At Rongotea.
It was yet another one that got away for Linton Army as they fell to Feilding 21-17.
Much like Linton's losses to College Old Boys and Varsity, there was relief in the opposition changing rooms as the soldiers slipped to their third narrow loss of the season.
The match had been tight all game with Linton taking the game to Fielding with their physical approach in the forward pack.
Feilding were guilty of allowing Linton to dictate how the game was played as they tried to match the Linton forwards.
The 10-10 scoreline at the break was a fair reflection of the match.
But as the match wore on, Feilding's composure came to the fore.
They found success by spreading the ball wide to their wings after sucking the Linton players in tight from their pick and goes.
The opportunities were there for Linton, but missing the likes of Jaxon Tagavaitau, Hamiora Thomas and Angus White, they lacked the firepower to take advantage.
Halfback TeJay Oliver continued his standout run of form, while flanker Dylan White also impressed.
But with Ben Wyness' control at first five-eighth, Carlos Ropoama-Third strong on defence and Hamish Willis leading the forward pack, Yellows proved too strong as they claimed the win.
Props Timo Bristow and Luke Clarke and wings Kit Bradley and Ollie Carrodus were others to impress for Yellows.
Feilding 21 (Sammy Pesamino, Zac Third tries; Ben Wyness con, 3 pen) Linton Army 17 (Dylan White, TeJay Oliver tries; Adam Erimiha 2 con, pen) HT: 10-10. At Johnston.
After a shaky first half, Old Boys-Marist racked up the tries in the second half as they hammered Freyberg 43-0.
With the score at 12-0 at the break, Freyberg could be proud of their first half effort.
Small mistakes were the only difference between the two sides with the Freyberg set-piece standing up to the much favoured OBM pack.
The likes of Karl Stewart, Michael Lockwood and Regan Hunt all had storming first half efforts.
But OBM were also guilty of not capitalising on their opportunities.
Coach Reece Robinson's halftime talk appeared to do wonders for OBM as they came out a different side.
Their slick approach to their attack helped them pick up a couple of early tries which saw Freyberg's heads drop.
From there the underdogs did not appear to have the same intensity.
OBM first five-eighth Blair Hannam and second five Matt Maoate controlled the game well as the point's tally quickly began to rise.
Flankers Rhys Pedersen and Benedict Grant had impressive matches up front as they made the most of their opportunities.
OBM look set to be without Isaac Gulliver for the season after he picked up an achilles injury.
Old Boys-Marist 43 (Liam Giltrap, Rhys Pedersen, Blair Hannam, Ben Werthmuller, Kameli Kuruyabaki, Luther Hirini, Adam Ross tries; Matt Maoate 4 con) Freyberg 0. HT: 12-0. At Colquhoun
BEST AND FAIREST
KIA TOA v FOB-OROUA
3 Fraser Stone (Kia Toa) lock
2 Ollie Brosnahan (FOB-Oroua) flanker
1 Jackson Iose (Kia Toa) No 8
VARSITY v TE KAWAU
3 Te Rangatira Waitokia (Varsity) fullback
2 Te Atuarere Albert (Te Kawau) 2nd 5
1 Mickey Woolliams (Varsity) lock
FEILDING v LINTON
3 Hamish Willis (Feilding) flanker
2 TeJay Oliver (Linton) halfback
1 Carlos Ropoama-Third (Feilding) centre
OB-MARIST v FREYBERG
3 Rhys Pedersen (OBM) No 8
2 James Cornelius (Freyberg) prop
1 Matt Maoate (OBM) 2nd 5
Points: Varsity 35, Kia Toa 32, COB 29, OBM 26, FOB-O 20, Te Kawau 17, Feilding 14, Linton 6, Freyberg 5
Next Saturday (kick off 2.45pm): FOB-Oroua v Varsity, Johnston 1; Kia Toa v COB, Arena 3; Linton v OBM, Linton 1; Te Kawau v Feilding, Rongotea 1.