Marist, Nelson dominate hosts
Nelson and Marist now head their respective pools after impressive away wins in Saturday's Bayleys Tasman Trophy interprovincial club rugby competition.
Galbraith Group Nelson thumped Moutere 81-5 at Spring Creek while Wakatu Marist also posted a half century in their 50-23 win over Awatere at Seddon.
Poor defence in the opening quarter, Marist's superior forward power plus the brilliance of their centre Kieron Fonotia were the main differences between the two teams in an entertaining pool B match at Seddon.
Fonotia proved unstoppable as Awatere's defence lacked commitment on occasions. Fonotia scored in the second minute, set up another try to Conner Trathen in the 16th minute, then waltzed through most of the Awatere team to score his second in a brilliant 60m charge.
Awatere were occasionally woeful, but effective in patches. Fullback David Pope finished off a brilliant move to close the gap to 13-24 in the first half. Marist's superior forward power eventually told, led by hooker Francis Smith, No8 Liam Squire in the first half and his brother and lock Dan Squire, they ran in several impressive tries. Awatere kept plugging away and were rewarded close to fulltime when replacement prop Nicolai Heard barged over.
Hickman, Collins and Kurt Lindsay impressed in the Awatere forwards, while first-five George Davies missed just one shot at goal from six attempts.
Nelson 81 Moutere 5
Nelson were just too sharp everywhere for a seriously depleted Moutere side missing several key players in a one-sided pool A match.
Three early tries set the tone as Nelson's slick backline weaved their magic on the back of a dominant forward pack.
Leading the charge up front for Nelson was classy No8 Jake Cooley with three tries. Lock James Foster was another dominant force and first-five James Lash directed his team around the park with skill, scoring two tries, Mitchell Scott was a damaging runner out wide, Andrew Goodman equally impressive in midfield.
For Moutere, first-five Tom Halse broke the line a couple of times and up front, lock Stu Campbell, Michael Emerson and James Pigou took the battle to Nelson.
Central 23 Stoke 22
Accessman Stoke midfielder Chad Lowrie missed a match-winning opportunity as Central's forwards eventually ground out a tense 23-22 pool A win at Greenmeadows.
Lowrie had the chance to seal a late victory as he lined up his seventh kick of the afternoon five minutes from time. He'd already landed five penalties and the conversion to centre Patrick Tafili-Reid's third minute opening try. But the big No12 steered his kick to the left, handing Blenheim-based Central their first win of the series after outscoring the home team three tries to one.
Central needed two tries in the final 15 minutes to eventually overcome Stoke's gritty challenge, substitute prop Paulo Sa'u crashing across in the corner from a quick attacking lineout throw before fellow front rower Greg Wratt sealed the win eight minutes from time.
By that stage, Central's bigger forwards had established a measure of control against a battered Stoke pack, Central dominating the scrums and driving effectively as their physical approach began to sap Stoke's resistance.
Stoke had led 16-11 at halftime as Lowrie's impressive long-range accuracy began to frustrate Central, whose only first-half try was scored by lock Dan Crockett ranging wide on the right wing.
Another two Lowrie strikes after the break gave Stoke a handy 22-11 lead before Central's disciplined forward effort, in which lock Brian Utumapa, No8 Kaleni Taesuli and flanker Quentin MacDonald all played critical roles, gradually wore down the home team.
Riwaka 22 Wanderers 21
Enza Riwaka overcame a 14-0 halftime deficit to eventually overhaul Taylor's Contracting Wanderers in another nailbiter at Brightwater.
Accurate goalkicking again proved critical to the outcome as young Riwaka winger Andy Beatson again found his range to keep chipping away at Wanderers' lead after the home team had exploded out of the blocks. Wanderers dominated the opening stanzas as tries to winger Sione Holani from an attacking scrum and then to midfielder Trael Joass from a lineout had them ahead 14-0 before Riwaka had a chance to gather their composure.
But gradually Riwaka began to gain some traction as Beatson steadily eroded Wanderers' lead. A try to fullback Andy Robb, converted by Beatson, kept the momentum with Riwaka as they eventually snatched the lead with about 15 minutes remaining.
A third try to hooker Tod Bavin still gave Wanderers every hope of victory, although Riwaka's concerted forward effort and Wanderers' lack of composure at critical times proved costly.
No8 Lealoha Musika played a key role in Wanderers' early dominance as fullback Chez Bloxham was also composed at the back. Riwaka's Seta Sauira controlled play superbly at No10 as both he and Beatson kicked accurately behind Wanderers' defence. Lock Ben Sadrugu impressed in a strong forward effort.
WOB 32 Huia 19
Fullback Josh Rutledge slammed over 22 points to help steer Star and Garter Waimea Old Boys to their second consecutive pool A win in Motueka.
Rutledge ended the match with six penalties and the conversions to both Waimea tries as Waimea led throughout after a blistering start.
They'd raced to a 19-0 lead in almost as many minutes as a try to flanker Dan Hytongue and Rutledge's complementary boot appeared to sit New World Huia on their haunches. But two intercept tries to winger Loti Niue helped to keep Huia in touch, midfielder Tila Mealoi stealing the ball on both occasions to send his winger away, as Waimea took a slender but deserved 19-14 lead into the halftime break.
A further Rutledge penalty, countered by Niue's third try of the match, again had Huia within striking distance at 22-19. However, Waimea weren't about to waste the efforts of their dominant forward pack as another Rutledge penalty and a late converted try to flanker Kerry O'Connor ultimately sealed a vital win.
Prop Sam Prattley led an impressive Waimea forward effort in which lock Riki Hoeata, prop Ropati Rimakama and No8 Ben Eder were standouts.
In a Blenheim pool B clash, Harlequins beat Renwick 29-14.