The Bell Block Marist Dragons scored the big win in Taranaki premier grade rugby league on Saturday, over-powering the Coastal Cobras in the final quarter to win 66-10 at Bell Block's Hickford Park.
On a dry ground, the Cobras stunned the Dragons with a well-taken try to centre Maloni Tuitupou.
The Dragons came storming back with two tries to lead 10-4 after 20 minutes.
There was then a half-hour break while Cobras fullback Joseph Tattersall received attention after what looked like a serious head injury and he wasn't moved until the ambulance arrived. Tattersall was later discharged from hospital and was recovering at home with a thumping headache.
When the match resumed, the two sides traded tries before the home side scored back-to-back tries just on halftime to lead 24-10.
It was midway through the second half before the scorers were troubled again as both teams defended stoutly with young Coastal loose forward Liam Kupe outstanding.
As the Coastal defence started to tire and without their starting defensive line, they leaked eight tries - six of them down the left flank centre Levi McPhee and left wing Isaac Hekenui had a field day.
Nathan Ransfield, Dean Butchart and Cody Martin were hard-working forwards for Marist, while in the backs, McPhee and Hekenui ran hard and fullback Taani Prestney looked all class.
Coastal for the most part competed admirably. Players to stand out were Liam Kupe, big second rower Ross McLachlan and lightweight bench forward Curtis Lowe. Darren Parata had a solid game at half directing play well, while centre Jason Rankin also stood out.
In the other game, the EHL Western Suburbs Tigers had a close tussle with the Hawera Hawks winning 34-22 in Hawera.
The Waitara Bears had the bye.
On Saturday, the Hawera Hawks are at home to the Waitara Bears, with the Coast Cobras taking on Western Suburbs Tigers at the Opunake Domain, the Dragons have the bye.
- Taranaki Daily News
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