Rams lead as Temuka stun

Pleasant Point bumped from top of table

Last updated 05:00 09/06/2014
Semisi Paseka
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/FAIRFAX NZ
DESPERATION PAYS: Pleasant Point’s Jake Harrison is stopped by Temuka’s Semisi Paseka in one of the upsets of the season. 

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The rollercoaster Hamersley Cup senior rugby competition continues with Temuka stunning leaders Pleasant Point 22-12 on Saturday to keep their top four chances alive.

Waimate also had their day at a foggy Manchester Park, with a superb second half defensive effort keeping Harlequins at bay 25-15

As expected Celtic were too good for Geraldine winning 32-7 while Mackenzie kept Old Boys scoreless with a 23-0 win.

It is the closest and most unpredictable competition for many years and the semifinalists may only be decided in the final round-robin game.

Pleasant Point have lost the top spot for the first time this season, albeit on points difference, to Mackenzie but have a tough run home.

Waimate's victory was a real boost as it sees them leapfrog Harlequins and be tied in third place with Celtic.

Temuka will need to keep on their giant-killing way to make the top four while Harlequins remain in contention just two points adrift of Celtic and Waimate with four rounds left to play.

At Manchester Park, Waimate started with a penalty to Theo Davidson before Harlequins burst into life with two tries, three minutes apart.

Harlequins midfielders Hau Kaumatule and Paulo Fifita made a great break and got the visitors close before prop Telusa Latu showed all his skills to put in the perfect cross kick for No 8 Sam Vea to score in the corner.

Kaumatule put his side back on attack and then a charging run by prop Timaru Tafa got them close, with hooker Nathan Tubb scoring and Scott Norton adding the extras for a 12-3 lead.

Just when it looked like Harlequins might run away with it, Waimate found some rhythm and put pressure on the visitors, who gave away four kickable penalties as they showed too much ill-discipline.

Davidson made no mistake, landing them all to give his side a 15-12 lead.

The second half was an arm wrestle until mid-way through when Waimate's Irish import, fullback Stephen Macauley, broke free 60 metres out and straightened up to score an excellent individual try, with Davidson adding the extras.

Two minutes later Norton landed a penalty to get Harlequins back within seven points.

They then threw everything at Waimate, including more than a dozen phases less than five metres out, but they could not crack the line.

Davidson had the last say with his sixth penalty to make the game safe and give the Wallabies a deserved win.

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For the hosts it was a superb team effort, from props Shannon Howe and Toko Fakatava to Macauley at the back.

Davidson was superb in his all round game, while ex-Hurricanes Super Rugby utility Billy Guyton helped stiffened the backline defence and wasn't afraid to run at the line.

First five Kurt Rooney also had a tidy game, taking good options.

Harlequins were directionless at times but Vea was a standout in the pack, and Kaumatule also impressed.

Temuka bounced back from their shock loss to Geraldine to beat Pleasant Point in front of their competition-winning 1964 side.

The Magpies were up 15-0 at the break despite having two men in the bin, after showing they were dangerous from broken play, with tries to Ricki Neame and Erenimo Tau.

The Magpies physical forward pack, led by No 8 Joeli Kotobalvu, kept Pleasant Point at bay.

Lock Ben Hayes also played well while Tenaru Saumani was Temuka's outstanding back

Saumani scored their third try while only a last-minute try to Simon Murray gave the score some respectability for Point.

Pleasant Point's best were lock Luke Brice and prop Ben Hewitson, who has arrived home from overseas.

Celtic managed to starve Geraldine of ball on the back of a dominant forward display but the country side defended well or else the score may have ballooned out.

For Celtic prop Matt Fetu put in his usual strong display while loose forwards Kali Latu and Tom Fleming also featured.

Wing Jarred Mannex was the best of the backs.

Mackenzie sit on top of the competition for the first time in many years but could not find the bonus point try that would have had them clear.

Old Boys were effective at slowing the ball down to their advantage while the Rams made some basic handling errors.

For Mackenzie, hooker Johnny Andrews had a strong game while Jarrad Blacker looked good on the open side.

Stand-in first five Walker Jacobs also made the most of his opportunities.

For Old Boys No 8 Junior Fa'avea had another strong game, running hard on defence as well as attack.

- The Timaru Herald

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