Mud Dogs round up Rams, Magpies on top

Pleasant Point Mana Taylor's strength gets across him across the try line despite Mackenzie defence.
JOHN BISSET/FAIRFAX NZ

Pleasant Point Mana Taylor's strength gets across him across the try line despite Mackenzie defence.

Pleasant Point put in their best performance of the Hamersley Cup season to send Mackenzie packing 46-7.

The win gives the Mud Dogs an outside chance of still making the top four ahead of the Rams, with three rounds left, as well as securing the State Highway 8 Cup.

A 17-16 victory saw Temuka leapfrog front runners Harlequins to the top of the table while Celtic demolished Old Boys 67-0.

Pleasant Point blind side Mana Taylor scores one of his two tries in the Mud Dogs thrashing of the Rams.
JOHN BISSET/FAIRFAX NZ

Pleasant Point blind side Mana Taylor scores one of his two tries in the Mud Dogs thrashing of the Rams.

The upset looked on at Manchester Park when Waimate led Geraldine at half time but the hosts couldn't hold, going down 31-27.

The results leave Temuka on top with 44 points, Harlequins on 43 and defending champions Celtic on 42.

The final spot in the top four however seems likely to go to Mackenzie.

Pleasant Point second five Don Farmer finds space on attack.
JOHN BISSET/FAIRFAX NZ

Pleasant Point second five Don Farmer finds space on attack.

While Pleasant Point and Mackenzie are tied on 28 points, Mackenzie has the easier draw left while Point face Harlequins and Celtic in the next two games.

In a tight contest at the top of the table Celtic's clash against Temuka on Saturday could go a long way to deciding top spot.

At Temuka, the Magpies were down 16-3 at halftime and only great try saving tackle by CJ Millar just after the break saved Harlequins going further into the lead.  

Mackenzie's Henry Callaghan on the charge against Pleasant Point. Unfortunately Callaghan blotted his copybook with a ...
JOHN BISSET/FAIRFAX NZ

Mackenzie's Henry Callaghan on the charge against Pleasant Point. Unfortunately Callaghan blotted his copybook with a red card.

Temuka then climbed back into the game and grabbed the lead midway through the half and hung on, despite some late pressure from Harlequins.

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For Temuka wing Kalavini Leatigaga, hooker Kurt Prendeville and loose forward Keith Darby had strong games.

Harlequins best were fullback Sean White, who made some good line breaks, No.8 Teki Veikune and first five Ken Hellier.

The Harlequins were hampered by having two yellow cards, which made things tough against a top side.

A couple of crucial turnovers and missed penalties at the end were also costly.

Harlequins coach Gareth Burgess said it was full credit to Temuka.

"If you are not at your best, you are not going to beat the best. The competition is certainly alive and the last three weeks (of the round robin) will be interesting."

Celtic cruised past Old Boys, scoring 11 tries as the Blues struggle to get any ball against the defending champions pack.

For Celtic midfielder Willie Taylor stood out along with forwards Jarred Gilmour and Garret Casey.

In Waimate, Geraldine had to overcome a 22-5 deficit, with 30 minutes left.

In the end it was the substitutes bench that got Geraldine home with loosies Blake Snow and Andrew Gooden making a big impact.

BJ Oliver was also a stand-out, playing No.8 but throwing well into the line-outs, while lock Craig Moore had another solid performance.

Nineteen-year-old Reuben Fisher also caught the eye in only his second senior game at halfback.

Waimate will have been disappointed they could not hang onin a game of two halves.

Their best were lock Nick Mercer, halfback Steve Horan and wing Gus Patterson, in his first start for the senior side.

Simon Bleeker also played well at both hooker and openside. 

At the Pleasant Point Domain the hosts shocked Mackenzie to be up 22-0 at halftime.

Mackenzie immediately hit back after the break with a try but that was it.

The Rams slim chances were then blown when lock Henry Callaghan received a red card for a head stomp and shortly afterwards Josh Brosnahan was sent to the bin, leaving the them with 13 on the field.

It was an arm wrestle at the start of the game and it took 20 minutes for any points, when No.8 Tate Manson crashed over from a 5m scrum after clever run and chip from left wing Henry Chamberlain got them on attack.

Brad Tegelaars added a penalty and with five minutes left in the half Point scored two further tries to blindside Mana Taylor, who had a superb game, with Tegelaars converting both.

Two minutes into the second half substitute Brosnahan scored for the Rams, and with first choice players Sami Puafisi and Setafano Sauqaqa also coming off the bench at the break the comeback looked on.

Two cards however put paid to Mackenzie's chances and Pleasant Point added two late tries to Josh Walker and Brett Hessell to record a well deserved win.

Hessell. the replacement hooker, will long remember his with a intercept at halfway he managed to out sprint the chasers to score.

For the Mud Dogs props Ben Hewitson and JP Koen had strong games, as did loose forwards Taylor and Matson, while locks Jeff Pierce and Luke Brice also impressed.

Halfback Chris Ireland put in a tidy performance at half back as did Tegelaars at first five.

For Mackenzie loose forwards Jonny Andrews and Ata Ata Langilangi tried hard , while hooker Charlie Aho made some strong runs.

In the backs wings Iosefo Senibua and George Folau made some good runs but did see enough of the ball with space in front of them. 

Points: Temuka 44, Harlequins 43, Celtic 42, Mackenzie 28, Pleasant Point 28, Geraldine 20, Waimate 10, Old Boys 6

Scorers:

Pleasant Point 43 (Mana Taylor 2, Tate Manson, Chris Ireland, Josh Walker, Brett Hessell try Brad Tegelaars 5 con, pen) Mackenzie 7 (Daryl Morton try, Jared Trevathan con) 

Geraldine 31 (John Graham, David Melville, BJ Oliver, Dan Hall, Blake Snow try, Reuben Snow 3 con) Waimate 27 (Steve Horan, Steve Smith, Loni Toumohuni, Matthew Hayman try, William Saulala pen, 2 con)

Temuka 17 (Paula Fonokalafi, Aifala Taelega try, Taleni Tiai pen, 2 con) Harlequins 16 (Joseteki Veikune, Sireli Buliruarua, Sean White 2 pen)

Celtic 67 (Tom Fleming 2, Willy Taylor 2, Kerry O'Connor 2, Andrew Darling, Kali Latu, Ben Watson,Will Joines, Jarred Gilmour, Henry Race 4 con,
Zac Saunders con, Tom Fleming 1 con) Old Boys 0

 - Stuff

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