Brock Price scored a hat-trick of tries for Carterton. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV

RUGBY

CHRIS COGDALE
chris.cogdale@age.co.nz

Gladstone took the lead in the Tui Cup after a hard-fought 32-24 win over East Coast at Whareama. The bonus point victory for four tries had the defending champions leapfrog Eketahuna, who drop to third after a 16-17 loss to Martinborough.

Gladstone coach Steve Thompson said they had to work hard for the win.

“We were okay, but East Coast were pretty good in the forwards and kept us honest, and in the backs, they kept coming at us,” he said. “We drifted off our game plan at times, and they managed to break our rhythm a bit; they’re a difficult team to play against.”

Thompson said, “both teams had chances to win it, but we did enough in the end and we’re happy to take the win.”

A sound tactical kicking game by first-five Tipi Haira led Martinborough to their 17-16 win over Eketahuna at Eketahuna.

Haira used the wind well in the first half to keep Eketahuna pinned in their own territory. Two tries from barnstorming runs by second-five Nikora Ewe had ‘Marty’ out to a 17-3 halftime lead.

The home team slowly clawed their way back and closed the gap to one point from a penalty with about six minutes to play, but couldn’t find another score.

Eketahuna were hampered by the loss of Robbie Anderson, who had started the game at first-five in place of an ill Josh Pepperell.

The inspirational captain suffered a suspected broken hand and could be out for the rest of the club season.

Lightning quick fullback Vaifagaloa Mamoe also suffered what appeared to be a serious knee injury.

Carterton coach Chris Senior is pleased his team finally got just reward for their hard work with a 39-22 victory over Marist at Carterton.

In what has been a frustrating season, Carterton have often dominated teams but have failed to come away with the win.

On Saturday the maroons again controlled long facets of the play, but the match was still on a knife edge going into the final five minutes.

However, two tries in the final two minutes had the home side come away with an important bonus-point victory that keeps alive their slim top four chances.

Brock Price underlined his potential at second-five, with three tries to cap a strong game.

Senior said, “It’s just been one of those seasons; we’ve looked good against the top four teams but unforced errors have cost us and we haven’t been able to get the wins.

“We might have to rely on other results going our way but if we keep on winning, we’re in with a chance.”

Greytown won their match with Masterton Red Star by default, after ‘Stars’ were unable to field a front-row.

Tui Cup

Brief scores [home teams first]

Carterton 39, Marist 22; Eketahuna 16, Martinborough 17; East Coast 24, Gladstone 32; Greytown 28 [win by default], Masterton Red Star 0

Provisional Points

Gladstone 37, Martinborough 35, Eketahuna 33, Greytown 32, Carterton 21, Marist 20, East Coast 12, Masterton Red Star 0

Burger King Senior Reserves

Brief scores [home teams first]

Greytown 66, East Coast 17; Gladstone 20, Marist 19; Eketahuna 7, Carterton 43; Puketoi 79, Featherston 0; Tuhirangi 29, Pioneer Old Boys 10; Martinborough bye