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Carterton bounce back with big win

Carterton 57
Masterton Red Star 15

Carterton bounced back from their shock loss to Eketāhuna last Saturday, bagging the maximum five points, but they didn’t have it all the way against the premier novices in Thursday’s Lane Penn Cup fixture at Carterton.

In fact, Masterton Red Star made the better start, going out to a 10–0 lead courtesy of tries to blindside flanker Jake Gibbs after the forwards forced a turnover in the Carterton half, and some crisp passing gave him space to cross wide out, and centre Venu Siaosi, who crashed over several phases after a 5m lineout.

The home side finally got on the board after 14 minutes when winger Billy Leberi scored under the posts from broken play. Further tries to winger Max Sellwood, halfback Gus McKinnon [against his former club], centre Brandon Wright, and lock Greg Gouws saw Carterton go to the break with a 31–10 lead.

Stars started the second half the same way as the first, with second-five Thomas Innes dotting down for their try. Leberi replied with his second of the afternoon, but it wasn’t until the final 10 minutes that the score really blew out with a double to lock Malakai Biumaiwai and one to fullback Josh Collyns.

While satisfied with the result, Carterton captain Daryl Pickering said it took a wake-up call before the defending champions fired up.

“We had a good one last week, and we didn’t learn from that in the first 20 minutes, and we’ve seen by past results that Masterton Red Star weren’t going to be a pushover,” Pickering said.

“It took 20 minutes to get a bit of a slap in the face and for us to get into our work.”

Once into gear, Carterton were simply too good, mainly controlling the set piece, especially at lineout time where Stars struggled to win their own ball, and in general play, they regularly found gaps up the middle, and when they moved the ball wide, they had too much pace, although Pickering was frustrated at some of the option taking.

“The boys get excited when they see those holes, but against other sides and bigger sides we’ve got to be a bit smarter than that at times; we can’t play wide to wide the whole game, we’ve got to do the hard work to break through the middle and we tried that a bit today but only in patches.”

Pickering also had a positive word for Stars and expects them to improve markedly as the season progresses.

“It’s outstanding to see them back, and talking to Chris [Senior] before the game, he said they had 10 or 12 guys missing from this match, and to turn up and still have 22 and push us hard, especially in the first 20 minutes, was good to see,

“They’ve got guys across the park who have played at other clubs, and they’ve brought that experience, and with Chris Senior coaching them, they’ll stay tight together and let’s hope to see them kick on in the second round.”

About $800 for the Carterton RSA was raised through gate takings.

Wahine Toa

Eight debutants will take the field for Wairarapa Wahine Toa this afternoon when they kick off their Manawatu Premier Women’s Championship with a tough away clash against defending champions Kia Toa.

Gone from last year’s squad are promising flanker Xanthe Somerville, now playing in Wellington, and outstanding fullback Kate Donald, now based in Central Hawke’s Bay, while former Dutch international Annemieke van Vliet is sidelined with injury.

Despite the new faces, Wairarapa will still have a solid core of experience with the likes of captain Lisa Te Moananui, the talented Walker sisters Brodie and Darian, and Gracie Donaldson.

Disappointingly, only four teams will contest the championship, with the other two being Freyberg Old Boys and Old Boys Marist.

Chris Cogdale
Chris Cogdale
Chris “Coggie” Cogdale has extensive knowledge of sport in Wairarapa having covered it for more than 30 years, including radio for 28 years. He has been the sports guru at the Wairarapa Times-Age since 2019.

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