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Saturday, April 20, 2024
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Marist keep Nunn Shield

A Saturday of somewhat surprising results had plenty of seasoned club rugby followers wondering if the 2023 version of the Chris “Moose” Kapene Cup wouldn’t be as straightforward as they thought it would be.

Competition pacesetter Martinborough had to work through a tight struggle with a fired-up East Coast; Marist used Old Timers Day to pull a vintage performance out of the bag, and at Pioneer, the match became something of a maths exercise and how well the supports knew their 7 times table.

Pioneer 5 Carterton 77

While many pundits were expecting a high-scoring game at Jeans St, very few would have predicted the lop-sided nature of the final result.

Carterton started the game in top gear and had posted two converted tries for a 14-0 lead before the reserves had put their bags down. Barnstorming lock Malakai Biumaiwai started the ball rolling after 5 minutes and left winger Ben Hancox-Uelese added another one soon after.

Pioneer scored what would be their only points, a try from a soaring up-and-under at the 20m mark, but after that, the traffic was decidedly one-way.

Carterton rattled on another three tries before halftime as they dominated possession and field position. Club stalwart Inia Katia, playing at openside flanker, was a handful for the Pioneer defence with the ball in hand and picked up three tries of his own, including a lengthy kick-and-chase effort when he used his trademark pace to outstrip the chasers.

Silky fullback Aseri Waqa also grabbed a hat trick, as he regularly ghosted into the backline and left would-be tacklers grasping at fresh air.

To their credit, Pioneer never let their heads drop and threw everything at Carterton till the final whistle, but they could not get past the advantage line with any consistency.

For Carterton, particularly mobile prop Tupou Lea’aemanu made several telling runs through the heart of the Pioneer defence, while blindside flanker Logan Wakefield set up plenty of second-phase ball and had a very productive day at the lineout.

Just as notable was the pinpoint kicking of Ben Brooking, who converted all 11 Carterton tries.

East Coast 20
Martinborough 22

The home side won plenty of plaudits, but it was Martinborough that pinched the competition points at Whareama.

A competitive East Coast pushed Martinborough hard and had an opportunity to record what would have been the upset of the season with a penalty attempt with fulltime just minutes away. It wasn’t to be.

Martinborough coach James Bruce was full of praise for the Coasties.

“The match was back and forth throughout; we just couldn’t shake them. They kept coming at us and, to be fair, they probably deserved to come away with a win.

“We had to make some changes in the lineup and the new combinations never really settled, or weren’t allowed to settle. We called in some players from the under 20s just in case we needed them, but for the most part we battled to come to grips with a very physical East Coast unit.”

East Coast held the lead for lengthy periods of the contest and missed a couple of penalties earlier in the game. The match will likely be remembered as one that got away.

Bruce said the mood on the bus trip home was subdued.

“Some of us may have thought we would simply roll up and bag a win. The mindset was off. So to grab four points while playing below par is a bonus, as is getting a timely reminder about the evenness of this competition.”

Bruce was thankful for the solidity provided at the back by fullback Shane Colton, who directed the defensive line at crucial moments and communicated effectively when it was most required.

Eketahuna 11 Gladstone 23

It wasn’t the most attractive game, but Gladstone had just enough in the bank to shade Eketahuna on a field showing the effects of a lot of recent rain.

Points were hard to come by in the first half, but Gladstone picked up three penalties on the back of some extended periods of pressure to lead 9-5 at the break.

With first five-eighth Freddy control of the match with two well-taken tries in the final quarter, both of which were converted, to give themselves some breathing room.

Eketahuna spread the ball around late in the game, but the Gladstone defence remained resolute and kept their line intact.

The Gladstone scrum provided a solid platform, anchored by prop Richard Peacock and veteran forward Andrew Smith returned to the lineup for the first time in a while to help create some key turnovers.

Marist 51 Greytown 19

The Nunn Shield has been safely tucked away in the trophy cabinet at the Marist clubrooms for another year.

The ‘green and white’ hoops took extra inspiration from Old Timers Day to lead from start to finish.

After a tight first 20 minutes, Marist grabbed the opening try of the match when Greytown tried to run the ball out from their own line, only for Marist to snaffle a turnover and cross the line. It set the trend for the rest of the match.

Marist had established set-piece ascendency well before halftime and introduced more quality from the reserves bench at the appropriate time.

Assistant coach Peter Beech was pleased, and possibly relieved, that there were no disciplinary issues on Saturday, unlike the week before.

“No cards of any colour came out of the referee’s back pocket, so we can safely say we made the necessary improvements there.”

Marist benefitted from the return to firs-five eighth Tafa Tafa, who, as well as having a good day with the boot, was able to break tackles seemingly at will, and put his outside backs into gaps with well-timed passes.

In the pack, Tom Campbell pinched a few lineouts against the throw, and blindside flanker Marcus Ale imposed his customary physical approach to break the advantage line and also steal some second-phase ball.

Womens

Freyberg 56 Wahine Toa 17

Sometimes, a bye doesn’t work in a team’s favour.

An out-of-sorts Wairarapa Wahine Toa struggled to string phases together and got run over by a more accurate Freyberg OB in Palmerston North on Saturday.

On a firm track, Wahine Toa competed well in the opening stages, but simple errors ebbed away at their confidence and made for a long day at the office.

Coach Scott Collis said chances went begging on the back of handling mistakes and poor passing. Ball retention issues created too many turnovers.

Wahine Toa is still well-placed for a top-four finish, but will need to find the sort of form that served them well before they had the bye last week, he said. Eschenbach back from injury and keeping the ball in front of his forwards, Gladstone wrested control of the match with two well-taken tries in the final quarter, both of which were converted, to give themselves some breathing room.

Eketahuna spread the ball around late in the game, but the Gladstone defence remained resolute and kept their line intact.

The Gladstone scrum provided a solid platform, anchored by prop Richard Peacock and veteran forward Andrew Smith returned to the lineup for the first time in a while to help create some key turnovers.

Marist 51 Greytown 19

The Nunn Shield has been safely tucked away in the trophy cabinet at the Marist clubrooms for another year.

The ‘green and white’ hoops took extra inspiration from Old Timers Day to lead from start to finish.

After a tight first 20 minutes, Marist grabbed the opening try of the match when Greytown tried to run the ball out from their own line, only for Marist to snaffle a turnover and cross the line. It set the trend for the rest of the match.

Marist had established set-piece ascendency well before halftime and introduced more quality from the reserves bench at the appropriate time.

Assistant coach Peter Beech was pleased, and possibly relieved, that there were no disciplinary issues on Saturday, unlike the week before.

“No cards of any colour came out of the referee’s back pocket, so we can safely say we made the necessary improvements there.”

Marist benefited from the return to first-five eighth Tafa Tafa, who, as well as having a good day with the boot, was able to break tackles seemingly at will, and put his outside backs into gaps with well-timed passes.

In the pack, Tom Campbell pinched a few lineouts against the throw, and blindside flanker Marcus Ale imposed his customary physical approach to break the advantage line and also steal some second-phase ball.

Womens

Freyberg 56 Wahine Toa 17

Sometimes, a bye doesn’t work in the team’s favour.

An out-of-sorts Wairarapa Wahine Toa struggled to string phases together and got run over by a more accurate Freyberg OB in Palmerston North on Saturday.

On a firm track, Wahine Toa competed well in the opening stages, but simple errors ebbed away at their confidence and made for a long day at the office.

Coach Scott Collis said chances went begging on the back of handling mistakes and poor passing. Ball retention issues created too many turnovers.

Wahine Toa is still well-placed for a top-four finish, but will need to find the sort of form that served them well before they had the bye last week, he said. Eschenbach back from injury and keeping the ball in front of his forwards, Gladstone wrested control of the match with two well-taken tries in the final quarter, both of which were converted, to give themselves some breathing room.

Eketahuna spread the ball around late in the game, but the Gladstone defence remained resolute and kept their line intact.

The Gladstone scrum provided a solid platform, anchored by prop Richard Peacock and veteran forward Andrew Smith returned to the lineup for the first time in a while to help create some key turnovers.

Marist 51 Greytown 19

The Nunn Shield has been safely tucked away in the trophy cabinet at the Marist clubrooms for another year.

The ‘green and white’ hoops took extra inspiration from Old Timers Day to lead from start to finish.

After a tight first 20 minutes, Marist grabbed the opening try of the match when Greytown tried to run the ball out from their own line, only for Marist to snaffle a turnover and cross the line. It set the trend for the rest of the match.

Marist had established set-piece ascendency well before halftime and introduced more quality from the reserves bench at the appropriate time.

Assistant coach Peter Beech was pleased, and possibly relieved, that there were no disciplinary issues on Saturday, unlike the week before.

“No cards of any colour came out of the referee’s back pocket, so we can safely say we made the necessary improvements there.”

Marist benefited from the return to first-five eighth Tafa Tafa, who, as well as having a good day with the boot, was able to break tackles seemingly at will, and put his outside backs into gaps with well-timed passes.

In the pack, Tom Campbell pinched a few lineouts against the throw, and blindside flanker Marcus Ale imposed his customary physical approach to break the advantage line and also steal some second-phase ball.

Womens

Freyberg 56 Wahine Toa 17

Sometimes, a bye doesn’t work in the team’s favour.

An out-of-sorts Wairarapa Wahine Toa struggled to string phases together and got run over by a more accurate Freyberg OB in Palmerston North on Saturday.

On a firm track, Wahine Toa competed well in the opening stages, but simple errors ebbed away at their confidence and made for a long day at the office.

Coach Scott Collis said chances went begging on the back of handling mistakes and poor passing. Ball retention issues created too many turnovers.

Wahine Toa is still well-placed for a top-four finish, but will need to find the sort of form that served them well before they had the bye last week, he said. Eschenbach back from injury and keeping the ball in front of his forwards, Gladstone wrested control of the match with two well-taken tries in the final quarter, both of which were converted, to give themselves some breathing room.

Eketahuna spread the ball around late in the game, but the Gladstone defence remained resolute and kept their line intact.

The Gladstone scrum provided a solid platform, anchored by prop Richard Peacock and veteran forward Andrew Smith returned to the lineup for the first time in a while to help create some key turnovers.

Marist 51 Greytown 19

The Nunn Shield has been safely tucked away in the trophy cabinet at the Marist clubrooms for another year.

The ‘green and white’ hoops took extra inspiration from Old Timers Day to lead from start to finish.

After a tight first 20 minutes, Marist grabbed the opening try of the match when Greytown tried to run the ball out from their own line, only for Marist to snaffle a turnover and cross the line. It set the trend for the rest of the match.

Marist had established set-piece ascendency well before halftime and introduced more quality from the reserves bench at the appropriate time.

Assistant coach Peter Beech was pleased, and possibly relieved, that there were no disciplinary issues on Saturday, unlike the week before.

“No cards of any colour came out of the referee’s back pocket, so we can safely say we made the necessary improvements there.”

Marist benefited from the return to first-five eighth Tafa Tafa, who, as well as having a good day with the boot, was able to break tackles seemingly at will, and put his outside backs into gaps with well-timed passes.

In the pack, Tom Campbell pinched a few lineouts against the throw, and blindside flanker Marcus Ale imposed his customary physical approach to break the advantage line and also steal some second-phase ball.

Womens

Freyberg 56 Wahine Toa 17

Sometimes, a bye doesn’t work in the team’s favour.

An out-of-sorts Wairarapa Wahine Toa struggled to string phases together and got run over by a more accurate Freyberg OB in Palmerston North on Saturday.

On a firm track, Wahine Toa competed well in the opening stages, but simple errors ebbed away at their confidence and made for a long day at the office.

Coach Scott Collis said chances went begging on the back of handling mistakes and poor passing. Ball retention issues created too many turnovers.

Wahine Toa is still well-placed for a top-four finish, but will need to find the sort of form that served them well before they had the bye last week, he said. Eschenbach back from injury and keeping the ball in front of his forwards, Gladstone wrested control of the match with two well-taken tries in the final quarter, both of which were converted, to give themselves some breathing room.

Eketahuna spread the ball around late in the game, but the Gladstone defence remained resolute and kept their line intact.

The Gladstone scrum provided a solid platform, anchored by prop Richard Peacock and veteran forward Andrew Smith returned to the lineup for the first time in a while to help create some key turnovers.

Marist 51 Greytown 19

The Nunn Shield has been safely tucked away in the trophy cabinet at the Marist clubrooms for another year.

The ‘green and white’ hoops took extra inspiration from Old Timers Day to lead from start to finish.

After a tight first 20 minutes, Marist grabbed the opening try of the match when Greytown tried to run the ball out from their own line, only for Marist to snaffle a turnover and cross the line. It set the trend for the rest of the match.

Marist had established set-piece ascendency well before halftime and introduced more quality from the reserves bench at the appropriate time.

Assistant coach Peter Beech was pleased, and possibly relieved, that there were no disciplinary issues on Saturday, unlike the week before.

“No cards of any colour came out of the referee’s back pocket, so we can safely say we made the necessary improvements there.”

Marist benefited from the return to first-five eighth Tafa Tafa, who, as well as having a good day with the boot, was able to break tackles seemingly at will, and put his outside backs into gaps with well-timed passes.

In the pack, Tom Campbell pinched a few lineouts against the throw, and blindside flanker Marcus Ale imposed his customary physical approach to break the advantage line and also steal some second-phase ball.

Womens

Freyberg 56 Wahine Toa 17

Sometimes, a bye doesn’t work in the team’s favour.

An out-of-sorts Wairarapa Wahine Toa struggled to string phases together and got run over by a more accurate Freyberg OB in Palmerston North on Saturday.

On a firm track, Wahine Toa competed well in the opening stages, but simple errors ebbed away at their confidence and made for a long day at the office.

Coach Scott Collis said chances went begging on the back of handling mistakes and poor passing. Ball retention issues created too many turnovers.

Wahine Toa is still well-placed for a top-four finish, but will need to find the sort of form that served them well before they had the bye last week, he said.

Roger Parker
Roger Parker
Roger Parker is the Times-Age news director. In the Venn-diagram of his two great loves, news and sport, sports news is the sweet spot.

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