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Carterton the only unbeaten side

MARIST 15

CARTERTON 20

The old adage, kicking wins games, rang true in the clash of the two unbeaten teams at Memorial Park No. 2 on Saturday.

Marist outscored Carterton three tries to two but failed with three conversion attempts, which were all from handy angles.

While the Marist kickers faltered, the Maroons fullback Ben Brooking was on song, kicking two conversions and two penalties, with his only miss a long-range attempt in the first half.

Carterton captain Darryl Pickering felt that goalkicking was the difference in the end.

“Ben’s been outstanding off the tee, and it’s pretty good when we get in their half, and you know if we get a penalty, he can bang over from anywhere in their half,” Pickering said.

It was Brooking who gave the visitors the lead with a 12th-minute penalty, but after that, the game stuttered along until the 33rd minute when Marist lock Kieran O’Brien scored after a counterattack from deep inside their own half.

That seemed to be the catalyst for the game to open up, and both teams began to spread the ball wide and use their backlines, although running rugby wasn’t easy on the heavy, tacky ground.

The game, however, swung Carterton’s way when powerful Marist prop Stan Wright Jnr was shown a yellow card for a neck grab in a ruck. From the ensuing scrum, No. 8 Zach Wakefield burrowed over for the try and with Brooking’s conversion, Carterton took a 10-5 lead into the break.

“It was probably the turning point,” Pickering said.

“Our scrum was probably going backwards at points, and when Stan went off in the sin bin, that left quite a big hole, so we took that opportunity and particularly our young prop Cam [Cartwright] that gave him a big boost which is what he needed in a battle like that.”

Carterton extended their lead to 17-5 with a try to second-five Fiula Tameilau two minutes after the restart.

From then the visitors controlled play well until fullback Ryan Lindeque narrowed the gap to seven points when he finished off a sweeping backline move after 58 minutes.

A Brooking penalty made the score 20-10 with nine minutes to play, but Marist weren’t about to give up, and a try to Wright soon afterwards ensured a tight finish.

In the end, Pickering was just pleased to bag the points with some key players, such as utility forward Logan Wakefield and fullback Aseri Waqa missing.

“Marist are up there with the benchmark in this competition, and they’ve got a pretty solid squad, and to beat them with a few troops down is pretty pleasing,” he said.

“We were our worst enemy at times, and we probably played better without the ball in hand and just backed our ‘D’ with our big boys putting some shots on.”

Carterton also lifted the Nunn Shield [challenge trophy] for winning the game.

PIONEER 19

GREYTOWN 15

Pioneer coach Victor Thompson reckons his team played their get-out-of-jail-free card in snatching an injury-time victory over Greytown at Jeans Street.

The visitors led 15-12 with time up, but Pioneer weren’t going to give up.

A quick throw-in by Nikora Ewe led to a sustained raid on the Greytown line, with Ewe finally scoring to seal the victory and revive Pioneer’s top four prospects.

“That was very much needed for us. It was a tough one,” Thompson said.

“They came out firing and had us nailed for a while there.”

Thompson also had special praise for Greytown’s “old warhorses” Tavita and Tana Isaac, who carried all day, and prop Lewis Bush, who has recently returned from Hawke’s Bay.

“Far out, he was immovable over the ball, and I lost count of how many tackles he made produced.”

EAST COAST 29

GLADSTONE 20

Veteran flanker Joe Feast made a successful return scoring a hat-trick and leading East Coast to their first victory of the Chris ‘Moose’ Kapene Memorial Cup.

“He was a big brute, and we’ve really been missing someone like that to lead the younger fellas,” a satisfied coach Ritchie Robertson said.

“It’s the first time we were able to put fresh players on, and we had 22 in the squad.”

The win lifted the Coasties to nine points, five behind fourth-placed Greytown, and Robertson believes the win will give the younger players a big confidence boost.

“We’ve still got a chance to get the fourth spot, and we’re not going to lay down yet.”

Robertson felt that 44-year-old prop Stan Wright and veteran lock Andrew McLean played well in a Gladstone that never gave up.

EKETAHUNA 10 MARTINBOROUGH 61

Eketahuna had no answer to Martinborough’s pace out wide in their heavy loss at Eketahuna.

The home side held their own in the forwards, but once they turned over the ball, the MARIST 15

CARTERTON 20

The old adage, kicking wins games, rang true in the clash of the two unbeaten teams at Memorial Park No. 2 on Saturday.

Marist outscored Carterton three tries to two but failed with three conversion attempts, which were all from handy angles.

While the Marist kickers faltered, the Maroons fullback Ben Brooking was on song, kicking two conversions and two penalties, with his only miss a long-range attempt in the first half.

Carterton captain Darryl Pickering felt that goalkicking was the difference in the end.

“Ben’s been outstanding off the tee, and it’s pretty good when we get in their half, and you know if we get a penalty, he can bang over from anywhere in their half,” Pickering said.

It was Brooking who gave the visitors the lead with a 12th-minute penalty, but after that, the game stuttered along until the 33rd minute when Marist lock Kieran O’Brien scored after a counterattack from deep inside their own half.

That seemed to be the catalyst for the game to open up, and both teams began to spread the ball wide and use their talented backlines, although running rugby wasn’t easy on the heavy, tacky ground.

The game, however, swung Carterton’s way when powerful Marist prop Stan Wright Jnr was shown a yellow card for a neck grab in a ruck. From the ensuing scrum, No. 8 Zach Wakefield burrowed over for the try and with Brooking’s conversion, Carterton took a 10-5 lead into the break.

“It was probably the turning point,” Pickering said.

“Our scrum was probably going backwards at points, and when Stan went off in the sin bin, that left quite a big hole, so we took that opportunity and particularly our young prop Cam [Cartwright] that gave him a big boost which is what he needed in a battle like that.”

Carterton extended their lead to 17-5 with a try to second-five Fiula Tameilau two minutes after the restart.

From then the visitors controlled play well until fullback Ryan Lindeque narrowed the gap to seven points when he finished off a sweeping backline move after 58 minutes.

A Brooking penalty made the score 20-10 with nine minutes to play, but Marist weren’t about to give up, and a try to Wright soon afterwards ensured a tight finish.

In the end, Pickering was just pleased to bag the points with some key players, such as utility forward Logan Wakefield and fullback Aseri Waqa missing.

“Marist are up there with the benchmark in this competition, and they’ve got a pretty solid squad, and to beat them with a few troops down is pretty pleasing,” he said.

“We were our worst enemy at times, and we probably played better without the ball in hand and just backed our ‘D’ with our big boys putting some shots on.”

Carterton also lifted the Nunn Shield [challenge trophy] for winning the game.

PIONEER 19

GREYTOWN 15

Pioneer coach Victor Thompson reckons his team played their get-out-of-jail-free card in snatching an injury-time victory over Greytown at Jeans Street.

The visitors led 15-12 with time up, but Pioneer weren’t going to give up. A quick throw-in by Nikora Ewe led to a sustained raid on the Greytown line, with Ewe finally scoring to seal the victory and revive Pioneer’s top four prospects.

“That was very much needed for us. It was a tough one,” Thompson said.

“They came out firing and had us nailed for a while there.”

Thompson also had special praise for Greytown’s “old warhorses” Tavita and Tana Isaac, who carried all day, and prop Lewis Bush, who has recently returned from Hawke’s Bay.

“Far out, he was immovable over the ball, and I lost count of how many tackles he made produced.”

EAST COAST 29

GLADSTONE 20

Veteran flanker Joe Feast made a successful return scoring a hat-trick and leading East Coast to their first victory of the Chris ‘Moose’ Kapene Memorial Cup.

“He was a big brute, and we’ve really been missing someone like that to lead the younger fellas,” a satisfied coach Ritchie Robertson said.

“It’s the first time we were able to put fresh players on, and we had 22 in the squad.”

The win lifted the Coasties to nine points, five behind fourth-placed Greytown, and Robertson believes the win will give the younger players a big confidence boost.

“We’ve still got a chance to get the fourth spot, and we’re not going to lay down yet.”

Robertson felt that 44-year-old prop Stan Wright and veteran lock Andrew McLean played well in a Gladstone that never gave up.

EKETAHUNA 10 MARTINBOROUGH 61

Eketahuna had no answer to Martinborough’s pace out wide in their heavy loss at Eketahuna.

The home side held their own in the forwards, but once they turned over the ball, the Martinborough backs ran riot, scoring seven first-half tries, with three coming from counterattacks started near their own goal line, for a lead of 42-3 at halftime.

Veteran winger Nathan Hunt and Shane Colton were to the fore of many of the attacks, while Robbie Robinson controlled play well from first-five.

Martinborough coach James Bruce was impressed with the effort and pleased that his team stayed within their structure, saying those sorts of games can often become loose and haphazard.

PROVISIONAL POINTS

Carterton 22, Martinborough 20, Marist 17, Greytown 14, Pioneer 12, East Coast 9, Gladstone 8, Eketahuna 4

SENIOR RESERVES

Tuhirangi and Masterton Red Star continued their dominance of the second tier with big wins on Saturday.

Tuhirangi scored 12 tries in thumping Carterton 74-19 and maintaining their unbeaten run, while Stars demolished Martinborough 84-0.

Greytown came away with a 31-21 win over Marist, and East Coast held on for a 27-24 win over Gladstone. Martinborough backs ran riot, scoring seven first-half tries, with three coming from counterattacks started near their own goal line, for a lead of 42-3 at halftime.

Veteran winger Nathan Hunt and Shane Colton were to the fore of many of the attacks, while Robbie Robinson controlled play well from first-five.

Martinborough coach James Bruce was impressed with the effort and pleased that his team stayed within their structure, saying those sorts of games can often become loose and haphazard.

PROVISIONAL POINTS

Carterton 22, Martinborough 20, Marist 17, Greytown 14, Pioneer 12, East Coast 9, Gladstone 8, Eketahuna 4

SENIOR RESERVES

Tuhirangi and Masterton Red Star continued their dominance of the second tier with big wins on Saturday.

Tuhirangi scored 12 tries in thumping Carterton 74-19 and maintaining their unbeaten run, while Stars demolished Martinborough 84-0.

Greytown came away with a 31-21 win over Marist, and East Coast held on for a 27-24 win over Gladstone.

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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