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Coasties lock up the silverware

Jill Penn with the victorious East Coast side. Captain Matt Perry holds the Lane Penn Trophy. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV


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Carterton 15
East Coast 17

East Coast adapted to the conditions better to lift the Lane Penn Trophy in a tough forward battle played in swirling gale force winds at Carterton on Saturday.

“It was a pretty ugly day for rugby, but we just tied the ball up and kept it pretty close and just played to the conditions and got in their face on defence and shut down their big ball carriers,” said East Coast coach Aaron Matenga, who added that it was a whole team effort and they played as a unit.

“Our tight five really stood up but the whole team played bloody well and executed the game plan right down to how we wanted to play it.”

Carterton coach Neil Rodger agreed that East Coast deserved the victory because they adapted better, and his team went away from their traditional strengths.

“Maybe we read too much into the conditions because the actual ground wasn’t too bad, but the wind was terrible, it was a gale and made it really difficult for everybody,” said Rodger.

“I think if we’d tried to play a bit of rugby in regards to trying to get the ball to the edge it might have been a different result.

“There were opportunities to do it, but we didn’t even try, and the coach has to take some heat there because the game plan was to stick it up the jumper and kick to the corner but in the end, it probably doesn’t suit us.”

East Coast made the most of their opportunities in the first half to take a 10-3 lead into halftime through a try to halfback Bryan Arnold, converted by Jack Wakeling, who also slotted a penalty, while Sam Morison kicked a penalty for the home side.

Carterton narrowed the gap to 10-8 with a try to fullback Aseri Waqa, before a converted try to Wakeling gave the Coasties a nine-point buffer with about 10 minutes to play. A try to prop Tupou Lea’aemanu, converted by Morison, gave Carterton a sniff of snatching a late victory but the Coasties held on to cap a deserved victory

“They’ve got belief now,” said a thrilled coach Matenga.

“They know that they can go further, and the boys are really happy and excited and looking forward to the rest of the season now.”

As well as the Lane Penn Trophy, the Coasties lifted the Billy Herbert Memorial Cup played for between the two clubs, and the Nunn Shield – Wairarapa-Bush’s challenge trophy.

Marist 15
Martinborough 22

Martinborough coach James Bruce was full of praise for his team’s defence in holding on for a gutsy win over Marist at Memorial Park No 2.

Bruce said the team had no possession or territory for long periods and reckoned that they spent 26 minutes camped deep inside their own 22m at one stage, while Marist hammered away at their line.

Remarkably the green and blacks managed to score three tries – all opportunist efforts.

The first came from a kick which wing Nathan Hunt won the race to the ball.

The other two came from deep on defence. Firstly, former NZ Under-19 cricket international Nick Blundell, playing on the wing, leapt high to gather a kick and sprint the length of the field, followed by an intercept try under the posts to centre Alex Priest.

“We’re starting to believe that we’re not as bad as we thought we were,” said Bruce, who has worked hard to instil a good team spirit.

“We’ve spent the last month dagging every Tuesday night together and doing things like that as well as training twice a week and all the boys have bought into it.”

Eketahuna 12
Greytown 21

It’s taken six rounds but defending champions Greytown finally broke their losing run with a tough win away to Eketahuna.

Greytown scored three tries to none in the stop-start affair played in very blustery conditions.

Playing with the wind in the first half, Greytown scored a try to prop Tolu Fahamokioa and two penalties to Sam Walton-Sexton to take an 11-6 lead into the break.

A strong defensive effort in the second half kept the home side at bay, with Eketahuna’s only points being penalties from Josh Pepperell.

Tries to Gracyn Evans and Rongo Huriama, the latter which came with Greytown down to 14 men with lock Tim Iro in the sin bin sealed Greytown’s first victory of the season.

Greytown coach Mark Childs said it was a tough win against a determined Eketahuna side, and he singled out 41-year-old loose forward Tana Isaac has the standout player of the day.

Gladstone 36
Pioneer 20

Gladstone again showed that they cannot be written off as top four contenders with an outstanding bonus-point victory over Pioneer at Gladstone.

The home side outplayed the visitors, scoring five tries to record their first win and move into sixth place in the championship standings after three rounds.

Whanganui Metro 15
Wairarapa Wahine Toa 17

A try to midfielder Brodee Walker right on the stroke of fulltime sealed a brilliant come-from-behind victory for the Wairarapa Wahine Toa in the bottom three final of the Manawatu Premier Women’s Championship.

The try came after a period of sustained pressure with several scrums near the Whanganui line and players being held up over the line.

When the Wahine Toa did finally spread the ball wide Walker crashed over about 5m in from the corner to the delight of her excited teammates.

The Wahine Toa looked dead and buried when Whanganui took a 15-7 lead with 15 minutes to play but a try to first-five Lisa Te Moananui kept them in the hunt before Walker’s late heroics.

Captain and prop Annemieke van Vliet scored the Wahine Toa’s first try in the game played in atrocious conditions at Whanganui’s Spriggens Park, with heavy rain and sleet often sweeping across the ground.


East Coast 14; Marist, Carterton 11; Martinborough 9; Greytown 6; Gladstone 5; Pioneer 4; Eketahuna 0


Marist 40 Martinborough 19; Gladstone 95 Pioneer 10; Masterton Red Star 41 East Coast 12; Tuhirangi 27 Greytown-Carterton 1

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