Greytown’s Jaden Mason takes on the Martinborough defence in Saturday’s 15-12 Greytown win. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV
It’s unlikely Greytown will have to work harder for any victory this season than they did at Martinborough on Saturday in the final round of Moose Kapene Cup matches.
The 15-12 win was based on a remarkable defensive effort in a match where they had very little possession and territory to work with. Greytown dominated the early exchanges but it was Martinborough who got on to the scoreboard first as prop Tawera Brown crashed over from close range.
Greytown quickly responded and equalled the score with a try of their own through Max McGilvary, though neither team could add to their tally as the first half ended in a stalemate.
The second half followed a similar pattern to the first with both teams trying to gain the ascendancy but neither willing to take a backward step.
Greytown winger Moo Moo Falaniko added a penalty to give the visitors the lead, before the defining moment in the match arrived.
With Martinborough hot on attack, Greytown secured a turnover and the ball was kicked ahead by flanker Rihi Brown.
The Greytown chasers applied enough pressure to win the ball once again and the ball was sent through the hands to Marcus Ale who found his way to the line.
With 20 minutes to go Martinborough finally found their rhythm and camped themselves in Greytown territory.
It seemed only a matter of time before Martinborough would score but they ran into a defensive wall as committed defenders repelled wave after wave of attack. Winger Nikora Ewe went close on a couple of occasions, but some desperate tackling ensured he came up short. With five minutes left Ewe produced another trademark burst and left a trail of defenders in his wake as he finally found a way through the staunch Greytown defence.
That closed the gap to 15-12 and all of a sudden it was anybody’s match.
Martinborough managed to work themselves into an attacking position once again, and with a minute left they were awarded a penalty right out in front of the posts.
They turned down the chance to tie the game with a penalty, and instead backed themselves to get over for the match-winning try.
Their ambition came to nothing, however, as one final mistake sealed their third consecutive defeat.
Brown led from the front for Greytown and was at the heart of their defensive effort, while prop Jaden Mason and first five-eighth Kingi Kawai showed their class.
For Martinborough, Ewe was a constant threat out wide and Kawai’s opposite, Tim Priest, constantly put his team at the right end of the field.
In Saturday’s other matches, Gladstone continued their unbeaten streak with a 57-20 win over Masterton Red Star, Carterton beat East Coast 51-10, and Marist were too strong for Eketahuna, winning 39-19.
Senior reserve results: Pioneer 29 Gladstone 8; Featherston 43 Eketahuna 18; Tuhirangi 40 Marist 7; Pioneer OB 24 Greytown 24; Carterton 69 East Coast 12; Martinborough defaulted to Puketoi.