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Greytown make it two from two

Zac Guildford dives over for Greytown’s first try. PHOTOS/JADE CVETKOV

RUGBY

CHRIS COGDALE
[email protected]

CARTERTON 21 GREYTOWN 32

Greytown coach Mark Childs was happy to walk away from Carterton with the five points but was left frustrated with their lack of reward for scrum dominance.

Childs’ frustration started with the first scrum, less than 60 seconds into the match.

About six minutes and numerous resets later the ball was finally in play, but Childs was clearly unhappy.

“It was stop-start at the start with the referee [Alistair Payne] trying to figure out the scrums, and we’re at a little bit of a loss with what’s going on there, given that we’ve got the dominant scrum,” said Childs.

“We just have to roll with what the officials think, and I think that’s a big issue that we need to iron out. I hope we can get rewarded for our scrum dominance, but we’ve only had one scrum penalty in two weeks.”

The Greytown eight set the platform for a strong first half dominating possession. Their close support play, in particular, props Lewis Bush and Tulou Fahamokioa, No 8 Chris Hemi, and fellow loosie captain Tevita Isaac gave their backs good front foot ball.

That paid off when former All Black Zac Guildford burst the defence to score the opening try after eight minutes.

Isaac was next to dot down, after he beat two tacklers on a 25m run, following a powerful surge from Hemi. Veteran first-five Kingi Kaiwai extended the lead, waltzing through weak defence for an easy five-pointer.

A try to Carterton No 8 converted prop Tupou Lea’aemanu, converted by Sam Morison narrowed the gap to 19-7 at halftime.

Fahamokiaoa crashed over after a penalty lineout, for the bonus point try, and veteran winger Nick Olson scored wide out to extend Greytown’s lead to 32-7 heading into the final quarter, but that was as good it got for last year’s beaten finalists.

Inia Katia looks to offload in the tackle of Cheyenne Harmon.

Carterton finally gained a share of possession for their talented backline to show their wares.

Centre Aisea Sakopo produced a brilliant individual try beating several defenders on a 40m run to the tryline, followed by a try to reserve lock Zach Wakefield, but try as they might the home side could not bridge the gap to earn a bonus point.

Carterton captain Darryl Pickering said they left it too late against a good Greytown side.

“We lost it up front. We struggled for possession and with the backline we’ve got, we need front football like you saw in the last 20 minutes,” he said, saying, “there’s plenty to work on for next week, and it’s still early days.”

Childs was satisfied with the result, which puts Greytown in the box seat to play in the Town-Country final for the Lane Penn Trophy.

“We were able to hold the ball and not throw so many 50-50 passes like we did last week, and that told with the score at halftime, and credit to Carterton for coming back, it was a good last 10 minutes from them, but we still have heaps of room for improvement,” he said.

PIONEER 15 MARIST 34

Marist kept alive their slim prospects of making the Lane Penn Trophy final with a bonus point victory over Pioneer at Jeans St, Masterton.

Marist started the better of the two teams, going out to a 14-0 lead with two converted tries, only for the home side to fight back and close the gap to five points at the break.

Marist made the most of their opportunities in the second half, to eventually run out comfortable winners, but Pioneer showed enough signs that a win is not far away. An outstanding individual try to second-five Nikora Ewe was the highlight for the vocal Jeans St crowd.

GLADSTONE 13 MARTINBOROUGH 45

The outcome of the clash at Gladstone was decided with a first half blitz by Martinborough.

The green and blacks scored five converted tries and a penalty for a 38-8 halftime lead.

The second stanza was much more even with both teams only managing a try apiece.

Martinborough coach James Bruce said it was a better effort than last week but added that they hadn’t been tested at ruck time yet, and he’s expecting a stiffer challenge when they host Eketahuna in the final round on Saturday.

EAST COAST 9 EKETAHUNA 18

Eketahuna set up a ‘country final’ with Martinborough with a hard fought 18-9 win at Whareama.

The Coasties dominated the tight five but were unable to make their wealth of possession pay off, whereas the Eketahuna backs looked the most dangerous when they did get the ball.

Eketahuna first-five Josh Pepperell and replacement halfback Thor Crombie scored the only two tries in a stop-start game that never really had any flow.

Overall it was a disappointing spectacle for the big crowd that turned up at Whareama for the game.

STANDINGS

Town: Greytown 10; Carterton, Marist 5; Pioneer 0

Country: Martinborough 10; Eketahuna; East Coast, Gladstone 0.

SENIOR RESERVES

Masterton Red Star are the only unbeaten team after two rounds after their 45-17 defeat of East Coast at Whareama. Carterton held on to upset Greytown 35-31 in an entertaining clash at Carterton, Puketoi won the battle between the province’s northernmost and southernmost clubs, beating Tuhirangi 34-31, Marist edged Pioneer 27-24, and Gladstone had a 38-20 victory over Martinborough.

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