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Marist maintain rampant form

RUGBY

Marist 79

East Coast 14

Too big, too strong!

That was the blunt assessment of East Coast coach Guy Williams as his side were put to the sword by a rampant Marist on Memorial Park No. 2 on Saturday.

Although Williams was disappointed his players didn’t turn up, the reality is that most teams would not have lived with Marist, given their attacking mindset on the day.

The home side’s intentions were clear in the first two minutes when they moved the ball from deep inside their own half, and a big midfield bust by winger Hayden Cooper set up his fellow winger Parau Ellis to score wide out.

The Coasties fought back in typically gutsy fashion but failed to capitalise on numerous phases close to the Marist line, and they were made to pay for their wastefulness when Marist fullback Soli Malatai, who created havoc with his pace throughout the 80 minutes, burst clear inside his half and spun the ball wide for Cooper to cross for the first of his three first-half tries.

A further two tries gave Marist a 24-0 lead after 24 minutes before the floodgates burst open in the last six minutes of the half when the “green and whites” ran in three more five-pointers for a 41-0 lead at the break.

Two quick tries early in the second spell saw Marist crack the half-century, and then the Coasties finally got some reward for their endeavours with tries to tireless flanker Thomas Williams and Dan Edmonds.

But that was as good as it got for the visitors as Marist ran in another three tries for a total of 13 tries, with all but one scored by the impressive backline. The other came from a 5m scrum to No.8 Joe Tako.

Although the outcome may have surprised many at the ground, Marist co-captain Tom Campbell believed that sort of performance has “been building over the last few weeks, and it was good to put the stuff we’ve been training into motion, and I think with the x-factor players we have now it’s made our job a lot easier.”

“We’ve got quite a big team all around the park from one to 22, so it’s going to be tough for other teams to match that size,” Campbell said.

“There’s still a lot of rugby to play for, so it’s about keeping building on what we’ve got, and we’ve laid the platform, so it’s just building on that.”

Campbell also praised the efforts of the young, injury-hit East Coast, who he felt were competitive despite the scoreline.

“I do think that team had some really hard workers and grafted away at us, but they definitely didn’t give up towards the end; regardless of what the score was, they kept coming back, and you can see that with the couple of tries they scored.

“They’re young and hungry, and they’ll be alright in a couple of years when they get a more few numbers, and they’ve got a good team building there.”

The win maintained Marist’s lead in the Chris ‘Moose’ Kapene Memorial Cup race, while the Coasties have dropped to sixth but only three points outside the top four with three rounds to play.

Eketahuna 14

Greytown 12

A severely depleted Eketahuna left it til late to grab a valuable victory in what coach Anthony Rowden described as “a fair old ding dong” with winless Greytown at Eketahuna.

Greytown were heading for their first win of the championship, having led for most of the second half. However, a converted try in the final 10 minutes handed the home side the lead, which they never relinquished, to the relief of Rowden, who only had 16 players at his disposal.

“We’re lucky we’ve got a good core of players that turn up every week, and it was probably our best 80 minutes of intensity this year,” he said.

“We have been going in fits and starts, but we had the hammer down most of the game and never gave up.”

Eketahuna are one point outside the top four. Greytown are languishing in eighth place; however, if they can win their remaining three games, they have a mathematical chance of making the top four.

Martinborough 29

Pioneer 28

Pioneer coach Victor Thompson admits to being bemused at why a potential match-winning try was overturned in his side’s gutsy comeback against Martinborough in Martinborough.

The home side dominated the first half, building a 29-7 halftime lead, but the second stanza belonged to the visitors, who ran in three converted tries to close the gap to one point. The Pioneer players and supporters had thought they had done enough to complete a remarkable comeback, but the move was called back 60m for an infringement.

“We didn’t play in the first half, and they didn’t score in the second, so we were very pleased with the fightback, but things didn’t quite go our way,” Thompson said.

The bench made a big impact, Jonte [Miller] and Himiona [Haira] were outstanding, and in the second half, everyone had a turn at putting their hand up, which was great.”

Thompson added that the fixture was a typical close battle between the two closely connected clubs.

“I love them, the boys love them, and everybody is always pumped, and it was nothing different, and it was hard running rugby,” he said.

Pioneer picked up two bonus points and moved to third, while Martinborough stepped up to fourth place.

Masterton Red Star 15

Carterton 48

“Men vs boys” is how Masterton Red Star Rams coach Chris Senior described his side’s clash with two-time defending champions Carterton at Colombo Road.

Senior said Carterton arrived with a plan to take on the smaller but determined Rams pack, and they achieved their goal.

“They had a five-two bench, and they brought the biggest forward pack they could, and they came to outmuscle us, which they did,” Senior said.

“They used their size beautifully to slow everything down for us, and we struggled because we didn’t get quick ball.”

After a scoreless first 15-20 minutes, Carterton ran in five quick tries to take a 27-3 halftime. The visitors added another three tries in the second spell while the Rams dotted down for two.

Carterton remain in second place in the championship, and the Rams are seventh, just three points off sixth and a place in the Hodder-Steffert Cup, which Senior reckons remains an achievable target.

“This year is never about winning it, but if we can get to that fifth-sixth final, that would be amazing and then next year, you aim to make the top four; you have to be realistic,” he said.

“We’re competitive in most games; it’s just putting it together for 80 minutes that is the challenge; they’re young.”

Provisional Points

Marist 19; Carterton 17; Pioneer 12; Martinborough 11; Eketahuna 10; East Coast 8; Masterton Red Star 5; Greytown 1.

Senior Reserve Results:

Top Four: Gladstone 59 Marist 5; Pioneer 21 Tuhirangi 14; Bottom Five: Carterton 44 Featherston 7; Martinborough 10 Greytown 27. the hammer down most of the game and never gave up.”

Eketahuna are one point outside the top four. Greytown are languishing in eighth place; however, if they can win their remaining three games, they have a mathematical chance of making the top four.

Martinborough 29

Pioneer 28

Pioneer coach Victor Thompson admits to being bemused at why a potential match-winning try was overturned in his side’s gutsy comeback against Martinborough in Martinborough.

The home side dominated the first half, building a 29-7 halftime lead, but the second stanza belonged to the visitors, who ran in three converted tries to close the gap to one point. The Pioneer players and supporters had thought they had done enough to complete a remarkable comeback, but the move was called back 60m for an infringement.

“We didn’t play in the first half, and they didn’t score in the second, so we were very pleased with the fightback, but things didn’t quite go our way,” Thompson said.

The bench made a big impact, Jonte [Miller] and Himiona [Haira] were outstanding, and in the second half, everyone had a turn at putting their hand up, which was great.”

Thompson added that the fixture was a typical close battle between the two closely connected clubs.

“I love them, the boys love them, and everybody is always pumped, and it was nothing different, and it was hard running rugby,” he said.

Pioneer picked up two bonus points and moved to third, while Martinborough stepped up to fourth place.

Masterton Red Star 15

Carterton 48

“Men vs boys” is how Masterton Red Star Rams coach Chris Senior described his side’s clash with two-time defending champions Carterton at Colombo Road.

Senior said Carterton arrived with a plan to take on the smaller but determined Rams pack, and they achieved their goal.

“They had a five-two bench, and they brought the biggest forward pack they could, and they came to outmuscle us, which they did,” Senior said.

“They used their size beautifully to slow everything down for us, and we struggled because we didn’t get quick ball.”

After a scoreless first 15-20 minutes, Carterton ran in five quick tries to take a 27-3 halftime.

The visitors added another three tries in the second spell while the Rams dotted down for two.

Carterton remain in second place in the championship, and the Rams are seventh, just three points off sixth and a place in the Hodder-Steffert Cup, which Senior reckons remains an achievable target.

“This year is never about winning it, but if we can get to that fifth-sixth final, that would be amazing and then next year, you aim to make the top four; you have to be realistic,” he said.

“We’re competitive in most games; it’s just putting it together for 80 minutes that is the challenge; they’re young.”

Provisional Points

Marist 19; Carterton 17; Pioneer 12; Martinborough 11; Eketahuna 10; East Coast 8; Masterton Red Star 5; Greytown 1.

Senior Reserve Results

Top Four: Gladstone 59 Marist 5; Pioneer 21 Tuhirangi 14; Bottom Five: Carterton 44 Featherston 7; Martinborough 10 Greytown 27. the hammer down most of the game and never gave up.”

Eketahuna are one point outside the top four. Greytown are languishing in eighth place; however, if they can win their remaining three games, they have a mathematical chance of making the top four.

Martinborough 29

Pioneer 28

Pioneer coach Victor Thompson admits to being bemused at why a potential match-winning try was overturned in his side’s gutsy comeback against Martinborough in Martinborough.

The home side dominated the first half, building a 29-7 halftime lead, but the second stanza belonged to the visitors, who ran in three converted tries to close the gap to one point. The Pioneer players and supporters had thought they had done enough to complete a remarkable comeback, but the move was called back 60m for an infringement.

“We didn’t play in the first half, and they didn’t score in the second, so we were very pleased with the fightback, but things didn’t quite go our way,” Thompson said.

The bench made a big impact, Jonte [Miller] and Himiona [Haira] were outstanding, and in the second half, everyone had a turn at putting their hand up, which was great.”

Thompson added that the fixture was a typical close battle between the two closely connected clubs.

“I love them, the boys love them, and everybody is always pumped, and it was nothing different, and it was hard running rugby,” he said.

Pioneer picked up two bonus points and moved to third, while Martinborough stepped up to fourth place.

Masterton Red Star 15

Carterton 48

“Men vs boys” is how Masterton Red Star Rams coach Chris Senior described his side’s clash with two-time defending champions Carterton at Colombo Road.

Senior said Carterton arrived with a plan to take on the smaller but determined Rams pack, and they achieved their goal.

“They had a five-two bench, and they brought the biggest forward pack they could, and they came to outmuscle us, which they did,” Senior said.

“They used their size beautifully to slow everything down for us, and we struggled because we didn’t get quick ball.”

After a scoreless first 15-20 minutes, Carterton ran in five quick tries to take a 27-3 halftime.

The visitors added another three tries in the second spell while the Rams dotted down for two.

Carterton remain in second place in the championship, and the Rams are seventh, just three points off sixth and a place in the Hodder-Steffert Cup, which Senior reckons remains an achievable target.

“This year is never about winning it, but if we can get to that fifth-sixth final, that would be amazing and then next year, you aim to make the top four; you have to be realistic,” he said.

“We’re competitive in most games; it’s just putting it together for 80 minutes that is the challenge; they’re young.”

Provisional Points

Marist 19; Carterton 17; Pioneer 12; Martinborough 11; Eketahuna 10; East Coast 8; Masterton Red Star 5; Greytown 1.

Senior Reserve Results

Top Four: Gladstone 59 Marist 5; Pioneer 21 Tuhirangi 14; Bottom Five: Carterton 44 Featherston 7; Martinborough 10 Greytown 27.

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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