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Marist end Marty’s run

Martinborough 12
Marist 45

The race for the Lane Penn Cup is wide open after Marist ended Martinborough’s unbeaten start to the season with an emphatic victory at Martinborough.

Martinborough’s lead was cut to one point, and with two rounds to play, another four teams – Carterton, Marist, Greytown, and Eketāhuna are within four points of the “green and blacks”.

Veteran lock Peter Beech, who came on as a second-half replacement for Marist, said the victory was down to an outstanding attacking effort by the backline.

“The forwards set a good platform, but we had a full-strength backline, and it was on fire,” Beech said, “it was one of those days where everything clicked; the backline was exceptional.”

Martinborough went into the game without several first-stringers and were hit a further blow with the influential Harry Eschenbach, who started at fullback, forced off with a hamstring strain.

Marist winger Hayden Cooper won the Quinton Aspinall Memorial Taonga for best back on the day.

Eketāhuna 29
Masterton Red Star 24

“It was an arm wrestle, and we were very lucky to come away with the win.”

That was the view of Eketāhuna coach Anthony Rowden after his side escaped with a five-point win over a gutsy Masterton Red Star at Eketāhuna.

The visitors looked on course for their first win of the season when they led 24–22 heading into the final 10 minutes, but a try to second-five Cyris Keedwell, which he converted, was enough for the home side to bag their third win of the season.

“We had some good periods, and in the past, they [Stars] haven’t lasted the full 80, but they did and probably should’ve won it,” Rowden said.

“It’s good for their club; it’s no good being smashed every week, and it’s good for Wairarapa rugby.”

East Coast 6
Greytown 48

East Coast coach Guy Williams admits his side were outplayed by a rampant Greytown at Whareama.

The Coasties were missing several regular starters, with senior reserve players stepping up to fill the void, but Williams said that was no excuse.

“We played very well for the first 20 minutes, and then Greytown hit their stride and played pretty good rugby, turned our ball over and ran out wide and scored and did a very good job,” Williams said.

“There are some very good players in there; they just outplayed us really and played a very good all-round game.”

Williams named three Greytown veterans, Nick Olson, Charlie Brown, and Tana Isaac, as standouts in the game. Carterton 62
Pioneer 22

First-half hat-tricks to Tupou Lea’aemanu and Taka Toamutu were the highlights of Carterton’s one-sided victory over Pioneer at Carterton.

Usual prop Lea’aemanu moved to No.8, and getting the ball in wider channels made him almost unstoppable at times. He could’ve had a fourth, only for him to unselfishly pass to winger Bill Leberi to score.

Second-five Toamutu, who had started on the wing in previous games, also relished running at the Pioneer defence, regularly breaking the defensive line or setting up the next phase.

The home side held a healthy 43–5 lead at halftime, and credit to Pioneer, the second half was fairly even, with both teams scoring three tries.

Centre Nikora Ewe was the best on the paddock for Pioneer, but overall, they were outplayed, particularly in the first 40 minutes.

Outstanding utility back Aseri Waqa, loose forward Mitieli Waqa, and lock Malakai Biumaiwai and Iserili Biumaiwai were missing from the Carterton lineup. That saw the recall of brothers Lachie and Johnnie McFadzean, who ended up locking the scrum after coming off the bench.


Martinborough 20; Carterton 19; Marist 18; Greytown 16; Eketāhuna 16; East Coast 10; Pioneer 8; Masterton Red Star 3.


Gladstone 14 Tuhirangi 33; Martinborough 22 Marist 17; Carterton 29 Pioneer 72; Featherston 17 Greytown 31.

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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