Logout

Thursday, June 13, 2024
8.9 C
Masterton

ADVERTISE WITH US

My Account

- Advertisement -

Marist pursuing bonus points

Martinborough vs Greytown

Martinborough,

2.35pm [Chris Jefferies]

An improvement in attitude is Martinborough coach James Bruce’s demand heading into tomorrow’s crunch game against a Greytown side hitting form at the right time of the season.

The winner of what is a virtual quarterfinal will book a semifinal spot in the Chris ‘Moose’ Kapene Memorial Cup, and possibly with home advantage. The losers, unless they pick up two bonus points, could be destined for the Hodder-Steffert Cup final, depending on other results, but then again, a draw could be enough for both teams to progress.

Marty were outclassed 55-19 by Carterton in the mud last Saturday, conceding nine tries, with Bruce saying the most disappointing aspect of his team’s performance was the lack of commitment to making first-up tackles.

Despite the nature of the loss, Bruce is confident of a better effort against Greytown.

“We’ve only lost two games, and one of them we shouldn’t have lost against Marist, and definitely last weekend we were beaten fair and square, but we didn’t even turn up, and the boys know that, and I wouldn’t mind fixing that this weekend,” Bruce said.

The long-serving coach would also like a drier track to unleash his speedsters out wide, with the return from injury of former NZ Heartland representative Nathan Hunt a big boost.

The availability of hard-nosed flanker Jared Hawkins, who has been battling an arm injury, is up in the air. The veteran number seven’s inclusion could be vital given the departure overseas of fellow loose forward Jake Goodger; however, Bruce reckons there is enough depth in the squad to cover for their absence.

Bruce is aware of the threat posed by Greytown, who have shown good form, with a 27-21 win over Carterton, which was more convincing than the score suggests, the highlight.

Much of Greytown’s turnaround after a patchy start to the season has come with the return of key players, such as veteran loose forward Tavita Isaac and prop Lewis Bush, who Bruce rates highly for his devastating play around the field.

Bruce also expects Greytown to spring a few surprise selections, possibly former sevens international Gillies Kaka and former Wai-Bush centre Teihana Brown, whose family’s trophy is up for grabs.

COGGIE’S PREDICTION: I’m happy to get splinters and sit on the fence and watch a classic battle between the two southern rivals.

East Coast vs Pioneer

Whareama,

2.35pm [Kaleb Rowlands]

Pioneer will start hot favourites to beat an East Coast side who have struggled for numbers all season, but coach Victor Thompson is taking nothing for granted heading into tomorrow’s must-win ‘derby’ clash.

A win with a bonus point for scoring four tries could propel Pioneer into the semifinals depending on the outcome of the Martinborough – Greytown game; however, little generally splits the two teams.

Pioneer convincingly won their Lane Penn Trophy encounter 46-19, but that was at Jeans Street, and Thompson expects a sterner challenge at Whareama.

“It’s always a tricky team to play; they always bring something different,” Thompson said.

“Their thirds also have a big game, so whether they release any players to top up their seniors up, I don’t know. It’s not going to be easy, but we’re definitely looking for the win and the bonus.”

Thompson is demanding a higher work rate from his tight forwards and wants a dry track for the backs to get the freedom that they need to express themselves.

COGGIE’S PREDICTION:
A bonus point win for Pioneer.

Eketahuna vs Marist

Eketahuna,

2.35pm [Alistair Payne]

Marist plan to use their strong ball runners and talented backline to spread the ball wide against the championship cellar dwellers in the chase for a bonus point victory and potential home semifinal.

“We’ll just move it around against them; that’s the plan,” assistant coach Peter Beech said.

“Playing to the conditions, but I think our forwards’ skills and how we play and how can we move around the paddock is our advantage over them.”

Beech is conscious of the threat posed by an Eketāhuna side desperate to avoid a winless championship and a possible promotion-relegation playoff, although he said Marist are preparing for a predictable game plan.

“It’s all pretty much one up from the ruck, and [Josh] Pepperell has got a pretty handy boot as well, so we need to negate that with our back three being in the right place and running it back. You don’t take Eketāhuna lightly, but you’ve got to back yourself.”

COGGIE’S PREDICTION: Marist have too many game-breakers, and although Eke are likely to push them hard early on, they should pull away for a good win.

Gladstone vs Carterton

Gladstone,

2.35pm [Peter Semmens]

The main interest in the clash between these two traditional rivals could be how Carterton approach the game, given that they are assured of a home semifinal. Will they rest players and give regular bench sitters a rare start, or will they run out a full-strength team to hone their tactics for next week’s semis?

Regardless, Carterton will start the hottest of favourites against a Gladdy side, who have struggled for numbers all season.

Gladstone, though, will be eager to take something out of the game with only three points separating them from Eketahuna at the bottom of the table.

COGGIE’S PREDICTION: Hard to see Carterton toppled. Easy!

SENIOR RESERVES
QUARTER-FINALS

Defending champions Tuhirangi are hotly favoured to extend their perfect record when they take on Martinborough, a team they thrashed 69-0 last Saturday.

Second seeds Masterton Red Star should be too good for East Coast, Greytown host Gladstone, and Pioneer take on Marist in what is likely to be the closest of the quarterfinals. All games kick off at 1pm tomorrow. convincingly won their Lane Penn Trophy encounter 46-19, but that was at Jeans Street, and Thompson expects a sterner challenge at Whareama.

“It’s always a tricky team to play; they always bring something different,” Thompson said.

“Their thirds also have a big game, so whether they release any players to top up their seniors up, I don’t know. It’s not going to be easy, but we’re definitely looking for the win and the bonus.”

Thompson is demanding a higher work rate from his tight forwards and wants a dry track for the backs to get the freedom that they need to express themselves.

COGGIE’S PREDICTION: A bonus point win for Pioneer. Eketahuna vs Marist

Eketahuna,

2.35pm [Alistair Payne]

Marist plan to use their strong ball runners and talented backline to spread the ball wide against the championship cellar dwellers in the chase for a bonus point victory and potential home semifinal.

“We’ll just move it around against them; that’s the plan,” assistant coach Peter Beech said.

“Playing to the conditions, but I think our forwards’ skills and how we play and how can we move around the paddock is our advantage over them.”

Beech is conscious of the threat posed by an Eketāhuna side desperate to avoid a winless championship and a possible promotion-relegation playoff, although he said Marist are preparing for a predictable game plan.

“It’s all pretty much one up from the ruck, and [Josh] Pepperell has got a pretty handy boot as well, so we need to negate that with our back three being in the right place and running it back. You don’t take Eketāhuna lightly, but you’ve got to back yourself.”

COGGIE’S PREDICTION: Marist have too many game-breakers, and although Eke are likely to push them hard early on, they should pull away for a good win.

Gladstone vs Carterton

Gladstone,

2.35pm [Peter Semmens]

The main interest in the clash between these two traditional rivals could be how Carterton approach the game, given that they are assured of a home semifinal. Will they rest players and give regular bench sitters a rare start, or will they run out a full-strength team to hone their tactics for next week’s semis?

Regardless, Carterton will start the hottest of favourites against a Gladdy side, who have struggled for numbers all season.

Gladstone, though, will be eager to take something out of the game with only three points separating them from Eketahuna at the bottom of the table.

COGGIE’S PREDICTION: Hard to see Carterton toppled. Easy!

SENIOR RESERVES
QUARTER-FINALS

Defending champions Tuhirangi are hotly favoured to extend their perfect record when they take on Martinborough, a team they thrashed 69-0 last Saturday.

Second seeds Masterton Red Star should be too good for East Coast, Greytown host Gladstone, and Pioneer take on Marist in what is likely to be the closest of the quarterfinals. All games kick off at 1pm tomorrow.

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.

Related Articles

- Advertisement -
Trending
Masterton
broken clouds
8.9 ° C
10.5 °
8.9 °
81 %
1.8kmh
55 %
Thu
9 °
Fri
14 °
Sat
12 °
Sun
13 °
Mon
10 °