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Martinborough’s unbeaten run

Pioneer 12
Martinborough 34

Unbeaten Martinborough strengthened the lead in the Lane Penn Cup with a confident 34–12 win over Pioneer at Jeans St on Saturday.

The match was played in front of a good-sized crowd in Pioneer’s first game of the season on their traditional home game, but it never rose to any great heights and was punctuated with too many basic errors by both sides and a proliferation of penalties.

Despite that, there were some outstanding tries, the first being Martinborough’s opener when a bullet face pass from veteran first-five Tipene Haira put centre Michael Buick into space to score.

A try to prop Coby Kershaw gave the visitors a 17–0 lead before replacement fullback Zach Ratuki finished off the try of the match, which started inside their 22m with a big bust by second-five Harry Eschenbach, who timed his pass beautifully to send Ratuki in under the posts.

Pioneer finally got on the board with 10 minutes left to play before flanker Ryan Knell strolled through some tired defence to bag the bonus point fourth try for Martinborough. A late Pioneer converted try added some respectability to the scoreboard.

Generally, the home team were outplayed, although their forwards, when they got on a roll, made plenty of metres up the middle, only for a basic error or poor discipline to halt any momentum.

Haira, who has close ties with Pioneer, having played for the club for many years, was just happy to go away with the five points.

“It’s never easy here on old-timers day, especially with all the family here and playing against my brothers; they’re always out to get me,” Haira said.

“I don’t think we’ve won a game here for four or five years, and it’s always tough, but our boys stuck together. We came here to play our shape, and I thought at times we did it well, but it was a bit messy.”

Haira also had plenty of praise for Eschenbach since his move south from Gladstone.

“He’s playing well. Mine and his combination is working pretty well, especially in our first season together; he’s a good lad on attack and leads us on defence, and he’s one to look out for.”

East Coast 17
Marist 20

A Paddy Gluck drop goal in the last five minutes was all that separated East Coast and Marist in a tight encounter at Whareama.

The scores were locked at 17–17 when the Marist halfback stepped up and slotted the match-winning kick, although it took some discussion with his assistants before referee Shay O’Gorman awarded the three points.

Coasties coach Guy Williams was full of praise for Gluck, who he said controlled the game well for Marist, although he was frustrated the home team didn’t make the most of their chances.

“We probably should’ve been a few more points up in the first half, but we just didn’t take our opportunities, and Marist fought back and ran well, especially when they got the ball in broken play and got through the first tackle – they got the ball very wide well and played pretty expansive rugby, which surprised us a bit,” Williams said.

“At the end of the day, we had opportunities but didn’t take them, and we just missed too many first-up tackles.”

Williams singled out Marist winger Hayden Cooper, his young wingers Hugo Wakeling and Perry Lewis, flanker Thomas Williams and prop Terry Norman for strong games, while he was pleased to have rep utility forward Matt Perry back on deck for his first game of the season.

Greytown 47
Eketahuna 24

Kerin Herlihy was a happy Greytown coach after his side dispatched an understrength Eketāhuna at Greytown.

“It was a much better all-round performance; the boys played well when we had to, and I’m happy with the game and how we played, and as always, we had a good battle with Eke,” Herlihy said.

“We got a couple of long-range tries through the middle, which gave us a bit of a buffer going into the second half, but as Eke do, they came back and scored a couple of tries.”

Herlihy was impressed with winger Charlie Brown, who scored a couple of tries for the winners, while he said Sam Gammie was the standout in an Eke side missing several players through illness.

PROVISIONAL POINTS

Martinborough 20; Carterton 14; Marist 13; Eketāhuna, Greytown 11; East Coast 10; Pioneer 7; Masterton Red Star 1.

SENIOR RESERVE RESULTS

East Coast 24 Marist 22; Greytown 26 Gladstone 38; Pioneer 41 Martinborough 24; Featherston 0 Tuhirangi 53. well, especially in our first season together; he’s a good lad on attack and leads us on defence, and he’s one to look out for.”

East Coast 17

Marist 20

A Paddy Gluck drop goal in the last five minutes was all that separated East Coast and Marist in a tight encounter at Whareama.

The scores were locked at 17–17 when the Marist halfback stepped up and slotted the match-winning kick, although it took some discussion with his assistants before referee Shay O’Gorman awarded the three points.

Coasties coach Guy Williams was full of praise for Gluck, who he said controlled the game well for Marist, although he was frustrated the home team didn’t make the most of their chances.

“We probably should’ve been a few more points up in the first half, but we just didn’t take our opportunities, and Marist fought back and ran well, especially when they got the ball in broken play and got through the first tackle – they got the ball very wide well and played pretty expansive rugby, which surprised us a bit,” Williams said.

“At the end of the day, we had opportunities but didn’t take them, and we just missed too many first-up tackles.”

Williams singled out Marist winger Hayden Cooper, his young wingers Hugo Wakeling and Perry Lewis, flanker Thomas Williams and prop Terry Norman for strong games, while he was pleased to have rep utility forward Matt Perry back on deck for his first game of the season.

Greytown 47

Eketahuna 24

Kerin Herlihy was a happy Greytown coach after his side dispatched an understrength Eketāhuna at Greytown.

“It was a much better all-round performance; the boys played well when we had to, and I’m happy with the game and how we played, and as always, we had a good battle with Eke,” Herlihy said.

“We got a couple of long-range tries through the middle, which gave us a bit of a buffer going into the second half, but as Eke do, they came back and scored a couple of tries.”

Herlihy was impressed with winger Charlie Brown, who scored a couple of tries for the winners, while he said Sam Gammie was the standout in an Eke side missing several players through illness.

PROVISIONAL POINTS

Martinborough 20; Carterton 14; Marist 13; Eketāhuna, Greytown 11; East Coast 10; Pioneer 7; Masterton Red Star 1.

SENIOR RESERVE RESULTS

East Coast 24 Marist 22; Greytown 26 Gladstone 38; Pioneer 41 Martinborough 24; Featherston 0 Tuhirangi 53.

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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