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Mixed results in Tui Cup action

Gladstone’s Inia Katia tackles Tavita Isaac of Greytown. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV

RUGBY

JAKE BELESKI
[email protected]

Gladstone continued their winning ways and Carterton bagged five points without even taking the field in Saturday’s intriguing round of Tui Cup premier rugby matches.

Gladstone coach Steve Thompson had spoken last week about the importance of winning, whether it was by 30 points or one point.

His side had obviously heeded that advice as they held on for a dramatic 21-20 win over Greytown.

The two sides could hardly be separated throughout the match, and it was Gladstone who went to the halftime break with a 14-13 lead.

The second half was just as tight, with both teams scoring a solitary converted try.

The win kept Gladstone’s perfect record intact, and they have now won all 10 of their matches and have a 10-point lead at the top of the standings.

Winless Masterton Red Star had spoken last week of their desire to keep their place in the premier division, but they did themselves no favours on Saturday as they defaulted to Carterton.

That handed Carterton five automatic points and a 28-0 winning scoreline, and they are now back in second place on the points table.

Wairarapa-Bush chief executive Tony Hargood said it was the first defaulted match in the four years since the eight-team premier competition started.

Carterton now have 37 points after winning seven of their 10 matches, while Red Star remain anchored to the bottom of the table with just one point.

Down at Martinborough, Marist showed their run of form was no fluke as they came away with a 12-3 win and dragged themselves closer to the top four on the points table.

Martinborough are fourth on the table with 33 points, while Marist are in fifth with 26 points.

Marist showed a couple of weeks ago they were coming into form when they almost beat Gladstone, and a win over Marist shows no team will be able to take them lightly over the coming weeks.

In the final match of the weekend, Eketahuna travelled to East Coast, and it was a thrilling match as the home team prevailed 29-27.

The win was East Coast’s third this season so far, while Eketahuna have only managed a solitary win at this point.

Both teams may miss out on the top four play-offs this season but they will be hoping Red Star’s losing streak continues so they do not have to worry about the relegation battle.

In the senior reserve grade, Tuhirangi went within a point of a memorable milestone against East Coast, eventually winning 99-0.

Premier results: Gladstone 21 Greytown 20; Carterton 28 Red Star 0 [default]; Marist 12 Martinborough 3; East Coast 29 Eketahuna 27.

Senior reserve results: Tuhirangi 99 East Coast 0; Pioneer 30 Greytown 7; Carterton 52 Featherston 7; Eketahuna 7 Martinborough 5; Pioneer OB 53 Gladstone 15; Puketoi 28 Marist 0 [default].

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