Taylor Fenwick scores one of his two tries for Greytown against Marist on Saturday. PHOTO/KYLIE EVANS
Katia helps Gladstone get even with Eke
The leading teams all had big wins in Saturday’s round of the Tui Cup. Times-Age sportswriter Chris Cogdale reviews the weekend’s premier club rugby.
Greytown’s push for a home semifinal in the Tui Cup gained momentum with a comprehensive 41-30 defeat of Marist at Greytown on Saturday.
The result flattered Marist somewhat, with three of their four tries coming in the last 10 minutes earning a bonus point to keep their slim hopes of making the top four alive.
It was Marist who applied all the early pressure but two tries in the seventh and 10th minutes swung the game Greytown’s way.
The first was a beauty, starting with a break by first-five Victor Thompson and finishing with winger Moo Moo Falaniko sprinting 40m to score.
Thompson was also instrumental in the second, with a beautiful pass freeing up his outsides, for fullback Tahana Brown to score out wide.
A James Goodger penalty and a try to first-five Bon Wilson, who dotted down after a series of phases close to the Greytown line, brought the score back to 12-10.
Three minutes later Greytown extended the margin when Falaniko crossed for his second try. Again, Thompson was instrumental with a lovely flip pass to Brown, who fed Falaniko.
Tries to winger Taylor Fenwick and No 8 Tevita Isaac had the home team take a 29-13 lead into the interval.
Marist had their opportunities to narrow the gap early in the second half but poor option-taking and a poor pass with a two-man overlap let them down.
A brilliant solo try to Fenwick, who beat three tacklers in a 40m run, stretched Greytown’s lead to 21 points after 55 minutes.
Brown added his second try, before Marist started their late rally.
Winger Joseph Edmonds scored after a period of sustained pressure from a penalty. Then Wilson scored his second try after a powerful 30m run by replacement lock Kieran O’Brien.
A penalty try when Marist halfback Paddy Gluck was hit with a no-arms’ tackle while diving to score wrapped up a thoroughly entertaining match.
Gladstone made no race of their match with Eketahuna, well and truly avenging their 13-0 first round loss, with a 43-6 thumping at Gladstone.
The Eke forward pack, which included regular centre Simanu Simanu playing at tighthead prop, held their own for much of the game.
However, their poor backline defence was cruelly exposed by a rampant Gladstone backline, orchestrated superbly by Inia Katia, initially at halfback and then at second-five.
The home team ran in seven tries in an excellent all-round team performance.
Martinborough scored an important 39-7 victory over Carterton at Martinborough.
In a disjointed first half the home team struggled to get their hands on the ball, but good defence kept out several strong Carterton attacks.
Marty led 15-7 at the break but clicked into gear in the second half, scoring three further tries to come away with an impressive win.
The five tries bonus point win maintains Marty’s three-point lead in the championship, but with their bye still to come in the final round, they are not assured of home advantage for the semifinals.
Scores [home teams first]
Greytown 41 [Tahana Brown , Taylor Fenwick , Moo Moo Falaniko  and Tevita Isaac tries; Falanikno 2 cons; Victor Thompson con], Marist 30 [Bon Wilson  and Joseph Edmonds tries, penalty try, James Goodger con, 2 pens] HT 29-13; Martinborough 39, Carterton 7; Gladstone 43, Eketahuna 6.
Provisional standings after June 22 [games played in brackets]
Martinborough 41 , Gladstone 38 , Greytown 36 , Eketahuna 29 , Carterton 21 , Marist 21 , East Coast 7 .
Senior Reserve scores
Martinborough 5, Puketoi 47; Greytown, 29 Pioneer Old Boys 10; Tuhirangi 45, Marist 15; Featherston 5, Eketahuna 27; Carterton win by default over East Coast; Gladstone Bye.