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Game Day - Week 6
SATURDAY 14th MAY 2011
SCORES: New Brighton 9 Linwood 7; Burnside 18 Shirley 13; University 26 Lincoln University 16; Belfast 43 Marist-Albion 10; HSOB 66 Sumner 13; Christchurch 46 Sydenham 22.
CLUB DAYS CELEBRATED IN STYLE
New Brighton, Burnside, and University all had their club days on Saturday and their division one teams did them proud in the sixth round of the Metro cup competition by winning in front of their home supporters.
The wins did not come before some anxious moments were had, however, with New Brighton fortunate to pip Linwood by two points at Rawhiti Domain. Linwood scored the only try and should have been a lot further ahead than four points at half-time.
Burnside repulsed a frantic finish by Shirley to hang on for a five-point victory, although Shirley at least had the satisfaction of bagging its first competition point of the season, and the students’ battle went to Canterbury with Lincoln falling behind early but rallying before having its hopes of success dashed by a late penalty and try.
A polished High School Old Boys extended its winning run to six, scoring 10 tries against home team Sumner, Trophy holder Christchurch pulled away from Sydenham in the second half after they had been locked at 16-all at half-time, and improving Belfast scored its third win in the last four rounds with a surprisingly big win over Marist-Albion, which had accounted for Burnside and Sydenham in the previous two rounds.
Old Boys have established a four-point lead over Cup champion New Brighton at the half-way stage with Christchurch a point back. University, Sydenham, and Belfast complete the top six.
NEW BRIGHTON v LINWOOD
At Rawhiti Domain: New Brighton 9 (David Cattermole 3 pen) beat Linwood 7 (Chris Poff try; Josh Hall conv). HT: 3-7. Referee: Matt Muir. Sinbins: Aaron McCoy (New Brighton), Fia Meafou (New Brighton).
An ugly win beats a pretty loss any time and New Brighton would concur with that after wearing down Linwood in a tight, tense match which had two home team players in the sinbin. While Linwood was kept scoreless in the second half, the visitor lost the game in the first half even though it led, 7-3, at half-time.
Linwood, favoured by the nor’wester, dominated the half and camped inside Brighton’s territory, but managed just one try in the 17th minute to hooker Chris Poff after centres Takerei Norton and Kodi Hepi and combined to make one f their many incisive breaks in midfield.
Josh Hall kicked that simple conversion, but he missed two penalty kicks, the second from close range near half-time. And wing Karl Uilelea, when unmarked, failed to collect a clever cross-kick from a penalty which caught Brighton napping.
But the Brighton hero was little left wing Misi Selave, who made two try-saving tackles in the first quarter, one from diligent cover defence, the other by chasing hard and wrapping the ankles in a diving tackle.
New Brighton’s tactical kicking was dreadful in the first half, giving ball to the dangerous Linwood midfield backs, but the home team cranked up in the second half and the forwards finally played with some collective passion after fullback David Cattermole had given the team a two-point lead with his third penalty goal in the 68th minute. Twice Brighton’s forwards held up a Linwood attacker in the maul inside their 22m to win the crucial scrum put-in.
Selave was admirable on defence for Brighton, Cattermole’s raking touch-finders in the second half gave his forwards great encouragement, and replacement halfback Rhys Keith had an impact in the last quarter. No. 8 Aaron Williams became more dominant as the match progressed and was used effectively at the back of the line-outs.
Linwood’s pack stayed committed with the Poffs, Julian and Chris, prominent, while Hepi and Norton made big inroads when given a little room. Luckily for Brighton that space was shut down in the second spell.
MVP: Misi Selave (New Brighton) 3, Kodi Hepi (Linwood) 2, Aaron Williams (New Brighton) 1.
The division two curtain-raiser was won by New Brighton which had the game won by half-time, leading Linwood 28-3 after a dominant first 40 minutes. Linwood rallied strongly in the second half and scored two of the three tries, but the seasiders, if letting their standard slip a little, were comfortable 33-17 winners.
Brighton’s flankers, Nicky Fowler, on the openside, and James Brown both featured prominently throughout, the rugged Brown beavering in the tight and showing out in loose play, while right wing Zac Trussler had a notable second half, anticipating well on defence and throwing his light frame at sturdier opponents when in possession.
Former Linwood senior players, loose forward forward Aaron Smith and midfield back Tino Tuilagi, made a big impact in the second half, Tuilagi’s powerful midfield bust setting up the first of two tries for lively No. 8, Troy Breitmeyer, who was never far from the action.
BURNSIDE v SHIRLEY
At Burnside Park: Burnside 18 (Jed Brown 2, Pete Stanley tries; Chris Stevens pen) beat Shirley 13 (Brendan Laney try; Rob Smith conv, 2 pen). HT: 10-13. Referee: James Munro.
Despite the squad being three players down, including captain Tom Taylor who had joined the Crusaders in South Africa, Burnside put on a good show on its club day. Down three points at half-time, Burnside rallied and scored a try, but in the last five minutes Shirley made a last-ditch attack on the line which Burnside repulsed by putting bodies on the line.
Shirley, with the wind at its back, used conditions well in the first half with former Highlander Brendan Laney making it to the try-line and Rob Smith keeping the scoreboard ticking with his accurate goal-kicking.
Burnside crossed twice in the first half and could have scored more but for untimely fumbles 5m out. Flanker Jed Brown broke through some fierce Shirley defence for one try and left wing Pete Stanley found room wide out to score the other.
Both teams played with vigour with many injuries occurring as a consequence and Burnside’s Ben Payne spending time in the blood bin with an eye injury. Hard tackling and blunt collisions also led to stoppages and slowed the game’s momentum.
With tries being scored wide out and a strong wind blowing, Burnside’s first five-eighths Mitch Neutze found goal-kicking challenging, but his opposite, Rob Smith, found the posts three times and cleared the ball consistently.
Ash Parker, acting as captain in Taylor’s absence, acquitted himself well and was difficult to stop in the tackle. Stanley showed his strength when he busted the Shirley defence when scoring his try.
MVP: Jed Brown (Burnside) 3, Pete Stanley (Burnside) 2, Rob Smith (Shirley) 1.
A Sydenham team relentless on offence and structured on defence, inflicted a resounding loss on Burnside in the division two curtain-raiser. Burnside made many attempts at the line in the second half, but was unable to retain possession and Sydenham thrived on the fumbles.
Leon Prinsloo was an attacking force for Sydenham and scored twice as his team held a 14-point lead at half-time. However, the try of the match went to Shane Nicholl who sprinted down the right sideline and through the last Burnside defender.
UNIVERSITY v LINCOLN UNIVERSITY
At Ilam 1: University 26 (Brendon O’Connor, Mitch Graham tries; Sam Lindsay conv, 3 pen; Hamish Catherwood conv, pen) beat Lincoln University 16 (Luke Graham try, conv, 2 pen; Aaron Somerset dg). HT: 16-6. Referee: Robert Gordon (Wellington). Sent off: Patrick Osborne (University), Sinbin: Dominic Bird (Lincoln Univ).
University took the early initiative and sustained the momentum to lead by 10 points at half-time. But a red card to University wing Patrick Osborne just before half-time for a dangerous tackle left the side a man down and Lincoln rallied, the momentum going its way in the second half.
With time running out, both teams dug deep with tactical kicking and stubborn defence until a Hamish Catherwood penalty then a last-minute try by prop Mitch Graham sealed the game for University.
University exploited every chance it got in the first half, punishing Lincoln fumbles. Captain and flanker Brendon O’Connor forced holes in the defence and Sam Lindsay was accurate with his penalty kicks as University established a handy half-time lead. But its offensive punch faded and Lincoln lifted its intensity, a try by Luke Graham and a dropped goal by Aaron Somerset levelling the score before University charged back to score 10 points in the dying stages.
For University, O’Connor and halfback Lindsay were impressive, O’Connor shoring up his side’s defence when on the back foot with a man down. Lindsay was precise with his kicking and his deft footwork enabled him to weave through tackles and help O’Connor score the first try.
For Lincoln, prop Khan Underwood had a solid all-round game, gaining ground with ball in hand, scrummaging hard and proving sharp on defence.
MVP: Brendon O’Connor (University) 3, Sam Lindsay (University) 2, Khan Underwood (LU) 1.
In the division two curtain-raiser, Lincoln held a commanding 23-3 half-time lead against its Canterbury counterparts and maintained momentum in the second spell to win, 49-17. Lincoln’s Heath Colthurst stood out with his hard work ethic throughout and University’s Cory Stuart was outstanding on defence.
BELFAST v MARIST-ALBION
At South Hagley: Belfast 43 (Kolio Hifo 2, Nemia Ranuku 2, Steve McKean, Ray McKay tries; Hifo 5 conv, pen) beat Marist-Albion 10 (Anthony Tailua try; Thomas Bruce conv, pen). HT: 12-10. Referee: Blair York.
Despite competitive play from both sides, Marist-Albion struggled to keep hold of the ball and this prevented it from using its possession as effectively as Belfast whose speed and player communication won it the game.
Fine weather allowed for a ball-in-hand game, although keeping hold of the ball was that much more important as both teams discovered in the opening minutes of the first half. Belfast centre Nemia Ranuku made the first strike with an intercept and jinking run through the defence.
Belfast’s solid tackling made it difficult for Marist-Albion to make any headway, although interceptions by both sides meant there was no lack of opportunity for either. Marist-Albion eventually responded with an inspired dash from halfway by wing Anthony Tailua, who dotted down under the cross-bar to leave an easy conversion.
Slick backline work brought a try for first five-eighths Kolio Hifo midway through the half, but centre Tom Bruce kept Marist-Albion in touch at the break with a penalty.
Belfast’s ability to hold possession and attacking persistence brought an early converted try in the second half, but Tailua made some brilliant interceptions which kept Belfast’s defence on its toes. An interception by Hifo gave him a second try by the post and he converted that and added a penalty before a bold charge by flanker Frank Havea set up a second try for Ranuku.
In the last minute, Marist-Albion wing Sam Bellamy intercepted but his daring sprint down the field was snuffed out by a resilient Belfast defence.
MVP: Kolio Hifo (Belfast) 3, Anthony Tailua (Marist-Albion) 2, Nemia Ranuku (Belfast) 1.
HSOB gained the upperhand over arch-rival Marist-Albion in the first half of the division two curtain-raiser through solid forward play and uncompromising defence. Marist-Albion responded to the 19-0 half-time deficit by coming back strongly in the second spell led by an impressive Sam Gifford.
But Old Boys denied their opposition then went on the onslaught with lock Craig Butcher and No. 8 Louis Roach both scoring and Jerom Holden adding two to his tally before Mitch Bailey sneaked a last try to give Old Boys the win, 31-0.
HSOB v SUMNER
At St Leonard’s Square: High School Old Boys 66 (Andy Symons 3, Robbie Flynn 2, Steve Gee 2, Vern Holden, Chris Small, James Lash tries; Lash 5 conv; Small conv; Ellery Wilson 2 conv) beat Sumner 13 (Phil Whyman, Matt Whittleston tries; Chris O’Neill pen). HT: 38-3. Referee: Kane McBride.
As expected of a top versus bottom table clash, Old Boys were far too good for the home team. The visitors began at top speed, were two tries up five minutes, and were looking ominous as their entertaining backline cut Sumner open at will.
Centres Andy Symons and Robbie Flynn cut a swathe through Sumner as Old Boys dominated all areas and ran in six first-half tries. Fullback Chris Small regularly chimed into the backline at speed, inflicting more damage on Sumner’s struggling defence.
Sumner shored up its defence after the break until on the hour when the lanky Symons reached out in the tackle to score the first of his three second-half tries. His long, loping strides enabled him to move at deceptive speed.
Sumner battled away and worked into Old Boys’ 22m where it was rewarded with a bizarre try. Replacement Old Boys halfback Dave Watts cleared the ball from a ruck, but his hard and high pass ricocheted off the cross-bar and into the hands of Sumner’s replacement halfback Phil Whyman, who gratefully accepted it and dotted it down.
Tireless Sumner lock Matt Whittleston drove over, carrying several defenders with him, close to full-time, but that set-back only served to spur Old Boys into attack mode and they scored twice in the last three minutes of stoppage time.
All the Old Boys tries were scored by backs and the only one not to touch down, halfback Ellery Wilson, got on the score sheet by kicking two conversions. The backs got the glory but the hard work was done up front through the likes of No. 8 Ashton Hyde, flanker Ben Funnell, prop Paea Fa’anunu, and hooker Matt Holloway who provided quality ball for Wilson to distribute.
Sumner seldom had the ball for long and therefore had few opportunities. Halfback James Ferguson and No. 8 Mark Bacon were never far from the ball, Whittleston’s effort was rewarded with his try, and second five-eighths Kevin Marriner made several strong runs. Wing Ben Richdale played his 100th game.
MVP: Andy Symons (HSOB) 3, Ashton Hyde (HSOB) 2, Ellery Wilson (HSOB) 1.
Suburbs held on to beat Sumner, 27-24, in a close division two curtain-raiser. Tries to Matt Ring, Dave Te Vauli and Ken Te Leio for Suburbs were matched by Sumner’s Matt Cruickshank, John Hurring and Steve McCarron. Sam Talbot (Suburbs) and Hurring kicked the rest of the points.
For Suburbs, halfback Daniel Hibbs and young No. 8 Brendan Tutty were elusive on attack, while Hurring did plenty of work for Sumner. Sumner declined the chance to draw the match with a penalty kick from in front with a minute remaining, but the attempt to win through a try failed against a committed Suburbs defence.
CHRISTCHURCH v SYDENHAM
At Sydenham Park 2: Christchurch 46 (Mark Abbott, Matt Thatcher, George Talboys, Gary Redmond tries; Jason Merrett 4 conv, 6 pen) beat Sydenham 22 (Tu Umaga-Marshall try; Tyrone Elkington conv, 5 pen). HT: 16-16. Referee: Chris Peoples (Auckland). Sinbin: Zion Tauamiti.
A competitive match played in good spirit entertained a large crowd on a sunny autumn day and astute refereeing by Auckland’s Chris Peoples allowed both sides to express their talents positively.
The northerly wind favoured Sydenham in the first half and the first quarter was combative as both teams tested each other’s defensive qualities. The arm wrestle kept play between the two 22ms with the only scoring from penalty goals.
Christchurch made two forays deep into Sydenham’s 22m early inthe second quarter, centre Matt Thatcher being denied a try when the ball went forward in goal after a grubber-kick, but the second raid brought a try for flanker Mark Abbott which Jason Merrett converted.
Sydenham replied quickly with a penalty before the home backs attacked from a scrum 60m out. Quick hands transferred the ball to centre Johnny McNicholl, who sliced through the defence before in-passing to Tu Umaga-Marshall who had a clear run to the line. The conversion had Sydenham ahead, 16-13, but a late penalty by Merrett had it level at half-time.
Sydenham began the second half on a roll, its forwards and backs combining well and keeping Christchurch under pressure. Tyrone Elkington added two more penalties for Sydenham, but Christchurch declined a penalty shot and kicked for touch. The line-out was won and from the ensuing maul, Christchurch swept 20m to the line for flanker Gary Redmond to score and give his team the lead, 23-22.
Christchurch’s forwards grew in stature and denied the Sydenham backs quality ball for the rest of the game. Zion Tauamati’s sinbinning at the start of the last quarter weakened Sydenham’s forward effort further and Christchurch doubled its score with two tries, two conversions and three penalty goals.
For Christchurch, Redmond was dynamic. George Talboys created problems for the defence and replacement Mike Coom made an impact. Both captains – Tim Emery (Christchurch) and Kalave Auali’itia (Sydenham) – made important contributions to the spirit of the game.
Umaga-Marshall featured for Sydenham and halfback Josh Lindsay linked well until replaced. Matt Baterman worked tirelessly in the line-outs and in the tight. A feature of the match was the 100 per cent goal-kicking success by Merrett and Elkington.
MVP: Gary Redmond (Chch) 3, Jason Merrett (Chch) 2, Tyrone Elkington (Sydenham) 1.
Linwood, the challenger, beat holder Sydenham, 42-17, in the premier Colts curtain-raiser, scoring five of the seven tries. It was a game that Sydenham, after a fine win on Wednesday night, must have expected to win against the bottom team.
Obviously Linwood had not read the script and its small but tigerish forwards were more cohesive, providing their hard-running backs with a regular supply of quality ball. Sydenham stood back and waited for things to happen and Linwood’s backs exploited the space Sydenham afforded them, running hard and straight at the defensive lines and scoring some fine tries.
Sydenham was in touch at 10-17 at half-time, but every time it made an inroad it allowed Linwood back and conceded points. Zac Southen and Keniti ran good lines in the Linwood backline, while Jackson Patterson and Blair Gordon worked tirelessly in the pack. Sydenham’s best were No. 8 Ila Lamositele and lock Tumama Tu’ula, both of whom competed hard.
Leading points-scorers: Jason Merrett (Chch) 84, Tom Taylor (Burnside) 79, Kolio Hifo (Belfast) 71, James Lash (HSOB) 50, Stephan van Gruting (HSOB) 43, Johnny McNicholl (Sydenham) 40.
Leading try-scorers: Johnny McNicholl (Sydenham) 8, Willie McGoon (University) 7, Kolio Hifo (Belfast) 5, Nemia Ranuku (Belfast) 5, Matt Thatcher (HSOB) 5.
Leading MVP points: Rowan O’Gorman (Marist-Albion) 9, Aaron McCoy (New Brighton) 8, Tom Taylor (Burnside) 8, Willie McGoon (University) 7, Kolio Hifo (Belfast) 7, Johnny McNicholl (Sydenham)6, Gary Redmond (Chch) 6.
Points Table as at 7th May 2011
METROPOLITAN CUP - DIVISION 2
COLTS PREMIER - NIGHT ROUND - PLAYED WEDNESDAY, 11 MAY 2011
DIVISION 4/CLASSICS - SECTION 1
WOMENS - FIRST ROUND
THE PRESS CUP - NORTHERN
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