- Metro »
- Country »
- Club Liaison »
- News Archive
- Secondary Schools
- Rep Rugby
Game Day - Week 9
SATURDAY 4th JUNE 2011
SCORES: New Brighton 44 Burnside 17; Sumner 34 Linwood 31; University 55 Shirley 3; HSOB 20 Marist-Albion 7; Sydenham 42 Lincoln University 17; Christchurch 48 Belfast 18.
TOP TEAMS SET FOR CUP SHOWDOWN
Front-runners High School Old Boys and defending Cup champion New Brighton square off in a mouth-watering clash in next Saturday’s penultimate round of the Metro division one competition.
New Brighton closed to three points of Old Boys, who were made to work hard before overcoming Marist-Albion in a match where both teams were restricted to one try, but Brighton, with first five-eighths Ryan Crotty the controlling force, bagged six tries in overwhelming Burnside.
Christchurch, which plays Brighton in the final round, also picked up maximum points against Belfast to be just four adrift of Old Boys, and University kept its chances alive with a crushing win over Shirley, No. 8 Jimmy Lentjes helping himself to three tries.
The upset win came from Sumner, with replacement John Tainui scoring a push-over try after 79 minutes, to give his team a 34-31win over Linwood at Linfield Park. The Sumner scrum buffeted Linwood in the closing minutes and the try came as no surprise.
All Blacks and Crusaders lock Sam Whitelock made a welcome return from injury for Lincoln University, playing the first half in a losing cause against DCL Shield holder Sydenham. He made an impact in the lineouts and in the scrums.
NEW BRIGHTON v BURNSIDE
At Rawhiti Domain: New Brighton 44 (Ryan Hooper, Matt Ball, Ryan Crotty, Aaron McCoy, Aaron Williams, Dayne Wipou tries; David Cattermole 4 conv, 2 pen) beat Burnside 17 (Mitch Ellis, Ben McDougal, Kieran Lindsay tries; Lindsay conv). HT: 17-0. Referee: Kane McBride.
Sometimes the New Brighton forwards take time to warm to the task, but as Burnside will testify that was not the case in this contest. The home pack hoed into their work from the start, the pick-and-go testing the Burnside defence which spread laterally along the goal-line.
The inevitable first try came after 17min from a series of forward rumbles to the line with flanker Ryan Hooper emerging with the ball from under a pile of bodies. With the forwards maintaining their structure and aggression, halfback Rhys Keith and first five-eighths Ryan Crotty took command with good options and ball distribution.
Crotty gave a masterly display, scything through half gaps, carving off valuable ground with low, raking punts, and tackling ferociously, one such crashing front-on tackle on Ben Payne leaving the Burnside flanker prone with stars forming constellations in his eyes.
That it was Crotty’s day was evident when he scored a try from his only mistake. He failed to find touch from a penalty, but Burnside’s attempt to run the ball back from inside its 22m ended in Crotty intercepting and dotting by the post. That try five minutes into the second half extended Brighton’s lead to 24-0 and the game was as good as over.
When Brighton fullback David Cattermole, who slotted his first six kicks before missing his last two, kicked his second penalty goal after 68min, the seasiders were ahead, 34-0, but Burnside showed commendable spirit in the last 12 minutes and managed three tries while conceding another two as the teams emptied their benches and the game opened up.
Brighton’s bonus-point try was arguably the best of the nine in the match. With lock Daniel Karena to the fore, the forwards exchanged short passes with Hooper flicking the final pass for fellow flanker Aaron McCoy to provide the finishing touch.
Veteran props Nick McMullan and Jarrod Ward were at the heart of an outstanding first-half effort by the Brighton forwards and lock Lewis Pou disrupted several Burnside lineout throws. Hooper, McCoy and No. 8 Aaron Williams formed a formidable back three. Keith barked orders from halfback and wing Matt Ball ran elusively and was safe under the high ball.
Burnside No. 8 Ash Parker was industrious and showed a good turn of speed to cut down Keith after he looked to break clear, hooker George Turner roamed freely and was a good link out wide, and halfback Brett Cameron was hard to stop around the fringes. The Burnside reserves all made an impact which would have given the Burnside coaches some comfort.
MVP: Ryan Crotty (New Brighton) 3, Nick McMullan (New Brighton) 2, Aaron Williams (New Brighton) 1.
No early matches were played Rawhiti Domain.
SUMNER v LINWOOD
At Linfield Park: Sumner 34 (Kevin Marriner 2, Ricky Lutton, Gareth D’Almeida, Chris O’Neill, John Tainui tries; Marc Pringle 2 conv) beat Linwood 31 (Pita Ah Sue, Takerei Norton, Sam Lemalie, Zac Southen tries; Josh Hall 4 conv, pen). HT: 24-24. Referee: Spencer Tait. Sinbin: Greg Goodfellow (Sumner).
Belying its position on the points table, Sumner took the game to Linwood with a vengeance. Self-belief, a little luck, and the grim determination to fight to the end paid handsome dividends for the seaside team. Sumner set the home team back on its heels after three minutes and continued the pressure throughout apart from a few lapses of concentration either side of the break when
Linwood capitalised on some errant tackling to go from 10 points down to seven ahead.
Sumner had a bonus point before the break with tries to second five-eighths Kevin Marriner after first five-eighths Marc Pringle had opened Linwood up near its line; then prop Ricky Lutton was driven over in a maul; loose forward Gareth D’Almeida scampered 55m after a midfield turnover fell into his hands and he had no-one to beat; and centre Chris O’Neill’s 60m intercept had Sumner fans screaming.
Linwood was never far off the pace, replying immediately to Sumner’s heady start with tries to hooker Pita Ah Sue beside the post, Takerei Norton under the bar after half an hour, and Sam Lemalie after a superb Kodi Hepi break. That had the game locked up at half-time. Despite all the tries, there was a prodigious amount of long-distance kicking as both sides scrambled out of defence.
Zac Southen’s early second-half try, when Sumner halfback Greg Goodfellow was in the sinbin, gave the lead to Linwood and momentum seemed to be going its way. However, Sumner dug deep and shook Linwood’s resolve through solid defence and impressive scrummaging. With the scrum back-pedalling, Linwood was unable to contain a revitalised Sumner and was forced to defend for the last quarter. Marriner’s second try – Goodfellow’s conversion attempt bounced off the upright – left Linwood with a two-point buffer.
The game then went Sumner’s way as its scrum steam-rolled Linwood’s and three times the home team had to carry the ball back and concede 5m scrums. It was no surprise that Sumner replacement, No. 8 player-coach John Tainui, was able to score from a push-over with only a minute to play. The Sumner players were delighted; the Linwood players absolutely dejected.
MVP: Chris O’Neill (Sumner) 3, Jeff Lepa (Linwood) 2, Luke Katene (Sumner) 1.
Linwood totally dominated New Brighton in the premier Colts curtain-raiser. Brighton’s inability to tackle the ball-carrier allowed the home team considerable freedom and it often easily broke the lack-lustre defence on its way to a 34-8 win.
Linwood midfield back Jason Wright scored three first-half tries as Linwood led, 19-3, at the break and forward Curtis Hall extended the lead early in the second half. New Brighton scored its only try at the end of the third quarter through Leka Lafaele, but Linwood struck back with two tries by wing Sam Limu-Franklin.
UNIVERSITY v SHIRLEY
At Ilam: University 55 (Jimmy Lentjes 3, Patrick Osborne 2, Hamish Catherwood, Ken Tuuau, Brendan O’Connor, Sam Lindsay tries; Jamie Verran conv, 2 pen; Kurt Rooney conv) beat Shirley 3 (Rob Smith pen). HT: 18-3. Referee: Bevan Ralfe.
The students packed pace and power and when they added precision to the mix Shirley had no way of stopping them. A little more precision would have brought a lot more points for University, especially in the first half, but there was still plenty to admire in the side’s expansive game, in which forwards often took over backs’ roles, with no loss of impetus.
Lock Matt Moulds, for example, provided all the grunt required of a tight forward, then ran like a three-quarter when the occasion called for it. Captain Brendon O’Connor, in a blistering first-quarter performance, added midfield back credentials to his already impressive openside flanker portfolio before quietening down, then retiring injured in the second half but not before scoring his side’s fifth try.
No. 8 Jimmy Lentjes continued in his powerhouse role, showing further dimensions to his game with canny support play and in launching back attacks by running from the base of a powerful scrum. Indeed, University almost always chose the scrummaging option when it was awarded penalties.
The team’s inside backs pulled off some nifty moves which often brought fullback Lance Gahan and wings Patrick Osborne and Ken Tuuau into play, a wise strategy. The burly Gahan burst up the middle before the wings took over out wide. Osborne looked dangerous every time he touched the ball and Tuuau was very slippery in tight space by the touchline.
Shirley opened the scoring but left it until the last few minutes to seriously threaten the University line. No. 8 Jud Robbins was the side’s best player while halfback Daniel Hodges impressed with his clearances under pressure. Captain Phil Watson, the blindside flanker, did his best to keep the ball alive as Shirley sought a little respectability.
MVP: Jimmy Lentjes (University) 3, Patrick Osborne (University) 2, Matt Moulds (University) 1.
Shirley’s division two side gave the club heart when it beat University, 24-22, in a thriller of a curtain-raiser. Shirley right wing Fred Lovea clinched the match with a late try after University, dangerous on the counter-attack, had looked likely to maintain its edge.
Shirley’s heroes were mainly in the pack where openside flanker Chris Morel and hooker Luke Hoddinott shone.
For University, No. 8 Apensia Bulimaiwai showed he would be an asset in any first-division team. He had a brief outing in the main match, but halfback Sam Lindsay had considerably more time at the top level. Lindsay scored a try as part of a fine performance in the curtain-raiser and was impressive when he took over from Kurt Davis during the second half of the main game. Davis had played well, but University lost nothing when Lindsay replaced him.
HSOB v MARIST-ALBION
At South Hagley 3: High School Old Boys 20 (Chris Small try; Stephan van Gruting 5 pen) beat Marist-Albion 7 (Chris Crichton try; Tom Bruce conv). HT: 12-7. Referee: Matt Muir.
After suffering their first loss the previous week, competition leaders High School Old Boys were keen to reassert their dominance, but from the kick-off it was apparent that Marist-Albion was not about to be pushed around.
Old Boys opened the scoring through two penalty goals from the sure boot of Stephan van Gruting, but the fierce attacks of both teams were cancelled out by pressing defences for much of the first half. Old Boys enjoyed long periods on attack, but Marist-Albion’s abrasive defence denied Old Boys three times.
Uneven numbers in a lineout meant referee Matt Muir had to deny Old Boys flanker Tom Stanley a likely try after he had charged down an attempted defensive clearance. Minutes later Marist-Albion centre Chris Crichton brilliantly pulled down a ball in mid-flight on halfway to score a stunning intercept try. A third van Gruting penalty had Old Boys ahead at half-time, 12-7.
The second half was another showcase of ball-in-hand rugby, with both teams rarely opting to kick. Old Boys had most of the territory and possession and eventually converted this advantage into points. After having numerous plays snuffed out by Marist-Albion’s defensive barricade, van Gruting extended the lead to eight points with another penalty before an excellent backline move ended with fullback Chris Small crossing in the corner to put the nail in Marist-Albion’s coffin.
The combined team showed real drive against the competition leaders and defended tirelessly. As usual, captain Rowan O’Gorman led by example. He was often first to the breakdown and charged strongly throughout. Outstanding for Old Boys were incisive halfback Ellery Wilson, reliable goal-kicking first five-eighths van Gruting and flanker Stanley. They all had high work-rates and punched above their weight.
MVP: Stephan van Gruting (HSOB) 3, Ben Funnell (HSOB) 2, Rowan O’Gorman (Marist-Albion) 1.
Marist-Albion and Christchurch fought a tightly contested premier Colts curtain-raiser with Marist-Albion winning, 13-10, after leading 13-7 at the break. Marist-Albion scored an early try after an intercept by wing Tom Scott, but Christchurch managed a converted try in the first half helped by the pivotal defence and high work ethic of No. 8 Rihi Brown.
Tenacious defence by both teams snuffed out opposition attacks and Christchurch scored the only three points of the half but it was not enough to give it victory.
SYDENHAM v LINCOLN UNIVERSITY
At Sydenham Park 2: Sydenham 42 (Daniel Winchester 2, Nick Thomson, Johnny McNicholl, Tyler Bleyendaal, Paul Howe, Scott Kelly tries; Tyrone Elkington 2 conv, pen) beat Lincoln University 17 (Berny Hall, Jack Earl tries; Harry Leonard 2 conv, pen), HT: 12-3. Referee: Johnny Rice.
Sydenham’s classy backs relished a steady supply of front-foot ball to score six of their team’s seven tries in a highly entertaining and fluid encounter. The bonus-point win meant Sydenham retained the DCL Shield and kept in the hunt for the play-offs.
A strong north easterly favoured the visitors in the first half, enabling them to kick for field position and forcing Sydenham to play from its own territory. In the set pieces, the blue-and-golds had parity, if not a slight edge, but Sydenham’s hunger at the breakdown and contact area provided the catalyst for the backs to give a skilful display of hard running rugby. Superiority in that facet was the key to Sydenham’s success.
Sydenham halfback Paul Howe was a revelation, directing the forwards astutely, feeding his backs well, and making several darting runs into Lincoln’s territory, one of which led to Tyler Bleyendaal’s try and another resulting in his own try. Sydenham’s 12-3 half-time lead was a fair reflection of the first 40min.
On resumption Sydenham had the breeze and the territory to nail home the victory, scoring a further five tries. However, the Lincoln forwards matched them in the set pieces and scored two excellent tries to close the score to 29-17 and leave the outcome in doubt with 15 minutes to play.
Than enlivened the Sydenham supporters who spurred on the home team as it settled down and scored 13 more points, the last act being a well-taken forward try by replacement Scott Kelly. It was a good contest played in a fine spirit to which Lincoln University (only five of the squad are aged 21 or over) was a positive contributor.
Players of note were locks Mark Gilchrist, who worked diligently in set pieces, and All Black Sam Whitelock, who, returning from a nine-week injury break, made his mark in the lineouts and scrums until being replaced at half-time. Captain and flanker Berny Hall scored a try and made a nuisance of himself in the contact exchanges, and first five-eighths Harry Leonard kicked cleverly and fed his outsides well.
In the home side, Matt Bateman was forceful in the tight and with ball in hand, stepping up to compete with Whitelock. Captain Kalave Auali’itia provided the leadership and drive to get his pack to the breakdown in numbers. In the backs, Howe linked effectively and was a penetrating runner. Bleyendaal’s tactical kicking was accurate and he also created the time and space for his outsides to prosper. Midfield back Daniel Winchester, 22, had his best game at this level, scoring two sharp tries and narrowly missing another. Tu Umaga-Marshall was a punishing runner and an effective distributor in the midfield.
MVP: Paul Howe (Sydenham) 3, Matt Bateman (Sydenham) 2, Harry Leonard (LU) 1.
Sydenham turned on a game of two halves to easily beat Belfast, 58-12, in the division two curtain-raiser, scoring 10 of the 12 tries. A well-drilled and organised home team scored six first-half tries with slick passing and good teamwork between the backs and forwards to lead 34-7 at the break.
However, teamwork was abandoned for individual glory for the first 30min of the second half which allowed Belfast to rally and leave the honours even with a try apiece. Sydenham then returned to plan A and, with Belfast’s defence tiring, it scored three tries in the last 10min.
Belfast kept trying to play positive rugby to the end in this enjoyable contest played in an excellent spirit. Stand out players for Sydenham were Michael Herring, whose runs from fullback created havoc in the Belfast defence, Daniel Koster, who scored twice through hard running, and forwards Simon Bergan, Thomas Thoms and Mark Croft. They scored a try each and worked hard in the tight and loose to provide impetus for their team.
For Belfast, prop James Roger, until being injured in the second half, lock Asi Tufau and captain Blake Scott made their presence felt in the forward exchanges. Anthony Hose, at first five-eighths, was steady on defence and kicked well for touch and field position. He made a good second-half break that led to a try.
CHRISTCHURCH v BELFAST
At Sheldon Park: Christchurch 48 (Matt Thatcher 2, Sam Vereker-Bindon 2, Mike Coom, Jesse Rush, Mark Abbott tries; Jason Merrett 5 conv, pen) beat Belfast 18 (Frank Havea, Steve McKean, Epeli Kotubalavu tries; McKean pen). HT: 22-8. Referee: Chris Wratt. Sinbin: Rawiri Karena (Belfast).
Christchurch’s ability to retain the ball for long periods and recycle and move its opponent from touchline to touchline was always going to reap success and so it proved. The pressure Christchurch applied to Belfast’s defensive line reflected its well-structured game plan and a well-drilled side played to its strengths and scored seven tries.
Belfast was missing some key players because of injury in pivotal positions and had to play second fiddle to Christchurch, but it did salvage some reply by scoring three tries itself.
Christchurch was immediately on the front foot when halfback Mike Coom ran 30m from a ruck to score after two minutes. The next try to fullback Jesse Rush was well orchestrated with Rush running into the line at pace and inter-passing with flanker Gary Redmond before scoring under the cross-bar. Loose forward Frank Havea hit back with a try for Belfast to narrow the gap to 14-8, but Christchurch took a healthy advantage on the stroke of half-time when centre Matt Thatcher crossed for the first of his two tries after a fine break by first five-eighths Jason Merrett. Belfast turned over the ball from the second-half restart and the red-and-blacks were immediately on the score sheet with flanker Sam Verker-Bindon over for his first try and he had a second 10min later after he ran 40m after gathering an overthrown lineout ball.
Further Christchurch pressure led to Thatcher’s second try and one for No. 8 Mark Abbott, but Belfast capitalised on its opportunities with midfielder Steve McKean scoring from a quickly taken penalty tap and replacement hooker Epeli Kotubalavu crossing for a consolation try on full-time.
Verker-Bindon was formidable figure with ball in hand, carving out substantial ground, and he had good support from fellow loosies Abbott and Redmond. Lock Chris Mason grafted in the tight and secured good lineout ball, while Merrett was `Mr Reliable’, distributing the ball well and making incisive breaks which benefited his outside backs.
Belfast toiled well, but was always on the back foot and that dulled the effective abilities of loose forward Havea, although he still managed to bring some quality play to the breakdowns. Lock Patrick Elley competed well in the lineouts and was a solid scrummager. The backs got few opportunities, but McKean proved a strong runner.
MVP: Sam Verker-Bindon (Chch) 3, Jason Merrett (Chch) 2, Frank Havea (Belfast) 1.
In the early game, Christchurch BHS second XV beat Belfast, 57-5, in their Colts clash after leading 33-0 at half-time. The school side was a much more polished and slick unit and produced some exciting running and passing moments in a structured display of positive rugby.
Prop Blair Prinsep anchored a good scrumand behind it halfback Ollie Partridge impressed with his ability to clear the ball to a talented backline spearheaded by second five-eighths Jordy Ashford. CBHS excelled with its ability to move the ball wide with quick and expansive passing. Little wonder it leads the competition.
Belfast was unable to bring any continuity to its play and its game suffered as a result. Centre Sam Horsnell scored a consolation try and Corey McKenzie and Glen Kavanagh had solid games in the pack.
Leading point-scorers: Jason Merrett (Chch) 121, Tom Taylor (Burnside) 95, Kolio Hifo (Belfast) 73, Tyrone Elkington (Sydenham) 69, James Lash (HSOB) 65, Stephan van Gruting (HSOB) 61, Josh Hall (Linwood) 57.
Leading try-scorers: Johnny McNicholl (Sydenham) 9, Matt Thatcher (Chch) 9, Chris Small (HSOB) 8, Aaron McCoy (New Brighton) 7, Willie McGoon (University) 7, Nemia Ranuka (Belfast) 6, Kolio Hifo (Belfast) 5, Patrick Osborne (University) 5, Jimmy Lentjes (University) 5.
Leading MVP points: Rowan O’Gorman (Marist-Albion) 13, Aaron McCoy (New Brighton) 11, Tom Taylor (Burnside) 9, Gary Redmond (Chch) 8, Stephan van Gruting (HSOB) 8, Willie McGoon (University) 7, Kolio Hifo (Belfast) 7, Ryan Hooper (New Brighton) 7, Johnny McNicholl (Sydenham) 6, James Lash (HSOB) 6, Mark Abbott (Chch) 6, Jason Merrett (Chch) 6.
Points Table as at 4th June 2011
METROPOLITAN CUP - DIVISION 2
DIVISION 4/CLASSICS - SECTION 1 R2
WOMENS - FIRST ROUND
THE PRESS CUP - NORTHERN
Copyright © CRFU 2013