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Game Day - Week 18
SATURDAY 30th and SUNDAY 31st JULY 2016
SCORES (Finals): Trophy: Lincoln University 49 New Brighton 12. Plate: Marist Albion 41 University 34. Bowl: Old Boys 40 Shirley 19.
LU BOYS BACK UP FOR HAWKINS GLORY
Lincoln University captain Nick Werahiko accepted the Hawkins Trophy for the second year running after his team beat New Brighton 49-12 in the grand final on Sunday.
But a bit of the gloss was taken off the win by the fact that New Brighton were down to 14 men for 70min of the match. Right wing Henare Faithfull was yellow-carded early, although that didn’t cost Brighton.
It was a different story when captain and openside flanker Billy Harmon was shown the red card by referee Kane McBride after a tip tackle on Lincoln fullback Jordie Barrett, who was later named man of the match for his 22-point haul.
“I had no choice,’’ said McBride, who gave Harmon his marching orders after 20min. “The tackled player came down in a dangerous position, on the base of his neck.” McBride consulted with touch judge Carl Johnson before making his decision. Barrett stayed down for some time after the tackle.
Brighton coach Scott Pawson said it looked worse than it was. “It’s the way Jordie jumps,’’ he said. “Billy had no intent. He thought Jordie had gone over his shoulder.”
The loss of the talented Harmon was huge for New Brighton and may have led directly to tries to both Lincoln halfbacks, Ere Enari and Logan Crowley. Each wasted the defence from the base of rucks in the second half when there was no Brighton No.7 present.
Still, Lincoln deserved their win and coach John Haggart was proud of the way they defended, especially for a stretch in the last quarter when Brighton fought desperately to get back in the match.
“Our defence around the rucks, trying to stop their pick and go tactic, was very good,’’ said Haggart, who felt for Brighton when they lost Harmon. “We gave the ball away too easily earlier in the match. I think youthful exuberance was the problem.
“But we stayed in the game and started to look after the ball.”
Marist Albion won the Hawkins Plate final on Saturday in a high-scoring match against University and Old Boys were too good for Shirley in the Hawkins Bowl final.
In the curtain-raiser to the grand final, Lincoln University beat Christchurch 29-21 to claim the premier colts championship.
Lincoln first-five James Mangin kept an attacking Christchurch at bay in the second half with some fine goal-kicking, including one penalty from just on his own side of halfway.
Christchurch left wing Harry Murray snatched a consolation try from an intercept on full-time.
For Lincoln, lock Ben Morris and No.6 Milan Bonkovich were in superb form as they led the side to victory.
For Christchurch, fullback Will Jordan was highly dangerous running from deep positions while No.7 Declan McCormick also stood out.
LINCOLN UNIVERSITY v NEW BRIGHTON
At Rugby Park: Lincoln University 49 (Ere Enari 2, Nick Werahiko, Harrison Groundwater, Logan Crowley, Jordie Barrett tries; Barrett 4 conv, 3 pen; Jack Goodhue conv) beat New Brighton 12 (Scott Davidson 4 pen). HT: 14-12. Yellow card: Henare Faithfull (New Brighton). Red card: Billy Harmon (New Brighton). Referee: Kane McBride.
Ere Enari scored his first try for Lincoln University after more than a few matches trying to do just that, and the talented halfback-cum-first-five backed up with a second as he speared through under the bar a few minutes later.
Enari’s double in the space of 8min early in the second half set Lincoln firmly on the road to victory, the conversions helping double the side’s half-time tally.
Lincoln have the perfect impact player to come on at halfback for the last quarter, and Logan Crowley showed his class as soon as he arrived. Just to make sure that he was noticed, Crowley scored a scorching solo try 4min from the end.
There were other heroes for Lincoln against a depleted New Brighton. Second-five Harrison Groundwater time after time showed his value to the side with his robust running at the defensive line and ability to hold his ground and his feet in the biggest of tackles.
No.6 Jonno Osbourne was an inspiration with his non-stop work in the tight-loose and wider afield. He and Groundwater were crucial to the side’s success.
Another to impress was Brett Cameron, who can run a bit hot and cold. On the big stage, the young first-five ran hot, sniping at the defensive line to free other runners. He set up Enari for the halfback’s first try but his efforts deserved to provide more sustenance than that.
Brighton’s iconic No.8 Aaron McCoy, who has yet to make up his mind about retirement, gave it everything and a bit more. McCoy looked to have scored in the first quarter when he crossed after a driving maul from a lineout, but the side was pulled back for an illegality.
With 15min to go in the first half, McCoy made a huge charge off the back of a scrum which deserved a try. At the start of the last quarter, he made another big bust but Brighton were narrowly denied again.
Halfback Reuben Spicer showed he was as good as his rivals in the first half with his speed to the rucks and his snappy passing. Marcel Cummings-Toone, who has almost certainly played his last match, emulated McCoy with his prodigious effort.
But as Lincoln coach John Haggart pointed out: “It’s always a challenge when you’re down to 14 men.”
UNIVERSITY V MARIST ALBION
At Ilam Fields: Marist Albion 41 (Rowan O’Gorman 2, Charlie Gamble, Nathan Cassidy- Richards, Dan Fransen, tries; Tom Reekie, 5 conv, 2 pen) beat University 34 (Rob Sullivan, Braydon Ennor, Elia Elia, Isaac Leota, Morgyn Cowan, tries; Brad Hemopo 3 conv, pen). HT: 17-15. Referee: Jamie Nutbrown.
Marist Albion prevailed 41-34 (five tries apiece) in an excellent game of footie approached in a fast, open, hard, yet good-spirited manner by both teams.
The home team kicked off and immediately went on to the attack, putting Marist Albion under pressure for 20min, coming at them hard from all quarters.
University got out to 15-0 with a try to Rob Sullivan 10min in, converted by Brad Hemopo. That was followed by a penalty to Hemopo and a try to Braydon Ennor.
The students were making all the play, putting the visitors, who were scrambling and looking decidedly shaken, under the hammer.
Then Rowan O’Gorman invited himself into the match. Some assertive words and leading by example behaviour calmed his team down. Marist Albion refocused and the second quarter belonged to them.
A relaxed referee, Jamie Nutbrown, was allowing play to flow and the players to showcase their skills. After 28min the visitors took full toll of a penalty advantage that went seven phases and resulted in Charlie Gamble scoring beside the sticks. Tom Reekie converted.
Marist Albion were steaming now and rattling the students. Finlay Christie saved a certain try when he somehow contrived to get under the ball and attackers in-goal. Reekie kicked a penalty to close the gap to five.
O’Gorman crossed in the 40th min and with Reekie’s conversion the break came with the visitors ahead by two.
Marist Albion extended this shortly after half-time when a cross-field run by Chris Leader found O’Gorman lurking unmarked on the right-hand touch-line. Reekie converted for 24–15.
The students struck back immediately when a lineout win and forward rumble propelled Elia Elia over under a pile of bodies. Hemopo converted and the difference was again two.
The final quarter was fairly even with both sides playing positively as they probed for the `killer’ blow.
Reekie kicked a penalty for Marist Albion. Then the visitors got a vital, yet humorous, try.
Hard on defence a University clearing kick from in-goal went hard and low into the navel of replacement prop Nathan Cassidy-Richards. It somehow stuck and he fell over the line to score. Reekie converted for 34 -22.
University wouldn’t concede, coming back in the 65th min when Isaac Leota got into a gap sprinting 50m to dot down. Hemopo converted and the difference was five with 15 to play.
Tidy visiting fullback Dan Fransen made a big dent in University’s cause, selling a couple of dummies as he began a 45m solo run to the goal-line. Mr. 100% goal-kicker Reekie converted.
Twelve points down with 7min left on the clock and forced to play `catch up’ from their own territory proved too difficult a task for the students.
Industrious student flanker Morgyn Cowan scored the final points of an exciting match full of ball movement.
In the victorious Marist Albion side, the ubiquitous O’Gorman was a major influence, Reekie’s goal kicking was a defining factor, Fransen was dangerous running from the back, Charlie Gamble (until he went off injured) kept the breakdown honest, Lock Gene Simmiss took a crucial line-out against the throw and left nothing in the tank.
In the `it’s not over till it’s’ over University team, Elia was dynamic taking the ball up, Sullivan was a potent force coming into the line, Leota made several penetrating runs, Caleb Aperahama was a force in the lineout and in the tight stuff, and Cowan was a very busy open-side who didn’t shirk the hard yards.
In the division two curtain-raiser, Sumner earned a 36 to 21 (6 tries to 3) success over University in a fast open match full of end to end action.
This was a bright entertaining game contested in an excellent spirit with both sides prepared to have a go from anywhere.
University led 14-12 at half-time. However, they couldn’t add to their score until the 80th minute. In the interim, the visitors ran in four tries to seal the victory with 10min to go.
Sumner notables were Josh Toy, a clever distributor, Portuguese prop Joao Corte, a powerful scrummager, elusive running centre Tyrone Toia, and second-half replacement Peri Mark.
For University, Fraser Bryant toiled hard from No-8, and the back three consisting of the Nesbitt brothers, Oscar and Jonty, and right wing Dan Hymand created some chaos when they decided to run.
OLD BOYS v SHIRLEY
At Bob Deans 1: High School Old Boys 40 (Joe Taylor 2, Tom Stanley, Angus Blair tries; Jarred Percival 4 conv, 4 pen) beat Shirley 19 (Brandon Fanolua 2, Hayden Mitchell tries; Nathan Smith 2 conv) HT: 27-12. Referee: James Munro.
High School Old Boys’ ability to attack from anywhere caused Shirley a number of headaches in a one-sided Bowl final.
Wings Joe Taylor and Angus Blair finished off sweeping attacking movements from long range as HSOB were rarely threatened after a bright start from Shirley.
An impressive chip and chase by Shirley wing Jayden Pearce and a bullocking surge from close range by Brandon Fanolua were thwarted in the opening minutes before HSOB’s defence finally cracked from the ensuing penalty when lock Hayden Mitchell barged across.
The reply was swift as HSOB found space down the left where Tom Stanley crossed to lock things up before a couple of Jarred Percival penalties gave Old Boys a 13-7 lead.
Fanolua was not to be denied a second time as he celebrated his 50th
match with a try after Shirley broke away down the left-hand touchline before back-to-back tries to Taylor, the second of which came from inside HSOB’s 22m from the kickoff, in the space of 3min helped Old Boys to a comfortable, if not flattering, 27-12 lead at halftime.
Shirley struck back first through Fanolua, who burst through a gap out wide to cut the margin back to 11 before a fourth penalty to Percival and a late try to Angus Blair, who streaked away from a tiring Shirley defence, put the icing on the cake for HSOB.
The ever-consistent Taylor was impressive on the wing for Old Boys as he had plenty of opportunity to show his pace out wide. He crossed for two tries and was reliable under the high ball.
HSOB captain Stanley had a strong game both in the tight and out in the backline as he scored a try and gathered a number of crucial steals for his side.
Percival had a solid day with the boot, landing 8/10, and his general play kicking turned Shirley around on a number of occasions to keep HSOB on the front foot.
For Shirley, midfielders Fanolua and Junior Taia were strong. Fanolua crossed for a double and was a strong runner out wide with ball in hand while Taia produced a good steal on a rare foray into the ruck and was also solid on both attack and defence out in the backs.
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