by Julian Lee ( 27/03/2013 GreyStar )
Kiwi flanker Tim Scadden and Wests Number 8 Darcy Ralph make a grab in the lineout, with the ball bouncing off Scadden into Ralph’s hand.
It would be easy to say that the Hokitika derby between Kiwi and Wests on Saturday was a walkover, with Kiwi sealing a 60-7 victory over their struggling opponents. But that would not be entirely fair to Wests, who showed a tough spirit at times on defence.
What Wests lacked in consistency they made up for in courage, but Kiwi easily outperformed with an excellent show by both forwards and backs, who worked extremely well together.
Wests started strongly, putting pressure on Kiwi and showing what they were really capable of. But their spirit quickly sapped when Kiwi centre Mitch Brown scored a try after a well-co-ordinated Kiwi back offensive in the first five minutes.
Wests missed a penalty chance to stay in touch and it was not long before Kiwi took control when wing Pete Te Rakau, lock Tim Schroder and Brown all scored tries in the next 20 minutes, putting the score at 22-0, with one conversion by centre Sam McClure.
Kiwi forwards were going well beyond the call of duty in the second half, with memorable runs by tighthead Dylan Thompson and hooker Troy Tauwhare, setting up Brown for a hat-trick, which was converted.
Wests came back in the last few minutes of the first half and managed a try by centre Sean Meldrum, making the half-time score 29-7.
The break came at a bad time for Wests, who could have used the momentum but Kiwi forward pressure was too much, with Tauwhare scoring in the first five minutes. Wests held off for 10 minutes or so before Kiwi came back strongly, scoring four tries in a 13-minute space, with Te Rakau scoring two for his own hat-trick. Brown set up a spectacular fourth try after chasing a loose ball from halfway and touching it down with no opposition.
Kiwi centre Mitch Brown makes a dash for yet another try, topping off four during the match.
McClure scored next and converted, his kicking seeming to improve in the second half. The Wests were never really there in the second half and the Kiwi crowd loved it as they watched their team run circles around the opposition.
Further north, Blaketown scored a stunning 51-5 victory over Marist, their experience seeming to outdo Marist’s fairly young side.
Although only down 15-0 to Blaketown at half-time, the second half worked much better for them where they were able to come through with several new plays. A standout performance by Nathan Williams, who put up a strong defence, as well as consistent players Beau Cain and Adam Torrance, meant a hard game for their Greymouth rivals.
Grey Valley managed a comfortable 29-6 win against South Westland, with a fairly even first half before coming back in the second to score three tries.
Kiwi 60 (M Brown 4, P Te Rakau 3, T Tauwhare, T Schroder, S McClure tries; S McClure 5 cons)
Wests 7 (S Meldrum try, con);
Blaketown 51 (A Torrance 2, J Ward 2, B Cain, J Haapu, R Thompson tries; B Cain 4 cons)
Marist 5 (R Uluiburotu);
Grey Valley 29 (J Miller, A Verway, N Makea, M Brewen tries; T Priest 3 cons, pen)
South Westland 6 (C Deans 2 pens).