Courtesy of the Greymouth Star
by Brett Kokshoorn
It was a case of wins all round for both Hokitika teams on Saturday, playing simultaneously at home on Cass Square in the West Coast senior rugby competition.
In a top of the table clash on the No 1 ground, Kiwi thrashed South Westland 53-0, while next door on the No 2 ground Wests accounted for Grey Valley 24-19 in a close affair.
Played in showery conditions, Kiwi really showed their class, running up 34 points in a clinical first half.
The forwards were relentless all day and first-five Dan Tauwhare and fullback Nick Muir controlled territory with some sublime tactical kicking, turning the South Westlanders around on numerous occasions.
The southerners toiled all day but ultimately made too many mistakes and turnovers, which Kiwi capitalised on with glee.
In the second half, Kiwi piled on a further 19 points, although scoring was slowed partly due to the showery conditions. To South Westland’s credit they got their game plan going a bit more in this half and enjoyed some periods of parity, but every time they seemed to get close to scoring their momentum was stopped by a combination of mistakes and staunch Kiwi defence.
Kiwi forwards Daniel Foord, Jasyn van Vliet and Logan Winter had busy games in what was a real team effort from all eight of the pack. In the backs, Dan Tauwhare and Nick Muir (two tries) controlled play, while the standout was halfback Jarrod Ferguson, who scored a hat-trick of tries.
South Westland’s front row all had solid games, getting the push on their opposites on several occasions. Prop Dan Davis was busy all day and utilities Archie McBride and Jessie McCrae had big games with their opportunities. Halfback Kip Nolan was at his usual enterprising best and he did all he could to get South Westland on the scoreboard with two clear breaks in the second half, even though they were stymied by eventual mistakes.
Kiwis’ scoring was quick and consistent in the first half. Centre Darren Ikiua broke down the sideline after some great lead-up work from the forwards and lock Kelly Rasmussen hit up off the ensuing ruck for the first try. The next try down the same side was scored by Muir after he stepped over the line, scooping up a ball pushed back by winger Declan Delany, who managed to stay in touch after a break down the sideline.
Ferguson then scored the first of his tries after South Westland failed to clear effectively from their own tryline. Kiwi mauled forward from the attacking 5m lineout and Ferguson scored in the blind corner. Van Vliet then broke through the middle and close to the scoreline, the ball was spun out the back for Troy Tauwhare to score.
Ferguson then went over for his second in what was a real individual effort, breaking through the side of a ruck and running 20m to score under the posts.
Van Vliet scored the final try of the half, running a good line and hitting an offload from Sean McClure to leave the score 34-0 at half-time.
In the second half, Kiwi scored a further three tries, the first to Muir (his second) after Troy Tauwhare and Logan Winter combined for the initial break. Next, Tauwhare featured again with a break through the middle of the South Westland defence 40m out, to pass to Ferguson, who strolled over for his third.
The last scoring play was a real forward effort with the Kiwi forwards mauling over the line from a lineout for Jaime Kearns to score.
Kiwi were denied the opportunity to score a further seven points right on full-time as a try under the posts was pulled back for an infringement that the touch judge had sighted back on halfway.
Kiwi player-coach Troy Tauwhare said it was a great team effort from everyone, who took advantage of South Westland mistakes.
Although it was an all-round team effort, van Vliet had a great game in the forwards, and he singled out 17-year-old winger Henare Mason in only his second start and who did not look out of place.
Tauwhare said the boys were enjoying their footy but were also looking forward to some dry weather football.
South Westland coach Terry McBride said he was not too worried with the big loss because it was early in the season.
When they got to full strength they would have a better go, he said. The scrums were a positive and in the second half for periods they played like they should have all game but just did not have enough ball and made mistakes.
Archie McBride, Dan Davis and Jessie McCrae all had big games.
Coach McBride said he could not wait to meet Kiwi again later in the season.
Kiwi 53 (J Ferguson 3, N Muir 2, K Rasmussen, T Tauwhare, J Van Fliet, J Kearns tries, N Muir 4 con) South Westland 0.
Wests beat Grey Valley 24-19 in a close match to make it two out of two for the Hokitika teams.
The majority of this game was played under golden oldies scrums as one of only three of the Wests forwards available on the day went off with a head knock just 10 minutes into the game.
Grey Valley had a chance to at least go even in the dying stages with an attacking 5m lineout, but the ball was not thrown in straight and the opportunity was missed.
Wests coach Mike Foster said they had a lot of injuries but to their credit the team have not defaulted a game yet.
Halfback Jeff Garland, second-five Taylor Robinson and winger Jeremy Green shone in the backs, and in the forwards Matt Johnston and Jordan Murray were standouts.
Grey Valley coach Stu Anderson said not being able to scrum, which was their strength, had a big bearing on the game.
He was proud of the team for the effort they put in. They got off to a slow start but eventually got into their rhythm and climbed back into the game, but it was all a bit late.
Anderson said all of the forwards played well and the backs kicked well. Centres Bradley Ferguson and Kahu Tamatea had a strong game.
In the Greymouth derby, Blaketown demolished Marist 83-5, at McMillan Park.
Blaketown coach Tony Stanton said the team stuck well to the game plan and structures and they just rolled on from there, scoring 13 tries.
Halfback Jade Coleman directed the backline well and chimed in with two tries, Phil Thomson had a great day with the boot converting nine out of the 13 conversions, and Rob Thomson directed the forwards well from No 8.
Marist coach Grant Olsen could not be reached for a comment.