by Tui Bromley – greystar.co.nz
Blaketown proved too powerful for the South Westland rugby team dominating territory and possession in a New Forrest Cup rugby match at Arthur Fong Park on Poor passing and handling costs the blacks dearly in the first half allowing South Westland, to score the first try, courtesy of a sharp break from halfback Kip Nolan, and to remain in contention trailing 7-14 at the However, Blaketown’s dominance eventually translated to points allowing the home team to cruise to a 38-14 victory.
Number eight Brogan Watt and lock Brad Houston were punishing runners in the Black pack and flanker Alan Monk claimed a lot of clean lineout ball in his usual busy game. The Thomson brothers, Phil and Robert were the most penetrative backs.Prop Ryan Kennedy led South Westland by example and first five Corey Deans was the pick of the backs outside the classy Tries to Phil Thomson and Monk were answered in the first half by one to South Westland wing G Mathieson who ranged up outside Nolan who had snapped up a loose Blaketown pass and scampered 50m to set up the try.Blaketown extended a 14-7 lead at half time to lead 33-7 with about five minutes left but both teams managed to conjure up late tries to carry the score to 38-14.
Blaketown 38 (P Thomson, A Monk, B Houston 2, A Torrance, D Keno 1 tries; B Cain 4 cons)
South Westland 14 (G Mathieson, C Deans tries, Deans 2 cons)
Unbeaten New Forrest Cup favourites, Kiwi, won the Hokitika rugby derby 31-7, but it was their little-fancied rivals Wests who took the most kudos from the game.Wests made all the early running on Cass Square as the two packs struggled for ascendency. Two penalty shots at goal went unrewarded before Matt Slaven crossed for a good forward’s try, which put the underdogs up 7-0, before Kiwi struck twice to lead 12-7 at the break. Three further tries, one on the fi nal whistle, gave the blues a 24-point winning margin but the game was much closer than the score suggests, Wests competing well in all facets.
Wests coach Kevin Church was full of praise for his side.“We took it to Kiwi right across the park and didn’t let them have their own way at any time of the game,” Church said.“It was a game where it was hard to single out any one player, but Nathan Cook and Craig Douglas in the front row were outstanding in Wests’ great all-round game.”Kiwi coach Dan Tauwhare also praised the opposition. “Wests gave us a good run, it was a tough
match,” Tauwhare said.“Wing, Lee Te Kira, and fullback Todd Struthers played well, and Tim Scadden had an awesome game at lock.”Peter Te Rakau scored a hat-trick, Sean McLure and Brent McBride also dotted down, and McLure completed Kiwi’s scoring with three conversions.
Kiwi 31 (P Te Rakau 3, S.McClure, B McBride tries, McLure 3 cons)
Wests 7 (M Slaven try, L Ross con).
It was a tale of two halves at Ikamatua, where Grey Valley dominated the first 40 minutes to lead 19-3 at the break, but Marist, aided by a large penalty count, controlled the second spell to win 23-22.
Coach Luke McNeish said the greens got in front 20-19 but then gave away a scrum penalty, which Tim Priest gratefully accepted to give Grey Valley a 22-20 lead, but Priest’s opposite, Nathan Smith, had the fi nal say, nailing a late penalty to take his tally for the match to 18 from a try, two conversions and three penalties.
Fullback Andrew Miller also scored a try for Marist. McNeish said the loose forward trio of Sam Tau, Ben Campbell and Sean Loveday hunted as a pack with good success.Grey Valley coach Tere Wycliff e said ill-discipline cost his side dearly. “After we started slowly last week we made a point of going hard from the start and that worked well in the first half. However, we were penalized off the park in the second spell, although we didn’t think we were doing anything different from before,” Wycliffe said.
He said few stood out for valley, except first-five Tim Priest.
Marist 23 (N Smith, A Morris tries; Smith 2 cons 3 pens)
Grey Valley 22 ( J Havill, M Bruhn, B Walker tries; T Priest 2 cons, pen.)