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Kiwi Cruise to top


Kiwi  sealed  victory  in  the Muir Trophy competition and top spot on the accumulated  points  ladder  with  an  emphatic 89-26  victory  over  South  Westland.

Kiwi,  unbeaten  in  the  five  Muir  Trophy matches, raced in 13 tries and Todd Struthers converted 11 of them to take his personal tally to 121 points, against South Westland.

Player-coach  Troy  Tauwhare  said  it  was  a complete team effort but Struthers had made a big contribution from fullback, his counter-attacking skills leading to several tries.

“It was our most complete performance. A full 80-minute eff ort and all the 50-50 passes stuck for a change.” South Westland coach Grant Mathieson was unavailable for comment.

Kiwi 89 (T Struthers, K Otimi 2, D Tauwhare, J Ferguson 3, L Winter, M Olson, T Scadden, D Thompson, S McClure 2 tries; Struthers 11, McClure 1 cons)

South Westland 26.


Ill-discipline  on  Saturday  cost  Blaketown  a right royal chance of finishing as top qualifier for  West  Coast  Rugby’s  Taylorville-Wallsend Cup semi-finals.The seagulls  outscored  Marist  three  tries  to one  but,  with  the  referee  finding  fault  with the black jerseys, Marist halfback Hugo Torres kicked five penalties and a conversion to guide his team to a 22-19 victory and take his personal points tally to 133.

The  results  mean  that  the  semi-finals  will be  a  repeat  of  Saturday’s  games,  with  Kiwi playing  South  Westland,  and  Marist  meeting Blaketown.If  Marist  took  all  their  many  chances  on Saturday, the winning margin would have been much  greater,  but  Blaketown  did  enough  to prove that they are capable of turning the tables next week, the bulked up scrum, in particular holding its own for once.

Gordon Iafeta, Alan Monk, Adam Torrance and Brad Houston were busy in the black pack, while fullback Robert Thompson ran with the purpose of old and halfback Nik Davy used his kicking game to good effect to keep the greens at bay.Prop  Greg  Crampton,  followed  closely  by hooker Ben Campbell, had a storming game for Marist  and Welsh  second-fi ve  Brad  Lewellen again pressed his case for a West Coast jersey with a classy display.

Marist  made  much  of  the  early  running and  squandered  several  scoring  chances,  but Blaketown  took  all  theirs  to  lead  14-3  at  the break.At  half-time  the  penalty  count  was  4-2  in favour  of  the  greens,  but  it  was  14-4  at  the finish. Two late penalties to Blaketown (Marist had already received nine more by this point) allowed  the seasiders  to  draw  level  on  the scoreboard,  but  another  to  the  greens  gave Torres a kick right in front, which he gratefully accepted to put his side in front.

The  game  began  with  a  minute’s  silence  for Liam Richardson, his former Blaketown team-mates wearing armbands as a mark of respect.Blaketown  mounted  a  long  and  passionate attack  from  the  kick-off ,  which  was  nullified when  Nik  Davy  elected  to  kick  ahead  when Marist’s defence was on the verge of crumbling.

The  kick  gifted  Marist  possession  and  soon the greens were hammering at the Blaketown line,  Maleli  Mudu  and  Isei  Lewaqai  crossing but having tries ruled out. Torres also missed a penalty and a field goal before the blacks swung back on attack and a short pass from Torrance almost  put  Nik Cumming  over.

Robert Thompson scored soon after from a quick tap. Phil Thompson converted but Torres closed the gap to 7-3 with his first successful penalty of the match. With  time  almost  up,  Blaketown  only  had enough time for one more play before the break but  they  made  it  count,  reclaiming  the  ball which  Rob  Thompson,  Houston  and  Brogan Watt carried to the line before Torrance barged over  from  close  quarters.  Phil  Thompson converted to give the blacks a 14-3 lead at the break.

Marist ignored an early penalty chance in the second  half,  opting  instead  for  a  scrum  from which  Josh  Costello  went  close  before  Mudu went over and Torres converted — 14-10.Three Torres penalties took the score to 19-14  but  Blaketown  drew  level  with  a  late  try to  bustling  wing  Brogan  Jackson  after  Nick Cumming and Regan Stanton (showing good hands) had worked him clear.

Phil Thomson missed the difficult conversion, which  would  have  put  his  team,  in  front  but Marist  re-gathered  the  ball  from  the  kick-off  and  won  another  penalty  which,  despite  the insults  and  obscenities  tossed  at  him  from  a boorish  section  of  the  crowd,  Torres  guided between the posts — 22 -19.

Marist  22  (M  Mudu  try,  H  Torres  5  pens, con)

Blaketown 19 (R Thompson, A Torrance, B Jackson tries; P Thompson 2 cons).

Wests piled on the points in the first half and then hung on grimly as Grey Valley wheeled on the heavy artillery in the second spell to their game.

Wests coach Dicey Davidson said lock Bazza Slaven was their man of the match, while fellow forwards Nick Monk and Lee Davidson toiled well in the tight.

Centre Elijah Matalomani was the best of the backs  along  with  Geoff   Garland,  who  added some oomph when he came on.

Veteran lock Peter Nicholls was Grey Valley’s player of the day, while Nick Makea controlled play well from first-five.

Valley coach Ben Ferguson said his side leaked too many easy points in the fi rst half but won the second stanza 15-3.

Wests 32 (M Cook, M Slaven, N Smith, M Johnson, L Ross tries; Ross 2 cons, pen)

Grey Valley 20 (B Morley, K McCleod, P Nicholls 2, tries).

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