Varsity make easy work of Old Boys-Marist in first round of Manawat club rugby

DAVID UNWIN/Stuff
Varsity pemain Ueta Tufuga runs with the ball during his team's victory over Old Boys-Marist in the opening weekend of Manawat club rugby.

RUGBY: Varsity looked like they barely got out of second gear in a 35-14 win over Old Boys-Marist in the opening weekend of the club season.

Varsity showed dominant early season form on Saturday, with Old Boys-Marist scoring two tries in the last few minutes to make the scoreline more flattering.

Varsity had a roll on in the first half, getting quick ball for elusive fullback Reece Brosnan to slice through for two tries to give Varsity a 20-0 halftime lead.


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The third quarter of the match was an arm wrestle with both sides holding each other out, but Varsity broke the deadlock with three more tries to go up 35-0.

Old Boys-Marist are short of props through injury and had to bring in two front rowers from Whanganui, Viki Tofa and Jack Yarrall, to fill the void.

Veteran prop David Waru was also brought up from the Bs, but the game later went to depowered scrums due to the lack of front rowers.

There were three yellow cards in the game. Varsity wing TamaToa Ropati was given his marching orders for a ruck infringment while front rower Tim Stone received a card for a high tackle.

OBM wing Shadyn Osgood was having a good game, making some strong runs, but was also shown yellow for a high tackle.

Prop Flyn Yates and No 8 Micaiah Torrance-Read were standouts for Varsity with their workrate, and midfielders Ueta Tufuga and Hamish Nothcott played well.

Lock Ben Crozier and blindside flanker Roydon Miller were the pick of the OBM forwards.

There was no denying evergreen Brad Carr his 350th match for Feilding on Saturday, let alone his two tries in their 34-10 win over Freyberg.

After his tries Yellows were up 10-0 after 17 minutes with no sign of his hamstring twinge from Thursday's training as he powered through in heavy traffic with comrades unmarked outside him.

I was never going to pass it, Carr said afterwards. I thought I might have got a hat-trick.

I could've not played, but with all the hype I didn't want to let people down, I'll see the season out and see how the body feels.

Warwick Smith/Stuff
Brad Carr battled a hamstring twinge to grab two tries in his 350th match for Feilding Yellows on Saturday.

Coach Nathan Williams hauled Carr off at halftime to safeguard his hamstring and that's when the defending champions went off the boil.

Feilding sounded the alarm from the kickoff with their traditional grunty scrum helping them cruise to 29-0 at halftime.

One try came from an old-fashioned pushover to No 8 Hayden Stratford while Turbos Ben Wyness and Griffin Culver rode the armchair provided by props Tietie Tuimauga and Jack Fleury.

In Freyberg's defence they were missing six frontliners, including four with the Hurricanes under-20s, and were starved off ball in the first 40.

Feilding went through the phases and when near the line summarily crashed over.

However, Freys' left wing, former Manukura speedster Varcon King, was the star of the second half with two tries, one off a Kahn Fotualii inside ball, while Feilding, as the subs came on, made continual errors sitting on their lead.

They couldn't profit even when Freyberg prop Apelu Tauitele was binned and the scrums depowered.

From the opening 20 minutes, the Feilding Old Boys-roua midfield could not get a hand on the College Old Boys' tsunami of Turbo James Tofa and skilled centre Patrick Tafili-Reid in COB's 55-17 win.

DAVID UNWIN/Stuff
Feilding Old Boys-roua coach Dave Ellis did not have a happy first round of club rugby, his team going down to College Old Boys.

COB ran hard, often off Turbos first-five Stewart Cruden.

Veteran Jamie Perigo crossed for a Stags' try near halftime and had he been in midfield earlier, COB's attackers might have been arrested.

COB had the superior scrum and forwards such as No 8 Hamuera Burn were playing at pace, as were wings Cyrus Baker, Awatere Kiwara and Michael George.

The long-range raids ceased as the Stags finally fronted up, but when COB lifted momentum, tries came too easily, nine in total.

The Stags were at their best with their offloading game, scoring two late tries that way.

Their best were halfback Wharewaiata Rolls, lock Amon Panikoula, five-eighth Paora Rakatau and Perigo.

Te Kawau produced the boilover of the round by knocking over Kia Toa 43-17.

The Real Blokes gutsy forwards dominated, led by No 8 Benedict Grant, with Kia Toa were unable to string anything together.

Kias didnt offer much on attack, shut down by Te Kawaus line speed, but stayed alive through penalties.

Te Kawau had large periods of possession, scored two tries in the first half to lead 21-3 at the break.

Aside from a couple of early minutes, Kias hadnt fired a shot.

DAVID UNWIN/Stuff
Te Kawau coach Chris Long's side caused the upset of the round by knocking over Kia Toa.

Te Kawau first five-eighth Ethan Woodmass and halfback Temm Kauri were influential.

Woodmass laid it on for his outsides, especially centre Kameli Kuruyabaki, who became more dangerous as the game went on.

Te Kawau locks Hunter Morrison and Sam Harris were also busy.

Kias scored two tries in the second half, but Te Kawau had things under control and scored three of their own in the second spell.

Te Kawaus lineout needs work, but throwing in was a new role for hooker Josh Greer, who is usually a prop.

Blindside flanker Bethel Fauolo was one of the few Kia Toa forwards to stand up, carrying strongly, while new openside Preston Smith-Owen had his moments.

Centre Jerry Fryer kept trying and powerful wing Rudi Sifa looked dangerous during his limited opportunities.

Scorers:

Feilding 34 (Brad Carr 2, Sam Hunter, Griffin Culver, Hayden Stratford, Api Ratugoleanavanua, tries; Ben Wyness 2 con) Freyberg 10 (Varcon King 2 tries) HT 29-0.

College OB 55 (James Tofa 2, Patrick Tafili-Reid 2, Stewart Cruden, Michael George, Cory Purton, Awatere Kiwara, Cyrus Baker, tries; Cruden 2, George 2, Ben Stephens, cons) Feilding OB-roua 17 (Jamie Perigo, Saimoni Hakamotu, Lote Tauailoto, tries; Hamish Clapcott con) HT 26-7.

Te Kawau 43 (Sam Harris, Jason Myers, Kameli Kuruyabaki, Seth Clayton, Shaun Lawton-Sue, tries; Temm Kauri 3 con, 4 pen) Kia Toa 17 (Trent Reti, Taare Ferris, tries; Tavita Henare-Schuster 2 con, Keaton Kawana pen). HT: 21-3.

Varsity 35 (Reece Brosnan 2, Micaiah Torrance-Read, Regan Sword, tries; Scott Davidson 2 con, 2 pen, Brosnan con, pen) OB-Marist 14 (Jay Rolleston, Hunter Waller tries; Sam Stewart 2 con). HT: 20-0.

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