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Wins for Wellington U19s and OBU Scallywags in home matches

Reece Plumtree makes a break for the OBU Scallywags in their tight win over Auckland side the Pakuranga Panthers in today’s National Knockout U85kg fixture at Nairnville Park. Photo: Caroline Lewis.

  • By Steven White

There were wins in home matches this afternoon for the OBU Scallywags and the Wellington U19s in their competition matches this afternoon, while the Wellington Centurions missed out to their Taranaki counterparts in New Plymouth and Palmerston North Boys’ High School beat Scots College by default in the Hurricanes Boys First XV final.

Defending champions Wellington opened their Central Region Shield defence with a 50-12 win over the Hurricanes Heartland U20s in Upper Hutt, while the OBU Scallywags earned a gallant 17-13 win over Auckland’s Pakuranga Panthers in their National Knockout Cup fixture at Nairnville Park. More on those two games below.

The Wellington Centurions lost 29-61 to Taranaki Development. The Centurions were down 26-0, but managed to score three tries to make it 17-26 at halftime. two quick tries straight after the break made it too hard to get back against a big and physical Taranaki team who had a large number of NPC players. The Centurions scored tries to to Toby Crosby (2), Willie Rua, Ethan Webster Nonu and Todd Svenson. Alex Ropeti kicked two conversions.

The Wellington U19s opened their defence of the Hurricanes Central Region Shield with a 50-12 win over the Hurricanes Heartland U20s at the NZCIS grounds in Upper Hutt this afternoon. The Wellington U19s won eight tries to two after leading 31-7 at halftime.

Captain and centre Tofuka Paongo (below) fittingly scored the last try of the match on full time to bring up the half century. Paongo scored two tries himself and had a direct involvement in two more.

Openside flanker Nathaniel Barry also scored two tries, and the other four were shared around.

Wellington were too fast and too aggressive at the breakdown for the Hurricanes side, and were eager to pounce on any mistakes of which there were many throughout the game. This was reflected in four of five tries in the first half being scored from deep inside their own territory.

Wellington started the match with their most structured try of all in just the third minute of play, when hooker Leon Tuiloma scored from a penalty and lineout drive in the corner and first five Carlos Hihi kicked the sideline conversion to put Wellington up 7-0.

Playing with the moderate breeze in the first half, Heartland right wing Max Hosking missed a penalty. Wellington took a short 22 from the re-start and a minute and a half later after sweeping attacking play, lock Conner Tuifao scored in the same corner as the first try to make it 12-0.

Wellington went on a carbon-copy attack almost immediately, leading to a similar try to flanker Barry to extend their lead to 17-0.

The Heartland team regrouped and managed to string some phases together inside Wellington’s 22 and left wing Joshua Brunger sliced through to score under the posts. Hosking converted to make it 17-7.

Wellington closed out the first half with two consecutive tries from kick-offs. From the re-start of the Heartland’s try, Wellington attacked up-field and centre Paongo scored near the posts to make it 24-7.

From the very next re-start, Wellington made another big break up the righthand touchline started by blindside flanker Matolu Petaia who linked with his inside support runners, and Paongo and try-scorer and right wing Francis Mettrick sauntered through to score to make it 31-7 as the players adjourned for oranges.

Now with the breeze in their favour, Wellington picked up where they left off, following an encouraging start of building phases by the Heartland team. The ball was turned over 70 metres out by No. 8 Jeremiah Avei-Collins and Wellington halfback Keanu Kotuhi burst into open space up towards halfway and linked with his support runners who included Paongo and try-scorer Barry. Hihi’s conversion made it 38-7.

Bruising second five Emmanuel Solomona (below) scored next for Wellington following more pressure inside the 22, extending the lead to 45-7.

Both sides made numerous changes off the bench at about this point of the game, including Wellington replacing their entire front row at the same time.

The Heartland team finally strung together consistent phases and scored their second try to close the gap to 45-12.

Wellington had the final say on full time, with their final try following yet another Heartland turnover in general play and a scrum 30 metres out.

In the other match today, the Hawke’s Bay U19s beat the Manawatu U19s in Napier.

At Nairnville Park, the OBU Scallywags produced an inspiring defensive effort to beat the Pakuranga Panthers in their U85kg Knockout Cup quarter-final match.

The OBU Scallywags survived on about 25 percent possession to win the contest, spending almost the entire last 20 minutes hard on defence.

A converted intercept try in the 48th minute through lock Hamish Mansell put OBU up 14-13. This was followed by a penalty 10 minutes later to first five Nick Mannix to give OBU a 17-13 lead, which would be the final score.

Playing into the cricket nets end of Nairnville Park and into a moderate wind, the visiting Panthers threw everything they had at the Scallywags over most of the remainder of the match but couldn’t break through the committed and passionate OBU defence.

Earlier, OBU had opened the scoring in the quarter-final in just the second minute of play after a patient buildup and injection out wide by centre Reece Plumtree, converted by Mannix.

Pakuranga replied with an outstanding try from a 20-metre lineout drive to prop forward Du Toit. This went unconverted and OBU held a 7-5 lead after about 25 minutes.

Pakuranga hit the lead for the first time with a 33rd minute penalty.

Just before halftime, Pakuranga were held up over the line and then conceded a defensive penalty following the ensuing scrum and the teams went into the break with Pakuranga ahead 8-7.

Pakuranga extended their lead five minutes into the second half, with a well-constructed try up the far side touchline to their halfback. The try was unconverted, but Pakuranga led 13-7.  OBU would re-take the lead with their intercept try and penalty and hold on to book their semi-final spot in a fortnight’s time.


As reported previously elsewhere on mainstream and social media channels and canvassed extensively on those same channels, Scots College defaulted to PNBHS this afternoon in the Hurricanes First XV final.

PNBHS will play already confirmed South Island winners Southland Boys’ High School in this coming Friday’s Top 4 semi-final, while the other two Boys Top 4 semi-fnalists will be Westlake Boys’ High School and Tauranga Boys’ College.

In two thrillers today, North Harbour champions Westlake Boys’ High School beat Auckland’s Sacred Heart College 32-21 in the Blues final and Tauranga BC defeated Hamilton Boys’ High School 33-26 in the Chiefs final. Tauranga also won the Moascar Cup.

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