Rongotai College and Wellington Samoa U18s halfback Sila Fa’avae gets his pass away amongst a sea of Wellington Centurions U18s defenders in today’s U18s competition match at Lyndhurst Park. Fa’avae scored one of five tries as his side won 31-24. Photo: Andy McArthur
The Wellington U19s completed an unbeaten season and retained the Central Region Shield with a 64-24 win over an under-strength Manawatu U19s team at Massey University this afternoon – more on this game below.
The OBU Scallywags’ National Knockout Cup U85kg competition run has come to an end, beaten 33-30 in a thriller by North Shore contenders Takapuna this afternoon.
OBU had got off to a lightning start in just the third minute when first five Nick Mannix injected himself through a hole off an attacking scrum and passed to centre Reece Plumtree, who in turn found top try scorer Cam Jackson for the try out wide.
Takapuna replied with a penalty, but OBU maintained pressure and were held up over the line twice before Plumtree scored off another scrum move in the same corner to go up 10-3.
Takapuna replied with a try in the opposite corner to wing Jordan Bolland, to cut the lead to 10-8.
OBU almost scored again, but settled for the penalty instead. Takapuna replied with a penalty and OBU kicked another of their won and OBU went into halftime leading 16-11.
Takapuna opened the second half scoring with another penalty before OBU hooker Morgan ran on to an inside pass and scored to put OBU up 23-11. Takapuna then scored tries in the 56th and 62nd minutes to go ahead 26-23. Five minutes later Takapuna captain and No. 8 Matt O’Brien scored from a 5-metre scrum to increase their lead to 33-23.
OBU had to score next and they did to blindside flanker Tomasi Connor, after a series of tap penalties in front of the line. Mannix kicked the conversion to cut the deficit to 33-30.
The last seven minutes of the semi-final was as torrid as U85kg rugby gets. Takapuna managed to maintain field possession as OBU struggled to break out to score the try they needed. With only a couple of minutes remaining, OBU lost captain and halfback Matt Fowler to the sin-bin and it was surely game over? OBU had one last chance but the game ended on a not straight lineout near Takapuna’s 22.
The second round of the Trustbank Cup Central Secondary Schools Shield U18 competition saw second straight wins for the Hawke’s Bay Saracens, Poverty Bay and Wairarapa-Bush.
The HB Saracens dispatched the Whanganui U18s 83-0, Wairarapa-Bush beat the Wellington Maori U18s 35-16 and Poverty Bay beat Horowhenua-Kapiti 64-0.
The fourth match of the day saw the Wellington Samoa U18s beat the Wellington Centurions U18s 34-24 at Lyndhurst Park. This was the Samoans’ first win in their first game after last week’s fixture against Wellington Maori was postponed, while the Centurions lost their second straight game.
The Centuriuons made a fast start and raced to a 12-0 lead after 15 minutes But the Samoans rallied and fought back and ight wing Fiti Aliva scored two tries and fullback Pyrenees Boyle-Tiatia, halfback Sila Fa’avae and lock Sione Latu scored their other tries. .
The Wellington Lions beat Waikato 41-24 on Friday night, to extend their winning streak to 19 games. Petone right wing Losi Filipo scored a hat-trick.
The Wellington Development Centurions team close out the weekend for Wellington teams, when they play Tasman B at Blenheim on Sunday.
Wellington U19s v Manawatu U19s
When the reserve hooker Leon Tuiloma scored off a sweeping play on fulltime, Wellington had brought up its tenth try of the match and completed an emphatic 64-24 victory.
But they didn’t have it all their own way in the second half as Manawatu, who fielded only five reserves and are down on numbers mainly because of injuries, scored three of their four tries to stem Wellington’s flow. Of these three tries from the home side, lock Ajae Hansen scored two of them in succession under the posts.
The damage had been done by halftime with Wellington leading 38-5 at the turnaround. The star of the show for Wellington was right wing Francis Mettrick who scored four first half tries, all in the corner, the result of Wellington stretching Manawatu out-wide and with No. 8 Jeremiah Avei-Collins and first five Carlos Hihi involved in assists in two of them. Another was a bit of luck as Mettrick found himself onside when a loose ball was kicked through and he just had to force it (reminiscent of Callum Harkin’s try at the end last week for the Wellington Development team).
The game was as good as won early in the second half when centre and captain Tofuka Paongo scored Wellington’s next try to extend their lead to 45-5.
Wellington went on to score three more long-range tries, to No. 8 Avei-Collins and vice -captain and blindside flanker Matolu Petaia, and to Tuiloma at the end.
The game kicked off in perfect sunny conditions in front of a decent crowd on the western sideline. The home supporters cheered early when their team attacked in the corner from a penalty and a lineout, and hooker Sam Lyon scored the game’s first try to put his side up 5-0.
Wellington quickly replied with Mettrick’s first try, followed by a runaway try to left wing Daniel Tafili, and then three consecutive tries to Mettrick, who was running on air at this point.
Centre Paongo scored under the posts to close out the first half.
A dampener on Wellington’s afternoon was two injuries. The fiirst was to first-five and newly named New Zealand Māori U18 player Stanley Solomon, making his return from a hamstring injury, who went off early clutching his right shoulder. The second was to starting hooker Toby Mallon who ended his game in a sling.
Despite the 40-point loss, Manawatu will have the last say as they are producing three times as many New Zealand age group players than the Wellington Union is at present.
Hawke’s Bay beat the Hurricanes Heartland U20s in the Hurricanes U19s competition match. In Napier, Hawke’s Bay won 47-19, after leading 26-5 at halftime.
U85kg semi-final livestream replay: