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Wellington Academy wins Sam Doyle Memorial Trophy, wins for Hurricanes teams

  • By Steven White and Andy McArthur.

A round-up of rugby this weekend.

Wellington Academy defeat Manawatu Academy to win Sam Doyle Memorial Trophy

Wellington 41 (Jeremiah Avei-Collins, Nathanial Barry, Keanu Kotuhi, Samoanoa Euta, Stanley Solomon, Daviel Tafili, Jacob Kennedy tries; Solomoncon, Carlos Hihi 2 con) beat Manawatu Academy 12 (Eli Edwards-Martin, Kees Pereka tries; Liam O’Connor con). HT: 17-7.

Wellington went into this third and final match of the Hurricanes Academy series needing a bonus point win and to win by more than 12 points to edge Hawke’s Bay and win the inaugural Sam Doyle Memorial Trophy.

They achieved this early in the second half when last year’s Old Boys University Colts captain and No. 8 Nathanial Barry finished off one of several sweeping try-scoring movements to score his try.

Wellington put the result beyond doubt several minutes later with back-to-back tries – both scored in similar vein – to replacement wing/fullback Daniel Tafili and then from the next re-start to fullback/first-five Stanley Solomon. This latter try made it 34-7 with the successful conversion.

There was no further scoring for a good 15 minutes, until replacement wing Jacob Kennedy scored yet another broken field try to push Wellington into the 40s.

Manawatu scored the final try of the afternoon when they finally capitalised on several forays up to and inside the 22 and replacement flanker Kees Pereka scored a deserved consolation try to the home side.

A match summation from this game would echo most recent age-grade representative matches between these two unions. Wellington brought a dominant scrum and increased set-piece dominance and too much firepower in broken play and in counter-attacking from turnovers.

Played in a blustery cross-wind in otherwise warm conditions on a rock-hard field at Massey University, the game was often very messy. Much of this was down to the competitiveness of both teams at the breakdown as well as the wind. Both teams won numerous turnovers off each other.

For Wellington, the starting front row, Senio Sanele, Leon Tuiloma and Salesa Seumanufagai were all strong, and they lost little with their replacements. Lock Harry Irving won a wealth of ball in the lineouts and was busy in general play, and blindside Connor Tuifao wasn’t far off him. Several of Wellington’s backs were lively, including first-five Carlos Hihi, Solomon and Tafili, while returning second five Tukuka Paongo straightened their attack up.

Recent Wellington College lock Finn O’Sullivan on the charge.

Manawatu also fielded a much younger team, the majority of their line-up were school leavers, where as many of Wellington’s players are a year older. Former Rotorua Boys’ High School halfback Jai Tamati was lively all match and several others showed industry but lacked dynamism. Midfielders, Whanganui Collegiate school leaver Pita Manamanaivalu and older former Horowhenua-Kapiti player Darren Falaniko, brought spark but were ultimately contained.

There was no scoring in the game until the 25th minute, when Wellington scored through Wainuiomata halfback Keanu Kotuhi after a penalty and lineout drive towards the corner flag.

Halfback Keanu Kotuhi with the first try of the match.

Wellington then scored consecutive tries up the left flank, both in broken play. Tawa wing Samonoa Euta, looking striking with his blond haircut and bright orange boots, scored to double the score to 10-0. Captain and openside flanker Jeremiah Avei-Collins, looking similar in haircut and boots, scored next and Poneke first-five Hihi converted from out wide to put Wellington up 17-0.

Manawatu scored try nua just before halftime, with fullback Eli Edwards-Martin flashing through traffic over the line and PNBHS school leaver first-five Liam O’Connor converting.

Wellington pulled ahead in the second half, as both sides turned to their benches as the remainder of the match unfolded. Wellington lost replacement prop Alex Hewitt to injury towards the end.

A Hurricanes U20 squad will shortly be selected  for upcoming matches against their Chiefs and Crusaders counterparts (both games away).


Hurricanes win battle of Development teams

Hurricanes Hunters 35 (Daniel Sinkinson, Ben Grant, Reon Paul, Kianu Kereru-Symes, Kyle Preston tries; Harry Godfrey 5 con) beat the Chiefs Development 34 (Scorers TBC). HT: 28-15.

In Taupo on Friday, the Hurricanes Hunters beat the Chiefs Development by a solitary point.

The Hunters withstood several waves of attack in front of their own line at the end, but strong defence saved the day.

Earlier, the Hunters skipped out to a 28-5 lead, which was cut to 28-15 at halftime. Aided by a yellow card to a Hurricanes player, the Chiefs came back but to make it tight.

The Hurricanes team was captained by TJ Perenara at halfback.


Hurricanes Poua prevail in pre-season match

The Hurricanes Poua met the South Island Matatu in their pre-season outing in Christchurch today.

The Poua have emulated the Hunters with a one-point win.


Hurricanes account for Force on Friday night

Hurricanes 44 (Josh Morrby, Jordi Viljoen, Caleb Delany, Asafo Aumua, Peter Lakai, Salesi Rayasi tries; 4 con, 2 pen) beat the Western Force 14 (Nick White, Chase Tiatia tries; B. Donaldson 2 con). HT: 22-0

In Perth on Friday night, the Hurricanes defeated the Western Force by 30 points.

The Hurricanes shot out to a 22-0 lead by halftime in the sultry Perth heat and it was game over.

The Hurricanes scored first half tries through right wing Josh Moorby, debutant halfback Jordi Viljoen and lock Caleb Delany. Tackling was often optional for the Force.

The Force struck back with the first try of the second half, ahead of Moorby being denied a second try by a try-saving tackle by former St Pat’s Silverstream learner Chase Tiatia.  Hooker Asafo Aumua couldn’t be denied for the Hurricanes. The Force then scored a second try to that man Tiatia to close to 29-14 after 57 minutes.

From there it was all the Hurricanes, scoring two more tries and dominating the set-piece exchanges, particularly the lineouts.

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