GREYTOWN had to work harder than the final scoreline would indicate for their 22-8 victory over Carterton in the Wairarapa-Bush Tui Cup rugby competition match, played at Carterton on Saturday.
Up by just 5-3 at halftime, Greytown actually found themselves trailing 8-5 early in the second half and it was only in the last quarter that they gained the upper hand, running in three unanswered tries to win by a margin which did little justice to the tenacity of the Carterton effort.
Having said that, however, there is no question that Greytown were the more polished of the two teams when it came to turning scoring opportunities into points on the board. Their backs, in particular, looked slicker and more innovative than their Carterton opposites, with young winger Nick Robertson perhaps the pick of them.
Not only did Robertson score a spectacular solo try with a kick and chase effort from all of 50 metres out, but he was a constant menace to the Carterton defence. Halfback Hamish Meyrick and second-five Byron Karaitiana also produced standout performances, Meyrick for the speed and accuracy of his service and Karaitiana for his aggressive intent.
Carterton’s backs were more inclined to play second fiddle to their forwards in attacking play but first-five Corrie McFadzean impressed with the power of his punting and halfback Daryl Pickering was soundness personified.
Up front it was another couple of McFadzeans in Johnie and Lachie who shone for Carterton. They seemed to be forever at the centre of the action, starring in numerous charging runs and expending just as much energy on defence. Prop Jacko Hull was always in the thick of things for the home side and much the same could be said for his fellow front rowers Vincent Smith and Hone Vella.
The introduction of Johnny Avatea to No8 in the second half added considerable sting to what was already a solid Greytown forward effort. Avatea’s ability to crunch through the first couple of tackles and put his side on the front foot in the process played a huge part in Greytown taking the ascendancy over the latter stages of the game. Locks Norm Henricksen and Regan Pope also had strong games, with Pope making a couple of stirring bursts in broken play.
Byron Karaitiana, Nick Olson, Carlos Rimene and Nick Robertson scored tries for Greytown, and Karaitiana also kicked one conversion. Brock Price scored Carterton’s sole try and Andy Humberstone landed a penalty.
Defending Tui Cup champions Eketahuna have not had a lot to celebrate this season, so they would have been delighted with their 29-14 victory over Martinborough. Tom Meuli scored two of the Eketahuna tries and also kicked two conversions. Matatini and Paul Tikomainavalu were also listed as try scorers. Martinborough’s points came from tries to Ardun Munn and Chris Raymond, while Tipene Haira and Matthew Johnson each kicked a conversion.
Pioneer maintained their good winning strike rate, with a 29-10 defeat of East Coast. Isaac Apiata, Joseph Dahlberg-Paku, Nikora Ewe and Joseph Thompson scored tries for Pioneer, and Thompson also kicked three penalties. Sully Alsop scored the East Coast try and Utah Walker kicked a penalty and a conversion.
Marist and Gladstone were expected to have a close tussle in their match at Gladstone, and it was Marist who had their noses in front at the final whistle, winning 23-19. The goal kicking of James Goodger had a big say in the end result. He landed three penalties and two conversions for Marist, while tries were scored by Lawrence Titter and Etuale Feo.
Gladstone scored three tries, to Richard Puddy, Joseph Potangaroa and Richard Webby, and William Silver kicked two conversions.
Carterton 24, Masterton Red Star 17
Greytown 36, Marist 24
Tuhirangi 38, Pioneer 6
Gladstone beat Eketahuna by default.
By Gary Caffell – Wairarapa Times-Age