Saracens, Kaiapoi and Ohoka all had good wins in last Saturday’s Luisetti’s Cup Combined Rugby Competition. Saracens performance against an in-form Ashburton Celtic side was particularly meritorious and as the round robin games reach their half-way point this result keeps them in the calculations to qualify for a place in post-section play. The same could apply for Kaiapoi who now have three wins out of four which takes them into fifth position in Section 2 which appears to be a significantly weaker section.
Saracens made intelligent use of having a very strong wind on their backs in the first half. Halfback Nick Wells and first five Ricky Allin used long raking kicks to keep Saracens in a good field position and new winger Alifeleti Hala made an immediate impact for his new club when with almost his first touch of the ball he ran strongly through the Celtic defence to score. Openside flanker Nathan Goodwin also scored and with Allin converting both tries, on top of an early penalty, Saracens had scored 17 unanswered points. Celtic closed the gap with an unconverted try right on the half-time hooter. Playing into the wind in the second half, Saracens played a smarter game than their opponents and scored two second half tries to tighthead prop, Morgan Pugh, and blindside flanker Josh Maynard. In the last 20 minutes the Saracens scrum was dominant, a significant factor in their 27-5 victory. Saracens Players of the Day were their second half try scorers Maynard and Pugh. Brett Hancox played his usual solid game in his 150th appearance for the Club.
At Methven, first half tries to Jovilisi Taleqa and Junior Kaukirewa and the trusty boot of Lance Taylor, kept Kaiapoi in the contest. Kaiapoi’s discipline was poor and Methven took their chances to take an 18-17 lead into the break. Kaiapoi shored up and scored two more long-range converted tries to Kimeon Reade and Rob Samson, which was enough to take them to a 31-24 victory. The elusive Kaukirewa, on his 21st birthday, was Kaiapoi’s Player of the Day. He was supported by strong performances by Luka Tootoo and Rob Samson.
Ohoka deservedly registered their first win of the season with a commanding performance against West Melton. In an entertaining match in which both teams tried to spread it wide, Ohoka hit the ground running and already had a bonus point secured with four first half tries. In the forwards, Connor McKinnon and Pete Donaldson had strong performances while the five-eighths pairing of Brett Taylor and Cam McMillan directed play expertly. Tries for Ohoka were scored by George Wiggins (2), Tiare Wicksteed (2), Vaughan McGiffert, Sammy Kula, and the McMillan brothers, James and Cam. If there was a chink in Ohoka’s armour it was that despite an overwhelming territorial advantage, they still conceded four tries to West Melton. It seems Ohoka may pay a heavy price for their victory, too, as their impressive lock forward, Max Lines, suffered what appeared to be a potentially serious knee injury in the dying minutes of the match.
At Loburn, the game was a tale of two halves: Waihora up 49-0 at half time, Ashley winning the second half 28-19.Whether some of the Ashley team were still shell shocked from the previous weekend’s drubbing or not, it was dispiriting for the three quarters to come up against opposition who looked more like they belonged in the front row. Six tries were scored within 20 minutes of the start. When Ashley did get the ball, they were able to take the game to Waihora but a very effective rush defence saw them get nowhere trying to go wide. At half time, coach James Lowe did not hold back in a withering blast and called on everyone to start to play with pride. He emptied his bench in a gamble to change the mindset, bringing on his old guard; Andre Barrett, Andrew Olorenshaw, Jarrod Heap, Brendon McDermot and an injured Matt King. It worked. Ashley dominated the second half. An enduring memory of the game was the sight of King cutting across 60 metres to cut off Waihora’s outstanding fullback, Mark Maitland, in full cry followed by Danny Brooker who took out their winger to save what seemed like a certain try. Keegan Gray, Richie Hancox, Barrett and Olorenshaw all scored second-half tries in the Ashley resurgence that at least earned the team a bonus point.
The unbeaten Darfield side held too many guns for their rivals across the Waimak Gorge beating Oxford by 38-18. Scoring two runaway converted tries in the first three minutes of the match set the tone for Darfield. Oxford did well to close the gap to 15-26 at half-time with two tries to Korbynn Newman and one to Logan Telfer, but in the second half Darfield scored two more length of the field tries, to effectively shut out Oxford who could manage only a penalty goal in response. With Oxford’s captain, Telfer, joining a long list of walking wounded, their playing resources will be sorely tested for forthcoming fixtures.
Hurunui were seeking to overcome the challenge of one of the longest drives in N.Z club rugby when they trekked south to face Southern at Hinds. Once again they ended on the wrong side of the ledger, going down 31-36. Southern were very strong at lineout time, and took their chances to open up a 24-10 lead by halftime. Hurunui dug deep with halfback Stu Brown, fullback Digby Heard and lock “Nordy” Anderson leading the way. They clawed their way back into the game and did not come away empty-handed, earning two bonus points for their efforts. Heard, Anderson, Duncan Rutherford and Jamie Stackhouse scored tries for Hurunui. In their five matches this season Hurunui have scored 102 points and conceded only 119 – but they have recorded only one victory!
Another round of Senior rugby was scheduled for Anzac Day so for most teams, next Saturday’s match will be their third in eight days. Anzac Day fixtures include two local derbies with Saracens hosting Ashley for the Rakahuri Shield, and Kaiapoi hosting Oxford for the Workingmen’s Club Trophy. On Saturday home matches will be played at Cheviot, Southbrook and Oxford. Another feature will be in the Division 2 competition where Woodend will host another unbeaten team, Kaikoura. ...
Div 1 team for Anzac Day Battle at home tomorrow v Oxford 2:45pm as below. Big day with lots at stake including the prized Deans Sheild as well as the Workingmens Club Trophy. Great game to be played on a day we get to remember the many who did what they could to give us what we have today. Get on down the boys would love your support. ...
Great away win to the Div 1 boys in Methven yesterday. In a tight tussle they managed to take control in the 2nd half to beat a strong Methven side and made for a good bus ride home packed with partners, wives, supporters and President Chopper !!. First half tries to Jovisli Taleqa and birthday boy Junior Kaukirewa both converted by Lance Taylor as well as a penalty had them 17-18 down at the break feeling they had much more to offer in the 2nd after giving away too many penalties. Methven were able to take the few chances they were offered to keep them in the game. Halftime substitutes Kitt Taylor and Brennan Kara jumped straight into their work and the tempo certainly lifted and the boys started to get into shape and eat up plenty of metres but the last pass was still going astray. Momentum then changed when Rob Samson was given a dubious yellow card for his strong tackle and Methven sensed a chance and got stuck in. It then swung straight back after a strong tackle while the Mallards were on attack caused a turnover and winger Kimeon Reade smoked it in from 80 out. Methven struck back with a penalty and then when back to 15 players Rob Samson more than redeemed himself after a team turnover he beat at least four again from around 80m from the line. Methven took a late penalty to get within 7 and Kaiapoi had a opportunity on fulltime with a wide long range penalty which was just astray and gave Methven a last chance but Kaiapois defence hung on to take the much needed bonus point win. POD went to birthday boy Junior Kaukirewa who was in a mood to run and also showed his strong ability over the ball to turn it over numerous times. Upfront Luka Tootoo was at his destructive best with and without the ball for the whole 80. Along with plenty of strong performances across the team the whole bench made a great impact throughout the 2nd Half. Great to see some hearty supporters make the trip your support is greatly appreciated. Along with our awesome club sponsors from the pic below and we would also like to thank our team sponsors who have come on board so far this year. We encourage everyone out there to repay the support they have shown us at any opportunity they have. Hazeldine Construction, Stadium Cars, Farmbuild and Blacks Fasteners we couldn't do it without you and thank you and hope we can make you proud !! ...
The Kaiapoi RFC vision is to maintain the club’s reputation of being at the forefront of rugby in North Canterbury by catering for all local rugby players from the age of 6 years including Age Grade, Open Grade, Women, Representative and Social Rugby.