COB keep wins rolling while Te Kawau register another upset
College Old Boys were forced to fight from behind but managed to land yet another dent in Varsity’s hopes of an 11th consecutive trip to the Hankins Shield semi-finals.
The table-toppers won 29-24 when the sides met in week 11 of McDonalds Manawatu Senior One Club Rugby on Saturday.
It was a case of what could have been for the Sky Blues who have been struggling in the past couple of weeks.
For the second consecutive match, Varsity were 5 metres out from their opposition’s tryline when the fulltime whistle sounded.
This time a penalty at a rolling maul thwarted their attempts to steal the match from a COB side who defended well for much of the match.
From the kickoff, things looked dire for Varsity as they leaked a try to Johnny Galloway within 20 seconds.
When Patrick Tafili-Reid crossed not long after, it looked likely to be a long day at the office for Varsity.
But they fired up and took control of the match.
Sam Tufuga, Thomas Kalin, Dylan Hall and TamaToa Ropati all had strong moments as they heaped the pressure on COB. Their inability to convert that pressure into points was costly.
Eventually Tufuga crashed over for a try and on the stroke of halftime Ropati intercepted a COB pass and sprinted to the tryline to give Varsity a 14-12 lead at the break.
That positive attacking game continued for Varsity in the second half as Nick Birchfield scored a try and kicked a penalty to put his side up by 24-12.
But COB always looked dangerous, especially from long range where Tafili-Reid and James Tofa were making the most of the space in front of the them.
With 25 minutes to play, Michael George cut through the Varsity line to set up Tofa with a try, not long after halfback Jacob Hewetson-Talamaivao crossed from the back of a dominant scrum and they took the crucial lead when Tafili-Reid bagged his brace.
Te Kawau have pulled off a second upset in as many weeks, this time knocking off defending champions Feilding Old Boys-Oroua 20-17.
It took a monster second half from Te Kawau, who were down 17-3 at halftime.
A try to Sam Stewart put them within range with Adam Boult providing handy with the boot.
Kameli Kuruyabaki, who was one of Te Kawau’s best, barged over for a try with two minutes to play to give them their first lead of the half.
The Stags struggled to get on top of Te Kawau’s pack, while their backline had a hard time finding any space to run in the second half.
FOB-Oroua had one final chance to attack and turned down a kickable penalty before eventually being left empty-handed.
Earlier in the match, they made a better fist of their attacking chances with Shaq Waara, Max Fryatt and Layton Manuel all crossing for tries.
Old Boys-Marist solidified their top four credentials as they fought out a 20-17 win over Kia Toa.
Both sides managed three tries each with a penalty proving the difference.
Kia Toa’s tries came through Keaton Kawana, Cam Pearson and Michael Lockwood, while OBM’s scorers were William Treder and two to Shadyn Osgood.
Feilding Yellows picked up a 57-10 win over Freyberg as they strengthened their position of second on the ladder.
Feilding wasted little time getting on the scoreboard with Brad Carr crossing in the third minute of the match.
But Freyberg did well in reply by holding onto the ball for long periods of time and found plenty of reward from feeding Isaac Tupa’i plenty of ball near the ruck. Trevor Shane Baker being the man to crash over the line.
Yellows plugged away to lead 26-5 at the break including a penalty try.
And the second half went much the same way as they cruised a comfortable win.
College Old Boys 29 (Patrick Tafili-Reid 2, Johnny Galloway, James Tofa, Jacob Hewetson-Talamaivao tries; Stewart Cruden 2 con) Varsity 24 (Sam Tufuga, Nick Birchfield, TamaToa Ropati tries; Birchfield 2 con, pen, Jayden Falcon con) HT 12-14
Te Kawau 20 (Sam Stewart, Kameli Kuruyabaki tries; Adam Boult 2 con, 2 pen) Feilding Old Boys-Oroua 17 (Shaq Waara, Max Fryatt, Layton Manuel tries; Tom Stewart con) HT 3-17
Old Boys-Marist 20 (Shadyn Osgood 2, William Treder tries; Hayden Hill con, pen) Kia Toa 17 (Keaton Kawana, Michael Lockwood, Cam Pearson tries; Kawana con)
Feilding Yellows 57 (Brad Carr, Harry Jones, Sean Rankin, Hayden Stratford, Kere Marino, Griffin Culver, Drew Wild, penalty tries; Carr 5 con) Freyberg 10 (Trevor Shane Baker, Apelu Peti tries) HT 26-5No video selected.