Varsity stun Yellows to keep playoff hopes alive
Feilding Yellows’ shock loss to Varsity has opened plenty of excitement for the final two rounds of McDonalds Manawatu Senior One club rugby.
Varsity played Yellows off the park in their 18-13 win on Saturday, finally showing a glimpse of their potential – something that should strike fear into the title contenders.
With two weeks remaining, Varsity are now just three points shy of the top four and hold their own destiny with matches against two contenders – Kia Toa and FOB-Oroua.
Despite losing, Yellows have locked up a home semi-final thanks to Old Boys-Marist and FOB-Oroua both losing.
They now have two weeks to re-discover their mojo before their run to the playoffs.
Saturday’s performance against Varsity may have just been a bad day at the office.
Their forward pack was not as dominant as usual, their backline lack penetration and they seemed flat.
Varsity, on the other hand, had plenty to play for and delivered accordingly.
Led up front by Nick Grogan and Doug Juszczyk, they took control of the game.
At halftime, Feilding had a 13-6 lead, thanks to Ben Wyness’ football skills after he charged down a kick to set up try.
In the second half, Varsity were able to maintain the pressure and came out on top after a brace of tries to impressive wing Korie Winters.
College Old Boys locked up their home semi-final by comfortably dealing to OBM 24-12.
The score line may have been much bigger had COB not opted to roll its subs on early.
For all OBM’s endeavour, they struggle to counter COB’s big forward pack and their game breakers in the backline.
Michael Walsh, Michael George, Stewart Cruden, James Tofa and Andre Taylor all impressed.
OBM’s best was halfback TeJay Oliver, who set up Jared Deal for a try with one of the best line breaks of the match.
Kia Toa’s Hankins hopes remain on life-support, the are still a mathematical shot thanks to they last minute 34-33 win over FOB-Oroua on Saturday.
Both teams shone for periods and the Stags looked destined for a comfortable win at halftime when they led 28-14.
The comeback from Kia Toa was led by their big pack, who had a rare match when they dominated their opposition at scrum time.
They continued to rack up the points to keep themselves in the hunt set up the opportunity for Jono Ihaka to cross from a simple scrum move where they caught the Stags short out wide.
Te Kawau continued their strong second round of the competition with a 28-3 win over Freyberg on Friday night.
The first half was a tight affair with Te Kawau leading 8-3 at the break. But in typical Freyberg fashion, they let the foot off the pedal and allowed their opponents to pull away in the second half.
Former Linton No 8 Jimmy Berghan was strong for Te Kawau, while Adam Boult embraced some space and bagged a brace of tries.
Kia Toa 34 (Tobias Wickham-Manuel, Kalib Martin, Jeremiah Tuimanua-Fryer, Steven George, Moeaki Samita, Jono Ihaka tries; Samita 2 con) FOB-Oroua 33 (Tyler Moeau 2, Jamie Perigo 2, Paul Rakatau-Wiperi tries; Tom Stewart 4 con) HT 14-28.
College OB 24 (Michael George, Brice Henderson, Awatere Kiwara, James Tofa tries; Stewart Cruden 2 con) OB-Marist 12 (Jared Deal, Ben Werthmuller tries; Hayden Hill con) HT
Varsity 18 (Korie Winters 2 tries; Nick Birchfield 2 pen, con) Feilding 13 (Ben Wyness try; Brad Carr 2 pen, con) HT 6-10
Te Kawau 28 (Adam Boult 2, Dominic Broadhead, Sam Stewart, Jimmy Berghan tries; Boult pen) Freyberg 3 (Randy Liuvaie pen) HT 8-3