Wild finish to Feilding derby
There can be no accusing Feilding Yellows of ignoring the lessons of last year’s unsuccessful Hankins Shield final.
Facing arch-rivals and defending champions Feilding Old Boys-Oroua in the third round of McDonalds Manawatu Senior One Club rugby, Yellows found themselves in an almost identical position to the match in July last year – trialling by one, with the ball in hand.
But where last year they persisted with crashing away, phase after phase waiting for a penalty that would never come, this year young first five eighth Drew Wild stood back in the pocket, demanded the ball and calmly sunk the match winner dropped goal in referee’s time.
It was a deserved win for a side who hung in the match despite being out-scored four tries to two.
FOB-Oroua got on the scoresheet in just the 10th muinute of the match through lock Stefan Williams.
It was Wild who kicked Yellows into gear.
In the 24th minute, the fullback was fired the ball infield from his winger after FOB-O cleared their line.
From 58 metres out from the line, Wild jinked and jived his way to the tryline through a splintered FOB-Oroua chasing line giving his new club a sign of why the former Feilding High School is so highly-rated.
Despite having a dominant scrum, Yellows struggled to take control of the match with their defence continuing to open the door for FOB-Oroua with Alex Hawira and Blair Osborne impressing.
Hawira scored to keep FOB-Oroua in the fight.
The match got harder for the Stags when Paul Rakatau-Wiperi was yellow carded for his side’s repeated infringing.
The educated boot of Brad Carr ensured that the scoreboard kept ticking along for Yellows, even as FOB-Oroua locked in the bonus point try.
That constant stream of penalties opened the door for Wild’s last-minute heroics.
College Old Boys stepped up as the early Hankins Shield favourites with a dominant 41-0 win over Kia Toa.
Kia Toa were down a host of players, but not enough to suggest that a 40-point hiding was on the cards.
And they dominated much of the early running.
COB were forced to defend for much pf the opening 10 minutes as Jackson Iose, Jaxson Taylor, Michael Lockwood and Michael Tagicakibau tested their defence.
But Lockwood was also catching the attention of referee Matt McEwen for his persistent involvement off the ball and his second talking to in the 11th minute came with a yellow card.
Even still, Kia Toa managed to hold COB out for most of the time they were down to 14 men only to crack during Lockwood’s final minute on the sideline allowing Awatere Kiwara to score.
As the match wore on, COB’s scrum became more dominant, as did some key individuals like Johnny Galloway, Jared Goodson, Patrick Tafili-Reid and Andre Taylor.
Just before the break, Taylor put Tafili-Reid in space with the winger evading three defenders to put COB out to a 15-0 lead at the break.
COB’s second half looked to be in danger when star fullback Taylor went down with a nasty concussion.
But despite losing a key attacking weapon, COB continued to pile on the pressure.
Eventually, Kia Toa’s defence buckled and the COB capitalised for a comfortable win.
Te Kawau picked up their first win of the year in a tight battle with Linton Army 27-23 in Rongotea.
Both teams appeared to relish playing an opponent of a similar standing with both stepping up to the occasion.
Linton shot out to lead 15-5 at the break with Don Hira, TamaToa Ropati, Harrison Black and Ben Kimber all showing flashes of their class.
But it always seemed a matter of time before the Rongotea lads battled their way back.
Sam Stewart, now comfortable at No 8, Matthew Lyttle and Ethan Woodmass were the standouts.
Te Kawau scored two quick-fire tries late in the game to take control of the match.
Old Boys-Marist eventually shrugged off Freyberg 30-16, but not before undergoing a staunch test.
Freyberg came out of the gates on fire as they defended well and took advantage of their scoring opportunities.
Wing Tupou Maliepo, first five-eighth Randy Liuvaie and prop Jeremiah Saua got stuck into the match early.
While OBM went searching for tries, Freyberg were happy to let Wiremu Morgan’s boot do their talking.
With the scores at 10-10 at halftime, there was a chance of the upset.
But OBM were much more persistent and accurate in their second half attack crossing for four further tries.
Rhys Pedersen, Matene Ruawai and Jason Temara were all prominent as they secured the win.
Feilding 27 (Drew Wild, Malua Iakopu tries; Brad Carr 4 pen, con; Wild dg) FOB-Oroua 26 (Stefan Williams, Alex Hawira, Lucas Puts, Nardus Erasmus tries; Tom Stewart 3 con) HT: 19-21
College Old Boys 41 (Patrick Tafili-Reid 2, Willie Paia’aua 2, Awatere Kiwara, Johnny Galloway tries; Andre Taylor con, pen; Michael George 3 con) Kia Toa 0 HT: 15-0
Te Kawau 27 (Sam Stewart 2, Dane Whale, James Tennant tries; Mike Flett 2 con, pen) Linton Army 23 (Donald Hira, Dominic Broadhead, Hamuera Toia tries; Hira con, pen; DeVante Clarke pen) HT: 5-15
Old Boys-Marist 30 (Matene Ruawai, Cam Black, Shadyn Osgood, Anthony Guerin, Jason Temara, Chris Cairns tries) Freyberg 16 (Tupou Maliepo try; Wiremu Morgan con, pen; Viliamu Siafua 2 pen) HT: 10-10