Napier Technical secured second place in emphatic fashion but at a cost in Hawke's Bay's Maddison Trophy premier club rugby competition today.
In-form No 8 Kaleb Sweet collected a shoulder injury as he scored Altherm Window Systems Napier Technical's second try in the 26th minute of their 38-7 win against Ansin & Monteith Hastings Rugby and Sports at Elwood Park, Hastings. Both teams were second equal on points going into the fourth round fixture.
This was the Hastings team's first loss on home turf this season and captain and blindside flanker Ben Hamelink deserved a better team performance from the hosts in his 50th outing for the team. The Tech pack was dominant and their backs produced their best showing of the season with fullback Jordan Faia, winger Dylan Ramsay and second five-eighth Ted Walters particularly prominent.
"It wasn't our day. It was more a mindset thing from us and it wasn't our day. Tech wanted it more and played better," Hastings co-manager James Rosenberg said.
Fullback Thomas Agnew and second five-eighth impressed with their never-say-die approach in the Hastings backline and prop Angus McGuire and lock Ben Parsons were workaholics in the hosts engine room.
NOBM 55 Taradale 15
Unbeaten defending champions Hawke's Bay Insurances Limited Napier Old Boys Marist retained the Challenge Shield in style with this club day victory at Park Island.
"Both teams struggled to adjust to the breakdown rulings but once we did we ran in some good tries against a well-coached Taradale team which turned up with a good attitude," NOBM coach Craig Gowler said.
Flanker Matt Gardner and No 8 Hannon Brighouse were inspirational in the NOBM pack. Magpies halfback Ellery Wilson displayed his high level of professionalism with a commanding display at first five-eighth.
Carters Frame and Truss Taradale head coach Jason Shoemark was happy with the improvement his troops displayed from their 78-9 loss to NOBM in the Nash Cup round.
"We were right in it at halftime but their fitness was much better and they ran us off our feet in the second half."
Captain Andrew Gardner shone in the No 8 and lock positions for Taradale. Loosehead prop James Humphrey was powerful and second five-eighth Billy Ropiha was the best of the Taradale backs.
Pirate 38 Havelock 34
A last minute try to prop and player-of-the-match Kelsey Miller secured Tanalised Napier Pirate Rugby and Sports this Tamatea Park victory.
The hosts trailed 28-17 at halftime but scrambled well on defence in the second half when they restricted Progressive Meats Havelock North to two penalties. Blindside flanker Jesse Kapene joined Miller as the best of the Pirate forwards while Tione Hubbard, who had shifts at halfback and on the wing, was again full of enterprise.
First five-eighth Ethan Bradey kicked 19 points, five penalties and two conversions, in his 50th appearance for the villagers. Centre Teihana Brown and fullback Shannan Chase, who almost saved Miller's try, were busy Havelock backs.
Flanker Jonty Strong was again prominent until forced off with concussion which is expected to sideline him for three weeks.
Central 67 MAC 17
Fullback Karl Lepelaars grabbed a hattrick for Northfuels Central during this romp at Waipukurau's Central Park.
Central manager Ian Large was impressed with the manner in which his backs clicked. Centre Kody Lancaster and Lepelaars both relished the quality service from halfback Tom Beachem and first five-eighth Cole Eru.
MAC were again short of players and five players completed 160 minutes for the day after turning out for the club's development side in the curtainraiser. Prop Sam Poroutu was the best frontorower on the paddock. Fullback Filemoni Asolua was dangerous with his few attacking opportunities while the 9-10 combo of Brigham Morley and Tom Iosefo had some memorable moments.
Clive 53 Tamatea 26
Magpies hooker Jorian Tangaere produced a player-of-the-match display at No 8 for K9 Petfoods Clive in this Farndon Park win.
Tangaere was a rock on defence and devastating on the carry. Experienced blindside flanker Api Sione and halfback Bronson Hokianga also made head coach Blair Cross' MVP list.
Winger Jimi Harris, centre Hunta Marsh and fullback Jarome Mareikura were adventurous Tamatea backs.