Central have enhanced their spoilers tag in Hawke's Bay's premier club rugby competition yet again.
Northfuels Central spoilt Napier Pirate Rugby and Sports fullback Ted Symes 100th match and the host club's Old Timers Day with Saturday's Tui Nash Cup third round 12-11 victory at Tamatea Park. This was Central's first win of the season and they did well to recover from an 11-0 halftime deficit.
"It was a hard out scrap which could have gone either way. It went down to the wire and we were lucky Pirates missed a last second penalty," elated Central manager Ian Large said afterwards.
Blockbusting 19-year-old Fijian No 8 Finau Nimatasau produced a player-of-the-match performance for the visitors. Travis Janssen operated well in his first match at centre while 20-year-old Fijian second five-eighth Zac Simpson also performed well in the winning backline.
"We're still progressing well but couldn't get our hands on the ball in the second half because of a high penalty count," Tanalised Napier Pirate manager Charles Reid said.
Magpies prop Pouri Rakete-Stones was again a powerful figure in the Pirate pack. Captain and No 8 Hamish Willis, flanker Damian Scott and halfback Kingi Te Amo also featured on Reid's MVP list.
NOBM 36 Hastings 31
Defending champions WIT Napier Old Boys Marist gave lock Sean Skeet a winning 100th with this Tremain Field thriller.
"It was just as tight, entertaining and brutal as the Maddison Trophy match between the same two teams last year," Green Machine coach Craig Gowler said referring to the 40-27 loss which came after a 45-game unbeaten run.
"We took a while to get going and allowed Hastings to establish a 10-0 lead. We also conceded 21 points through intercept tries."
In his first season out of secondary schools rugby tighthead prop Patrick Teddy was NOBM's player-of-the-match. In his first appearance of the season hooker Jack Nelson-Murray was another to shine in the winning pack. Centre Saia Paese was again classy in the hosts backline.
"We had opportunities to win but didn't capitalise on them. There was nothing wrong with the attitude of the boys and the heart displayed on defence," Auto Super Shoppe Hastings manager James Rosenberg said.
"We had a few guys playing out of position and didn't have the same pace as NOBM out wide as Mason [Magpies winger Emerson] was playing sevens in Japan," Rosenberg added.
Second five-eighth Neria Fomai and winger Gideon Kautai, who scored two tries including an 80 metre intercept, were the pick of the Hastings backs. Lock JJ Scales and Aleki Vuki, who had stints at No 8 and prop, had high workrates in the visiting pack.
Taradale 27 MAC 25
Taradale Rugby and Sports winger Junior Malielegaoi nailed a late penalty to secure this Tareha Recreational Reserve win for the unbeaten Mighty Maroons.
"We struggled for accuracy in the second half when we couldn't get momentum. And while it was a match which could have gone either way we're continuing to develop," Taradale manager Tim Combs said.
Lock Jordan Kupa and blindside flanker Cristobal Niedmann were inspirational figures in the winning pack and Malielegaoi was the best of the backs. While MAC coach Anthony Morley said his troops are making improvements each week they still lack the necessary patience levels and are receiving too many yellow cards - seven after three matches.
Midfield back Vai Kereti and hooker Damarus Hokianga were both sinbinned. Magpies hooker Kianu Kereru-Symes made his debut for MAC as a loosie and flanker Willie Benson returned to the club after playing for NOBM in recent seasons.
First five-eighth Tom Iosefo was again classy for the visitors.
Clive 50 Tamatea 36
Maddison Trophy holders Tremains Andrew Clark Clive registered their first win of the season with this entertaining victory at Bill Mathewson Park.
Clive lead 43-10 and with the Storm Week in mind, all 10 teams will play three games within eight days this week, made numerous changes and leaked 26 points during the final 15 minutes. Three members of last year's Hastings Boys' High School 1st XV, tighthead prop Zac Southwick, lock Donovan Mataira and flanker Liam Udy-Johns provided plenty of grunt to the winning engine room.
Magpies pivot Lincoln McClutchie was classy for Tamatea and finished with 21 points from two tries, four conversions and a penalty. His older brother, Keil McClutchie, provided quality impact off the pine at second five-eighth and No 8 Eugene Sanderlands was the best of the hosts forwards.
Tamatea winger Puk Kireka was red carded for a high tackle and prop Fred Jackson was sinbinned for a scrummaging infringement.
Havelock North 34 Tech 12
Regular winger Matt Hill produced a player-of-the-match display at first five-eighth for Progressive Meats Havelock North in this Whitmore Park win.
"It was Matt's first game in the 10 jersey for the premiers as Adam [Blake] was unavailable," villagers manager Gary Revell said.
"The first half could have gone either way [Havelock led 8-7] and in the second half we capitalised on a couple of opportunities. The match was closer than the score reflects and full credit to Tech," Revell added.
Lock Phil McRoberts and halfback Trent Hape were others to make Revell's MVP list.
Magpies prop and 2017 world champion Baby Black Tim Farrell had 20 minutes off the pine in his first outing in 18 months after an injury and scored a try for Altherm Window Systems Napier Technical. Lock Todd Cushing and No 8 Jordan Faia were also prominent in the host pack.
Second five-eighth Ted Walters was again the best of the Texans backs.
"We improving but fitness is still an issue," Tech manager Cyril Whitburn said.