Bet against Taradale Rugby and Sports completing a Nash Cup-Maddison Trophy double in Hawke's Bay's premier club rugby competition at your peril.
The Nash Cup holders enhanced their favourite's tag for the Tui Maddison Trophy with Saturday's 55-7 sixth round drubbing of Altherm Window Systems Napier Technical in the feature match of the Texans club day at Whitmore Park.
"That was one of our best performances of the year and a good effort in wet and slippery conditions. We trained on Thursday night in similar conditions and the boys relished it," Taradale co-coach Tim Combs said.
"We held our shape and were patient. We got quality impact of the bench and those players maintained the momentum. There is real competition for spots now," Combs added.
Gutsy Chilean Cristobal Niedmann was inspirational for the visitors with his abrasive approach in both the openside flanker and hooker positions. Loosies Nathan Tweedy and Eru Wano also made the Mighty Maroons MVP list.
"While we didn't fire as well as we should have the match was tighter than the score suggests but it blew out in the final 20. They've got good depth," Texans manager Cyril Whitburn said.
Prop Mark Braidwood and lock Elijah Martin were again prominent in the Tech engine room. Second five-eighth Ted Walters was the best of the hosts backs in a backline which saw former All Black Sevens rep Tamati Samuels play his first 40 minutes of the season at first five-eighth.
MAC 29 Havelock North 25
MAC bounced back from their disappointing loss to Clive the previous week with this Anderson Park upset.
"We were pretty motivated after the loss against Clive. It was good to get up without three of our regular key players in Willie Benson, Lewis Marshall and Larry Olive and one of our regular loosies, Tiki Greening, switched to centre to cover for the absence of Lewis," MAC head coach Anthony Morley explained.
Powerful No 8 Paula Latu produced a player-of-the-match display for the visitors. Hooker Frank Tupuola and blindside flanker Damarus Hokianga also impressed with their workrates in the winning pack. Fullback Tom Iosefo and second five-eighth Jackson Waerea were an enterprising pair in the MAC backline.
Progressive Meats Havelock North manager Gary Revell said referee Tipene Cottrell gave a classy display in an entertaining match which saw both teams score five tries each. He was proud of the manner his team fought back to win the second half after trailing 17-10 at halftime.
Busy No 8 Albert Hemopo was again the best of the visitors. Winger Anzelo Tuitavuki, who scored two tries, and fullback Ryan Tongia were dangerous attackers in the Havelock backline.
Hastings 47 Clive 28
Some long-time Hawke's Bay club rugby stalwarts reckoned they witnessed a first in this Farndon Park clash.
They couldn't recall another Hawke's Bay premier match when a player from both teams scored four tries. Auto Super Shoppe Hastings Rugby and Sports halfback and player-of-the-match Jayden Rihia could have had five tries but he passed the ball when over the tryline on one occasion.
Tremains Andrew Clark Clive captain and blindside flanker Lucas Goodin also scored four tries as he led the hosts by example. Hastings manager James Rosenberg said his troops made a slow start and led 19-14 at halftime but performed better in the second half.
Along with Rihia, centre Timo Vaiusu, was outstanding in the winning backline while No 8 Josiah Tavita-Metcalfe and flanker Fale Matamata were full of authority in the Hastings pack. Clive first five-eighth Tianua Poto shone with his control in the first half and had a 100 per cent success rate at goal including two conversions from wide out. Former lock Connor Wells relished his outing as a winger for Clive.
Pirate 48 Tamatea 12
Tanalised Napier Pirate Rugby and Sports celebrated their club day with this convincing win at Tamatea Park.
"While our boys played well in difficult and slippery conditions it must be pointed out that Tamatea only had 16 players and we played Golden Oldies scrums for the last 20 after they lost a front rower through injury," Pirate manager Charles Reid explained.
Lock Rangatira Fox, loosehead prop Matt Martin and openside flanker Ryan Gardiner were all workaholics in the Pirate pack. First five-eighth Ted Symes thrived in the dictator's role.
Veteran martial arts exponent Dan Digby came out of retirement to play 80 minutes at blindside flanker for Tamatea. He joined No 8 Eugene Sandilands and hooker Buffy Wainohu as the pick of the Tamatea forwards. Winger Jordy Harmer made the most of his limited opportunities in the visiting backline.
NOBM 48 Central 15
WIT Napier Old Boys Marist head coach Craig Gowler heaped kudos on the Northfuels Central engine room after this Waipukurau encounter.
"We led 17-8 at halftime but didn't deserve that lead. That Central pack was dangerous ... fortunately our defence was good," Gowler said.
Hannon Brighouse, who had stints at No 8 and blindside flanker, was the kingpin in the Green Machine pack. Hooker Jack Nelson-Murray secured some crucial turnovers and carried well. Halfback Zac Donaldson was again influential in the winning backline.
Nineteen-year-old lock Sean Baker had a massive workrate in the Central pack after taking the field as an early replacement for Magpies lock Tom Parsons who collected a calf injury.
Tighthead prop Joel Hintz also impressed in the host pack while fullback Kodie Drury-Hawkins and winger Mathias Konia were enterprising Central backs.