The opening round of the 2019 Stan Meads Cup (SMC) on Saturday saw Central Bay of Plenty end a Te Awamutu-winning streak which had stood for five years.

In the battle to lift the Mid North Island Sub-Union Trophy Central Bay of Plenty started with a 38-31 win over the defending titleholders Te Awamutu.

Both sides scored five tries, with the difference being the Central Bay nailing all five conversions and adding a penalty goal for good measure. The first half was a genuine arm wrestle with Central holding a 10-7 advantage at halftime.

The game went right to the wire with the Rotorua region representatives holding on to provide the first upset of the SMC title race. The Central Bay win also broke Te Awamutu's vice-like grip on the Peace Cup (SMC Challenge Trophy) after the Waikato sub-union held on to the time-honoured rugby prize in 28 successive encounters.

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Meanwhile, Hamilton also impressed with a battering of last season's beaten finalists Piako - a 55-10 win at Campbell Park in Morrinsville. The Waikato City representatives took control from early in the match and led 31-5 at the halftime break in play. The visitors ran in eight tries in their 45-point victory.

Cambridge made a successful debut in the Stan Meads Cup, defeating fellow newcomers South Waikato 29-12 in Tokoroa.

Stan Meads Cup Results
Section One:
Central Bay of Plenty 38 Te Awamutu 31

Section Two:
Hamilton 55 Piako 10
Cambridge 29 South Waikato 12

Stan Meads Cup Draw
August 10:
Section One: Te Awamutu v Maniapoto (Te Awamutu Marist RC – 2.30pm), Central Bay of Plenty - the bye.

Section Two: Hamilton v Cambridge (Melville RC – 2.30pm), Piako v South Waikato (Campbell Park, Morrinsville – 2.30pm).

August 17:
Section One: Maniapoto v Central Bay of Plenty (Rugby Park, Te Kuiti – 2.30pm), Te Awamutu the bye.

Section Two: Cambridge v Piako (Leamington RC – 1pm), South Waikato v Hamilton (Tokoroa Sports Ground – 2.30pm).

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August 24:
Cross-Over Semi-Finals

August 31:
Final

Stan Meads Cup Champions
2011: Te Awamutu, 2012: Te Awamutu, 2013: Eastern Bay of Plenty, 2014: Te Awamutu, 2015: Te Awamutu, 2016: Te Awamutu, 2017: Te Awamutu, 2018: Te Awamutu.

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