This weekend's national club rugby results.
Mid-Western 18 Waipu 13
Mid Northern 47 Kamo 17
Old Boys-Marist 25 Hora Hora 24
Wellsford 28 Otamatea 6
Western Sharks 34 Hikurangi 12
(Buck Shelford Shield)
East Coast Bays 38 Takapuna 35
North Shore 18 Northcote 17
Glenfield 42 Marist 5
Massey 72 Silverdale 7
Western beat Mahurangi by default
East Coast Bays and Takapuna are long-time rivals, from even before the formation of the North Harbour union 30 years ago.
While Bays were the team of the mid-to-late 1980s, Takapuna were the team of the 1990s, and so the two clubs always have ding-dong battles. So it proved again on Saturday at Onewa Domain, with East Coast Bays overturning an 18-12 halftime deficit to edge Takapuna 38-35 in a 10-try thriller.
Former Bay of Plenty midfielder Cory Aporo scored a brace, as did Ross McLean, while former rep wing Jonah Tuitoga also scored one of Bays' six tries. Takapuna were not to be outdone, with tries, among others to 2014 NZ Barbarians Schools threequarter Daniel Lee and former NZ Sevens and Bay of Plenty wing Junior Tofa-Va'a.
North Shore shrugged off a 10-0 halftime deficit to beat Northcote 18-17 and retain the Les Pearce Memorial Shield.
Massey cemented their top position with a 72-7 crushing of Silverdale, courtesy of 12 tries, four of them to Sam Aolelia and a hat-trick to Tevita Li, whose pace and finishing ability should be put to best use on the Blues' misfiring flanks. Matt Vaega landed six goals.
Glenfield also continued their unbeaten run with a 42-5 defeat of struggling Marist in a solid allround display. Tanimoa Samoa scored a brace, while North Harbour rep Michael Little also crossed the chalk.
Mahurangi, despite defaulting to the Western Pioneers due to several injuries, achieved the not inconsiderable feat of moving up the table, as their points differential is now better than both fellow cellar dwellers Silverdale and Marist.
This weekend's Anzac Day big fixture sees Massey hosting Glenfield in a top of the log clash.
University 35 Suburbs 28
Papatoetoe 75 Maungarua 12
Waitemata 41 Waitakere City 3
(Sir Fred Allen Challenge Cup)
Pakuranga 39 Otahuhu 10
Grammar TEC 30 College Rifles 3
Manukau 18 Ponsonby 16
Marist 38 Eden 0
Defending champions University made it 2-0 for the season after taking an entertaining, if loose, blue pool clash with Suburbs 35-28 at Colin Maiden Park.
Varsity led 25-14 at the break, thanks to two tries to halfback Brenton Helleur and some constructive phase play. Leading the way were hooker and captain Kurt Eklund, who finished the game on the blindside, lock Tom Robinson, who was prominent in the air and in the loose, and No 8 Matt Matich, who ended at openside.
But Varsity did incur injuries and will lose a clutch of players to NZU and NZ Under 20s duties over the next three weeks. Eklund scored arguably the best try of the match, handling twice in combination with Brock Sibbick to dot down in the corner to break a 28-all deadlock. Varsity had failed to close down the game in the final quarter with some ill-directed kicking that playing into the hands of the dangerous Suburbs back three, which included Blues player Lolagi Visinia.
Suburbs were always in the game with their aggressive forward pack and a speedy set of backs. Hefty loosehead prop Conrad Lam scored their opening try after several phases, while former NZ Sevens squad member Gavin Williams-Spiers showed he has lost none of his pace with fine acceleration for a try. Second half scores to second five Aaron Collins and replacement wing Varasiko Duisokosoko saw Suburbs draw level with 25 to play. The flawless goalkicking boot of Carl Perry also kept the visitors in touch until Eklund's late flourish.
Elsewhere in the blue pool, Pakuranga made a successful and comfortable 39-10 first defence of the Sir Fred Allen Memorial Challenge Cup against Otahuhu, and Waitemata defeated Waitakere City 41-3 in their local western derby. Papatoetoe hammered Maungarua 75-12, with first five D'Angelo Leuila scoring 25 points and centre Jorji Kuruisaqila five tries.
In the white pool, Manukau Rovers sprung the big upset of the round, downing Ponsonby 18-16. Grammar TEC, after a bye in the first round, opened up with a 30-3 win over College Rifles. No 10 Simon Hickey, unwanted by the Blues, contributed eight points. Marist went top of the pool standings with a 38-0 shutout of Eden.
Karaka 83 Te Kauwhata 0
Waiuku 35 Onewhero 29
Drury 15 Weymouth 13
Patumahoe 32 Manurewa 8
Ardmore Marist 48 Papakura 5
Pukekohe 23 Bombay 12
Pukekohe maintained their unbeaten record and Challenge Cup lead after a tight 23-12 win over Bombay.
To the fore for Pukekohe were Chiefs and Steelers forward Maama Vaipulu, who ran 50m for his solo try, while his fellow flanker Ben Crisp was also prominent, scoring a try himself. The other Pukekohe try went to second five Jarrod Stevenson, who scored early from a chip and chase.
Bombay's two tries went to fullback Toni Pulu and lock Miracle Tulua-Taito. Bombay had the better scrum but some staunch defence by Pukekohe and the boot of Nathan de Thierry saw them home.
Waiuku edged Onewhero 35-29, both sides scoring four tries each after a tryless first stanza. The boot of James Faiva, with six goals, was again decisive for Waiuku, while Steelers lock Ronald Raaymakers scored for his club. His fellow second-rower Dan Fitzharris, who also scored, was the player of the day, while his Onewhero counterpart Keiran Whyte was the best for the vanquished.
Drury beat Weymouth 15-13 for their first win of 2015. Weymouth No 10 Michael Filipaina scored all his side's points.
Patumahoe finally hit top gear for their second win of the season, repelling Manurewa 32-8, with doubles to wing Josh van Lieshout and prop Jason Bird, while halfback Aaron Coe, son of Jim Coe, was also amongst the five-pointers.
Karaka blanked Te Kauwhata 83-0, Chiefs squad member Cardiff Vaega among the scorers. Ardmore Marist retained the Counties Power Cup with a 48-5 defeat of Papakura, scoring eight tries in the process, including three doubles.
Te Aroha COBRAS 43 Paeroa West 0
Hauraki North 25 Waihi 10
Tairua 18 Waihou 12
Mercury Bay 14 Ngatea 0
Bay of Plenty
Mt Maunganui 23 vs Greerton Marist 0
Te Puke Sports 26 vs Rangataua 8
Tauranga Sports 19 vs Te Puna 6
Waikite 27 Kahukura 16
Rotoiti 12 Whakarewarewa 3
Marist St Michael's 27 Ngongotaha 6
Opotiki 58 Ruatoki 3
Te Teko 20 Whakatane Marist 20
Paroa 24 Poroporo 7
Rotoiti take a head start into the last weekend of the Central Bay of Plenty premier rugby championship on Anzac Day, in their quest to win the Rotorua banner, after defeating arch-rivals Whakarewarewa on Saturday.
The two Bay of Plenty heavyweights entered the much anticipated Rotorua derby, at Whakarewarewa headquarters, with unbeaten records. In a game decided by penalty goals, the encounter was up for grabs at halftime, with the scoreboard showing 3-all after a penalty apiece to Rotoiti kicker Matt Landers and Whaka's Ryubyn Vaipo.
While Whakarewarewa came close to touching the ball down on a couple of occasions in the second half, three successful penalty goals from the boot of Willie Ripia propelled Rotoiti to a 12-3 win. The Rotoiti victory also saw the Tai Mitchell (Challenge) Shield change hands for the first time this season.
Waikite, who are also headed for the Baywide premier title race with Rotoiti and Whakarewarewa, won a hard-fought battle with Kahukura, 27-16 at Kuirau Park. Marist St Michael's won their first game of the Central sub-union championship, beating Ngongotaha 27-6.
Tauranga Sports booked a home venue in the Western Bay of Plenty sub-union championship final next weekend, when they got past Te Puna to continue their unbeaten start to the season. Six-all at halftime reflected an even first spell, before Tauranga forward Carl Axtens scored the only try of the game to greatly assist his side's hard-fought 19-6 win.
Mount Maunganui qualified to meet Tauranga Sports in the Western Bay title decider when they got past Greerton Marist 23-nil at Greerton Park. After leading 13-0 at the break, the Mount grabbed the finals berth, posting a further 10 points. Te Puke Sports won their second successive game, after three close losses, when they got past Rangataua 26-8.
The battle for the third Eastern Bay of Plenty Baywide premier berth will go down to the last week of the Eastern Bay local championship, after the two contenders finished locked together in round four. Whakatane Marist and Te Teko finished at 20-all on Saturday, with just a solitary point separating Marist and Te Teko entering the final round.
Opotiki wrapped up the Eastern Bay title with one round remaining when they defeated Ruatoki 58-3, with Paroa beating Poroporo 24-7.
Hamilton Marist 26 Hautapu 14
Hamilton Old Boys 37 Te Awamutu Sports 14
Morrinsville Sports 36 Fraser Tech 7
University 34 United Matamata Sports 5
Otorohanga 6 Melville 0
Waitomo 21 Taupo United 10
Taupo Sports 50 Tongariro 3
Coast 30 Pio Pio 3
Taumarunui R & S 53 Taumarunui Districts 0
Kio Kio 55 Bush 0
Tokararangi 15 Hicks Bay 13
Uawa 15 Tawhiti 10
Hikurangi 18 Ruatoria City 8
Waiapu 28 TVC 0
(Tui Nash Cup)
Napier Pirate Rugby and Sports 22 Napier Technical 10
Hastings Rugby and Sports 25 MAC 11
Taradale 114 Tamatea 0
Central 47 Clive 16
Napier Old Boys Marist 22 Havelock North 11
Spotswood United 37 Tukapa 33
Inglewood 19 NPOB 14
Southern 26 Clifton 13
Coastal 13 Stratford 10
Border 38 Marist 7
Kaierau 14 Ratana 14
Taihape 25 Ruapehu 23
College Old Boys 38 Kia Toa 5
Old Boys Marist 41 Linton Army 17
Feilding Old Boys-Oroua 34 Te Kawau 29
Feilding 60 Freyberg 12
Shannon 22 College Old Boys 10
Paraparaumu 20 Waikanae 10
Foxton 20 Athletic 15
Marist 20 Carterton 13
Greytown 28 East Coast 17
Gladstone 18 Eketahuna 10
Pioneer 22 Martinborough 10
Poneke 36 Paremata-Plimmerton 21
Johnsonville 22 Avalon 21
Tawa 35 Old Boys-University 29
Hutt Old Boys-Marist 32 Petone 25
Marist St Pat's 22 Wainuiomata 16
Oriental-Rongotai 35 Upper Hutt Rams 19
Wellington 29 Northern United 26
Waimea OB 28 Nelson 25
Wanderers 29 Marist 19
Kahurangi 39 Stoke 12
Harlequins 25 Moutere 16
Waitohi 51 Renwick 19
Westport 43 Old Boys 22
White Star 72 Reefton 7
Lincoln University 32 HSOB 29
Marist Albion 40 Burnside 29
Sumner 46 Belfast 3
Christchurch 28 Shirley 19
University 42 Sydenham 41
New Brighton 28 Linwood 25
Mid Canterbury/Canterbury Country
Lincoln 34 West Melton 26
Southbridge 18 Glenmark 7
(Max Gilbert Trophy)
Rakaia 15 Celtic 11
Prebbleton 32 Hornby 17
Oxford 27 Kaiapoi 23
Burnham/Dunsandel/Irwin 20 Saracens 14
Methven 32 Darfield 13
Waihora 36 Southern 18
Hampstead 36 Rolleston 17
Celtic 43 Old Boys 10
Harlequins 61 Geraldine 14
Mackenzie 31 Temuka 25
Waimate 40 Pleasant Point 16
Old Boys 42 Excelsior 15
Athletic Marist 31 Kurow 13
Valley 26 Maheno 19
Kaikorai 34 Green Island 17
Taieri 42 University A 29
Southern 40 Dunedin 17
Harbour 38 Alhambra-Union 12
Pirates 26 Zingari-Richmond 23
Alexandra 22 Arrowtown 8
Matakanui Combined 25 Cromwell 19
Maniototo 78 Wakatipu Wanderers 3
Wakatipu 36 Roxburgh 16
Upper Clutha A beat Upper Clutha B by default
Clutha 31 Crescent 11
Heriot 37 Toko 31
Clutha Valley 21 Clinton 20