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It was an abject lesson in ruthlessly pressing an advantage, and Waverley Harvesting Border made sure Dave Hoskin Carriers Marist learned every part of it in the 79-19 hammering at Dallison Park on Saturday.
At 50-19 entering the final quarter, Marist had been outplayed in the Tasman Tanning Premier clash, but still gamely hung in there for the better part of the contest.
With the knowledge Settler's Honey Ngamatapouri were not likely to get any points out of their away loss to Byford Readmix Taihape, the word went out from Marist coach Travers Hopkins for his team to push for a fourth try and crucial bonus point in the race for fourth place on the table.
But Border coach Cole Baldwin had relayed his own message – give them nothing – and Border barely let Marist touch the ball in the next 15 minutes as they charged across halfway, past shattered tacklers, to score a further five tries in a scoreline blowout.
Lightning winger Vereniki Tikoisolomone, midfielders Anaru Haerewa and Alekesio Vakarorogo, and former Whanganui Collegiate standout loose forward Semi Vodosese were unstoppable and ran riot, backed up by linchpin halfback Lindsay Horrocks, who has scored tries in all four games this season.
With plenty of depth on the bench, including three 2019 Steelform Wanganui players, Border just kicked it up another gear and Marist's tiring younger and smaller outside backs had few answers.
It was a shame, as their hard working loose forwards like George Foster and skipper Brad Graham, hooker Jack Yarrall, and 18-year-old winger Rangi Kui, who scored a brilliant individual try, deserved better than such a mauling.
After finishing their last three games strongly, getting a win and two bonus points in narrow losses, Hopkins was disappointed Marist never looked like cracking another try.
"It was definitely communicated, but the boys just seemed a little bit flat.
"We had patches, I thought there was great patches throughout that game, but with a class side like Border you've got to be continuous and they showed the old term of playing for the full 80 minutes today.
"They've got a ton of pace and we were aware of that. We've got a young team, and we're still getting our combinations together.
"Again, I don't want to keep going back to it, but Jo [Bogileka] has been our rock for the past few years - that defence and bringing that line speed.
"They're learning, they would have taken away a lot, there's a lot of soul searching to be done.
"They'll make the changes they need to make."
Border go back to the top of the Premier table on points differential from Wanganui Car Centre Kaierau, and while the final minutes were a joy to behold for home town supporters, Baldwin was more pleased with the first half execution when Marist were still making a game of it.
"We're still a work in progress, not the polished product yet. But it's a positive step in the right direction.
"It's important to grow your depth, even though we haven't got a huge number of players they're all pretty talented.
"The last few weeks, they've been frustrated, I've been frustrated, but it's finally starting to click, it's just important to improve on it next week."
Baldwin singled out Vodosese, who is making the schoolboy to adult rugby transition look effortless.
"He's going to be a very special player in a couple of years time, if not this year, he's certainly got a lot of potential.
"I don't know how much longer or how many years we'll get out of him, but we'll enjoy him while he's here."
Border 79 (I Graham-Hooper 2, L Horrocks 2, V Tikoisolomone 2, A Vakarorogo, A Middleton, C Clare, H Mellow, S Vodosese, J Hodges, N Pomana tries; C Clare 5 con, J Lupton 2 con) bt Marist 19 (R Kui, L Ah Chong, A Coates tries; Kui con, Coates con). HT: 38-5.