Brought to you by Wanganui Rugby
By Jared Smith
It proved a major milestone game for Wanganui Car Centre Kaierau and their home supporters on Saturday, as they snatched the Grand Hotel Challenge Shield from Waverley Harvesting Border.
The 19-12 win was the first time Kaierau have won the shield under its current incarnation, while getting a little payback for their 19-3 defeat to Border in the 2019 Tasman Tanning Premier semifinals.
Kaierau made some backline alterations from last weekend's 6-5 loss to Byford Readimix Taihape, and they came good as fullback-turned-winger Shandon Scott beat his man to score out wide, while he would add two penalty kicks for an 11-5 lead at halftime.
Border's try came from halfback Lindsay Horrocks scoring for the second game in a row, but Kaierau would extend their advantage to 19-5 with their second try to second-five Dillon Adrole and another crucial Scott penalty.
The visitors gave themselves an outside shot of at least leaving the Country Club with the shield by virtue of a draw, as reserve prop Kamipeli Latu scored a converted try inside the last ten minutes, but ultimately they would run out of time.
This means Kaierau will take the shield up the Waitotara Valley this coming Saturday to face another team who have never held it in Settler's Honey Ngamatapouri, who find themselves in the likewise new position of table leaders, following a 33-17 win over McCarthy's Transport Ruapehu in Ohakune.
Trying to manufacture a new-look backline after several key player departures, Ruapehu's Premiers had never lost to Ngamatapouri before, but knew it would be daunting to contain the visitor's contingent of Fijian flyers out wide.
New recruit Emitai Logadraudrau scored for the second week in a row, getting a double, while Samu Kubunavanua also dotted down in consecutive games.
Wanting to keep Rochfort Park a fortress, Ruapehu stayed with Ngamatapouri for as long as they could, as after trailing 21-12 at halftime they closed the gap to 21-17 with their third try.
Andre McDonnell and Steelform Wanganui incumbents Gabriel Hakaraia and Jamie Hughes dotted down for the home side.
However, Ngamatapouri broke out to get two more tries and move ahead of likewise unbeaten Taihape at the top of the standings by virtue of their bonus point.
Another piece of silverware swapped clubrooms in the Senior competition, as the new-look Harvey Round Motors Ratana cleaned up Utiku Old Boys 48-17 at the Pa.
Taking the Stihl Shield Wanganui Challenge Shield off Utiku in their first defence, a Ratana team which has seen a couple of former Wanganui players return from neighbouring unions never looked back after leading 34-0 at halftime.
Previous shield holders Bennett's Taihape travelled down the road to face 2019's Division 3 champions Kelso Huntervile, having their first match of the campaign, and the side's fought out a 13-13 draw after a scoreless first half.
It was somewhat unprecedented to have two identical draws in one round, as Counties came from 10-0 down at halftime to tie with Marist Buffalo's 13-13, in the first rugby game played on Cooks Gardens this season.
Marist Celtic sit on top of the table after they smashed Pirates 51-0 in the Spriggens Park derby, while Gemini Pepper Construction Kaierau occupy the all-important second spot, as only two teams will qualify for a final this season, after pulling away from Border 25-13 at the Country Club.
Tasman Tanning Premier, Week 2
Byford Readimix Taihape 19 (Tiari Mumby, Ritchie Iorns, Jaye Flaws tries; Dane Whale 2 con) bt Dave Hoskin Carriers Marist 18 (Jack Yarrall 2 tries; Ashton Coates 2 pen, con). HT: 12-10.
Grand Hotel Challenge Shield – Wanganui Car Centre Kaierau 19 (Dillon Adrole, Shandon Scott tries; Scott 3 pen) bt Waverley Harvesting Border 12 (Lindsay Horrocks, Kampeli Latu tries; Nick Harding con). HT: 11-5.
Settlers Honey Ngamatapouri 33 (Emitai Logadraudrau 2, Samu Kubunavanua, Samta Temesemuri, Mairangi Tamehana tries; None Taurua 4 con) bt McCarthy's Transport Ruapehu 17 (Andre McDonnell, Gabriel Hakaraia, Jamie Hughes tries; Josh Fifita con). HT: 21-12.
Senior championship, Week 2
At Spriggens Park: Marist Celtic bt Black Bull Liquor Pirates 51-0. HT: 22-0.
At Cooks Gardens : Marist Buffalo's drew with Counties 13-13. HT: 10-0 Buffalo's.
At Kaierau CC: Gemini Pepper Construction Kaierau bt Border 25- 13. HT: 7-3.
At Ratana (Stihl Shield Wanganui Challenge Shield): Harvey Round Motors Ratana bt Utiku OB 48-17. HT: 34-0.
At Hunterville: Kelso Huntervile bt Bennett's Taihape 13-13. HT: 0-all.
Bye: Speirs Food Marton.
Around the grounds:
It was a sombre start to Saturday's Tasman Tanning Premier club games at Spriggens Park and the Kaierau Country Club, as teams and spectators observed a moments silence in the memory of Gerrard Williams-Bogileka. The young son of Dave Hoskin Carriers Marist midfielder Josaia Bogileka and Awhi Williams died in a tragic accident last Monday, July 6.
It was a tough second round of Manawatu club rugby for both St Johns Metro Wanganui teams on Saturday. In the Colts division, Metro hosted defending champions the Feilding Yellows as the feature game of two matches at Cooks Gardens, suffering a 24-12 loss. The Prue Christie Cup saw the Metro Women travel to Pahiatua to face Bush Sports Club, and while they scored their first points in their second game, it was not enough to prevent a 39-17 loss.
The WRFU is hosting two Junior Rugby Fun Days this week. There will be sessions around ball skills, scrums, tackling and Rippa rugby, with a free sausage sizzle. Spot prizes are available, while all those who attend go into the draw for a prize pack of Wanganui rugby gear. The Fun Days are 11am-1pm at Cooks Gardens on Wednesday and the Taihape grounds on Thursday. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to register for catering purposes.