Brought to you by Wanganui Rugby
There was an interesting little game of can-you-top-this at Spriggens Park for the Tasman Tanning Senior double-header on Saturday.
Already locked into this coming weekend's grand final at Spriggens Park, both undefeated Harvey Round Motors Ratana and Ali Arc Logistics-DNA Kennels Marist Celtic got to have a look at each other as they played in consecutive fixtures to end the regular season.
Celtic went out first and were well up over Bennett's Taihape at halftime, eventually riding out to a 50-12 win, and Ratana followed against Celtic's clubmates the Marist Buffalo's - pulling away in the second half for a 48-8 victory to keep the Stihl Shop Wanganui Challenge Shield for the summer.
Up the road in Waverley was perhaps the biggest upset of the season, as bottom-table Border came from 12-7 down at halftime to over-run third-placed Utiku Old Boys 33-12 in the curtain raiser to the Premier semifinal.
The shock win with a bonus point was enough for Border to hand off the wooden spoon to Black Bull Liquor Pirates, while Utiku fell to a fourth-place finish after Gemini Pepper Construction Kaierau rebounded from the disappointment of their loss to Ratana to beat a competitive Speirs Food Marton on their home turf 33-24.
Like their Premier clubmates, Kaierau are disappointed not to be part of WRFU finals day, but their strong campaigns were enough to claim the Weekes Cup – which is awarded for the highest collective regular season points total across both Senior and Premier.
Not used to missing out on the chance to play for silverware, Kelso Hunterville ended their season with a tough away victory over Counties, coming from behind to win 24-19 at McNab Domain.
Results, September 12
Tasman Tanning Premier Semifinals
Byford's Readimix Taihape 18 (Wiremu Cottrell, Tiari Mumby tries; Dane Whale 2 pen, con) bt Wanganui Car Centre Kaierau 13 (James Durston try; Ethan Robinson 2 pen, con). HT: 10-all.
Waverley Harvesting Border 29 (Alekesio Vakarorogo 2, Semi Vodosese, Ranato Tikoisolomone, Vereniki Tikoisolomone tries; Craig Clare 2 con) bt McCarthy Transport Ruapehu 15 (Gabriel Hakaraia, Mac James Edmonds, Royce Trow tries). HT: 15-12 Ruapehu.
Senior Championship, Week 11
At Spriggens Park (Stihl Shop Wanganui Challenge Shield): Harvey Round Motors Ratana bt Marist Buffalo's 48- 8. HT: 19-3.
At Spriggens Park: Ali Arc Logistics-DNA Kennels Marist Celtic bt Bennett's Taihape 50-12. HT: 31-0.
At Marton Park: Gemini Pepper Construction Kaierau bt Speirs Food Marton 33-24. HT: 10-5.
At McNab Domain: Kelso Hunterville bt Counties 24-19. HT: 12-7 Counties.
At Dallison Park: Border bt Utiku OB 33-12. HT: 12-7 Utiku OB.
Bye: Black Bull Liquor Pirates.
Around the grounds
Whanganui Collegiate 1st XV scored inside the last two minutes to beat rivals Feilding High 29-25 in the CNI playoff for third in Taupo on Saturday. Flanker Te Ana Profitt crossed in the 68th minute to snatch the game back for Collegiate, after the lead had swapped three times in the game. Halfback Adam Lennox got two tries, while prop Leo Allan and second-five Shaun O'Leary also scored, with captain Harry Godfrey kicking two conversions.
Cullinane College 1st XV won the Manawatu Premier 2 final against townmates Whanganui High School 1st XV 31-22 at Cooks Gardens on Wednesday. In the local Under 15's final, Whanganui City College overcame WHS 36-12.
It was a tough start to the Farah Palmer Cup for the Manawatu Cyclones with a 36-10 loss to Canterbury in Palmerston North on Saturday. St Johns Wanganui Metro's Sosoli Talawadua was vice-captain at prop, while her clubmates Lavenia Nauga-Grey and Montel Vaiao Aki were not included in the match-day 22.