IT IS undefeated Waverley Harvesting Border’s turn to take over the leadership board during this disjointed first round of the Tasman Tanning Premier competition, but only just after holding off a defiant Utiku Old Boys at Dallison Park on Saturday.
Beset by injuries, Utiku had cherry-picked from their senior team, who then defaulted their own game with SealsWinslow Pirates, and came up just short in their Grand Hotel Challenge Shield challenge, losing 22-18.
Border flanker Kieran Hussey scored one of his team’s three tries in another MVP performance, moving to the top of the leaders list for the season.
The narrow victory sets up a superclash at Spriggens Park this Saturday against Integrity Motors Pirates – as the Shield and the Paul Mitchell Cup, for the winner of the first round, will both be on the line.
It will also be the first weekend of the season where all eight premier teams will be on deck across four games, with the three games and two byes format being amended for the second round.
Dave Hoskin Carriers Marist picked up their second win in two weeks by seeing off Wanganui Car Centre Kaierau 30-21 at the Country Club, with five of the games seven tries being scored in the second half.
No8 Sam Stewart had another strong match to pick up his second MVP award in a row.
The results of the past fortnight will be a big boost to Marist. In the senior competition, the top four teams all picked up wins, the biggest being Speirs Food Marton’s 62-5 thumping of Rangitikei neighbours Ratana.
Kelso Hunterville had a stern test, taking the Stihl Shop Wanganui Challenge Shield up the road to beat Taihape 19-8, while up-and-comers in the Ruapehu team continue to have a better year than their premiers, beating Counties 41-0.
By Jared Smith – Wanganui Chronicle