ALL FOUR semifinal-bound teams in Tasman Tanning Premier comfortably navigated their weekend assignments, which sets up the defining clash for two of them in the final round robin games on Saturday.
PGG Wrightson/Ballance Taihape and Waverley Harvesting Border will meet in Waverley to decide who will finish top of the table, while the defeated team faces the prospect of missing out on a home semifinal to Integrity Motors Pirates, who are also up there in the mix.
They, along with Grand Hotel Challenge Shield holders McCarthy’s Transport Ruapehu, all picked up the maximum five points on Saturday.
Border had one of the more stern tests, beating Dave Hoskin Carriers Marist 29-7 at Wanganui Racecourse.
Playing without injured first five Jack Lupton, as James Forsythe ran the cutter, Border made a strong start with two quick tries.
Leading 24-0 at halftime, they could only add one more score in the next 40 minutes.
It was a similar story at Memorial Park as Taihape scored seven tries in the first half, but would only claim one more in the second stanza, running out 49-12 winners over Wanganui Car Centre Kaierau.
Cyrus Paringatai scored a double while Kaierau also gave up a penalty try.
At Rochfort Park, the Ruapehu premiers finally put paid to Utiku Old Boys’ faintest hopes of the Top 4 with a 45-6 disposal in their Challenge Shield defence.
The front rowers Kim McNaught, Karl Parker and Roman Tutauha all dotted down among the eight tryscorers, with missed goal kicks keeping the score from blowing out further.
Meanwhile Pirates’ 42-25 victory over Ratana at the Racecourse saw both winger Clive Stowers and first five Denning Tyrell moving closer to Most Valuable Player points leader Kieran Hussey of Border, the decision set to be made only after the round robin games this coming weekend.
In the Senior competition, Kelso Hunterville saw off perhaps their toughest challenge of the year, defending the Stihl Shop Wanganui Challenge Shield in Ohakune 17-15 over a no doubt disappointed Ruapehu.
Hunterville’s second narrow win over Ruapehu moves them to the top of the championship table, while giving the newcomers Ngamatapouri a slight chance at a home semifinal after they comfortably beat Marist Celtic 50-12 at the Wanganui Racecourse.
That result also keeps the door slightly ajar for Speirs Food Marton to make the semifinals after they sneaked past Tech 17-15 at Marton Park.
In the Senior consolation grade, Sealeswinslow Pirates cannot be caught even if they lose all their remaining games, after beating Ratana 32-17 at the Racecourse.
Results, July 11.
Tasman Tanning Premier, Week 15
Waverley Harvesting Border 29 (Poasa Waqanibau 2, Tom Symes, Lindsay Horrocks, Bobo Ulukuta tries, Ulukuta 2 con) Dave Hoskin Carriers Marist 7 (Josaia Bogileka try, Grayson Tihema con). HT: 24-0.
Integrity Motors Pirates 42 (Josaia Dawai 2, Clive Stowers 2, Etuati Emana, Denning Tyrell tries, Tyrell 6 con) Harvey Round Motors Ratana 25 (Allan Penetito 2, Isaac Fonotoe tries, Te Tua Kemp 2 pen, 2 con). HT: 21-11.
PGG Wrightson/Ballance Taihape 49 (Cyrus Paringatai 2, Dylan Maloney, Jonty Lievre, Tremaine Gilbert, Jaye Flaws, Rimu Wipaki tries, penalty try, Luke Whale pen, 3 con) Wanganui Car Centre Kaierau 12 (Hoani Pahl-Long, Jack Yarrall tries, Dion Hyland con). HT: 44-12.
Grand Hotel Challenge Shield – McCarthy’s Transport Ruapehu 45 (Kim McNaught, Temaire Hawira, Andrew Evans, Peter Rowe, Corey Carmichael, Karl Parker, Zyon Hekenui, Roman Tutauha tries, Hekenui pen, con) Utiku OB 6 (Ricky Alabaster 2 pen). HT: 23-6.
Grand Irish Bar MVP Points
At Racecourse: Lindsay Horrocks (Border halfback) 3 points, Daniel FitzGerald (Marist No8) 2, Cole Baldwin (Border hooker) 1.
At Racecourse: Clive Stowers (Pirates winger) 3 points, Denning Tyrell (Pirates first five), Tolou Moala (Pirates prop) and Allan Penetito (Ratana winger) 1 each.
At Taihape: Timi Teepa (Taihape flanker) 3, Taylor Transom (Taihape first five) 2, Carlos Riddles (Kaierau fullback) 1.
At Ohakune: Andrew Evans (Ruapehu No 8) 3, Zyon Hekenui (Ruapehu first five) 2, Jason Peed (Utiku OB second five) 1.
MVP standings (one round remaining) – Kieran Hussey (Border) 14 points, Denning Tyrell (Pirates) 13, Clive Stowers (Pirates) 12, Timi Teepa (Taihape) 10, Michael Nabuliwaqa (Utiku OB) 9, Sam Stewart (Marist), Andrew Evans and Zyon Hekenui (Ruapehu) 8, Troy Brown (Ruapehu) 7, S’aena Vili (Pirates), Peter Rowe and Roman Tutauha (Ruapehu), Lindsay Horrocks (Border), Daniel FitzGerald (Marist) 6, Ace Malo (Kaierau), Jack Lupton and Poasa Waqanibau (Border), Lasa Ulukuta (Pirates), Jamie Hughes (Ratana), Malakai Volou (Utiku OB) and Johnson Hiroa (Taihape) 5.
Senior, Week 16
At Wanganui Racecourse: Ngamatapouri 50 Marist Celtic 12. HT: 26-5.
At Marton Park: Speirs Food Marton 17 Tech 15. HT: 12-10 Tech.
At Rochfort Park, Ohakune (Stihl Shop Wanganui Challenge Shield): Kelso Hunterville 17 Ruapehu 15. HT: 5-all.
At Wanganui Racecourse: Sealswinslow Pirates 32 Ratana 17. HT: 26-17. At McNab Domain, Kaiwhaiki: Counties 47 Border 17. HT: 17-15 Border. At Memorial Park: Taihape 12 Kaierau 6. HT: 6-5 Kaierau. At Memorial Park: Utiku OB bt Marist Buffalo’s by default.
By Jared Smith – Wanganui Chronicle