Wanganui Metro double header at Cooks Gardens on Saturday.
By Jared Smith
It is the last chance for St Johns Wanganui Metro Colts to make sure all guns are fully loaded before the Manawatu club playoffs, when the round robin finishes on a Metro double header at Cooks Gardens this weekend.
From 14-3 at halftime, Metro pulled away in the second half against Old Boys Marist Colts at Ongley Park for a big 52-6 victory last Saturday.
Now with just winless College Old Boys remaining, there’s a chance they can finish top of the table, should the Feilding Yellows vs Feilding Old Boys derby end up a close affair with not many tries.
“It could be, the target was to get the five points last week and five this week,” said coach Mark Cosford.
Metro tinkered with their lineup and game plan against Marist, so Old Boys represent the last chance to perfect those going into the playoffs, as the Manawatu Rugby Union has stuck to the one-round format.
“Our aim is to be strong for the semifinals and final, so we’ve got a few weapons to sort out.”
Against Marist, second-five Jack O’Leary scored two tries and kicked four conversions as part of a strong midfield partnership with fellow tryscorer Hayden Towers.
“Even the ref said, ‘I don’t know who you give the man of the match to, out of your second-five or centre’.”
Tipene Reweti, a star on the league and touch fields, scored a double, while after missing out last week, Francisco Field dotted down again to keep pace with O’Leary with five tries for the season.
The St Johns Wanganui Women will conclude their inaugural campaign with their toughest match this weekend against unbeaten Feilding Old Boys-Oroua, following on from their 91-0 loss to Kia Toa RFC at Bill Brown Park.
As a side full of Manawatu Cyclones veterans, Kia Toa made sure to give the Metro girls plenty of encouragement in the post-game circle, as the primary focus remains ensuring the team’s existence for 2021.
“We got a hiding, but they were still pretty upbeat,” said coach Tama Te Patu.
“They started alright, they just couldn’t maintain it.
“We’d take the ball up and lose it in the rucks and mauls, someone would kick it, and they’d score down the other end.
“We need more games, more games. Maybe not at that level – just time on the field.”
A number of Metro’s key backs have weekday work commitments which make training problematic.
Te Patu is looking to confirm an August 8th match – MRU finals day – against the team likely to finish fifth in their grade, while the fixture against Taranaki’s Southern RFC is confirmed for August 15.
Current scheduling on Saturday is for both Metro games to be played at Cooks Gardens, with the Women’s match at 1pm and the Colts at 2.30pm.