Streak breakers: Ngamatapouri raid Border’s fortress at Dallison
By Jared Smith
The two longest active streaks in Tasman Tanning Premier were ended on Friday night under the bright lights at Dallison Park, as Settler’s Honey Ngamatapouri won the South Taranaki derby for the first time.
The annual Duck Shooting night match, which Waverley Harvesting Border have won for nine straight seasons since 2013, went the way of the visitors, 14-0 against a very depleted home side.
It was also Border’s first defeat in a competition match in Waverley in 16 games, going all the way back to the first round of 2020 when a likewise understrength side lost to Wanganui Car Centre Kaierau.
Due to injury, suspension and unavailability, Border on Friday were missing the likes of Craig Clare, Lindsay Horrocks, Semi Vodosese, Andy Hamilton, Anaru Haerewa, Nick Harding, and Toby Lennox, with even coach Cole Baldwin on standby for a possible comeback off the bench.
Ngamatapouri, meanwhile, had strengthened even from the side that barely lost to Byfords Readimix Taihape, with midfielder Kameli Kuruyabaki having completed his transfer back from MRU club rugby to join a backline of six players who have Heartland Championship experience.
But for all that firepower the game stayed scoreless in the first half as Ngamatapouri only once looked to kick in general play, which was charged down, and instead tapped penalties and ran even from their own tryline, looking to break through.
Border, meanwhile, lived by the stronger technique of their scrums – winning tightheads and their own feeds alike, but without their backline generals, they struggled to put together co-ordinated attacks, and dropped the ball with the line in sight.
The home side even took the scrum for their penalty options, after young first-five Tyrone Albert made one three-pointer attempt and missed.
As depth perception lowers by 30 per cent at night, Ngamatapouri also made some key fumbles when looking to offload.
The theme continued into the second half although now Ngamatapouri were beginning to break tackles to get a roll-on, and finally in the 55th minute, after a strong charge by No8 Bryn Hudson was stopped just short, the gap opened off the ruck for impressive fullback Peceli Malanicagi to dash through and run back under the posts.
First-five Brook Tremayne slotted the extras, and after defending a Border surge into their own half, where again the home side lost the ball at crucial moments, Ngamatapouri got a big lift on their breakthrough of the defensive line, when despite losing possession the forwards were able to turn the home side’s scrum to get a possession turnover off them for a change.
From a set move, the ball was spread wide and Kuruyabaki ran through a half gap and put winger Josaia Bogileka over untouched in the corner, with Tremayne raising the flags from the sideline.
Best for the home side was midfielder Alekesio Vakarorogo, who made plenty of cover tackles and was his side’s remaining strike weapon, along with young loose forward Tobias Stark, son of club legend Ray, who stepped up to assist skipper Angus Middleton in pressuring Ngamatapouri’s ruck ball and forcing turnovers.
It won’t get any easier for Border as they head to the other side of the catchment this Saturday to meet rivals Taihape.
In Senior, the Country division continues to be “murderers row”, as down in the Pa, Harvey Round Motors Ratana got payback on defending champions Kelso Hunterville, holding out 29-24 in the 2021 final rematch.
Stihl Shop Wanganui Challenge Shield holders JJ Walters Marton sits top of the table after a great comeback at their park – coming from 16 points down to winning 27-24 over McCarthy Transport Ruapehu.
With two games left until the Championship/Consolation split, Bennett’s Taihape stayed in touch with the Top 3 after a 34-12 win over Utiku Old Boys in the Memorial Park derby.
The Town division sees Gemini Pepper Construction Kaierau remains undefeated after a 43-29 win over Marist Buffalo’s in a free-flowing game at the Country Club.
Ali Arc Logistics-DNA Kennels Marist Celtic rebounded from their loss to Kaierau to keep their Top 3 spot, courtesy of a 61-0 hammering of Border under lights on Friday at Dallison Park.
Black Bull Liquor Pirates pulled away from McCrea Scanning Counties in the second half to win 33-20 at McNab Domain.
Results, May 7
Tasman Tanning Premier, Week 3
Settlers Honey Ngamatapouri 14 (Peceli Malanicagi, Josaia Bogileka tries; Brook Tremayne 2 con) bt Waverley Harvesting Border 0. HT: 0-0.
Dave Hoskin Carriers Marist 41 (Paiki Ponga, James Robertson, Ben O’Leary, Rangi Kui, Marc Ouellet tries; Kui 4 pen, 2 con) bt Wanganui Car Centre Kaierau 10 (Ethan Robinson try, pen, con). HT: 11-10.
Bye: Byford’s Readimix Taihape.
Senior, Week 3
At Kaierau Country Club: Gemini Pepper Construction Kaierau bt Marist Buffalo’s 43-29. HT: 19-12.
At Dallison Park: Ali Arc Logistics-DNA Kennels Marist Celtic bt Border 61-0. HT: 17-0.
At McNab Domain: Black Bull Liquor Pirates bt McCrea Scanning Counties 33-20. HT: 14-13.
At Ratana Pa: Harvey Round Motors Ratana bt Kelso Hunterville 29-24. HT: 17-7 Ratana.
At Marton Park (Stihl Shop Wanganui Challenge Shield): JJ Walters Marton bt McCarthy Transport Ruapehu 27-24. HT: 24-8 Ruapehu.
At Memorial Park: Bennett’s Taihape bt Utiku OB 34-12. HT: 22-7.
|2022 Tasman Tanning PREMIER|
Senior Town Points Table
|2022 Tasman Tanning Seniors Town|
|*All Standings are provisional|
Senior Country Points Table
|2022 Tasman Tanning Seniors Country|
|*All Standings are provisional|
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HEARTLAND: The second fitness session for potential Steelform Whanganui squad members will be at 6pm on Monday night at the Kaierau Country Club. A Whanganui squad will be chosen to play Wairarapa-Bush on Queen’s Birthday Monday, June 6th.