Central halfback Ethan Jones feeds the ball to his waiting forwards. Photo Peter Jones
Central laid down a local marker during round three of the Tasman Trophy rugby competition, accounting for their first Marlborough-based opponent 59-10 at Lansdowne Park today.
The Blues, still lamenting a narrow loss to Kahurangi last week, ran in nine tries through a potent mix of hard-running forwards and enterprising back play.
Their opponents, who are finding their feet after the country clubs were forced to combine forces for this season, showed plenty of resilience but often ran out of numbers or were unravelled by superior teamwork.
Flanker Braden Stewart, lock Jack Powell, fullback Jack Griffiths, flanker Jone Lasaganabau and halfback Ethan Jones were in fine form for the home side, while first five Ben Finau, fullback Patrick Smith-Kerr, midfielder Tristian Taylor and No 8 Jack Roberton were prominent for the combined outfit.
Meanwhile, the other Marlborough Marlborough-based side in action today, Renwick, were put to the sword by Kahurangi at the Renwick Domain. The Green Machine lost 61-7 to the visitors, who were superior in most facets of play.
In Nelson, Marist lost 49-48 to Waimea Old Boys on a day when defence appeared optional, while Stoke went down 34-31 to Wanderers.
In division two rugby today, Waitohi beat Pelorus 38-10 in Havelock while Awatere downed Renwick 15-12 in Renwick. On Thursday, Central beat Moutere 30-3.
Tasman Trophy table: Waimea OB 15 (played 3), Kahurangi 10 (2), Wanderers 10 (3), Central 9 (3), Marist 7 (2), Stoke 7 (2), Nelson 5 (1), Waitohi 2 (2), Renwick (3) 0, Awatere/Moutere (3) 0.
Scores from today: Central 59 (Jim Tavatavanawai, Matt McCormick, Ethan Jones, Jack Griffiths, Glen Smith 2, Braden Stewart 2, Ra Tamati tries, Mitch Smith 7 cons) Awatere/Moutere 10 (Ben Finau try, pen, con). HT: 24-3