Sat, Apr 6, 2024 8:10 PM

Blues win, Magpies beaten


Peter Jones

Marlborough teams came away with a win and a loss during the second round of Tasman Trophy rugby today.

Both sides were out of town. Central bagged their second consecutive win of the competition, beating Kahurangi 23-20 at Riwaka today, while Moutere went down 45-10 to Marist at Trafalgar Park, Nelson.

The Blues produced a scrappy win, against fellow Marlborough side Moutere, in their opening match, a fast opening ultimately getting them home.

This week it was the opposite, Central leaving it until the final minute to score the match-winning try.

At halftime Central trailed 10-7 and had to dig deep to get the result. The second half introduction of front row replacements Lockie McCormick, Quentin MacDonald and Mausia Papani changed the game’s momentum, Papani grabbing the last-gasp winner from close range to claim the victory and the prized John Goodman Challenge Trophy.

Jack Powell and Lockie McCormick scored Central’s other tries, with Mitch Smith knocking over two penalties and a conversion.

Central’s players of the day were livewire loosie Jack Kelly and veteran midfielder Jake Cresswell.

Clyde Paewai was Moutere’s player of the day. Photo Peter Jones (file photo)

Meanwhile, Moutere were on the road early for their 1.15pm clash with last year’s finalists Marist at Nelson rugby HQ.

Up against a well-drilled and sizeable outfit the Magpies held their own for much of the first spell.

Marist, using their renowned one-off plays at the breakdown scored a couple of early tries, but Moutere had their share of possession and reduced the margin to 14-5 through a try to youthful flanker Jack Burdon in the 36th minute.

However, a lapse in concentration just before the break proved costly for the visitors with Marist scoring their third converted try to take a 21-5 lead into the sheds.

They scored again after the break, but the Magpies came back at them, Mike Tuipulotu bagging their second to give the visitors some late hope.

Manager Al Sutherland said Moutere had “played a lot of football”.

“We built phases really well but just couldn’t break down what was a strong defensive line.

“They were good at the set pieces, although our scrum held up well, and we certainly had enough ball to work with.

“There were some good learnings from this one – especially the need to cherish the ball a bit more.”

The Magpies’ player of the day was fullback Clyde Paewai who handled both his defensive and attacking duties well, making a couple of line breaks.

Also standing out was Burdon, who has made an immediate impact at Tasman Trophy level, and No 8 Vailua Kaloni.

In the other match today Stoke beat Nelson 45-19.

Next week, Moutere have their first home game, taking on Nelson at Awarua Park, after a tough opening to the season when they were drawn against both 2023 finalists.

Central host Marist in a 2023 final replay at Lansdowne Park.

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