Mon, May 6, 2024 3:05 PM

Magpies stretch their wings


Peter Jones

Moutere premier rugby coach Jordy Hart described his side’s 44-32 Tasman Trophy win over Waimea Old Boys at Awarua Park on Saturday as a “real confidence booster”.

He said the difference between the Magpies’ result the week before, when they lost 43-17 away to Kahurangi, was the home side’s ability to play out the game.

“We were well in the game last week but fell off the pace ... this time we played for the full 80 minutes.”

And they needed to. Moutere had their noses in front, leading 20-15 at the halftime break, then pushed it out to 27-15. However, as they had done all day, Waimea fought back and kept the pressure on, a late try on fulltime to the home side inflating the margin.

Outstanding for the Magpies were No 8 Vailua Kaloni, hooker Sekope Lopeti-Moli, lock Andre Hebberd, midfielder Dylan McManaway and winger Senetenari Ponesi.

Moutere adhered to their game plan, which consisted of direct carries, putting their side immediately on the front foot, creating momentum and then opportunities, which they converted into seven tries.

Kaleb Avery touched down twice, the others going to JP Koen, Hebberd, McManaway, Monu Moli and Ponesi.

Jordy was especially pleased to see his side realise their potential, giving them belief that they can foot it with any team in the competition.

He said Moutere “was building nicely as a club”.

“A lot of hard work is being done at committee and JAB level. Things are definitely coming together.”

Next week the Magpies play Stoke away.

The men from Nelson will be in a buoyant mood having knocked over defending champs Central on Saturday.

With the score changing hands six times, it was anyone’s game at Greenmeadows with Stoke eventually prevailing 43-39.

Two yellow cards saw Stoke leak points when down to 14 men, but they stuck with it to the death in a second half that seemed to stretch on forever.

Eight tries in the second half provided see-sawing action as the teams traded blows, with Stoke coach Joe Kirker saying the coaching team was laughing after the game at their desire for the game clock to hurry up or to slow down, depending on their current predicament.

Central captain Mitch Smith says it’s tough to come away from such a back-and-forth game with a loss.

“Stoke definitely rose to the occasion. I feel like we played a lot of rushed rugby.

“We let ourselves down by getting to that situation where a try at the end isn’t enough.”

Mitch was impressed with his forwards’ performances, saying lock Mathew McCormick had a standout game with his strong ball carrying.

Scorers: Central 39 (Cameron Hansford, Cody Weir, Mitchell Smith, Logan Murphy 2, Koloa Fotu tries, penalty try; Hansford con).

In the other Tasman Trophy match, Kahurangi lowered Marist’s colours, winning 31-24 at Trafalgar Park.

The Moutere women’s side were also in Tasman Trophy action.

On a day when they celebrated club stalwart Hannah Gillespie’s 50th match in the famous black and white hoops the Magpies went down 30-0 to reigning champs Marist at Tahunanui in Nelson.

In the other match, Kahurangi beat Waimea Old Boys 67-19.

The second round of division two rugby was also played on Saturday, Renwick and Central moving into the competition lead, scoring their second consecutive bonus point wins.

The Mud Dogs scored a comprehensive 46-0 win over Harlequins, proving too clinical for a Quins side which never gave up but had no match for the home side who took their chances expertly.

Central were away to Pelorus in Havelock and came away with an emphatic 37-3 victory, while Awatere kick started their season with a hard-fought 22-14 win over Waitohi at Car Horn Valley, Seddon.

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