Tough start for Marlborough rugby sides

Marlborough-based teams found the going tough as the Tasman Trophy premier rugby competition kicked off in the top of the south today.

All four club combinations from this side of the hill took on Nelson-based opposition in cross-over matches and none were able to muster a victory.

Coming closest were last season’s Marlborough Sub-Union champs Central, the Blues managing a 19-19 draw with Wanderers in Brightwater.

Elsewhere Waitohi went down 41-10 to Marist in Nelson, the home side scoring seven tries to the Tohis' two, while the newly-formed Awatere/Moutere combination lost 55-14 to Waimea Old Boys in Seddon and Renwick succumbed 30-13 to Stoke on the Renwick Domain.

That match was locked up 13-13 at halftime before the visitors, on the back of a powerful scrum, scored three second half tries to grab a bonus point and send the home side away to think again.

The Green Machine were well up with the pace in the first half, defending securely, creating breakdown turnovers and using the ball intelligently.

Showing the way was the inside back partnership of halfback Jayden Lister, first five Ruairiah Swan and midfielder Kyle Marfell, while loosie Josh Holdaway and lock Isaiah Miller carried and cleaned proficiently.

However, the second 40 belonged almost totally to the visitors.

Guided around the park expertly by first five Corey McKay, halfback Mason Lund and midfielder Taine Robinson they pinned Renwick in their own half and profited from the territorial advantage.

Fresh legs off the bench maintained the scrum dominance and, with their rivals’ lineout operating poorly and their discipline waning, Stoke were able to take almost complete control of possession.

Mako regular Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta was a standout at No 8 while tighthead prop Brock Kaahu and skipper Antonio Shalfoon were also influential.

Stoke 30 (Naki Vaematahau 2, Kendall Hodson, Fergus Hughes tries, Corey McKay 2 pen, 2 con) Renwick 13 (Jayden Lister try, Kurt Schollum 2 pen, con). HT: 13-13.

Marist 41 (Leopin Maupese 2, Hopoate Taufa, Nikola Vikena, Te Puoho Stephens, Cleve Barrell, Sam Briggs tries, Briggs 3 con) Waitohi (Luke Bergman, Tiare Tautari tries). HT: 24-0

Waimea Old Boys 55 Awatere/Moutere 14 (Tristian Taylor, Henry Ryan tries, Ben Finau 2 con) HT: 35-0

Wanderers 19 Central 19 (Braden Stewart, Jesse MacDonald, Solomon Vecena tries, Mitch Smith 2 con). HT: 12-7 Central

Points:

Waimea Old Boys 5, Marist 5, Stoke 5, Central 2, Wanderers 2, Kahurangi 0, Nelson 0, Renwick 0, Waitohi 0, Awatere/Moutere 0.