Tough times continue for premier rugby teams

Once again the pickings have been lean for Marlborough’s representatives in the Tasman Trophy premier rugby competition today.

Waitohi were the closest of the Marlborough-based sides to a victory, drawing 24-24 with Wanderers in Picton, the second consecutive draw for the Brightwater-based outfit.

At Lansdowne Park, Central gave Kahurangi too much of a start and, despite closing the gap on numerous occasions, were unable to hold onto the John Goodman Challenge Shield, losing 35-33.

Renwick slumped to their second consecutive defeat, being beaten 39-23 by Waimea Old Boys at Jubilee Park, Nelson, while the combined Moutere/Awatere team went down 33-19 to Nelson, also over the hill.

Central had a late chance to draw level in their match with Kahurangi, Mitch Smith, who had kicked impeccably throughout, pulling the final conversion wide of the posts.

The visitors scored six tries to Central’s five and probably deserved their victory, making less mistakes than the home side and conceding fewer soft tries.

The fact Central conceded three tries in the first 12 minutes and trailed 17-0 at that point also meant the Blues were playing catch-up rugby throughout, their mistakes being magnified. Twice they closed to within two points late in the second spell, but were never able to get their nose in front.

Midfielders Jim Tavatavanawai and Jake Cresswell, who both scored a brace of tries, fullback Smith, hooker Quentin MacDonald, loosie Braden Stewart and lock Jack Powell led the way for the home side.

Winger Stein Schreiber, who notched a hat-trick of tries, loosie Manu Parkin, midfielder Michael Wells and front-rower Sam Matenga showed the way for a bold Kahurangi outfit.

In division two action, Pelorus beat Renwick 27-25 and Moutere downed Awatere 19-12. MBC Old Boys defaulted to Central.

The women’s Tasman division one competition also began today, Moutere defeating Wanderers 19-14 at Awarua Park and Waimea downing Riwaka 29-10.

Scores:

Kahurangi 35 (Stein Schreiber 3, Michael Wells, Qori Gucake, Jan Lammers tries, Willy Havili con, pen) Central 33 (Jim Tavatavanawai 2, Jake Cresswell 2, Glen Smith tries, Mitch Smith 4 con). HT: 25-14 Kahurangi.