Above: First five-eighth Piri Paraone jinked and jived his way through the defence to score the first of the day for Wellington Maori against the Hawke's Bay Saracens. Photo by Chainsaw Photos
Results at a glance
It was a mixed bag of results for Wellington representative rugby teams today, in a spread of competition and non-competition matches around the North Island.
In Taupo, the Wellington U19s finished their National U19 tournament off on a winning note, beating Manawatu U19s 24-20 to finish seventh.
The Wellington U19s led 14-7 at halftime and kept their noses in front throughout the second half in Taupo.
In Hamilton, The Wellington Pride battled to their second win in three games of the Farah Palmer Cup, beating Waikato 11-5.
In Auckland, the Auckland U18 Girls defeated the Wellington U18 Girls side 12-0.
In Palmerston North, the Wellington U16 and Wellington U16 Development teams had pre-tournament wins over their Hurricanes counterparts, the As winning 14-8 and the Development side prevailing 33-7.
In the third round of the Hurricanes U18 competition, the The Wellington Samoans U18s had a nail-biting 8-6 win over Wanganui 18s in Levin.
The Wanganui side led 6-0 until the last five minutes, before the Samoans U18s scored their first points through a Jaydin Tiatia try. Still trailing 5-6, Malo Tevita Manuao stepped up to kick the winning penalty with two minutes to spare.
At Porirua Park, the Wellington U18s Centurions defeated the Wellington Catholic Colleges 48-10 (more on this game at the bottom).
The Hurricanes Shield competition is all but over with one round to play, after the Hawke’s Bay Saracens’ bonus point 43-30 win over Wellington Maori today at Jerry Collins Stadium and Manawatu’s 19-17 non-bonus point win over the Wellington Centurions in Palmerston North. The Wellington Samoans had the bye, but played a
The Wellington Samoans had the bye, but played a non-competition game in Tauranga today against BoP Samoans and also losing by the same score 17-19.
With one round to play next weekend, Hawke’s Bay are on 14 points, Wellington Maori 11 (but with the bye next weekend), Manawatu 9, Wellington Samoans 5 and the Centurions 2. Hawke’s Bay just need a bonus point against Manawatu to wrap this up in the last round.
At Jerry Collins Stadium, the Hawke’s Bay Saracens (Development) side pulled clear of Wellington Maori in the final quarter to win 43-30.
The Saracens scored four consecutive breakout tries, all up the right-hand side of the field, two to replacement outside back Ash Robinson and one each to loose forwards Lucas Goodin and Tomo Fogarty.
The Wellington Maori were right in the contest early in the second half, scoring the first try after halftime and leading 15-14 and then leading 22-21 when first five-eighth Piri Paraone scored and converted his second try of the match.
Hawke’s Bay laid on two quick-fire unconverted tries to lead 31-22 with about 15 minutes to play. Maori right wing Tiwi Davies nailed a penalty to close the gap to 25-31, before Hawke’s Bay scored another two runaway tries up the same right flank to seal the match with a 43-25 lead. Maori second five-eighth Perry Hayman scored the 11th and final try of the fixture on fulltime.
Earlier, Davies had opened the contest with a penalty, before the Saracens stormed the defences with the first try when former St Pat’s Town First XV halfback Zac Donaldson skirted through a ruck after a busy build-up.
Maori first-five Piri Paraone then danced off both feet in scoring a terrific solo try to put the Maori up 10-7. The next 20 minutes ebbed and flowed, with the Maori losing starting 7 Bruce Kauika-Petersen to injury in this period. The Saracens scored their second try through the forwards just before halftime, ahead of the Maori winning a big scrum penalty and almost scoring again at the interval.
The Maori and tighthead prop Whetu Henry’s pack started the second half like they had finished the first. Awarded another penalty, Davies called for the tee, but his penalty hit the poles and play was still live. Hawke’s Bay made a meal of clearing the ball, leading to a turnover and replacement Maori wing Jarrod Adams scoring off the shoulder of Paraone to put them ahead 15-14. The lead changed twice more before Hawke’s Bay took control, their first five-eighth Tianua Poto scoring for his side and Paraone scoring his second try soon after.
In the match on the top field at Porirua Park, the U18 Catholic Colleges side had the tough task of backing up after their mid-week hit out against East Coast to face an enthusiastic U18 Centurions team. The game started with a flurry of straight lines run by Centurion Forwards down the centre of the field forcing the Catholics to defend early.
Centurion flyhalf Matiu Samuel breached the defensive line and linked up with halfback and skipper Kyle Preston to open the scoring. Some intense play down one sideline a few minutes later saw passing across the field to the other sideline saw his vice-captain and open side Alex Faifailoa dot down over the line.
A turnover led to Centurions centre Maika Fifita receiving the last pass before crossing the try line a minute later. Some I'll discipline put Centurion Lock Kapene in the bin for 10 minutes and the Catholics capitalised on this by shifting the ball to the end and getting their first points of the game.
A few minutes later a second Centurions player - Wing Elijah Tuigamala - also found himself on the wrong side of the referee and earnt himself a yellow card joining Kapene in the sin-bin.
The Centurions started the second half positively and with 13 v 15 players they managed to breach the Catholics' defensive line to go wide to wing Caleb Cavubati who went over in the corner. Skipper Preston went over for two more tries before the Catholics strung together multiple phases to score their well earnt second try in the corner.
Centurions went to the bench and impact was added by replacement hooker Kaitu Ioane who added a try. The end of the match was sealed with a try to replacement flyhalf Ishmael Perkins.