Drubbing based on fierce defence

Taieri’s Josh Whaanga is wrapped up by Dunedin’s Joe Cook (left) and Hame Toma during their match...
Taieri’s Josh Whaanga is wrapped up by Dunedin’s Joe Cook (left) and Hame Toma during their match at Kettle Park on Saturday. Photo: Gregor Richardson

Dunedin 40

Taieri 0

Dunedin retained the infamous Walker Fitzgerald trophy with a comprehensive victory over Taieri and held the Eels scoreless in the process.

Bizarrely Dunedin’s win was based on tigerish defence, especially on their own line.

As always there was a stiff icy southerly blasting down the ground and Taieri had first use of that.

They would have spent 15 minutes camped deep in Dunedin territory in the first spell, but try as they might, they could not crack the staunch Dunedin defence.

Dunedin had only limited forays into Eels territory but crucially scored three tries from those excursions.

In the first few minutes they turned over the kick-off, went six phases and winger Kyan Rangitutia went over in the corner to start the scoring.

Then, after 20 minutes, star winger Josh Augustine found space on the left, went round his man, did an in-out on the cover defence and went over out wide.

Then they scored through prop Rohan Wingham as they went over from their more than useful lineout drive for a 19-point lead at the break.

After 15 minutes of the second spell off another big lineout drive Augustine got his second off an in-pass and showed strength to crash over.

They scored again through replacement hooker Liam Arthur Hunt from yet another lineout drive to make the game safe at 33-0.

Winger Rangitutia finished the scoring, when on cramping legs, he grabbed an intercept and went 55 metres.

The game lost shape in the last 20 minutes as it went to golden-oldie scrums after the Eels ran out of props.

The Dunedin pack were dominant, especially at lineout time, and their drive from them is unstoppable.

Up front, Wingham and Hunter Fahey were powerful on attack and defence. Josh Tengblad and James Bolton dominated aerially and put in some big tackles.

Open side Konrad Lotu L’iga was everywhere for the Sharks and Josh Augustine made a real statement out wide.

Taieri were gutsy and their underpowered pack competed with real determination.

Hooker Brady Robertson led them well, diminutive halfback Trey Russell never took a backward step and Joe Cockburn displayed some nice touches at the back. — Paul Dwyer

Southern 29

University 27

Vic Cavanaghs young and old would have enjoyed this.

Age-old rivals Southern and University combined for a thrilling Cavanagh Memorial clash at Bathgate Park that featured some immense physical exchanges.

In a game containing no fewer than seven lead changes, Southern were the last men standing, retaining the coveted trophy by a couple of points after University scored a late try but could not land the conversion.

Either side would have been a deserved winner.

University, who led 17-14 at halftime, looked dangerous with the ball in hand, especially when loosies Lanson Randell and Aaron Withy were running off impressive lock Ale Aho, while Jacob Waikari-Jones showed his full range of talents.

Southern, who lost Highlanders lock Pari Pari Parkinson to an early injury, muscled up through bullocking hooker Naryan Strickland and No 8 Konrad Toleafoa, and got into the right parts of the field through the boot and the vision of Mackenzie Palmer.

The Magpies also got a lift from their bench as they came from behind in the final 15 minutes.

The tone for the topsy-turvy game was set when Palmer cut inside four defenders for the opening try, and Withy responded by scoring out wide.

Both sides squandered some attacking opportunities before two front-rowers, lineout missile Strickland and University tighthead Steve Salelea, scored tries.

Levi Emery gave Southern the lead after the break, Daniel Lienert-Brown restored it to University, Tom Brock returned fire for the Magpies, and a Palmer penalty was the buffer the home side needed to stay in front after a late Brad Campbell try. — Hayden Meikle

Kaikorai 22

Green Island 10

A mobile Kaikorai side took control right from the kick-off to shut down Green Island’s powerful forward pack on the way to a bonus-point victory at Bishopscourt.

The game was part of Kaikorai’s 140th jubilee celebrations along with the annual Ken St Clair-Newman Trophy clash.

The Demons exposed frailties in the Green Island defence with an opening-minute try to centre Troy Anstiss followed by a second touchdown minutes later to hooker Rico Fisher.

Despite Green Island’s pack domination, handling errors and a failure to get in behind Kaikorai’s rush defensive pattern kept the Grizzlies locked out of the game.

Kaikorai, on the other hand, always threatened with their ability to break through the Green Island defence.

With Kaikorai starting the second half with lock Zach McKenzie in the sin bin, a well-organised defence held Green Island at bay.

McKenzie’s return to the field sparked a sensational try to flanker Lucas Casey. From one of the many Green Island turnovers, Casey burst away with the ball, reminiscent of Ian Kirkpatrick’s legendary try in the second test against the 1971 Lions, to score just in from the corner flag.

From that point, Green Island gained a lot of ball, but through handling errors and countless turnovers rarely made it out of their own half. Kaikorai winger Stanley McClure was the benefactor of one such turnover with a late try.

With the game coming to a close, Green Island scored a consolation try through winger Riley Lucas. — Wayne Parsons

Zingari-Richmond 39

Harbour 20

Zingari-Richmond have reached rarified air — they sit top of the table after their win over Harbour at Montecillo.

It must be a generation since the Colours have scaled these heights but there are stern examinations to come.

The 39-20 win over Harbour was set up by a blitzkrieg of points in a 20-minute spell in the first half.

The home team were up 24-0 thanks to that work and that was enough to combat a plucky Harbour side who never died trying and scored some nice tries.

Mika Mafi scored the first try and two more five-pointers followed with the Zingari lineout driving to the tryline and forwards taking the plums on offer.

A great run from first five Tyree Manaia led to fullback Shaun Driver cantering over and the game looked all but over on the half-hour mark.

Harbour, though, woke up and managed to score tries to wingers Saimone Samate and Quaid Paora to go to the break trailing 24-10.

Mafi scored again in the second half after running a good line, and tries were exchanged by both teams before a Driver penalty with five minutes left sealed any doubt about the win.

Mafi ran hard for the home team while hooker A-One Lolofie was industrious. Manaia had one of his better games at this level.

Harbour were guilty of running too much across field and their handling was sloppy at times.

Hooker Sanatane Vatuvei was full of energy and halfback Tetauru Cuthers was lively.

It will be a big game this Saturday at Montecillo when Zingari-Richmond take on Green Island for the Hellyer Memorial Trophy, which is also set to be Chris Bell’s 300th premier game for the club. — Steve Hepburn

Round 8

The scores

Dunedin 40 (Kyan Rangitutia 2, Josh Augustine 2, Rohan Wingham, Liam Arthur Hunt tries; Ajay Faleafaga 5 con), Taieri 0. Halftime: 19-0.

Southern 29 (Mackenzie Palmer, Naryan Strickland, Levi Emery, Tom Brock tries; Palmer 3 con, pen), University 27 (Aaron Withy, Steve Salelea, Daniel Lienert-Brown, Brad Campbell tries; Jacob Waikari-Jones 2 con, pen). Halftime: University 17-14.

Kaikorai 22 (Troy Anstiss, Rico Fisher, Lucas Casey, Stanley McClure tries; Ben Miller con), Green Island 10 (Riley Lucas try; Samuel Nemec-Vial con, pen). Halftime: Kaikorai 12-3.

Zingari-Richmond 39 (Mika Mafi 2, A-One Lolofie 2, Tofatuimoana Solia, Shaun Driver tries; Driver 3 con, pen), Harbour 20 (Saimone Samate, Quaid Paora, Benjamin Lloyd, Max Brown tries). Halftime: Zingari 24-10.


Southern 761028812632
Green Is651024310229
Taieri 81701482907

Points earned for the bye: GI 5, Zingari 4, Kaikorai 3, Southern 2, University 1.