Lineout platform for dominant Dunedin

Dunedin lock Jamie Mowat (left) grabs Zingari-Richmond No 8, Tofatuimoana Solia, at Montecillo on...
Dunedin lock Jamie Mowat (left) grabs Zingari-Richmond No 8, Tofatuimoana Solia, at Montecillo on Saturday. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
A round-up of premier grade club rugby games played in Dunedin over the weekend.

Dunedin                          48

Zingari-Richmond         5

It was competitive in the early stages at Montecillo as the defence from both sides, especially defending their own lines, was staunch to say the least.

Dunedin started to exert some territorial dominance after 15 minutes and flanker James Bolton crashed over for the first try.

Zingari stormed straight back on to attack and centre Tama Apineru burst through some weak tackling to give evergreen lock Chris Bell a free ride to the line to level it up.

Dunedin regained some control late in the spell when Kyan Rangitutia skinned his man on the outside to go over in the corner. It is not hard to see why the Highlanders are so interested in the strapping young winger.

Tayne Harvey then showed some outrageous aerial skills from an up-and-under to put midfielder Joe Cooke over for a converted try and the Sharks led 17-5 at the break.

The floodgates then opened up for Dunedin as their lineout took full control and set up a lot of territory and possession, and it told as Zingari’s defence started to leak.

Dunedin scored a further five tries, and Cooke and replacement flanker Curtis Palmer both scored a brace, as the Sharks nearly hit 50 while keeping Zingari scoreless in the second half.

Replacement players Rhys Hughes, Max Ratcliffe and Palmer really added impetus in the second spell.

Big lock Reuben Palmer was Dunedin’s best up front with his lineout work and ferocious tackling. Flyhalf Cam Burgess controlled the game well and Harvey, although playing out of position on the wing, showed real flair and strength.

For Zingari, No 8 Tofatuimoana Solia was their go-to ball carrier and made some big hits. Fionn McKenna was lively at halfback and first five Tyree Manaia was the cool head in their backline.

— Paul Dwyer


University                      46

Green Island                  22

The ground has shifted under the Dunedin premier competition.

University eased to a 46-22 win over front-runners Green Island at the University Oval on Saturday.

They were impressive in the dry conditions, and Green Island entered into the spirit as well.

Both sides moved the ball wide in a quality opening 40 minutes. University just hustled a little bit harder and led 29-22 at the break.

Hard-working hooker Luke Thompson flopped over from a lineout drive and left winger Finlay Hagen scored from a charge down to give University a 12-3 lead.

Finn Hurley put in a wonderful crossfield kick to Bradley McPate, who climbed high, won the ball and rushed off to score for Green Island.

Hurley dotted down as well. He got a cracking inside pass from busy loosie Ronan Dynes, and converted his own try to make it 15-15.

University centre Mac Harris busted through in midfield and scored from 10m out, and Lanson Randell finished off a wonderful team try that featured a strong run and another offload from Highlanders midfielder Thomas Umaga-Jensen.

University lock Ale Aho made a big difference as well.

Dynes thought he had got the ball over, or least on the line, midway through the second half. But the referee saw it differently, and a few minutes later Aho drove over from a 5m lineout to stretch the lead to 36-22.

It was a turning point in the game.

University added two more tries to pull away to a comfortable win in the end. They will be hard to beat in the playoffs based on that performance.

— Adrian Seconi


Alhambra-Union         29

Harbour                          28

Alhambra-Union lock Caleb Roa probably did not have a to buy a drink all night.

He barged over to score in the final minute to seal a tense 29-28 win over Harbour at the North Ground.

It was the Broncos’ first win this season and it was good reward for a gutsy effort.

The home team trailed 21-12 at the break and were forced to do a lot of defending early in the second half.

The Hawks built pressure but AU held out long enough to turn the tables.

Winger Mavae Manuika crossed to trim the gap further.

Harbour scored with 15 minutes remaining but their discipline failed. They copped a couple of yellow cards and AU scored two unconverted tries in the last 10 minutes to win.

Roa got the one that counted the most.

AU had strung together a series of attacking scrums and had been threatening to score before Roa picked it up from a ruck and muscled over.

The Thode twins stood out for AU. William got two tries from fullback and was threatening when he ran the ball, and Oliver controlled play nicely at halfback.

Loosehead prop Petelo Amato carried strongly and made some tough tackles.

Harbour fullback Futo Yamaguchi displayed some good pace and made a few breaks, and halfback Nathan Hastie had a sharp game and put AU under pressure with his boot.

— Adrian Seconi


Kaikorai                         57

Taieri                              17

Kaikorai pulled away to beat Taieri by 40 at Peter Johnstone Park.

The final score of 57-17 reads like it was a one-sided encounter.

But the home team dominated for the first 20 minutes and arguably had the better of the first half even though they trailed 17-12 at the break.

Otago loose forward Sam Fischli was badly injured and Taieri really struggled in his absence.

One man should not make that much difference, but Fischli did.

The Eels are rebuilding this season and have been hamstrung by a series of injuries. They lack size, and every week a different opponent takes advantage.

Kaikorai are a quality team, and once they got on the front foot, the tries kept coming — six in the second half .

Ben Miller knocked over seven conversions and a penalty. He also got across the chalk for a five-pointer to take his tally to 22 points.

Winger Jordan McEntee-Walters scored three tries, and first five Nic Proffit had another tidy game. He set the agenda and flung the ball wide in the second spell.

There was not much difference in the set pieces, although Kaikorai had a wee edge in the scrum.

Taieri kicked to hand rather than space once too often and the visitors were able to capitalise.

Kaikorai loose forward Lucas Casey was menacing, particularly when he popped up out wide.

Tighthead prop Ulaea Takataka carried well and took care of his end in the scrum.

For Taieri, front-rowers Brady Robertson and Morgan Jones were busy and centre Josh Whaanga was solid.

— Adrian Seconi


Round 13

The scores

Dunedin   48  (Joe Cooke 2, Curtis Palmer 2, James Bolton, Kyan Rangitutia, Tim Hogan, Max Ratcliffe tries; Cam Burgess 4 con).

Zingari-Richmond  5  (Chris Bell try).   Halftime:  Dunedin 17-5.


University   46  (Mac Harris 2, Luke Thompson, Finlay Hagen, Lanson Randell, Ale Aho, Amedeo Ventresca tries; Jacob Waikari-Jones 3 con, pen, Rico Muliaina con).

Green Island  22  (Bradley McPate, Finn Hurley, Samuel Nemec-Vial tries; Hurley 2 con, pen).  Halftime:  University 29-22.


Kaikorai  57  (Jordan McEntee-Walters 3, Ryan Johnston, Fletcher Corse-Scott, Ben Miller, Sidney Fidow, Stanley McClure tries; Miller 7 con, pen),

Taieri  17  (Hunter Dickson, Brady Robertson, Samuel Pearce tries; Joe Cockburn con).  Halftime:  Kaikorai 17-12.


Alhambra-Union  29  (William Thode 2, Manueli Rauqeuqe, Mavae Manuika, Caleb Roa tries; Anzac Tipene 2 con). 

Harbour  28  (Benjamin Fakataha, Takuma Shoji, Max Brown tries, penalty try; Mason James 3 con).  Halftime:  Harbour 21-12.



  P  W D L B   F  A Pts
Green Is 11 9 0 2 7 397 201 48
Kaikorai 11 8 1 2 7 411 151 44
Dunedin 12 9 0 3 8 410 199 44
Southern 11 8 0 3 9 460 211 43
University 12 6 0 613 437 249 38
Zingari-Richmond 11 6 1 4 6 294 368 36
Harbour 12 2 0 10 7 204 528 15
Taieri 12 2 0 10 4 225 413 12
Alhambra Union 12 1 0 11 2 151 667  6

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