Owaka hang on for first win of season

Owaka picked up their first win of the Southern Region club season with a composed 34-24 win over Lawrence at Swamp Hen Park on Thursday night in reasonably tough conditions.

Owaka played with the wind in the first half, scoring two converted tries and kicking two penalties to lead 20-0 at the break.

The home side scored again soon after but Lawrence’s ball-runners started to find tired shoulders and made metres on the carry.

Sam Wyber scored a second-half hat-trick with some bulldozing runs but Lawrence had too much ground to make up.

Prop Daniel Miller and lock Craig McCormick stood out for Owaka, on both attack and defence, while loose forwards Ieru Leteu and Chris Chittock were also in fine form.

Josh Huddleston’s kicking was on point, and midfielder Siaosi Lepua was strong on the carry and put in some thunderous hits on defence.

Lawrence were led by No 8 Wyber, who put the team on his back in the second half.

He timed his runs to perfection and often broke the first tackle.

Jake Lyders added punch to the Lawrence attack in the second half, and halfback Tyrone Goodlet was the pick of the Lawrence backs.

West Taieri and Clutha put on a show for the crowd at Outram, West Taieri winning the replay of last season’s final 29-28.

The Pigs dominated at scrum time, led 17-13 at halftime and managed to hold off a spirited Clutha side in trying conditions.

West Taieri’s tight five showed their class, earning two penalty tries from scrum dominance

Skipper Conor Beaton led from the front in a huge effort, flanker Ben Scorgie had a strong game, and winger Eli Ellison was sharp and elusive.

Clutha props Antonio Panapa and Liuliu Pasina carried strongly and showed their worth around the park, while midfielders Sylvester Reeves and Jonty Sopp were strong on both attack and defence.

Crescent thumped Toko 53-19 in the Eddie Scott Memorial in Milton.

After Crescent scored three tries inside the first 10 minutes, a red card to prop Mafi Demont slowed their momentum.

Toko hit back with a try before halftime but the second half was fairly one-sided as Crescent scored a further four tries and looked unstoppable on the front foot.

Prop Oceania Ioane was in the thick of the action for Crescent, No 8 Kace Shaw was a pillar of strength, and Tyler Brouwer was a workhorse in the tight.

Fullback Mananui Keane was the pick of the Crescent backs alongside hat-trick hero Nico Burgess, who looked electric in open pasture.

Toko, who suffered some potentially serious injuries, showed plenty of ticker, led by lock Liam Kingma and flanker Tim Smaill.

Clutha Valley made it two from two with a 37-5 win over Clinton at Clydevale to retain the Speight’s Jug and the Brian Steel Memorial.

Valley scored four tries to lead 22-5 at the break, and kept up the pressure in the second spell.

Hooker Dave Matsas showed his class for Valley with two tries, and halfback Jordy Cordell-Hull and fullback Ben Smart were the pick of the backs.

No 8 Ben Witt and backs Jimmy Sinclair and James Scanlan did their best for Clinton.

By Francis Parker