University wallop AU to post first win

A round up of premier grade club rugby games played in Dunedin over the weekend.

University                 83

Alhambra-Union     10

University ran in 13 tries in their 83-10 romp over Alhambra-Union at the North Ground.

It was a particularly zesty performance from the students and a much-needed one to get their season on track and post their first win of the year.

Winger Jeremiah Asi scored a hat-trick with his dazzling footwork and Highlanders fullback Martin Bogado grabbed a double.

They teamed together for one of the best tries of the day.

Leading 21-3, University marched into the 22m looking for more points when AU stole the ball and tried to exit.

But University were up to the challenge, switching straight back on to defence and producing a brilliant counter-ruck.

The ball found its way to Bogado, who banged a pinpoint-accurate kick across the field to Asi on the tryline.

Highlanders lock Mitch Dunshea, who turned out for AU last weekend when he needed game time and University had the bye, put in an honest shift and scored a double, and captain Aaron Withy was exceptional. Prop Charles Engelbrecht also had some robust carries.

University led 45-3 at halftime and scored again before AU caught a break.

Replacement Theodore Davis bustled over for the home side’s only try of the game.

University pressured AU into mistakes and scored some nice individual tries.

Bogado chipped a nice ball over the defensive line and big Ale Aho scooped it up off the deck and ran in from 30m out.

University punished AU for their mistakes and finished with replacement back Ratu Wragg scoring a 70m intercept try.

AU hooker Samuel Smith put in a big shift for 80 minutes.

University winger Aaron McMurray evades the clutches of Alhambra-Union defender Ollie McKenna at...
University winger Aaron McMurray evades the clutches of Alhambra-Union defender Ollie McKenna at the North Ground on Saturday. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
— Kayla Hodge

Kaikorai          43

Taieri                  7

Kaikorai gave Jordan McEntee-Walters the win he deserved in his 100th game.

The loyal Kaikorai winger scored a try and banged over the final conversion of the game in the Demons’ 43-7 win over Taieri at Bishopscourt.

It was a clinical performance from the home side to jump to the top of the ladder.

Ten minutes into the game, Kaikorai flanker Lucas Casey had a nice draw and pass to hooker Michael Stydom, who scored the first try of his hat-trick.

Taieri scored soon after through Joe Coburn, who got through some woeful tackling, and Alexander Honey added the extras.

From a ruck, Will Tucker jumped clear and was tackled short of the line. The ball then went through a series of hands and Jordan Hand scored out wide with a Ben Miller conversion added.

The Eels struggled at scrum time and were pushed off the ball in the opening two scrums and penalised.

Strydom then scored his next two from clinical lineout rolling mauls as Kaikorai led 22-7 at the break.

Despite being down on size up front, the Eels lineout functioned well in the first half with lock Eric Peita standing up as the target.

Tucker scored after multiple phases for the Demons, followed by McEntee-Walters going over in his 100th.

Lock Zach McKenzie stole the ball at the lineout and the ball was recycled through the Demons backs. Jackson Toms showed some pace to score under the posts.

Kaikorai had skill, size, and experience over Taieri, not to mention a couple of Highlanders in Tucker and Rhys Patchell, but to Taieri’s credit, they did not drop their bundle. They kept tackling and trying to run the ball when they could. 

— Kayla Hodge

Green Island      86

Harbour              10

In the second-highest score in Challenge Shield history, Green Island ran in 13 tries to smash Harbour at Miller Park.

Ironically, Green Island hold the record for the heaviest defeat in a challenge fixture — they were pulverised 127-12 by Taieri 10 years ago.

A decade on, fortunes have changed, and Green Island are proving a force this season with their robust forward pack and free-running backs, all of whom quickly align in defence.

No8 Delaney McKenzie proved too big and too strong close to the line when scoring a hat-trick of tries in the first half and bagging a fourth early in the second. McKenzie also played a key role in assisting Vilimone Bainibure for his try.

Fellow loose forwards Amos Roddick and Ronan Dynes combined with McKenzie throughout to help secure ball and play a key role in backing up Jake Te Hiwi and Riley Lucas to form a solid defence in midfield.

Wingers Levi Harmon and Samuel Nemec-Vial played a key role in supporting the counter-attacking from fullback Finn Hurley. Both Harmon and Nemec-Vial scored braces on the back of Hurley’s breaks.

For Harbour, centre Aleki Morris and winger Max Brown featured out wide, while openside flanker Abraham Meachen and No 8 Noaese Foaitua were tireless defenders around the fringes.

— Wayne Parsons

Dunedin        30

Southern       17

Last year’s finalists squared off in a brutal encounter at Shark Park. This was a game played between two big forward packs and the Dunedin pack came out on on top, but only just.

They controlled the scrums and lineouts and had the better possession and territory, and that told in the second spell when they scored three unanswered tries to win the game decisively.

Cam Burgess kicked three penalties in the first half to give Dunedin a one-point lead at the break. Southern scored the only try of the half when blockbusting No8 Konrad Toleafoa went over from a break by halfback Bailey Moody.

Southern controlled territory for the first part of the second half and fullback Mackenzie Palmer capitalised, banging over three penalties to give them the lead.

But numerous Southern handling errors were mounting up, and this ended up costing them the game.

Winger Marcus Hetherington inflicted the first blow when he pounced on a dropped ball on their own line from a Cam Burgess chip kick.

Then fullback Josh Augustine latched on to an errant pass from midfielder Levi Emery and strolled over under the bar to give Dunedin a six-point lead.

Big replacement lock Reuben Palmer then crashed over from close range to seal the deal after Dunedin had bivouacked in the Southern 22m for some considerable time.

The Dunedin forwards controlled the second spell, especially at lineout time.

Dunedin lock James Bolton was the game’s best player as he dominated at lineout time and was ferocious in the tackle. Prop Sepa Vaka played the full 80 minutes, scrummed particularly well and was brutal on the carry and made some massive tackles.

Southern lock Thomas Brock may not be that tall but he was a towering presence in the pack. He was unbelievably hard to bring down and was at the forefront of most of the Southern surges.

Both sides made a statement that they will be available for playoff rugby later in the season.

— Paul Dwyer

Round 4

The scores

University 83 (Jeremiah Asi 3, Mitch Dunshea 2, Martin Bogado 2, Charles Engelbrecht, Mac Harris, Aaron McMurray, Bradley Campbell, Ale Aho, Ratu Wragg tries; Jacob Waikari-Jones 6 con, Asi 2 con, Bogado con.) 

Alhambra-Union 10 (Theodore Davis try; William Thode con, pen)

Halftime: University 45-3.

Kaikorai 43 (Michael Strydom 3, Jordan Hand, Will Tucker, Jordan McEntee-Walters, Jackson Toms tries; Ben Miller 2 con, Rhys Patchell con, McEntee-Walters con)

Taieri 7 (Joe Cockburn try; Alexander Honey con) 

Halftime: Kaikorai 22-7.

Green Island 86 (Delaney McKenzie 4, Levi Harmon 2, Samuel Nemec-Vial 2, Finn Strawbridge, Vilimone Bainibure, Tim Heller, Finn Hurley, Benjamin Lopas tries; Hurley 9 con, pen), 

Harbour 10 (Max Brown try; Mason James con, pen).

Halftime: Green Island 34-10.

Dunedin 30 (Marcus Hetherington, Josh Augustine, Reuben Palmer tries; Cam Burgess 3 con, 3 pen),

Southern 17 (Konrad Toleafoa try; Mackenzie Palmer 4 con).

Halftime: Dunedin 9-8.


  P W L D BP   F   A Pts
Kaikorai 3 3 0 0  3 165  15  15
Southern 4 3 1 0  3 144  70  15
Green Island 3 3 0 0  2 161  43  14
Zingari-Richmond 3 3 0 0  2 102  93  14
Dunedin 4 2 2 0  2 110 101  10
University 3 1 2 0  3 127  64   7
Taieri 4 1 3 0  2  82 114   6
Harbour  4 0 4 0  1  45205   1
Alhambra Union 4 0  4 0  0  48249   0