Woodlands' rapid rise continues

The fast improving Woodlands team beat Blues 20-12 at Balmoral Dr in the Galbraith Shield Competition on Saturday.

Second five-eighth Moses Faletolu made a solid debut for Woodlands, while blindside Curtis Williams provided another strong defensive performance. Woodlands coach Derek Manson said the day belonged to lock forward Michael Gellatly, playing his 150th game for the club.

"The boys were determined to get him the result he deserved."

Blues assistant coach Simon Frisby said his team was pretty happy at half time.

"We knew we needed to lift a gear, but unfortunately, we did the opposite."

Marist kept its unbeaten record intact with a 47-17 win over Pirates Old Boys at Surrey Park.

The confident Marist team was keen to attack from long range, their intent was rewarded with three tries in the space of six minutes. The first went to midfielder Javaan Fa'amoe Ioane after a sweeping move down the left side. Alefosio Vahe and Keanu Kahukura were the next two to dot down, being the beneficiaries of in field kicks from breaks down the right-hand sideline. Two more tries took Marist into the halftime break with a commanding 33-0 lead.

Pirates Old Boys assistant coach Ben McHugh had mixed feelings about the match.

"Those three tries quick tries sparked by Scott Eade really put us on back foot, but our boys then played their best 40 minutes of the season."

Pirates Old-Boys outscored the green-and-blacks three tries to two in the second half.

Man of the match was Marist loose forward Brad Whyte. Lock Kalib Te Ngahue and winger Alatini Vaihu were also standouts. Pirates best player was second five-eighth Anton Huisman, with halfback Ethan Holland and prop Lennon Gaven not far behind.

The Eastern Northern Barbarians earned a 36-10 win at the Gore Showgrounds against Star. Barbarians coach Mark Hourston said it was their best team effort to date.

Scott McKee and Brenton Howden led the team well in their 100th and 50th games respectively. Luke Heslip was player of day with a big 80 minutes up front.

Star manager Andrew McHugh struggled to find positives from his team's performance.

"We got outplayed. The Baabaa's defence was awesome and we had no answers."

In the Premier B competition, Waikaka earned its first win of the season when it beat Edendale 37-17, at Waikaka. Waikaka had defaulted two of their pool games and lost five others but they put a good team performance together on Saturday.

Waikaka led 13-12 at half time. Waikaka manager Peter McRae said "the set piece was good, and the backs strung their moves together".

Edendale stayed in the game for 70 minutes, coach Mike Cunningham reported.

"Waikaka played very well. The second half didn't go to plan for us and the team fell away." The best of the beaten brigade were Jono McDonald, Bevan Whealleans and Adam Muir.

Wyndham had a 22-19 win at home against Te Anau. Wyndham had a good first half but in the second half Te Anau punished Wyndham's mistakes. Wyndham manager Mike Henderson praised his team's discipline and composure on defence in the last five minutes: "Without that, the win may well have been the other way round."

Midlands beat Riversdale 30-15 in Winton.

 - John Langford 

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