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In the promotion-relegation game at Forsyth Barr Stadium last night, Green Island defeated the challenger, West Taieri, 37-17, after it had led 13-10 at the break.
Green Island had the lion’s share of territory and possession but could not put to bed a spirited West Taieri effort.
It was not until Green Island flanker Matt McCutcheon scored with eight minutes to go, that the green and gold boys sealed the game.
West Taieri tackled like demons and was good at grabbing turnovers at just the right time. But the weight of possession and territory told and Green Island eventually came away with the win.In the first half, Green Island had the majority of ball and territory but scored only two tries.
West Taieri was tenacious in defence and kept its discipline.
Green Island made some nice busts up the middle but tended to push the pass too much and it often went to ground.
West Taieri scored the first try through evergreen No8 Dave McNeill who burrowed over from a lineout after eight minutes.
Green Island came back and the experienced Peter Mirrielees went over to even the scores.
Lively Green Island fullback Sunia Makasini then put his side in front when he sliced through a gap halfway through the first half.
West Taieri closed things up before halftime when first five-eighth Daniel Adam scored a try any front-rower would have been proud of.
He received the ball 15m out and showed some good strength to drive to the line, with the support of his team-mates, to score.
The West Taieri side gave it is best shot in the second half but Green Island finished the stronger.
Best for Green Island were Mirrielees and lock Jared Williams while out the back, centre Hayden McBride and Makasini had their moments.
West Taieri threw together a willing challenge and none played better than openside flanker Conner Jenkins. Lock Steve Green and his partner Ben Davidson never stopped going while McNeill had a good first half. Of the West Taieri backs, centre Will Scorgie ran hard and fullback Shae Deans showed some nice touches.
W. Taieri v Green Island
Green Island 37
Peter Mirrielees, Sunia Makasini, Nelson Yorston, Kane Pomare, Matt McCutcheon, Simon Tupu tries; Hayden McBride 2 con, pen
West Taieri 17
Dave McNeill, Daniel Adam, Will Scorgie tries; Shae Deans con
Halftime: 13-10 Green Island