Kaikorai stays top — with officials’ help

Kaikorai winger Jordan McEntee attempts to get past Zingari-Richmond opposite Willie Time at...
Kaikorai winger Jordan McEntee attempts to get past Zingari-Richmond opposite Willie Time at Bishopscourt on Saturday.PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
Kaikorai 41 Zingari-Richmond 0

Kaikorai scored three quick tries midway through the second half to set up a seemingly comfortable 41-0 victory against Zingari-Richmond at Bishopscourt.

But on another day the officials might have spotted what appeared an obvious knock-on and what was probably a forward pass which led to two of those tries.

Then there were four yellow cards — three of which were dished out to Zingari-Richmond — and a penalty try.

There was a lot of ill-discipline for one game. And it was not a match which would make anyone’s top 10 either.

Zingari-Richmond had the better of the first 30 minutes. Highlanders Kirisi Kuridrani and Tevita Nabura teamed up in a potent midfield for the Colours.

The home side opened the scoring through a Ben Miller penalty. It then took advantage of the first yellow card to win a penalty try against an undermanned Zingari-Richmond scrum.

It led 10-0 at the break, and shortly after the resumption, centre Sam Jones got outside a defender and offloaded to fullback Roman Blackman to score the best try of the game.

The referee provided the assist for two of the next three tries.

Blackman had a strong kicking game and finished with two tries, while loose forward Grayson Knapp was a stand out.

Connor Newlands produced a tidy display at first five-eighth for the Colours and No8 Aron Einarsson was industrious.

Alhambra-Union 24 Southern 12

Alhambra-Union was more or less clueless out wide last season.

Not so any more.

The Broncos showed more enterprise in the backs, and some accurate goal kicking from pivot Levi Emery helped the home side bag a surprise 24-12 win against Southern at the North Ground.

That flair made an early appearance. Highlanders utility back Vilimoni Koroi put through a kick and Pecili Malanicagi, brother of Highlander winger Jona Nareki, gathered the ball and scampered 30m to score in the opening exchanges.

Emery slotted the first of his four penalty goals to make it 10-0.

Southern woke from its slumber for the last 10 minutes of the half. No8 Mika Mafi drove over from a lineout close to the line and centre Tama Apineru scored in the final moments to close the gap, after Emery had drilled another penalty.

Alhambra-Union extended its 13-12 halftime lead with a try to No 8 Delaney MacKenzie.

Halfback Ben McCarthy made a break from the base of a scrum and got the pass to MacKenzie.

Emery kicked two more penalties to complete the scoring.

Southern dominated the scrum in the final quarter, but both sides struggled in the lineouts.

Koroi was a constant threat at the back and centre Noah Cooper had a solid game. Second five Legin Hotham was impressive on defence and with the ball.

For Southern, experienced prop Hisa Sasagi and lock and captain Jermayne Maika put in honest shifts.

Taieri 21 Harbour 20

Challenge Shield holder Harbour had the best possible start to its defence of Dunedin club rugby’s “log of wood” but after the lead changed four times, it was Taieri which came away with the 21-20 victory at Watson Park.

Harbour scored in the opening minute through flanker Charles Elton, but Taieri quickly recovered to reply in kind straight afterwards, scoring through wing Marc Rooney.

Despite the good work of the three Highlanders in the Harbour pack, Taieri proved equal to the task, particularly through its loose forward trio of Jesse Houston, Nick Henderson and Leroy Ferguson, and locks Brodie Hume and Vinnie O’Connell, while out wide Rooney and Glen Beadle were proving a handful.

Taking an 18-10 lead into the break, Taieri was put to the sword early in the second half as Harbour fought its way back to regain the lead. But its constant infringing cost it the game as Taieri pivot Corey McKay landed a handy penalty seven minutes out from full time.

Determination and strong defence from Taieri kept Harbour at bay as it punched away deep inside the Taieri half. Two missed shots at goal in the final minutes helped send the woodwork south to Mosgiel.

University 32 Green Island 23

The old adage is the team that dominates before and after halftime wins the game. Varsity did that in spades.

Green Island started the game with a will and a committed defensive game plan, putting Varsity under immense pressure.

Green Island had a 15 point wind at its back at Logan Park. Tries to hard working loosie Brett Kingsbury and to electric outside back Michael Manson had it leading 18-3 as the clock wound down to halftime.

But Varsity camped near the tryline for the last five minutes of the half and that told when livewire hooker Ricky Jackson crashed over to reduce the lead to 10 and this effectively won the game.

Varsity dominated the first 25 minutes of the second half and scored four more tries in the process. Winger Jermaine Pepe went over twice following fast hands from the backline. Jackson went over again, as did lock Hadleigh Morgan, as the Varsity forwards took control.

Green Island came back into the game in the last 10 minutes and Manson again demonstrated his pace by scoring out wide off a break by replacement midfielder Rawiri Wereta.

University No8 Sean Withy was a standout and the pack followed him all over the park. Lock Josh Hill dominated at lineout time and had a big work rate.

For Green Island, lock Woody Kirkwood was far and away its best and Manson was dangerous out wide but he needs to get more involved in the game, given his skill set.

 - ODT rugby writers

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