Whanganui club rugby: Border retain Challenge Shield with win over Ruapehu
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The Barracks Bar Challenge Shield will stay in Waverley for the summer and the men from the ‘Naki will toast a few with their bar tab after Waverley Harvesting Border over-ran McCarthy’s Transport Ruapehu 50-10 on Friday night.
With Mardi Gras 2023 in Ohakune on Saturday and the visitors also missing six regulars including Roman Tutauha and Jamie Hughes, Ruapehu’s last game of the season was moved under lights at Dallison Park, which was also a bonus for the host club as their Tasman Tanning Premier team had been on the bye on May 5 when their annual Duck Shooting night game is held.
The evening also served to honour two Border club stalwarts as flanker Kieran Hussey played his 100th Premier game for the club, having debuted in 2014 after transferring from Hawera’s Southern RFC, while long-time servant Dylan Amon, who has likely played more than 200 club games between Premier and Senior, also received his blazer after raising his Premier 100th on June 10 against Byford’s Readimix Taihape.
Ruapehu had their own sentimental aspect as, with a depleted lineup, retired Steelform Whanganui centenarian capped player Peter Rowe came off the bench to play the last 35 minutes and displayed a lot of the old cleanout skills, while in the last five minutes, his talented son Harry Rowe came on to the wing for his Premier rugby debut.
It should be noted Border scored two breakaway tries in the last five minutes to really blow out the scoreline, otherwise 40-10 would have been a fair reflection of how hard Ruapehu worked.
Their young backline, many of whom started their careers as loose forwards, got out-run by Border’s speedsters – with centre Alekesio Vakarorogo getting a double while setting up tries by wingers Luke Myers and Harry Symes.
Border subbed off key men Craig Clare and Angus Middleton for the second half, both taking knocks to the leg, but they had reinforcements as former Whanganui No 8 Bryn Hudson came off the bench for his second Premier game for his new club after being injured in the season opener, scoring a try.
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Picking up team player of the day honours was Hussey, who commutes from Matamata to still play for Border, and he was determined to register points in his 100th game – powering through for a try, although his two conversion attempts were unsuccessful.
Halfback Lindsay Horrocks and reserve back Ben Aiken dotted down in each half.
Ruapehu scored the first try of the game through halfback Kahl Elers-Green, while second five Conner McIntyre scored off a clever crosskick by flanker Hamish McKay, with fellow flanker Fergus Smith getting the team player of the day honours.
In the conclusion of the Senior round robin, all the semifinal-bound teams did the business, although second-place Utiku Old Boys really had to work on the Racecourse grounds, just holding off fifth-placed AGC Marist Knights 17-10 – the young Marist side really impressing in their first season as a fresh entity.
That result meant Gemini Pepper Construction Kaierau were safe in fourth place before their away game with McCrea Scanning Counties was completed, as they pulled away for a tough 20-12 victory.
Top qualifiers and defending champions Ali Arc Logistics Marist Celtic locked away the Stihl Shop Wanganui Challenge Shield for the season after a comfortable 42-14 derby win over Black Bull Liquor Pirates.
Tāmata Hauhā Rātana stayed ahead of Kaierau in third place without having to play as, unfortunately, the Castlecliff Club Mustangs defaulted the last game of their debut season.
At Memorial Park, Bennett’s Taihape finished with a winning record following a 29-0 shutout of Kelso Hunterville, while after winning only one of their first seven games, JJ Walters Asphalt Marton finished their campaign on a four-match winning streak, with a 57-7 hammering of the Border Seniors in Waverley.
Results June 23-24
Tasman Tanning Premier Week 8
Barracks Bar Challenge Shield – Waverley Harvesting Border 50 (Alekesio Vakarorogo 2, Lindsay Horrocks, Luke Myers, Kieran Hussey, Bryn Hudson, Ben Aiken, Harry Symes tries; Craig Clare 3 con, Nick Harding 2 con) bt McCarthy Transport Ruapehu 10 (Kahl Elers-Green, Connor McIntyre tries). HT: 21-5.
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Wanganui Car Centre Kaierau 15 (Sheldon Pakinga-Manhire, Peniani Waqatabu tries; Pakinga pen, con) bt Dave Hoskin Carriers Marist 10 (Brad Graham try; Daniel Kauika pen, con). HT: 10-3.
Senior Championship, Week 11
At Spriggens Park (Stihl Shop Wanganui Challenge Shield): Ali Arc Logistics Marist Celtic bt Black Bull Liquor Pirates 42-14. HT: 20-7.
At Racecourse: Utiku Old Boys bt AGC Marist Knights 17-10. HT: 5-5.
At Dallison Park: JJ Walters Asphalt Marton bt Border 57-7.
At McNab Domain: Gemini Pepper Construction Kaierau bt McCrea Scanning Counties 20-12. HT: 13-7.
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At Ratana Pa: Tāmata Hauhā Rātana bt Castlecliff Club Mustangs by default.
At Memorial Park: Bennett’s Taihape bt Kelso Hunterville 29-0. HT: 17-0.
UNDER 14s: The Silks Audit Whanganui U14 squad has been named. Forwards: Tuterangiwhiu Rolston (Taihape Area), Dallas Savage (Cullinane), Cullen Fisher (City College), Charlie Ross (Collegiate), Kruz McDonnell-Treweek (Whanganui High), Blayke Greenam (Cullinane), Christian Alio (Rangitikei College), James McGregor (WHS), Malachy Harrison (Taihape Area), Hezekyah Raston (WHS), Le Mahn Lambert (WHS), Will Collins-Lowe (Rangitikei College). Backs: Kobey Fannin (Taihape Area), Ihaia Cooper (Cullinane), Noah Elms (Cullinane), Mikaele (Mika) Ioasa (Collegiate), Ahikaa Kara (Cullinane), Kymahni Vakuruivalu (Cullinane), Lachie Stark (Collegiate), Kingi Pue (Collegiate), Scott Hughes (Cullinane), Te Ariki Wikitera (Taihape Area), Cartel Paaka (City College). Coach: Jason Liddle; Manager: Amber Mckee.
SCHOOLS: Whanganui High 1st XV suffered a setback in their MRU Premier 1 campaign with a 50-24 loss to Palmerston North Boys’ High U16 on Saturday. In the Premier 2 derby, Whanganui Collegiate 2nd XV beat Cullinane College 1st XV 21-7. In Youth 3, Cullinane U15 lost narrowly to PNBHS 6 by 25-22, while Whanganui Collegiate Blue were beaten 51-31 by Tararua College Juniors.