Wellington U19s finish third, big wins for U18s Centurions, Samoans and Pride

14/09/2019

Sunday updates below.

On Sunday, the Wellington Pride beat the Counties Manukau Heat 38-36, with a late try to lock Joanah Ngan Woo levelling the scores up and second five-eighth Amanda Rasch converting.

In a see-saw game, the Pride had raced to a 12-0 lead on the back of tries to prolific left wing Ayesha Leti-l’iga and openside flanker Sinead Ryder, latching on to an inside Rasch pass after a break up the other touchline.

Counties Manukau came back to lead 17-12, but the Pride scored a great set-piece try off an attacking try on halftime with Leti-l’iga coming into the backline and scoring under the posts to put them up 19-17 at halftime.

The second half remained tight and the Heat appeared to have won the game with a runaway try, but one of their players was sin-binned with five minutes to play and this opened the door for a late Pride rally and Ngan-Woo’s match-winner.

At Taupo the Wellington U19s finished third at the Jock Hobbs Memorial National U19 tournament, beating the Bay of Plenty Junior Steamers 34-7.

Wellington won the match five tries to one, with No. 8 Shamus Langton, flankers Josh Southall and Sam Smith, hooker Tyrone Thompson and wing Kayden Muller all crossing the white line.

Playing with the wind, Bay of Plenty scored the game’s first try to halfback Jackson Hollinshead, but Wellington struck back with two 5-pointers to lead 10-7 at halftime. Wellington were hungry in the second half and added three more tries. Lock Taine Plumtree, Langton and second five-eighth Kienan Higgins were all strong performers.

At Napier, the Wellington Development team had a hard-earned 41-30 win over the Hawke’s Bay Saracens Development team in their return fixture.

The Wellington Development finished with a flourish in scoring two converted tries in the final 10 minutes to take victory, after the home side had taken a 31-26 lead.

Earlier the Saracens had made a hot start by scoring two early tries and racing to a 12-0 lead. Wellington scored their first try early in the third quarter, but Hawke’s Bay had scored again after 30 minutes to lead 19-7 and then again to make it 26-7.

Wellington replied with their second try right on halftime to trail 14-26 at the interval, and then scored first in the second half to make it 19-26 and set up the close finish.

For the Wellington Development side, Nash Fiso (2), Villami Fine (2), Pepesana Patafilo and Eduan Struwig were their try scorers.

In Christchurch, the Wellington Maori team beat Canterbury Maori 20-19 with a late penalty in their Tirikatene Shield match.

A the Petone Recreation Ground, the Wellington Samoans U18s had a dominant 69-3 win over the Wairarapa Bush U18s in their third and final round match of the Trustbank Secondary School Shield competition

Despite the big win, they fell short of making the final next week, and will play Poverty Bay for third and fourth.

The Wellington Centurions U18s who beat the Horowhenua-Kapiti U18s 62-10 in Otaki today will travel to play top qualifier Whanganui in next week’s U18 competition final. Whanganui secured top spot with a 41-18 win over Hawke’s Bay. For more about the Trustbank Secondary School Shield competition go HERE 

The Wellington U18s Samoans forwards were too strong for their Wairarapa-Bush counterparts in their fixture.

The Wellington Samoans U18s ran in 11 tries, four in the first half and a further seven in the second half with the moderate wind at their backs. They led 24-3 at halftime.

It was the visitors that got on the scoresheet first, their fullback kicking a penalty following the sinbinning of MSP club and Samoans lock Samson Alaimoana.

The 14-man Samoans hit back smartly, winning a penalty from the next re-start and kicking into the corner for a lineout. They then went wide to St Pat’s Town right wing Sapati Tagoai and then swing play back to the grandstand side of play to set up a try to flying Aotea College left wing Javan Upton.

Wairarapa-Bush were still in the contest and pressing for an equaliser themselves but the Samoans held on and packed down a defensive scrum, from which Aotea centre Owen Wright attacked the line in a 60 metre run up the middle. The movement continued but ended in touch on the visitors’ 22. The Samoans won the next lineout and went wide to centre Wright and then to Tagoai who fumbled, regathered and scored their second try.

The bigger Samoan forwards were getting well on top by this stage and lock Alaimoana atoned for his earlier 10 minute spell behind his posts by bursting through a ruck and scoring their next try to go 17-3 up.

On the cusp of halftime, the Samoans launched another free-wheeling attacking passage of play and left wing Upton beat his defender and kicked and chased the ball into the in-goal only to be obstructed going for the try. The match officials deliberated and a penalty try was awarded.

The Samoans scored a neat try off a blindside lineout move to start the second half, with Alaimoana making a powerful burst and Tawa College hooker Hayden Kuresa scoring. Aotea second five-eighth Mato Matofai converted from the sideline to put them up 31-3.

From the very next re-start, Rongotai College No. 8 Joyner Gaualofa made a galloping run up the middle that set up their next try in the same corner.

Now in total control and with the introduction to the match to Aotea centre of Ropati So’oalo who had been late arriving and rode the pine in the first half, the Samoans ran in another five tries to win comfortably.

So’oalo scored one of those tries, while Tagoai bagged his brace and Onslow College halfback Sonny Palauni-Aiono scored and converted the final try of the afternoon.

In the early game at the Petone Rec at 11.00am the Wellington Community U18s Women beat the Wellington Samoans U18s Women 20-10.

The rugby continues on Sunday with three games. The U18 Girls Wellington Centurions are playing the Tasman U18s Girls side at Porirua Park #1 at 11.00am and the Wellington Pride host Counties Manukau at 11.35am and the Wellington Lions host Otago at 2.05pm in two matches at Westpac Stadium.

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