Monday, April 20
Week four of the Citizens Shield produced wins for Athletic Marist, Old Boys and Valley on Saturday.
Athies hosted Kurow and maintained their 100% record with a 31-13 victory.
Kurow’s Jason Frew, who played at halfback rather than centre, opened the scoring in the third minute from a penalty before Athies skipper Steven Banks replied with a try six minutes later.
Welshman Rory Harries was unable to capitalise from the conversion.
Kurow began to gather momentum, with plenty of possession, before a lacklustre pass allowed wing William Saulala to intercept and speed over the line for the second try of the encounter.
Kurow’s continued pressure eventually paid off with a try from Frew but the halfback was unable to pick up the extras.
The visitors’ fightback was short-lived as power-house prop Sifa Pouha touched down for Athies third try of the tie.
Halfback Harries duly slotted the conversion for a 19-8 scoreline at the interval.
The home side looked to secure the win early on in the second period as replacement Kilioni Taufa bundled over the line, but Harries was off target again from the conversion.
Kurow continued the pressure and were rewarded with a try to No 8 Jarrad Blackler to keep the contest competitive.
Frew steered the conversion wide of the posts before openside flanker Banks sealed the win for Athletic Marist with his second try of the afternoon.
Kurow coach Kevin Malcolm praised Athies for an impressive display.
“Athletic got a really good pattern and played a really good game, we did well but they seemed to nullify everything we did,” Malcolm said.
“The attitudes of both teams was good and I think the ref did well, he allowed it to flow and kept the whistle away.”
Saturday’s win was the third so far in Athies’ campaign after their fixture with Maheno was rescheduled for May 1.
Old Boys made it four wins from four with a 42-15 victory over Blues at the Whitestone Contracting Stadium.
The shield-holders headed to the sheds 10-6 behind after a frustrating first half but found their rhythm to secure the win in the second period.
Coach Kilifi Fangupo said his side failed to execute the final pass in the first half and were slow to clear out of the ruck but he was pleased with the second half.
“We had a good second half and came back with the win. I think Blues played well in the first half.”
” We couldn’t execute the last pass in the first half, it was just little things but we played well in the second half.”
Maheno fell to a 26-19 loss to Valley in their third defeat of the season at Weston Park.
The young side showed plenty of promise and coach Mark Wilson hopes his team will continue to improve in the coming weeks.
“We played to our game plan. Our execution wasn’t 100% but we created plenty of opportunities.”
“We’re a young team that’s building and progressing every week. Realistically this was just our third game and I think there’s positives that can be taken from it.”
Athletic Marist 31 (S Banks 2, W Saulala, S Pouha, K Taufa tries; R Harries 3 con) vs Kurow 13 (J Frew, J Blackler; J Frew pen). HT: 19-8 Athletic.
Valley 26 (L Gray 2, P Wilson tries; B McKenzie 3 pen, con) vs Maheno 19 (H Tisdall, J Day, T Squire tries; M Hore 2 con). HT:14-7 Valley.
Old Boys 42 (S Tongotongo 2, M Mapusaga 2, S Pi’I, F Veamatahau tries; I Naufahu 2 pen, 3 con), Excelsior 15 (J Pillay, R Wilson, W Crane tries). HT:10-6 Excelsior.
By James Ford
PHOTO: JAMES FORD – Athletic Marist’s Sione Pangata’a in action against Kurow on Saturday.