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THE WRAP

Another high-octane, free-flowing early Citizens Shield round with no fewer than 28 tries scored across the three games.

Any hopes of a dramatic rematch of last year’s epic final were quickly dashed as Old Boys charged to a 35-0 halftime lead over Maheno and ended up winning 61-12.

The combination of a dry ball and plenty of space is always particularly tasty for Old Boys, and the men in black looked lethal and physically dominant.

Maheno, missing talisman Hayden Tisdall and suffering a couple of early injury blows, was out-matched for 65 minutes but finished with real spirit, and the defending champion should have no problem moving on quickly from this result.

The story of the season is Excelsior, which made it two from two with a 38-33 win over Kurow.

There was a marvellous second-half comeback from Kurow, but Blues again showed how dangerous they can be in possession.

Valley rebounded from its first-round loss with a solid 31-8 win over Athletic Marist, which remains pointless after a frustrating start to the season.

 
TALKING POINT

You really never know with the weather.

After one of the wettest summers in living memory, the second round of club rugby took place in glorious conditions.

It was especially pleasant at Centennial Park, where hundreds of fans enjoyed the rare opportunity to watch two games at once.

Any chance we can have more of this once the main ground is ready to go? Two games, back to back? Hmm?

 

PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Valley prop Rob Mafileo powered his club to a solid win at Weston, and another prop, the irrepressible Ralph Darling, showed his nose for the tryline as he popped up three times to score for Old Boys.

My nod this week, though, goes to dynamic Old Boys flanker Filipo Veamatahau.

The rising star looks fit, healthy and motivated, and was everywhere in the win over Maheno at Centennial Park.

Veamatahau dominated the lineout and carried the ball with pace and power to begin many of Old Boys’ long-range attacks.

 

COACH’S CALL

“Two from two is obviously a good way to start the season. It gives the boys a bit of self-belief, which is the main thing. Most of our forwards are quite young, and we’ve got guys playing out of position, but they did well to let our backs show off their magic. But we’ve still got a hell of a long way to go.” – Dan Keno (Excelsior)

 

THIS WEEK

Easter time, so the schedule is all over the place. There is a rare Thursday night game at Maheno, where the defending champion hosts Excelsior. Old Boys and Valley clash at Centennial Park on Good Friday at 1pm, and Kurow hosts Athletic Marist in the regular Saturday slot.

Road block . . . Athletic Marist halfback Folau Tokai lines up Valley flanker Cameron Rowland in the game at Weston. PHOTO: DAVE BOYLE