Hutt Old Boys Marist v Paremata Plimmerton (reporter – John Sheehan)
Picture a windless afternoon, seaside at Ngati Toa Domain No 1 which was in as good a nick as I’ve seen it – it’s time for more exciting club footy – you know, the REAL footy..!
After watching the Reserves bulldoze their Paremata Plimmerton opposites 60 – 3 we hoped to see another free-flowing game at Premier Level. We weren’t disappointed. With The Eagles coming off a three-game losing streak and celebrating Brandyn Laursen’s 100th game they had a point to prove.
The game was more than a point-a-minute affair with The Eagles scoring twelve tries and the plucky hosts three in return, with Brandyn celebrating his milestone game by scoring the first two tries for The Eagles.
It was great to see promising 2019 Colt’s Lock Aisea Mafile’o debut for the Premiers and join his Colt’s teammate Mika Alaifatu in the Premiers. Between them they cleaned up most of the kick-offs and Aisea proved he also has a huge future at this level. Also back for their first Premier game of the 2020 season were Francis Tanuvasa and Nash Fiso. Welcome back guys.
Another aspect of the afternoon worth mentioning was the outstanding support evident on the sidelines for both of our teams. It confirmed that our supporters are amongst the best, if not the best travellers in Wellington Club Rugby. Well done to you Eagle’s supporters!
To the game itself. The backline was the 7th different combination in seven weeks but with Chase Tia Tia at fullback and Tomasi Alosio on the wing it didn’t matter – it was going to be fun. And so it proved, with The Eagles scoring five tries in the first half and seven in the second. Even having Fereti yellow-carded in the 35th minute for a dubiously-ruled high tackle didn’t stop The Eagle’s momentum, scoring two tries in his absence.
With twelve tries scored it’s hard to pick highlights but for mine Josh Brown’s try in the 16th minute, Masi’s in the 24th following a lovely double around by Glen Walters and Masi coming back on the cut, Jordan Gillie’s in the 40th following a lovely midfield break by Glen and then Fereti’s try at about 55th where a breakout from our own line saw him given the ball on about the 22, make ground then kick through, gather, break two tackles and still have the power to place and pick up the ball again and drive through the last tackle for a great individual try. Also worthy of mention was Pakai Turia’s try in the 77th minute where he showed all his skills to score another beautiful individual try.
My players of the day? Josh Brown at blindside was outstanding as were the other two at the back, Jordan Gillies and Mika Alaifatu. Ben Power never stopped all day and his lineout throwing was excellent too. David Filipo was as solid as ever and as noted his locking partner Aisea Mafile’o had a great debut. Brett Manaia was rewarded for his solid outing with a well-deserved try before being subbed. In the backs Waylon and Glen formed a very good halfback -1st five combination and the backline functioned pretty well for the most part as a result. Masi looked great with the extra freedom on the wing and Todd Svenson had a solid game at centre also.
On the negative side, having lost games against Norths and Petone by not having an adequate defensive plan for the rolling maul we conceded two more tries as a result of not being able to foil these. This element needs a lot of work before our upcoming game against MSP.
Next Saturday is another huge game, against MSP for the coveted Father Cleary Shield. It will also be Rei Manaia’s 100th Game. There will be a presentation acknowledging the achievements of Brandyn and Rei at the clubrooms at 6:30pm following Saturday’s post-match formalities.
Other Team Results from Saturday: -
Premier Reserves continued their resurgence thumping Para-Plimm 60 – 3
Women beat Avalon 10 – 0
Colts went down 0 – 27 in a game where the difference was not as big as the score suggests
85 Howlers went down to Avalon in a tight affair 0 – 3
Pressies continued on their winning way rolling Norths 69 – 10
GO THE EAGLES!