Tauili’ili a Tawa man now

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

Lo­gan Tauili’ili played 160 games for Up­per Hutt’s pre­mier rugby side, but he was one of the ar­chi­tects of their de­feat on Satur­day as Tawa re­mained on tar­get to re­tain the Swin­dale Shield.

The un­beaten Tawa side pre­vailed 29-20 at Maid­stone Park, but de­spite the close­ness of the score, the vis­i­tors were in con­trol.

Al­though Tawa were down 7-3 early, their for­wards as­serted dom­i­nance and three tries be­fore half­time to a back­line that in­cluded Ge­orge Tilsley and Tu Umaga-Mar­shall could not be con­tained.

Yel­low cards in the sec­ond half to Tawa’s Siaosi Mafi and Matt Treeby kept Up­per Hutt in the match, but an­other bonus-point win keeps Tawa six points clear at the top.

The en­tire for­ward pack was out­stand­ing and Tawa’s elec­tric backs, cou­pled with the calm­ing in­flu­ence of full­back Ran­dall Bishop, were the dif­fer­ence.

Tauili’ili said he had mixed emo­tions com­ing back to a club that he gave so much to, as a player and a coach. But his mind was firmly on en­sur­ing Tawa would come out on top.

‘‘It was Old Timers’ Day, so there was plenty to play for.

‘‘I was think­ing about what to say to the boys be­fore the game, but I de­cided that the past is the past. Tawa is my fam­ily now and they’re my fo­cus.’’

He picked up the Up­per Hutt game plan within 10 min­utes and got the mes­sage out to his team. They ad­justed and he was proud of the re­sult.

The com­ing weeks would re­ally put the heat on his squad, Tauili’ili said.

Ori­en­tal-Ron­go­tai, Pe­tone, Old-Boys Univer­sity and Marist St Pats are to come.

‘‘For us, and I know how this sounds, but it is one game at a time. Sure, we’re un­beaten, but you’re kid­ding if you say we’ve got noth­ing to work on.

‘‘There are just lit­tle things where we need to im­prove, but the qual­ity and char­ac­ter within this club is amaz­ing.’’

Else­where, North­ern United are in ninth place af­ter a for­ward-dom­i­nated 29-20 win over Welling­ton at Hataitai Park. Norths piled on 20 points in the open­ing half and then had to with­stand a strong-fin­ish­ing home side to take the cru­cial four points.

Dud­ley Par­son’s send­ing off made for some ner­vous mo­ments at the end for the vis­it­ing sup­port­ers.

Jack­son Gar­den-Ba­chop was a stand­out for Norths, scor­ing 24 points, in­clud­ing two tries.

In Se­nior 1, Pare­mata- Plim­mer­ton pre­vailed 20- 10 in the gloom against Wainuiomata at Wil­liam Jones Park.

A key mo­ment was just be­fore the break, when Kewa McMil­lan-Parata charged down a chip and sprinted 60 me­tres to score.

The fourth-placed Pare­mata-Plim­mer­ton play ta­ble-top­ping Avalon this weekend.

In pre­mier women’s play, North­ern United ran riot in smash­ing Poneke-MSP 118-0 and Tawa went down 72-12 to OBU.

In Cen­tral League foot­ball ac­tion, Tawa have leapt into sixth spot af­ter an ex­cel­lent 3-1 win over Lower Hutt at Red­wood Park.

Wil­liam Gib­bons net­ted first for the hosts af­ter 15 min­utes and then Mike Ra­maek­ers showed his class with an over-the-shoul­der vol­ley to make it 2-0.

Lower Hutt pulled one back on the hour mark, but Todd Pain­ter got a for­tu­nate third for Tawa not long af­ter. Lower Hutt goal­keeper Reed Collingwood’s at­tempted clear­ance struck Pain­ter and the ball ended up in the back of the net.

The win was Tawa’s sec­ond of the sea­son and be­lies early pre­dic­tions that they were des­tined for the wooden spoon.

Western Sub­urbs’ cre­den­tials took a fur­ther hit af­ter they came away from the trip to sec­ond-bot­tom Palmer­ston North Marist with a 2-2 draw.

Noah Billings­ley and Ben Sip­pola were on tar­get for Wests. The re­sult leaves Wests in eighth, with three losses, a win and a draw.

In Welling­ton pre­mier rugby league, St Ge­orge and Porirua Vik­ings suf­fered heavy de­feats, fall­ing to the un­beaten Te Aroha (32-10) and Wainuiomata (34-4), re­spec­tively.

Wainuiomata leapfrog Porirua into third and St Ge­orge re­main sixth.

Tawa sec­ond-five Tu Umaga-Mar­shall breaks the Up­per Hutt back­line at Maid­stone Park. Photo: PETE MCDON­ALD

Mak­ing in­roads:

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