Heart­break­ing loss for Tawa

Kapi-Mana News - - SPORT - By KRIS DANDO

The nor­mally rowdy sup­port­ers of Tawa’s pre­mier rugby team were very quiet come the fi­nal whis­tle at Kil­birnie Park on Satur­day.

The de­fend­ing Swin­dale Shield cham­pi­ons lost their grip on the shield when they went down 28-21 to Marist St Pat’s in the com­pe­ti­tion de­cider.

Tawa had chances, par­tic­u­larly in the dy­ing mo­ments, to snatch a draw and re­tain the shield. They pum­melled MSP’s line, but could not cross in the face of staunch de­fence from the home side.

It was Tawa’s third suc­ces­sive loss to end their Swin­dale cam­paign.

They would lick their wounds and en­ter the Ju­bilee Cup with even more rel­ish and enthusiasm, coach Lo­gan Ili said.

The match, played in bright sun­shine, was wor­thy of a de­cider for the first-round tro­phy.

MSP looked the more likely from the out­set. Tawa’s back­line did not fire a shot in the open­ing half, though the pre­cise goal­kick­ing of James So’oialo kept the game close.

It was 25-9 to MSP 10 min­utes into the sec­ond spell, but a bril­liant for­wards try by Tawa and an­other to full­back Ran­dall Bishop in the cor­ner closed it to 25-21.

MSP pulled fur­ther clear with a penalty, but No 8 Pago Haini was red carded with 18 min­utes left for stomp­ing Tawa prop Tolu Fa­hamokioa.

There was scram­bling MSP de­fence and cru­cial er­rors by Tawa in a fre­netic last quar­ter. Tawa No 8 Sam Blair stretched to dot down but was ad­judged to have made a dou­ble move­ment.

Else­where, there was cel­e­bra­tion at the Pare­mataPlim­mer­ton clu­b­rooms af­ter their 45- 10 de­mo­li­tion of Ori­en­talRon­go­tai’s sec­ond team meant they re­mained in fourth spot in the Harper Lock Shield standings.

They scored three con­verted tries and led 21-15 at half­time be­fore skip­ping clear to have the match wrapped up with 15 min­utes re­main­ing. There were some out­stand­ing tries and Blake Neve clocked up 25 points.

Pare­mata-Plim­mer­ton will join Avalon, Old Boys- Univer­sity sec­onds and MSP sec­onds in the Hard­ham Cup.

Club of­fi­cials from Pare­mataPlim­mer­ton said at the start of the sea­son that was their goal as they eyed an ex­panded pre­mier club com­pe­ti­tion in 2015.

North­ern United will be in the Hard­ham Cup for the sec­ond year run­ning. On Satur­day, they went down to Up­per Hutt 27- 25 at Porirua Park to re­main in ninth, one spot be­low the Ju­bilee Cup qual­i­fiers.

It was a great match to watch on Old Timers Day at Norths.

The home side led 20-12 af­ter 50 min­utes, but Up­per Hutt se­cured the vic­tory with late penal­ties.

In the first round of Ju­bilee Cup play this Satur­day, Tawa will meet Ori­en­tal- Ron­go­tai at Lyn­d­hurst Park. The Hard­ham Cup and other sec­ond- round draws will be re­leased this week.

Photo: FAIR­FAX NZ

Hit com­ing: MSP’s Sefo Sete­fano about to run into Tawa No 8 Sam Blair, who was enor­mous on de­fence, dur­ing their Swin­dale Shield match at Kil­birnie Park.

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