Eighth-placed finish for under-19s
The Manawatu¯ under-19s finished eighth at the Jock Hobbs Memorial national tournament after an exciting loss to Wellington in their final game.
Manawatu¯ lost 24-20 in Taupo on Saturday in the playoff for seventh and eighth place, an improvement from their other two games where they were thrashed 54-7 by Bay of Plenty and 71-5 by Auckland earlier in the week.
Coach Shane Ratima took heart that Bay of Plenty thrashed Tasman 74-7 in their final game and Auckland beat Waikato 30-17 in the final.
He said the game against Wellington was a ding-dong battle.
‘‘We actually performed quite well,’’ he said. ‘‘It was probably our best performance of the tournament.’’
Wellington had a man red carded within 15 minutes when he dumped hooker Gene Syminton on his head out of the ruck. But Manawatu¯ later had lock Nathan Smith and flanker Jarrod Harawira yellow carded.
Smith was given his marching orders for playing the ball on the wrong side of the ruck and Harawira was sent off when he tried to kick the ball on the ground, but an opposition player dived on it and Harawira accidentally kicked him.
Manawatu¯ scored after Wellington’s red card, when fullback Brayden Cunningham latched onto a crossfield kick, but Wellington scored just before the break to lead 14-7 at halftime.
Manawatu¯ were their own worst enemies, Ratima said, as they made mistakes and let Wellington back into the game.
Speedy wing Adam Boult scored two great tries, one from a backline move where he gassed the fullback and the
other from a quick tap where he beat about three players.
There was a chance for Manawatu¯ to win the game when on attack with four minutes left, but Wellington shut them down.
First five-eighth Ben Mccolgan’s kicking game was sharp and he was strong on defence, Syminton was industrious, making a lot of runs and getting around the field, and Boult was dangerous when he got involved.
Gritty defence from the Manawatu¯ Development XV set them up for a 19-17 win over the Wellington Centurions at the Arena.
Manawatu¯ started into the wind, so did well to concede only a try and were down 10-7 at the break. In the second spell, Manawatu¯ kicked for territory, but made a few mistakes and Wellington wouldn’t go away.
Wellington spent the last 10 minutes on attack, but Manawatu¯ dug deep to keep them out.
Loose forwards Alex Hawira and George Macpherson both had big games and second fiveeighth Kameli Kuruyabaki was their standout in the backs.
Hawke’s Bay Saracens lead the Hurricanes Shield competition, so Manawatu¯ will want to beat them in the final round of the competition in Palmerston North next weekend.
The Manawatu¯ under-16 team had a rusty 29-14 win over Wanganui at Bulls, their first game of the season.
Manawatu¯ , who went into the wind in the first half, have a bit to work on before their first competition game against Wellington next Saturday in Otaki, but played well for periods.
The physical Wanganui side scored in the first two minutes and right on fulltime.
No 8 Nikora Broughton, lock Trevor-shane Baker and centre Tom Brown all had good games.
Manawatu Development XV lock Tui Katoa ranging in the loose during their match against the Wellington Centurions.