Taranaki rock Wellington at Hobbs Memorial

Defending champions Wellington were well beaten, 29-10 by Taranaki on the opening day of the second Jock Hobbs Memorial National Under-19 tournament being played in Taupo this week.

3 years
27 Sep 2015
Dave Lintott

27 Sep 2015
Dave Lintott

Two tries to win Manasa Mataele, the first resulting from a tap penalty taken by Taranaki and the second from a clearing kick within Taranaki's 22m area and a fine chase by Mataele who capitalised when Wellington failed to cover the kick effectively by securing the ball and racing 45m to score.

Backing his effort was the goal-kicking of five-eighths Eli Kneepkens who landed five penalty goals and two conversions in an impressive contribution to a game which did not offer a lot of opportunity for flowing movements.

Taranaki will now play Canterbury, who beat Auckland A 37-20 while in the other semi-final for the Graham Mourie Cup Waikato will play Otago.

Semi-finalists for the Michael Jones Trophy are Southland and Counties Manukau and Hawke's Bay and Tasman.

Counties Manukau opened their campaign with a 31-13 win over a game New Zealand Heartland side.

Four sin-binnings, three of them to the Heartland side, proved significant as it was at the start of the third quarter when Wez Harvey was still in the sin-bin from a first half shoulder charge, that Counties Manukau what proved to be the winning advantage.

The sides had been tied 6-6 at halftime, although the Heartland team were unlucky not to have scored after some driving play at the goal-line went unrewarded.

But Counties Manukau, with a superb front row of hooker Tepuia Luteru and props Jarred Adams and Avea Momoisea, made good use of their ability to range wide with some thrilling running.

First five-eighths Johanthan Taumateine was accurate with his goal-kicking boot and demonstrated his versatility by shifting to halfback during the second half.

Halfback Conor Kennedy scored Counties first try just after half-time and was followed in short order by Luteru, who was in support of wing Harley Jenkins to take his in-pass to cross.

Jenkins spent time in the sin-bin soon after as the result of some cynical play and it was during that stage that Heartland No.8 Filipo Veamatahau demonstrated his skills when securing the ball from a retreating five-metre scrum to charge through Counties Manukau's defences to score.

However, the depth of Counties Manukau's squad could be seen in the way they tied up the last stages of the game with Taumateine scoring a try, converting and landing a final penalty goal to secure the win.

Halfback Ashley Busher looked likely during the first half especially for the Heartland side while Nick Robertson, from Wairarapa Bush had a sound game at fullback.

The player of the game, however, was Counties Manukau blindside flanker Uini Fetalaiga, who had a fine match in ferreting at the ruck and in his defensive play and support work around the field.

Otago made a flying start to their game against North Harbour with centre Ged Thomas scoring after a mid-field break in the 57th second of the game. But North Harbour made a response from the re-start when, at a ruck on the Otago 22m line, No.8 Martin Brink, looked up from the base, saw no-one in front and raced over in the corner to score.

Then in the seventh minute North Harbour first fivef-eighths Callum Law had an attempted clearance kick charged down and it was Otago first five-eighths Thomas Johnson who scored.

Ten minutes later Otago wing Connor Fifita ran into a midfield Otago kick and broke the defences to link with lock Harry Dods. He went to ground just short of North Harbour's line and from the ruck the ball was provided for prop Jonah Aoina to get across the line.

Some power scrummaging from Otago created more chances before the end of the half and after blindside flanker – made a run, the opportunity came from a ruck which replacement loosie Grayson Kite took to score.

North Harbour went to the break down 8-31 but had a much better second half in which they out-scored Otago who could only land a Johnson penalty goal.

Lee scored a second try for North Harbour after wing Mark Telea made ground and found Lee who made good ground to score.

Results:

Northland 22 (Adam Simpson 2, Hayden Jurlina tries; Thomas Smith 2 con, pen) Southland 23 (Jacob Coghlan, Kelepi Holi, Jack Lewis tries; Jahvis Wallace con, 2 pen)

Bay of Plenty 14 (Declan Barnett, Aidan Ross tries; Zach Bell 2 con) Hawke's Bay 18 (Mason Emerson, Kaleb Whakataka tries; Jack Wakeling con, pen; Reece Calkin pen)

Auckland B 22 (Eroni Emosi, Roberto Ipiniu, Roman Prasad tries; Mose Wilson 2 con, pen) Tasman 34 (Denvour Kiel, Brad Tunnicliff 2, Stein Schreiber, Braden Stewart tries; Cory Bovey 3 con, pen)

Waikato 67 (Shelford Murray 2, Jordan Trainor 2, Elijah Ale, Matthew Lansdown, Sekope Lopeti, Amanaki Savieti, Richmond Tongatama, Solomone Tukuafu tries; Lansdown 6 con, pen; Chris Fawcett con) Manawatu 12 (Benedict Grant, Arjun Singh tries; Ethan Woodmass con)

Canterbury 37 (Anthony Burnett, Logan Crowley, Daniel Henderson, Matthew Morrison, Fraser Scott tries; Brett Cameron 3 con, 2 pen) Auckland A 20 (Reiko Ioane, Sam Ulufonua, Lisati Milo-Harris tries; Milo-Harris onc, D'Angelo Leuila pen)

Counties Manukau 31 (Conor Kennedy, Tepuia Luteru, Jonathan Taumateine tries; Taumateine 2 con, 4 pen) Heartland 13 (Filipo Veamatahau try; James Hawkey con, 2 pen). HT: 6-6

North Harbour 18 (Martin Brink, Daniel Lee tries; Daniel Lee con, 2 pen) Otago 34 (Jed Thomas, Thomas Johnson, Jonah Aoina, Grayson Kite tries; Johnson 4 con, 2 pen). HT: 31-8

Wellington 10 (Lester Maulolo try; John Robertson Weepu con, pen ) Taranaki 29 (Manasa Mataele 2 tries; Eli Kneepkens 2 con, 5 pen). HT: 10-19

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