Palmerston North BHS: 35 (Ariki Mullen, Michael Ioane, Teariki Te Puni, Wesley Veikoso tries; Stewart Cruden 3 pen, 3 con) Wellington College: 13 (Reece Plumtree 1 try, 2 pen, 1 con)
Palmerston North scored 22 unanswered points in the second-half to comprehensively account for Wellington College.
Wellington started in the best possible fashion when second-five Oliver Paotonu pierced the defense in the opening minute and sprinted 30-meters. His break and quick recycling by the forwards helped create the first try for fullback Reece Plumtree.
Tragically Paotonu collapsed in agony later in the first-half. He was stretchered off the field with what appeared to be a serious knee injury. The game was delayed for several minutes while Paotonu was attended to. Eventually the teams finished the game on the opposite field.
Palmerston North's Brayden Iose wasn't hampered by any ailment. The rangy No.8 was full of running and proved tough for Wellington to restrain. He charged into the Wellington 22 and centre Ariki Mullen tied the scores.
Palmerston North's lineout was a source of profit. They scored two tries from rolling mauls in each half. The first by loose head prop Michael Ioane propelled them ahead 12-7, but ill-discipline saw Plumtree kick two penalties and Wellington enjoy a 13-12 advantage at the break.
Both sides lost a player to the sin bin, but crucially Palmerston North scored while they were down a man. Tight head Wesley Veikoso crashed over to make it 19-13 after slick handling by the backs and another Iose dash. Veikoso impressed with his eagerness to carry and ability to break tackles.
Wellington was forced to tackle for most of the second-half as poor handling and discipline prevented them establishing any continuity. Palmerston first-five Stewart Cruden (younger brother of Aaron) kicked three penalties and hooker Teariki Te Puni scored the last try from a maul.
Another standout for Palmerston North was lock Angus Morton. Plumtree and No.8 Mellenniumma-Gerrard Isaac Leota were the best of a beaten bunch.
In pre-season Palmerston North now has a record of four wins and two defeats. Previously they beat Lindisfarne, Francis Douglas and Hutt International Boys' School while they lost to Auckland GS and St. Paul's Collegiate.
St. Pats Town: 14 (Tom Horan, Billy Procter tries; Procter 2 con) Gisborne BHS: 12 (Mosses Christie, Luke Bird tries; Austin Brown 1 con)
A real dogfight between two evenly matched packs was ironically won by a piece of brilliant back play late in the second-half.
Town winger Saia Paese swerved around his marker and galloped into the Gisborne 22. He was caught in a two-man tackle, but unloaded to centre Billy Procter who beat the cover defense in the race to the corner. Procter then showed his poise to nail the sideline conversion and ultimately win the game for the Wellington champions.
Earlier Gisborne appeared to have Town on the canvas. Midway through the second-half Gisborne was ahead 12-7 when Jakob Teneti fumbled the ball over the Town try line. It was a rare blemish by the openside who had a strong game.
The opening 20-minutes was an even tussle until Town's Tom Horan opened the scoring. Town strung together multiple phases and eventually the lanky blindside strolled through.
Fullback Mosses Christie was a slippery target for the Town defense. His illusiveness was rewarded when he scored his teams' first try close to halftime.
Gisborne adsorbed a long assault on their goal line at the start of the second-half, before claiming the lead when reserve outside back Luke Bird completed an attack that Christie started from a quick tap inside his own 22.
Town's defense was dogged. Gisborne finished the match with 14 players and missed eight points in goal kicks.
Town props Ethan McQuinlan and Meinrad Fitisemanu shinned with their scrimmaging and mobility while openside Xavier English toiled gamely.
Gisborne lock Tyler Symon-Burke was busy and wing La-Trey Haeata had his moments.
Town are unbeaten in 2016. Prior to today they also beat Rathkeale College and St. Bede's College.
Gisborne have suffered two losses in a row. They slipped to King's College last weekend, but prior to that had beaten Kelston BHS, Lindisfarne College, Fielding High School and St. Paul's Collegiate.
Hastings BHS: 53 (Lincoln McClutchie 2, Kini Nahsolo 2, Liam Beaukman, Hunta Marsh, Trent Hape, Denon Robinson, McClutchie 5 con, 1 pen) Scots College: 12 (Jaylen Tuapola Werdna Maligi tries; Josh Wilson 1 con)
Hastings Boys' High School was by far the most impressive team in Round One thrashing Scots College.
Hastings win was built on clinical breakdown play, a superior lineout and a fluent 9/10 combination.
Hastings forwards aren't huge, but they are fit and mobile. Their ability to win quick ruck ball allowed the impressive pairing of halfback Folou Fakatava and first-five Lincoln McClutchie to flourish.
Fakatava boasts a bullet pass, easily the quickest and most accurate of the halfbacks on display.
McClutchie with his quick feet, searing pace, long passes and astute option taking kept Scots defense guessing all day.
Hastings burst to a 13-0 after ten minutes. Wing Kini Nahsolo crossed unmarked after a 20-meter pass by McClutchie who then fooled the Scots defense from a scrum with a 20-meter dummy and dash.
Scots fought back with a Jaylen Tuapola try that was sparked by a Connor Garden-Bachop break, but right on halftime soft defense allowed Nahsolo to cross for his second and make it 20-5 at the interval.
Hastings lock Liam Beaukman scored first in the second-half supporting a series of offloads, before Scots enjoyed their best period of the match.
Prop Werdna Maligi barged over to make it 27-12 and then Garden-Bachop scurried into Hastings half again. Hastings relived the pressure and finished with a wet sail scoring another four tries.
McClutchie scored a cracker when he dashed 35-meters after an exaggerated dummy and second-five Hunta Marsh fended a Scots player into orbit with a scary display of power.
Hastings have also beaten Kelston BHS, Lindisfarne College, Aorere College and Wellington College this season.
St. Patrick's College, Silverstream: 20 (Albert Polu, Chris Aumua, Kienan Higgins tries; Higgins 1 con, 1 pen) Napier BHS: 7 (Penalty try; Nikau McGregor 1 con)
A dour match in which Silverstream's defense and superior accuracy was telling.
Silverstream centre Albert Polu scored the opening try after ten minutes when he pushed past multiple defenders and burst 30-meters.
Both sides struggled to build continuity and the match was stuck between the two ten-meter lines for a long period.
Napier started to enjoy an obvious edge in the scrums and gradually worked into Silverstream territory. They were awarded a penalty try when openside Mitchell Bull-Elvines was ruled to have killed the ball close to the goal line.
Bull-Elvines was yellow carded, but Napier failed to take advantage of their one man advantage. Second-five Kienan Higgins kicked a penalty to make it 8-7 and wing Chris Aumua scored a try early in the second-half.
Napier's error count was unusually high. Silverstream was effective at winning breakdown turnovers, but their backs lacked polish. Higgins scored the winning try with about ten minutes to go.
Loose head Tim Farrell was strong for Napier and blindside Jarrod Harawira stood out for Silverstream until he left the field injured in the second spell.
Silverstream beat Tu Toa and Napier, Lindisfarne in their only other matches in 2016.
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