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Monday, May 15, 2017
Runanga-Brunner caused one of
the biggest upsets in West Coast
Rugby League in recent years,
breaking Suburbs’ stranglehold on
the premier title by winning the
grand final 36-24 yesterday.
Played in front of a vocal crowd
and in beautiful conditions, the
game was a thriller and went right
to the final whistle, when Runanga-
Brunner eventually broke through
and denied Suburbs another title.
dropped the ball at the first kick-off.
The seabulls made the most of the
early field position, playing out their
set and setting up for defence. They
moved up quickly and were brutal.
Suburbs knew they were in for
a game and had to scramble on
defence to stop a lot of offloads.
Runanga-Brunner eased into their
first try on the back of straight
running from Billy Fisher and Joel
Johnson. They then got a roll on and
Nathan Williamson got a good ball
to Nik Davy to run into a small gap,
offloading to Brad Houston to score.
The game see-sawed as both teams
put in a dominant display on defence
Kiel Johnson and Bernard
Alexander got Suburbs going
forward in this first half, but
Runanga-Brunner’s defence never
stopped and from the grandstand
you could clearly hear the hits.
Suburbs’ fullback Phil Thomson
put up a textbook bomb and the
only mistake Davy made all game
was drop it. Regan Stanton picked
it up and scored under the posts for
his easiest try of the season.
Both goal kickers did not start the
game well and it was level 4-4.
Suburbs got back down into
Runanga-Brunner’s territory and
looked like scoring again. James
Ward hit Thomson, causing him to
lose balance. He managed to get
the ball away to Jordan Campbell
but again the defence was up to the
task and stopped him just short of
The seabulls then dominated
possession. Suburbs were ferocious
in their tackles, always having two
or three hitting at the same time.
Runanga-Brunner had great ball
movement between their for wards
and Rob Thomson had plenty of
space to dictate play. He got the
ball out to the left and Ethan Long
played with the sideline to drop the
ball back to Ethan Campbell, who
scored in the corner.
Suburbs started playing to their
strengths on the left-hand side,
Stanton and Harley Vui combined
well and made breaks down the
sideline. Stanton got in the clear,
drew fullback Davy and passed the
ball to Vui, who was tackled without
the ball by Bailey Stewart. Although
Stewart saved a certain try he was
sinbinned for 10 minutes for the
From the penalty tap Luke Negri
found some stunned defenders
to score close to the post. Still no
conversions, though, and the score
was tied again at 8-8 .
With only 12 men on the field,
Runanga-Brunner wisely held on
to the ball and made their way into
Suburbs’ half. Rob Thomson put in a
chip kick over the defenders’ line for
Campbell to score his second try to
go into the break up 12-8.
Still with 12 men they starved
Suburbs of any ball and went for
an early penalty kick to eat up time
until Stewart got back on the field.
This was missed but they got the ball
back with a 20m dropout.
They worked it back to their
tryline, for Davy to kick through
and dive on his kick to score, just
when Stewart came back on to the
field. This conversion went over and
Runanga-Brunner now had a good
buffer, 18-8 .
Both for ward packs went at each
other for the whole 80 minutes. The
supporters were waiting for Suburbs
to run away with it, as they had all
year, and Vui started to come into
play with some good runs to help out
his forwards. Runanga-Brunner’s
discipline started to waiver and they
gave Suburbs some easy metres with
Suburbs found themselves on the
last tackle and decided to run, the
ball was passed around left to right,
Phil Thomson ran to the line and
looked like his was going to score,
but Ward put in a big hit and the
ball got knocked out for Vui to score,
much like Campbell’s try in the first
Vui then scored again after the kick
off and the feeling was that Suburbs
had finally found their stride. Phil
Thomson kicked the conversion
from the sideline and the score was
all tied up again.
But Runanga-Brunner never
stopped turning up. Lewis Jackman
was always there when a hit-
up needed to be taken and Brad
Houston was second. Houston
made a lot of metres on the fringes
and picked up a well needed try to
get Runanga-Brunner back in front.
However, Vui was not done and
after some great work from Stanton
he scored another one to level up the
score at 24-24.
With six minutes remaining
Runanga-Brunner got a penalty
right in front and decided to go for
it to put themselves two points in
From here the game got even more
exciting as all players left everything
out on the field. Both teams looked
desperate to keep the ball and make
Runanga-Brunner for wards just
wanted it more, the pack kept
turning up for each other and Royce
Green stormed over to put the
doubt out of everyone’s minds. They
were right in front.
Suburbs went for a short kick-off,
it was not collected and the seabulls
got back down into scoring position
with Houston picking up another
one to rub a little salt into Suburbs’
This game lived up to all
Regan Stanton played out of his
skin to get Suburbs so close, Brad
Campbell who had to sub in for his
injured older brother Jordan, tackled
guys twice his size and made them
hurt. Negri tried all game and was
a handful for Runanga-Brunner’s
But Runanga-Brunner played as a
tightknit unit. They played for each
other in defence and attack, never
gave up and played the last minute
as they had the first.
Jackman, Houston and Davy were
brilliant, along with Rob Thomson,
but it really was a team effort which
saw them beat the hitherto unbeaten
Lewis Jackman was named the
best player on the ground.
Suburbs coach Brad Tacon was
disappointed with the final score
but not with his team’s efforts. “ They
have been so good all year, it was just
unfortunate that they had a bit of an
off day today with a few errors.”
Tacon has been coaching Suburbs
since 2012 and they have had a great
James Ward was ecstatic for
Runanga-Brunner, saying that it
was the best final he had won and he
was happy to do so with the players
he had this year, including those
who had to sit out the final. Ward
was proud of the whole squad and
said it was a team win.
Runanga-Brunner 36 (Houston
3, Campbell 2, Davy, Green tries,
Williamson 4 goals), Suburbs
24 (Vui 3, Stanton, Negri tries,
Thomson 2 goals). Pictures p6,7
Westland United claimed the women’s
First Round Trophy in West Coast
football yesterday, beating the Comets
The Comets were forced to start with
eight players after injuries left their
Westland United worked on their game
plan of playing aggressively, competing
for every 50-50 ball and aimed to move
the ball fast.
Haley Pugh provided the assist for
Celine Stokowski to break the deadlock,
before Pugh followed up a few minutes
later with a fine individual goal.
Comets came out strongly in the
second half, but Westland’s defence
kept them under pressure. Some good
goalkeeping from Casey Neill kept the
game scoreless in the second half.
Comets lost another player to injury
midway through the second half, so
ended the game with only seven players.
Comets will be disappointed with the
loss, but should take credit for their
team performance, despite their
Westland remain the only unbeaten
women’s team and earned the second
trophy of the season.
In the second women’s match, the
Dragons, who were looking for their first
points of the season, faced the Goblins.
Eve Findlay scored the first goal early
for Goblins, but from there the Dragons
sprang into action.
Janny Vermeer put in a dominant
performance in the Dragons’ defence,
earning player of the day. Amelia How,
already the women’s top scorer, put in an
The Dragons changed goalkeepers at
half-time, putting Amanda Curry into
the outfield. It was that combination
of Curry and How that helped How to
add five more goals to her tally for the
season. Georgia Teasdale was on hand
to convert two rebounds to bring the
Dragons total to seven for the day.
Findlay pulled another one back for
the Goblins, but the Dragons will be
happy with their emphatic 7-2 win.
Next week sees a bye for all the women’s
teams, before their main championship
kicks off on May 28.
In the men’s league, Westport Cos did
not need to defend the Sarah Clear water
Trophy after Westland United defaulted
and failed to make the trip north.
All attention then turned to Arthur
Fong Park to see if Grey United could
slow the progress of Paroa, who knew
that due to their exceptional goal
difference, they effectively only needed
one win from their last two first round
games to take the men’s First Round
Grey United, on the other hand, had
yet to record their first points of the
The match was an even contest
throughout the whole 90 minutes as
both teams fought hard. This game
only had one goal, but that is more an
indication of the quality of goalkeeper
With the game at 0-0, Niki Emery in
the Paroa goal made two great saves, one
close range from Daniel Horridge and
the other a long range free kick from
Overall, Emery had another fine
performance, but it was Blake Hodgson
in the Grey United goal who had
the biggest impact on the scoreline.
Hodgson made great saves throughout,
was quick off his line and dominated his
In the second half, the Paroa midfield
showed their quality, especially Martin
McDonald and Marcus Zintl, who
combined well and started creating
chances. Their one clear chance fell
to Kieran Russell, whose speed and
composure left the Grey United defence
with little chance.
Russell put in a man of match
performance and is now the outright
top men’s scorer with four for the season.
Paroa’s defence held strongly, even
after losing Rob Orr to injury, despite
the constant running and pressure of
Daniel Horridge and Jayden Menzies.
Grey United will be happy with their
performance, which is improving week
Next Sunday, Grey United will travel
to Hokitika to play Westland United for
a 2pm kick-off, and Paroa will finish out
the first round against Marist at Arthur
Fong Park, also at 2pm.
South Westland started their West
Coast netball inter-centre game against
Star B slowly, but worse was to come
when they lost their wing attack Fiona
Anderson late in the first quarter, leaving
them with six players for the rest of the
game, on Saturday.
From the outset the match had
potential. Both sides looked quite even
in the opening minutes. South Westland
GS Britney Perrin scored first but Star
were quick to reply off their pass when
the ball sailed into Star shoot Annaleise
Fletcher, who evened it up.
Star scored again when Nadia Turnbull
intercepted a stray South Westland pass.
The ball was quickly dispatched into
goal attack Tyra Jamieson, who deftly
flicked a pass on to Fletcher, 2-1, then
she scored again off their centre pass.
Defence pressure from Star started to
show, with turnover ball abounding. The
shooting was fairly accurate, with not too
many rebounds for the South Westland
defence pairing of Tayla Hodges and
Libby Manera-Wilson. At the end of
the first quarter, Star was leading by six
goals, 10-4, and South Westland had lost
Anderson to injury.
Star were quick to push their advantage
at the start of the second quarter and
scored the next five goals without the
southerners replying. Star seemed to
score at will, brought the ball through the
court with great style and finished with
some textbook shooting by both Fletcher
Zara Wyatt, south’s goal attack, stopped
the Star train by netting a great long
range shot, but it was the sole point in
this quarter as the loss of Anderson had
an impact on the players. At half-time
the score was 22-5 in Star’s favour.
The second half opened with Fletcher
missing a sitter but Jamieson was quick
to grasp the rebound, 23-5. Wyatt netted
another great goal, and it seemed to perk
up the rest of the team, who then worked
together and managed to have a purple
patch of their own, scoring the next seven
goals without Star being able to reply.
South Westland effectively drew this
quarter with only six players on the court.
The final quarter saw Star wing defence
Mica Kaye come off, Turnbull moved to
WD and Krystal Dietrichs came on at
goal keep. There was some nice play in
this quarter as South Westland started to
fail a bit due to the extra ground they had
Star shooters were on song, the team
actually played really well as a unit and
the scoring in this quarter really stepped
up a level, with the final score 41-18 in
Stand-in coach for Star, Brenda
England, said the team had trained well
on Tuesday and that showed in the game
The defence pairing of Klaudia South
and Nadia Turnbull really stood out, she
South Westland player-coach Sarah
Denham said Anderson’s injury had put
paid to a close match, but the team was
improving each week and would rise to
the challenges ahead.
Inter-centre: Star United B 41, South
Westland 18; Star United A 33, HSOG
A 18; Old Girls Black 37, Westland
High School A 18; Lyndale 27, Speights
Alehouse Cobden A 18.
Premier B: Reefton Force 36, Tui
Central 23; Kotare A 27, Star United
C 18; Speights Alehouse Cobden B 31,
GHS A 26.
Senior (first section): Cobden C 22,
CSC B 21; HSOG C 20, Reefton Storm
13; Kotare B 26, Kotare C 14.
Senior (second section): GHS Jnr A 17,
Paroa A 17; Cobden D 21, CSC C 10
First grade: Cobden Jnr A 31, Reefton
Tigers 8; HSOG Jnr A 21, HSOG D 17.
Second grade: Star United Jnr A 18,
Paroa Jnr A 10; Karoro A 14, HSOG Jnr
Third grade: Karoro B 8, Cobden Jnr B
6; CSC Jnr A 19, Kotare Jnr A 7; Reefton
Lions 14, Cobden 0; Karoro 5, Star Gold
2; CSC 13, Star Blue 0.
PICTURE: Paul McBride
Suburbs defenders Tayla Eason, left, Marc Whitehead, Josh Bell and Bernard Alexander could not stop a determined Royce Green from scoring for
Runanga-Brunner in the final stages of the West Coast Rugby League premier grand final at Wingham Park yesterday afternoon. In a bruising 80 minutes of
football, Runanga-Brunner won 36-24.
Westland United woman take honours
COAST LEAGUE FINAL
glor y for
New Zealand shared the goals
around in a 4-1 trouncing of India
to open their five-test women’s
The world No 8 Black Sticks
controlled proceedings from the
outset in Pukekohe, deny possession
to the sixth-ranked visitors, whose
lone goal came to Anupa Barla after
trailing 2-0 at half-time.
New Zealand coach Sean Dancer
describes his team’s performance as
accomplished and he hopes it sets
the tone for the series.
“I thought it was a really
competitive game, especially early
on but we really stepped it up and
took control in many aspects,” he
said. “ We did well up front and
that was shown by the number and
quality of goals we scored. There
were some great scoring instincts
in the attacking circle and that was
a real credit to the girls.” Jordan
Grant opened the scoring in the
13th minute after getting the final
touch on a cracking shot from
Olivia Merry. The lead was doubled
midway through the second quarter.
Black Sticks blitz India
Star B punishes South Westland
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