Race on for finals hosting rights in club rugby

Sunday, May 15 2022

Race on for finals hosting rights in club rugby

Will Johnston

Photo: Chiefs hooker Bradley Slater played for New Plymouth Old Boys in the second round of club rugby on Saturday. Photo by LDV Photography.


New Plymouth Old Boys (NPOB) and Stratford/Eltham are early contenders to host Taranaki club finals day in July.

In a new initiative this year, the top club after the first three weeks of play across premier, division one and colts grades will host the popular day scheduled for Saturday, July 23.

Both NPOB and Stratford/Eltham share 16 points. If the clubs are drawn after next weekend’s final first round, the host will be decided by points differential across all grades.

NPOB are on top, despite losing their first match, but relied on their division one and colts teams to keep the club in hosting contention.

The two clubs might not be in the finals come the end of the season, but the idea gives clubs equal hosting rights.

In the premier competition, NPOB bounced back from their opening round loss to beat Coastal at Rahotu 36-19.

It was a day of milestones. Coastal captain Jeremy Newell played in his 150th premier match for the club and NPOB wing Jackson Carrington notched up 100 matches. Both were greeted with applause by the large crowd when they can out onto the field.  

NPOB were boosted by the return of Chiefs representatives Kaylum Boshier and Bradley Slater, who both started and scored a try each.   

Coastal scored inside six minutes through loose forward Shamus Hurley-Langton, who powered over close to the line.

NPOB hit back with three consecutive tries. The first from Slater, then Carrington on his wing and Boshier, who showed good support play close to the line right on halftime.

The visitors led 22-7 at the break.

Jackson Morgan scored for NPOB immediately after the break to extend the lead. Coastal had period with the ball in hand but struggled to make it down the right end of the field.

NPOB scored again, but Coastal finally were rewarded late in the second half with Hurley-Langton’s second and Daniel Crowley. Both were set up by halfback Logan Crowley, who showed quick thinking after being awarded with a penalty.

Taranaki utility back Brayton Northcott-Hill returned for NPOB and kicked for the side in the first half until he was substituted.  

Elsewhere, Stratford/Eltham demolished Inglewood 54-11 at Victoria Park to make it two from two in the competition.

After trailing 11-10 at the break, it seemed like anything Stratford/Eltham touched turned to gold in the second half with some excellent tries.

It was revenge for Stratford/Eltham who were beaten by Inglewood in last year’s semi-final.

Inglewood was forced to make some changes from last week.

Tukapa is also unbeaten after their 47-14 win against Spotswood United at Sanders Park.

The home team were 28-0 up inside 20 minutes. They led 33-9 at the break.

Spotswood United’s second half was more competitive.

Clifton beat Southern 23-9 in the final match at the Tikorangi Domain.

The home team led 10-6 at the break. Southern only managed three penalty kicks off the boot of Juan Tantrum.  

Moana Pool

Tukapa 6
Coastal 3
Spotswood United 0

Maunga Pool

Stratford/Eltham 6
Clifton 3
Inglewood 3
Southern 0