Rugby: Hat-trick keeps Stratford-Eltham on top

Sunday, May 26 2024

Rugby: Hat-trick keeps Stratford-Eltham on top

Will Johnston

Taranaki halfback Adam Lennox's hat-trick has helped maintain his club's lead in the CMK premier club rugby competition.

Stratford-Eltham beat Inglewood 55-5, scoring nine tries to one at TET Stadium on Saturday in an almost complete performance.

Lennox’s three tries were scored in his typical fashion where he used his pace and game awareness to break through the defence. Those characteristics are what Taranaki fans have become familiar with during his career, which caught the eyes of Chiefs selectors.  

Stratford-Eltham coach Ross Williams said the club is lucky to have Lennox and alternate halfback Leone Nawai in the team.

“Adam is a well-respected member of our group and has a nose for the tryline,” he said.  

“He’s very quick and has a great awareness of space and a quality footy brain to boot.”

Playing on the wing, Lennox’s first try was probably the most attractive, where he worked with Nawai, who started at halfback. The pair shared possession down the right-wing toying with the Inglewood defence before he scored.

His other two tries came after he tip toed around the defence to score.

Stratford-Eltham’s sixth consecutive win looked all too easy, despite some challenges at scrum time where Inglewood did their best to counter the power of the visitors.

Hooker Harry Hansen and wing Vereniki Tikoisolomone dotted down twice, while Codie Grayling and Cunningham, in his 50th match, scored a try each. Obey Samate kicked five conversions.

Impressive first-five eighth Te Atawhai Mason scored Inglewood’s only try early in the first half.

Even with Chiefs playmaker Josh Jacomb playing at second-five, he wasn’t given many opportunities to create anything given Stratford-Eltham had most of the possession.   

Spotswood United played their best rugby of the season only to go down to New Plymouth Old Boys 35-27 at Vogeltown Park.

The visitors had moments to secure their first win since July 2022 and remained in the contest for most of the game.

It was only the last try to Zak McDonald that pushed the score beyond seven points that kept Spotswood United out of the game.  

Back from Chiefs duty, flanker Tom Florence bolstered the Old Boys forward pack after injuries kept most of their starting players sidelined. He made an impact too, scoring the first try.

Denzell Sofeni-Calder scored a brace for Old Boys, while Ethan Reti kicked three conversions and two penalties for Spotswood United.

Tukapa claimed four consecutive wins to move into fourth place beating Southern 30-17 in gusty conditions in Hawera.

Playing with the wind in the first half, Tukapa led 30-10 at halftime. Tukapa defended well in the second spell, but the conditions didn’t promote open rugby.

Coastal beat Clifton 19-7 at the Rahotu Domain in the remaining match.

Coastal always looked in charge and led 12-0 at halftime.

In the women’s competition, Southern beat Tukapa 79-0 and Coastal-Okaiawa pipped Inglewood 41-38. Clifton had the bye and leads the competition.

Men’s premier points after seven weeks; Stratford-Eltham 20, Coastal 17, NPOB 16, Tukapa 15, Southern 10, Clifton 9, Inglewood 8, Spotswood United 1.