Butcher Boys put Bay to the sword

Heartland Championship match at Rugby Park.

Heartland Championship match at Rugby Park.

Poverty Bay fullback Matt Raleigh takes on the Wanganui defence in a Heartland Championship rugby game at Rugby Park on Saturday. The visitors and defending champions proved too good, powering to a 36-0 halftime lead and going on to win 55-0. Picture by Paul Rickard

Wanganui were in a different class as they beat Poverty Bay 53-0 in a Heartland Championship match at Rugby Park on Saturday.

The “Butcher Boys” carved up Poverty Bay in a dominant first-half display to lead 36-0 at the break.

In the second half, to their credit, the Bay held the defending champions to one try, in the 60th minute, before conceding two more in the last eight minutes.

Wanganui have won three from three as they bid for a fourth successive Meads Cup (top-four) title.

Coach Jason Caskey’s side were bigger, stronger, faster, fitter and more skilful, particularly in their ball retention.

Although the eight-tries to-none result was Wanganui’s 10th straight Heartland win against the Bay, it was the first time the home side had failed to register a point.

The visitors showed their intentions from the kick-off and opened the scoring after four minutes. Centre Kaveni Dabenaise finished off a move involving forwards and backs with a try in the right-wing corner.

Fullback Craig Clare, who also scored a try, landed the first of his four conversions.

Seven minutes later, right wing Harry Symes — a constant threat with his acceleration, speed and powerful running — looked certain to score before being stopped 20 metres out. However, Wanganui were awarded a penalty and Clare stretched the gap.

Tries in the 13th minute, 17th, 24th and 34th minutes took the game away from the home side, who subsequently dropped to 10th on the 12-team points table, ahead of Buller and Ngati Porou East Coast.

The Bay could not get their hands on the ball, and when they did their ball retention let them down.

They took the game to Wanganui in the second half and it worked to some extent.

With openside flanker Callum McDonald, blindside Jesse Kapene, centre Mape Tuipulotu and replacement halfback Mario Counsell all prominent, the Bay held their own without seriously threatening to break a well-organised and committed Wanganui defence.

Counsell came on for Willy Grogan, who made more tackles in the first 40 minutes than his opposite, Lindsay Horrocks, had to make in 80.

In the 62nd minute, two minutes after Clare had dotted down, Counsell brought a surprisingly supportive and vocal home crowd to life with a superb break.

He received a pass 15 metres out from his tryline and for once split the defence. He was just short of the Wanganui half when he passed to left wing Te Peehi Fairlie, who was on his way to the tryline when a covering defender made a desperate dive and ankle-tapped him.

As the Bay players tired from their energy-sapping first half, they began to fall off tackles, and Wanganui added two more tries.

Despite being on the losing side, first five-eighth Andrew Tauatevalu showed glimpses of genuine class against a team who, on this performance, will be hard to beat. Tauatevalu, converted from a winger to No.10, put his body on the line and still had enough strength and gas to worry his markers.

Other Heartland Championship results: Ngati Porou East Coast 5 Wairarapa Bush 26, King Country 22 North Otago 18, Mid Canterbury 36 West Coast 29, Buller 22 Thames Valley 43, Horowhenua Kapiti 22 South Canterbury 52.

Other rugby results — Barry Cup sub-union challenge: Waikohu (holders) 45 Matakaoa 7.

Representative, at Gisborne: Poverty Bay under-16s 34 Thames Valley u16s 21, Poverty Bay u18s 20 Wellington Community 34.

Hurricanes under-15 schoolboys tournament, at Upper Hutt, playoff for third: Gisborne Boys’ High 17 St Peter’s College (Auckland) 17.

Wanganui were in a different class as they beat Poverty Bay 53-0 in a Heartland Championship match at Rugby Park on Saturday.

The “Butcher Boys” carved up Poverty Bay in a dominant first-half display to lead 36-0 at the break.

In the second half, to their credit, the Bay held the defending champions to one try, in the 60th minute, before conceding two more in the last eight minutes.

Wanganui have won three from three as they bid for a fourth successive Meads Cup (top-four) title.

Coach Jason Caskey’s side were bigger, stronger, faster, fitter and more skilful, particularly in their ball retention.

Although the eight-tries to-none result was Wanganui’s 10th straight Heartland win against the Bay, it was the first time the home side had failed to register a point.

The visitors showed their intentions from the kick-off and opened the scoring after four minutes. Centre Kaveni Dabenaise finished off a move involving forwards and backs with a try in the right-wing corner.

Fullback Craig Clare, who also scored a try, landed the first of his four conversions.

Seven minutes later, right wing Harry Symes — a constant threat with his acceleration, speed and powerful running — looked certain to score before being stopped 20 metres out. However, Wanganui were awarded a penalty and Clare stretched the gap.

Tries in the 13th minute, 17th, 24th and 34th minutes took the game away from the home side, who subsequently dropped to 10th on the 12-team points table, ahead of Buller and Ngati Porou East Coast.

The Bay could not get their hands on the ball, and when they did their ball retention let them down.

They took the game to Wanganui in the second half and it worked to some extent.

With openside flanker Callum McDonald, blindside Jesse Kapene, centre Mape Tuipulotu and replacement halfback Mario Counsell all prominent, the Bay held their own without seriously threatening to break a well-organised and committed Wanganui defence.

Counsell came on for Willy Grogan, who made more tackles in the first 40 minutes than his opposite, Lindsay Horrocks, had to make in 80.

In the 62nd minute, two minutes after Clare had dotted down, Counsell brought a surprisingly supportive and vocal home crowd to life with a superb break.

He received a pass 15 metres out from his tryline and for once split the defence. He was just short of the Wanganui half when he passed to left wing Te Peehi Fairlie, who was on his way to the tryline when a covering defender made a desperate dive and ankle-tapped him.

As the Bay players tired from their energy-sapping first half, they began to fall off tackles, and Wanganui added two more tries.

Despite being on the losing side, first five-eighth Andrew Tauatevalu showed glimpses of genuine class against a team who, on this performance, will be hard to beat. Tauatevalu, converted from a winger to No.10, put his body on the line and still had enough strength and gas to worry his markers.

Other Heartland Championship results: Ngati Porou East Coast 5 Wairarapa Bush 26, King Country 22 North Otago 18, Mid Canterbury 36 West Coast 29, Buller 22 Thames Valley 43, Horowhenua Kapiti 22 South Canterbury 52.

Other rugby results — Barry Cup sub-union challenge: Waikohu (holders) 45 Matakaoa 7.

Representative, at Gisborne: Poverty Bay under-16s 34 Thames Valley u16s 21, Poverty Bay u18s 20 Wellington Community 34.

Hurricanes under-15 schoolboys tournament, at Upper Hutt, playoff for third: Gisborne Boys’ High 17 St Peter’s College (Auckland) 17.

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