It was dark, it was wet, it was windy. It was the worst weather we've had all season, but the performance of our Premier Men was absolutely scorching. The side hosted our old rivals Petone at Evans Bay Park and put on an absolute clinic in wet weather rugby.
It was the best 80 minutes the team has played this season and they were relentless from the opening whistle. A cohesive forward pack were dominant all day, led by powerful performances from Tyrone Thompson, Keelan Whitman and captain James Tuiatua. They were dominant with ball in hand and never gave an inch on defence.
It was James Tuiatua who put his team on the scoreboard with a try on the six minute mark - and they never looked back. Further first half tries to Isaia Petelo, Willie Schutz and James Proctor saw the team earn a bonus point and take a 24-0 lead into half time.
As the Petone side went back into the changing sheds for shelter at the break, the home side plotted their second half in the elements on half way. Game plan was simple, more of the same.
James Tuiatua ensured that game plan was executed, scoring almost immediately after the break. There were three more tries to come, to halfback Ken Kapeli, his replacement and debutant Logan Love and finally the exclamation mark from Jeremiah Tuiatua on full time. Final score 50-7 to Marist St Pats. You can watch a replay of the game linked below.
With our neighbours Oriental-Rongotai rolling OBU, our Premier Men now sit on top of the Swindale Shield ladder - albeit tied with OBU - with a round to play. In the final round this Saturday we play Wellington at Hataitai Park, while OBU host Tawa at Nairnville Park. If the two teams finsih the round tied on competition points, OBU will claim the Swindale Shield based on the head-to-head tiebreaker.
Elsewhere around the grounds, our Colts had a gutsy 10-7 win over Oriental-Rongotai at Polo Ground. Our Premier 2 had a hard fought loss to Northern United by 19-25. The Internationals continued their rich run of form, beating OBU by 22-0 to hold the Establishment Cup. Unfortunately our Under 85s were forced to default due to lack of available front row.
Our Netballers only had six players but managed to battle to a 30-30 draw with Wellington East.