Premier Men open Swindale Shield with solid win

The first weekend of club rugby is in the books with some solid results for Marist St Pats around the rugby fields of Wellington.

Our Premier Women opened the day traveling to grade heavyweights Oriental-Rongotai. They took the lead early in the first half before Ories levelled the scores at 12-12 at half time. Ories struck first in the second but our side stuck with them, eventually falling 29-33.

A new look Premier 2 side hosted Hutt Old Boys Marist on Evans Bay Park. They took what looked like a commanding lead before the Eagles came back strong in the second half. Final score was 24-20 to Marist St Pats.

In the feature game on Evans Bay, our Premier Men hosted a strong Hutt Old Boys Marist side. From the opening whistle it was clear both teams came to play, but it was the home side that took their early chances with Ben Tuiatua scoring the opening try at the 10 minute mark. From there the forward pack put their heads down and dominated territory and possession.

After a HOBM penalty, it was James Tuiatua who joined his brother on the scoreboard 15 minutes later to give the Red Machine a 14-3 lead at halftime.

After the break for oranges, MSP picked up where we left off. While there were a number of early season handling errors from both sides, HOBM were rarely allowed to venture far into MSP territory. Andrew Wells was outstanding at controlling the game from first five and extended the lead with two penalties from the boot.

It took 30 minutes before a second half try would be scored, with Keelan Whitman topping a strong performance at the back of the scrum with a try in the corner.

The coaches will be pleased with the way their side controlled the flow of the game, dominating the possession and territory stats. The forward pack was outstanding from 1-8 with all players playing their roles well - but hooker Tyrone Thompson was a standout with ball in hand and really took it to his opposite, Hurricane James O'Reilly. Final score was 25-3 to Marist St Pats, with the Father Cleary Shield coming home to Hataitai.

Elsewhere, the Internationals got their season off to a good start with a 24-7 win over OBU, while the Under 85s had a lost to Upper Hutt Rams by 13-25.

The Colts won by default after Johnsonville weren't able to field enough players for the match.

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