2022 Chris "Moose" Kapene Cup Memorial Cup CHAMPIONS

Carterton brought the to its rightful place in the Belvedere Road trophy cabinet after winning the championship for the first time since 2010 with a magnificent victory over top qualifiers Marist on the turf at Trust House Memorial Park.

Carterton started strongly with a big run inside the first minute from Mike Kloeg (who could have been forgiven for thinking he was a back) in centre field setting up an early penalty shot at goal for Sam Morison which missed to the left. After just five minutes a break down the left wing by Siutaka Toamotu swept Carterton onto attack again, and he was on hand to collect Inia Katia’s clever pass on the short side and crash over in the corner for the first points. Morison extended Carterton’s lead to 8-0 after 15 minutes with a penalty from handy to the posts.

Marist responded with an outrageous 65-metre try and although they were soon reduced to 14 players, kicked a penalty on 27 minutes to lead 10-8. Marist lost another player to the bin after 31 minutes and Carterton eventually made the numerical advantage count after 35 minutes when Katia picked up at the base of a ruck and scored under the posts. Morison’s conversion extended the half time advantage to 15-10 and set up a compelling second half in which the lead would change hands four times.

Carterton started slowly after the break and Marist regained the lead 17-15 after 51 minutes with a try, but an 80-metre run from Aseri Waqa took him through or around half the Marist team on his way to an astonishing individual try to nudge Carterton back in front 20-17 at the 60-minute mark. The lead lasted just five minutes before Carterton indecision on defence gifted Marist another converted try, but after 68 minutes Waqa collected a clever inside ball from Tupou Lea’aemanu to score again and Morison’s conversion saw Carterton ahead once more at 27-24.

Marist inexplicably avoided losing another player to the bin at the 70-minute mark for a blatant no-arms tackle on Katia, then squandered a couple of chances to break by dropping simple passes before Carterton put the result beyond doubt after 79 minutes. Jack Loader broke off the scrum and fed Katia whose netball-style ball put Waqa in space on the outside to deliver the scoring pass to Fiula Tameilau and spark mass celebration. Katia’s sideline conversion attempt failed but nobody cared and moments later Carterton were Wairarapa Bush champions.

Carterton deserved this victory. They created and finished more chances, and their team discipline was noticeably superior to their opponents. The entire starting forward pack deserve mention: the front row of Ngaiwa Marshall-Lobb, Hone Vella and Blair Heming – the only survivor from the 2010 victory – dominated the big Marist pack in the scrums, Lachie McFadzean provided lineout ball all day and made many tackles, and his ageless locking partner Mike Kloeg’s work rate was outstanding. Gus McKinnon tackled himself to a standstill and fellow loosies Tupou Lea’aemanu and Jack Loader regularly got Carterton over the gain line. Substitute openside Terongo Tekii also injected fresh energy from the bench. In the backs, Daryl Pickering led his team strongly from halfback, Inia Katia was creative at centre, wing Fiula Tameilau made a big contribution and reserve Carlos Rimene made a couple of strong runs in the second half. And at the back, the mercurial Aseri Waqa more than atoned for some dropped balls and unusual missed tackles with an untouchable second half running game.

See you next season

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