The final score probably flattered a Carterton team which struggled to retain its shape for the first hour and led only 15-12 going into the final 20 minutes.

Two early breaks by impressive second-five Taka Toamotu put Carterton on attack early, his wide pass after five minutes gave prop Ash Casey space to run in a winger’s try in the left corner: 5-0 Carterton. Eketahuna levelled with a backline try in the right corner after 19 minutes, only for Carterton to regain the lead three minutes later when Sam Morison slotted an easy penalty from 22 metres.

Eketahuna used the breeze well in the second quarter, scoring a close-range converted try after 38 mins to lead 12-8. Carterton failed to convert several chances until the stroke of halftime when runs from Inia Katia and Aseri Waqa led to Hone Vella driving over. Morison’s conversion gave Carterton a 15-12 halftime led it scarcely deserved.

There was no scoring in the third quarter with both teams missing a kick at goal. Vella scored again after 63 minutes at the back of a rolling maul from an attacking lineout, then Waqa’s brilliant long range try in the 70th minute and Morison conversion from the sideline made the match safe at 29-12. Katia added the icing on the cake on fulltime, regathering Daryl Pickering’s high kick and touching down to make the final score 34-12.

Veteran lock Lachie McFadzean was the outstanding forward for Carterton, dominating all over the park. Inia Katia was equally impressive at centre, making several breaks, tackling hard and distributing well. Lock Jacko Hull and replacement blindside Waisale Tubu enjoyed strong games, and second-five Taka Toamotu started strongly before succumbing to a leg injury after half an hour. Fullback Aseri Waqa was dangerous with ball in hand and always strong in the tackle.

1 point, Ash Casey
2 points, Lachie McFadzean
3 points. Hone Vella
Supporters’ Vote – Lachie McFadzean

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