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Match Report : Carterton v Marist – 23 April 2022

Carterton 29 (Tupou Lea’aemanu, Inia Katia, Aseri Waqa, Fiula Tameilau tries; Sam Morison 3 conversions, 1 penalty) Marist 20.

Carterton recorded their first win of the 2022 season with a win over Marist at their home ground in round one of the Lane Penn Cup.

Carterton banked their four-try bonus points in the first half before being kept scoreless in the second period, but ultimately the win was more comfortable than the final score indicated.

Carterton established territorial dominance early but briefly found themselves down 8-3 when Marist scored from a kick-and-chase down the right wing. Carterton’s significant first-half scrum dominance began to tell, and after a series of forward pick-and-goes, unstoppable prop Tupou Lea’aemanu rumbled over from close range, and Sam Morison’s close-range conversion gave Carterton a lead it would not relinquish.

The half was dominated by Carterton’s outside backs and their ability to beat Marist on the flanks. A kick down the right wing and excellent follow-up tackle by Waqa resulted in the ball breaking free and a clear run to the line for centre Inia Katia, then Waqa ran in a long-range try, and finally a huge cut-out pass sent Fiula Tameilau in for the bonus point try in the left-hand corner. Morison’s reliable boot added a couple more conversions to leave Carterton 29-8 ahead by the break.

Coach Neil Rodger began ringing the changes as early as half-time to give the reserves a run, but continuity and basic skills suffered once established combinations were separated and early-season cramp began to set in. Tameilau dotted down again in the left corner only to be denied by an assistant referee’s flag. Marist scored two consolation tries in the final few minutes, the last of which when Carterton was reduced by a sin-binning to 14 men.

A good first outing for Carterton, showing many glimpses of the same style that was so successful last year. In the forwards Blair Heming led a big first-half scrum effort, Lachie McFadzean ruled the lineouts like he’d never been away and Tupou Lea’aemanu worked for 80 minutes as ever.

The backline was sparked regularly by Aseri Waqa’s brilliant open-field running and range of passing from full-back, Inia Katia looked lively in the first half and Fiula Tameilau on the left-wing and later half-back was hungry for work and ranged all over the field.

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