Match Report: Pioneer v Carterton – 2 July 2022
Carterton 43 (Lachie McFadzean, Mike Kloeg, Inia Katia (2), Siutaka Toamotu, Sivo Karavaki, Zach Wakefield tries; Sam Morison 4 conversions) Pioneer 7.
Carterton got its season back on track and booked a place in the Moose Kapene Cup semi-finals with an emphatic victory over Pioneer on a sunny afternoon at Jeans Street.
Carterton fielded a rather different lineup following last week’s loss, coach Neil Rodger making some tactical changes and the absence of Daryl Pickering and Blair Heming for the first time in several seasons being offset by the return of Lachie McFadzean, Terongo Tekii, Ngaiwa Marshall-Lobb and James Church.
Both Carterton locks McFadzean and Mike Kloeg scored in the first 15 minutes to give Carterton a 12-0 platform, then midfield bursts from Jack Loader and Tupou Lea’aemanu led to an Inia Katia try in the left corner. Captain for the day Sam Morison’s pinpoint sideline conversion gave the visitors a 19-0 cushion at halftime.
Carterton started the second half with a bang when Katia scored the bonus-point try in the second minute, then replacement second-five Siutaka Toamotu dotted down his first try for the club to establish a 31-0 lead after 53 minutes. Pioneer was finally rewarded for much toil with a try after 60 minutes, but Carterton rounded out a dominant performance with tries in the last ten minutes to replacement forwards Sivo Karavaki and Zach Wakefield.
Many Carterton players stood out in this match, none more so than blindside Logan Wakefield who at one stage completed four dominant tackles in a single passage of play. Lachie McFadzean’s return alongside Mike Kloeg added stability to the pack and it was great to see all three lock forwards score tries in the same match. Tupou Lea’aemanu got more opportunities to run in wider positions this week with devastating results. Inia Katia was busy and creative at centre and later halfback, Sam Morison led the team well and showed improved form with the boot, and the outstanding back for me was winger Fiula Tameilau who broke tackles all day and always kept the ball alive, creating many opportunities for his teammates.
With one round to play, Carterton is second on the table and guaranteed a semi-final place. Victory over leaders Marist at home next week would probably be enough to finish top, but defeat is likely to see the team finish outside the top two and miss out on a home semi-final.