Marlborough bowler Joel Pannell sends down another delivery from the southern end of Horton Park. Photo: Peter Jones.

Cricket reps warm up with win

The Marlborough senior representative cricket team have wasted little time in getting in some match practice as the new season starts.

On Sunday they took on a Tasman under-19 combination at Horton Park, handy exercise for both teams.

In the end, Marlborough prevailed by 64 runs, having scored a healthy 297 from 46 overs batting first, then dismissing the Under-19 side for 233.

Marlborough’s innings was based around their middle order. After slipping to 3-18, Matthew Stretch with 85 and 106 from Jerrym Lamb, who retired after reaching three figures, resurrected the home side’s innings. Akhil Pant chipped in with a hard-hit 61 as the Under-19 bowlers came under the pump.

Best of the attack was Nelson’s Ronan Restieaux who grabbed the outstanding figures of 4-13 from his six overs. Josh Newport and Tom Sutherland both claimed 1-31 from their six.

Tasman lost a couple of wickets early before a 114-run partnership between Harry Mowart and Finn Raxworthy steadied the ship. However, when Mowart was run out for 49 and Raxworthy dismissed for a patient 35, momentum was lost. Tim Petrie with 24 and Restieaux, 21, added some handy runs down the order but eventually their side was dismissed in the 45th over.

Pant, who claimed 4-35 with his medium pacers, and the promising Bailey Andrews-Kennedy, 3-24, claimed the bulk of the wickets.

The Mako camp will be doing some serious soul-searching this week. Photo: Shuttersport.

Auckland is a bridge too far for Mako

One pointless trip to Auckland can be dismissed as a “bad day at the office”; a second shocker in the City of Sails represents a disturbing trend for the Tasman Mako.

The defending champs began the 2020 Mitre 10 Cup as competition favourites but, after successive away defeats to North Harbour and Auckland, their odds will be quickly lengthening.

And it’s not just the fact they have lost a couple of games up north, it’s the fashion in which they have been beaten that will have the team’s brains trust scratching their collective heads.

In both matches they have struggled for on-going continuity and cohesion, being comprehensively outplayed for long periods. The disciplined, ruthless edge that marked their 2019 triumph is missing. There is no shortage of effort, in fact at times they appear to be trying too hard, forcing passes and choosing high-risk options rather than building pressure.

A frustrated Mako skipper David Havili said after Saturday’s match, lost 31-10, “we can’t just expect it is going to happen on game day”, perhaps pinpointing a lack of intensity compared with their rivals.

“Our game just comes back down to our mind set and making sure that we turn up on Saturday with the right attitude,” he added.

“It’s pretty tough to swallow … we need to look at ourselves, we can’t leak points like that in this competition or we will just get put away.”

From the opening whistle of Saturday’s match at Coopers Catch Park, temporarily named after a Kaikoura fish and chip shop therefore nominally a home ground for the Mako, the Tasman troops looked listless, especially up front. Auckland’s first two tries stemmed from the irresistible work of their forwards close to the line, Tasman’s goal line defence not up to the mark.

Some sloppy lineout work compounded the issue while the hunger to secure 50/50 ball right across the park was clearly absent, especially in the first half when the damage was done.

Stopping the bleeding in a second spell they won 10-7 will be of little consolation to a proud Mako squad and support staff, who have set particularly high standards in recent times.

A small consolation for the Mako can be gleaned from last year’s results. In round robin play, Auckland were swamped 40-0 by Tasman, but the northerners turned it around in the semifinal, pushing the Mako all the way during an 18-9 loss in Blenheim.

However, some areas of the Mako game need immediate attention if the heroics of the previous campaign are to be repeated. Tasman are still well-placed for a semifinal position, but with games against the likes of Wellington and Canterbury, both play-off contenders, to come that can certainly not be taken for granted.

Next up for the Mako is a home match against Southland at Trafalgar Park on Sunday, kick off 2.05pm.

Several of the Filipino players who will be in action next weekend gathered at Stadium 2000 on Sunday to sharpen their basketball skills. Photo: Peter Jones.

Filipino festival set to attract a crowd

With basketball being the national sport of the Phillipines, it is little wonder that enthusiasm is running high for next weekend’s 2020 All Filipino Top of the South Sports Festival.

The annual Labour Weekend tournament involves teams from Marlborough, Nelson, Motueka, West Coast and Hurunui and is in its third year.

This year Marlborough hosts the popular event at Stadium 2000 on Saturday and Sunday, October 24-25.

There will be 10 basketball teams in action, plus three volleyball teams showing their skills.

Nelson and Marlborough have contested the final in the two previous tournaments, with Nelson teams winning both by a very narrow margin.

Tournament organiser Jayson Cruz expects over 200 people to pack the stadium on the weekend.

“All of us have been looking forward to this tournament every year. Luckily back on level one we can continue the tradition.

“We also have a Filipino gathering for all players and families of all involved starting at 6pm on Saturday, offering a chance for everyone to meet and greet.”

Teams will parade at the stadium first thing in the morning with the national anthems of the Philippines and New Zealand being played, followed by welcoming speeches.

Semifinals and finals will be played on Sunday, semis in morning around 10.20am and the final scheduled for 3pm.

There is also a three-pointer shootout competition planned before trophies are presented.

“Filipinos love their basketball”, added Jayson, “it is the national sport, and you can see Filipino teams competing in the local stadium competitions.”

Wairau batsman Andrew McCaa registered the highest score on the opening day of the senior cricket competition. Photo: Peter Jones.

Valley, Celtic get off the mark early

Comfortable wins to Wairau Valley and Celtic marked the opening round of Marlborough senior club cricket on Saturday.

Both winning teams chased down mediocre totals in 50-over encounters. Valley beat Renwick by eight wickets on Horton Park one, while Celtic overcame Wairau by five wickets on No 3.

In the first game Renwick struggled to put together any partnerships of substance in their total of 130 from 36.1 overs, their best effort being a 27-run collaboration between Luke Frankland and Akhil Pant for the second wicket. Frankland scored 18, Pant 19 with Renwick’s top score coming from No 4 batsman Corey Bovey, who amassed a patient 33 from 73 deliveries while wickets fell around him.

All the Valley bowlers picking up at least one wicket. Skipper Matthew Stretch led the way with 4-33 from 8.1 overs, while newcomer Bailey Andrews-Kennedy showed he will be a handy addition with 3-48 from nine overs. Sam Boyce, Michael Dillon and Joel Pannell were the other bowlers used, picking up a wicket apiece and conceding very few runs.

Valley’s reply of 131-2 was shaped around the efforts of Chris Bartholomeusz, a former Hawke Cup player for Canterbury Country and Nelson, who opened the batting and showed fine timing as he put together an unbeaten 47.

Fellow opener Ben Ivory-McCullum and No 3 Patrick Moran went cheaply but Stretch ensured there would be nervous moments, batting positively to register an unbeaten 39 from just 31 balls, bringing the game to an end in the 26th over.

The miserly Mike Anstiss and wicket-taker Jacob Zillwood were the pick of the Renwick attack.

Meanwhile, on the adjoining ground, Celtic managed a potentially tricky early season run chase comfortably, running down Wairau’s 159 for the loss of five wickets in the 33rd over.

Wairau’s total was built around a patient unbeaten 83 from 134 balls from Andrew McCaa, Tim Petrie’s 18 and 33 extras the other main contributors.

Medium-pacer Matt McCormick led the Celtic attack with 3-25, while Jaden Adams snared 2-20. Josh Poole and Jerrym Lamb were the other wicket-takers.

Their reply was based around half centuries to opener John Porter and Poole. They combined for a 98-run second wicket partnership which ended any hopes Wairau may have had of putting pressure on the batting side. Porter ended with 53 from 82 balls, Poole with 52 from 59, striking nine fours across a slow outfield.

Nick Weaver, with 2-25 from 7.5 overs, was the pick of the Wairau attack, along with Chris Turkington who grabbed 1-26 from seven.

Two more rounds of club 50-over games will be played before the final on November 7.

Felix Parkinson reaches for a return. Photo: Peter Jones.

Tennis tyros take care of Coasters

Marlborough’s rising tennis talent came out on top when the annual Wilding Trophy fixture, which was delayed due to COVID-19 in April, was contested at the Forrest Winery Tennis Centre recently.

A team of 14 players from Marlborough and West Coast competed across multiple matches on Thursday and Friday.

Day one began with doubles – a nice way to iron out all the winter rustiness and get into the tennis groove again.

West Coast came out on top, 4 matches to 3, with the top boys and girls pairing going through to a super tie third set. Singles was up next and some great performances across the board from Marlborough saw a 10-3 result.

Then it was back to doubles with a few mixed combinations included. This time Marlborough got up 4-3, thanks to a clutch victory by William Poff and Poppy Parkinson who won their super tie third set 10-6.

Friday opened with reverse singles and Marlborough once again dominated 10-3 with the highlight being the last game in this round where Ryo Kimura beat Stanley Vercoe in three sets, both players responding to all the other players and supporters crowding around the court and cheering them on.

The last round saw a new set of doubles combinations with West Coast again prevailing 4-3. Three of these matches were decided by third set super tiebreaks – Poff and Kimura combining for a top notch win, coming back from 3-8 down to win 10-8.

Unbeaten players across the five matches were Marlborough’s Leon Marusaki, Cooper Johnson and Ben Preece while West Coast players Honor Barry and Connor Greig maintained a 100 percent winning record.

Overall, the Reilly Quirk-coached team won the fixture 30-17, a scoreline that did not reflect the tightness of the matches. A feature of the fixture is the relaxed atmosphere, which is always a highlight.

Next up for the Marlborough juniors is an under-14 rep fixture against Nelson for the Malcolm Shield on November 8 at the Marlborough Tennis Club.

Marlborough: Felix Parkinson, William Poff, Elijah O’Donnell, Ryo Kimura, Luke Marusaki, Josh Harris, Leon Marusaki, Max Sowman, Cooper Johnson, Ben Preece, Ella Sowman, Poppy Parkinson, Ana Eradus, Ruby Glackin.

The victorious Marlborough under-16 combination. Photo: Supplied.

Gold medal for water polo team

The Marlborough under-16 girls side went one better than their silver medal last year, claiming gold at the national under-16 Division Two championships held in Wellington recently.

The Marlborough girls dominated throughout the event, despite the fact four of the squad were eligible to play at under-14 level.

Day one saw Marlborough take on Wellington in the morning and come away with a 10-3 victory, a promising sign of things to come as they have traditionally started slowly.

Second up was Auckland-based Seawolf with Marlborough eclipsing the northerners 22-3.

The following day the goals kept coming, starting with a 30-5 thrashing of Canterbury B. The afternoon game was against another Auckland club, Atlantis, with the girls being made to fight much harder for an 8-5 win.

In the semifinals they faced Wellington again, this time prevailing by 15-2.

The final was an all-South Island affair with Marlborough facing an Otago side who had dominated the other side of the draw.

It was expected to be a close game but Marlborough had no desire to come second again and attacked from the swim off.

Their intensity meant Otago were unable to gain any advantage, although the southern side had some bad luck with a number of shots hitting the cross bar, just going wide or being saved by the goalie.

In the end Marlborough came away with a 10-1 win after putting on a water polo exhibition.

Abbey Moody was named player of the tournament. Two Otago under-14 players were also part of the Marlborough squad.

Marlborough Under-16 girls: Charlotte Brown, Abbey Moody, Molly Glover, Emma Flanagan, Alice Paterson, Georgia Morrison, Evie Price, Hazel Glover, Siobhan Keay, Zoe Allibone (Otago), Holly Wright (Otago). Coaches: Alastair Keay and Glen Morrison; manager Lawrelle Morrison.

Darren Herd, at net, and Oscar Sandford-Jury were part of the victorious Renwick premier team last season. Photo: Peter Jones

Court appearances set to rise

It is tennis time again, with two major competitions swinging into action this week.

On Tuesday, the well-supported WK+ Advisors and Accountants Presidents Grade kicks off, then the Wine Brokers NZ Premier Grade begins the following evening.

There has been a change in the premier grade structure for 2020. This year there will be two divisions, with four teams in each section. There will be three rounds and then a finals night just before Christmas.

In division one the teams consist of three men and one woman who will play six matches each night – three men’s singles, one women’s single, a men’s double and a mixed double.

Division one consists of two Rapaura teams, one Marlborough Tennis Club team and one Renwick team.

In division two there are two Marlborough Club teams (including a talented junior team, named ‘Next Gen’), one Rapaura team and one Renwick team.

Division one teams:

Rapaura Wairau River Noir: Hamish McRae, Blair Harvey, Brendon Sutherland, Ella Sowman. Rapaura Wairau River Blanc: Anthony Walkenhorst, Hugh Robinson, Glen Cameron, Donna Clark. Forrest Wines Marlborough:

Hamish Morrow, Jay Geris, Stephen Dempster, Amber Lyons. Renwick CPR:

Oscar Sandford-Jury, Dave Sandford, Joseph Sandford-Jury, Mieko Kimura.

 

Division two teams

Rapaura Wairau River Rose: Hiro Kishida, Hamish Shield, Eveline van der Linden, Lynn Murray, Georges Decken, Tony Fenemor. Marlborough Next Gen: Theodore Sandford-Jury, Dan Clarke, Jo Yank, Sid Yank, William Poff. Marlborough Smashers: Jaco van Hensbergen, Joshua Joseph, Ivan Fedoryshchev, George Geris. Renwick Rallycats: Daniel Riordan, Jason Anderson, Geoff Duckett, Luan Muir, Anna Simpson.

 

Presidents Grade

The ever-popular Presidents Grade competition, will include 28 teams – six teams in divisions one and four, and eight teams in divisions two and three. The competition will run right through the summer, concluding in early March.

Both Rapaura and Renwick clubs have nine teams apiece, while the Marlborough Tennis club has seven teams and Grovetown three.

Division one teams

Marlborough Chilli: Daniel Riordan, Peter Stubbs, Adam Dawe, Sandy Stubbs, Mieko Kimura. Renwick Net Setters: Anthony Bowron, Stephen Bryant, Adam Balasoglou, Luan Muir, Caroline Cornelius, Amber Lyons. Rapaura Masters: Hiro Kishida, Owen Dodson, Stephen Dempson (R), Tony Fenemor (R), Donna Clark, Pauline Fudge. Rapaura Just Move: Kyle Heagney, Mike Russell, Loren Hickin, Emily Stenhouse, Jane Bay, Amber Boyce. Rapaura Wairau River: Hugh Robinson, Warner Nichol, Lynn Murray, Eveline van der Linden, Karen Nichol. Grovetown Grove Tavern Top Shelf: Brendon Sutherland, Darin Herd, Owen Dodson, Venice Langrope, Raewyn Heta, Susie Glover.

 

Inspire Tennis Primary Schools Competition

This year sees 39 teams taking part in the competition across five divisions. Division one is made up of four very strong teams. All the players receive coaching, many of them training twice a week. Division two contains nine teams while divisions three and four are made up of less experienced players playing with low compression balls.

Seven teams will play in the Kiwi division – catering for the much younger players at the beginning of their tennis-playing years. They play on half-sized courts using mini nets.

A drop-in tennis coaching programme is also run by the Marlborough Tennis Club between 9am and 10am on Saturday mornings over the summer and this looks after the younger players not involved in the competition aged from 3 to 7 years. There is no need to register for this, just show up on the day. The cost is $2 per player and it starts on October 31.

The primary school competition starts with a grading day on Saturday, October 17, and then resumes with round one on October 31. It will break for Christmas on December 12 and resume after the school holidays. Thirteen schools have entered teams into the competition.

College Competition

A doubles competition for College students (of all abilities) is being run on Friday evenings, with an initial grading day on Friday, October 16. Players must register for this competition, for more information contact Hilary on [email protected].   Entry to this completion has not yet closed.

Monday College Social Tennis

The popular Monday College Social tennis will continue again this summer from 4.30pm-6pm each Monday afternoon starting on October 12. Beginners are welcome. Coaching is included to help players improve their skills. No pre-registration is needed, players just need to show up on Monday afternoons to sign-up.

Rarangi’s Aroha Minhinnick will play No 1 for the Tasman women’s team. Photo: Peter Jones.

Rep golfers chase SI titles

Tasman’s golfing elite are in for a busy time over the next few months.

The Tasman men play their South Island Interprovincial tournament at the St Clair Golf Course in Dunedin on October 17-18.

They warmed up for this event by playing North Otago in Oamaru on October 3-4, winning the event by .5 of a point from Canterbury.

The team in playing order was: Tyrone Nelson, Corey Taylor, Craig Newman (captain) all from Nelson GC, Blair Bavin (Rarangi) and James Campion from Nelson GC.

The Tasman men’s SIIP team (in playing order) is: Kam Clarke (Nelson), Blair Bavin, Brook Hale (captain) both from Rarangi, Matt Grimes (Nelson, Nick Franzman (Greymouth), Mark Le Compte (Marlborough) and Josh Simpson (Nelson).

The Tasman women’s South Island Interprovincial team, who are defending champions, travel to Ashburton for their tournament, also on the weekend of October 17-18.

The team, in playing order, is: Aroha Minhinnick (Rarangi), Emily Stenhouse (Rarangi), Tracy Bary (Rarangi), Lee Willetts (Nelson), Natalee Reed (Greenacres), Susan Rooney (Nelson), Annie Tiller (Nelson), Sophie Van Velthoven (Marlborough).

Meanwhile, the Tasman Freyberg Masters team to compete at the 2020 Freyberg Masters Nationals being played at St Andrews Golf Club in Hamilton from the November 2-6 has been named. It comprises, in playing order: David Riordan, Tryonne Nelson, Craig Newman (captain), Corey Taylor (all from Nelson), Blair Bavin (Rarangi), Glen Drummond (Nelson).

Mark Telea dives over for Tasman’s second try at Trafalgar Park on Sunday. Photo: Shuttersport.

Mako quickly return to winner’s circle 

Seven days are a long time in sport, especially in a weekly rugby competition.

Going from an error-ridden, ill-disciplined performance against Harbour last Sunday to a clinical effort against Bay of Plenty a week later, Tasman underlined on Sunday how quickly fortunes in our national provincial rugby showpiece can change.

The Mako accounted for a handy Steamers crew 33-7, the final score certainly no indication of the amount of work the home side had to put in to claim the five points which propelled them back to the top of the premiership table.

With Nelson turning on a difficult day to play attractive rugby it was always going to be a tough afternoon for the Mako as they strove to put the Harbour horrors behind them. As they did against Waikato at the same venue a few weeks ago, the home side set up their win with a gritty, defence-orientated effort into the wind in the first half.

Turning with a 12-7 advantage, and aided by a yellow card to Bay of Plenty winger Chase Tiatia, the Mako twisted the screw, both territorially and possession-wise, effectively icing the game with their fourth try in the 53rd minute.

That touchdown, by outstanding loosie Sione Havili after his pack had shunted Bay of Plenty off the ball under their posts, brought great satisfaction to the Mako coaching staff, especially after their set piece woes against Harbour last week.

Co-head coach Andrew Goodman said, “The boys put in a lot of work on our scrummaging every week so it was pleasing to get some reward out of that … especially that pushover try which was great for the big boys who had got through a mountain of work in the first half … defended really well and had some good carries into a strong breeze.”

Goodman was happy with how the team bounced back after their previous performance.

“I’m stoked to get a response … it wasn’t always pretty but you could see the attitude was where it needed to be. There was a lot of improvement in our defense which we have been working on during the week.

“I thought our drivers managed the game really well with some of their kicking.”

He was especially happy with loosies Havili and No 8 Hugh Renton who were strong “on both sides of the ball”. The efforts of the back three, Leicester Fainga’anuku, David Havili and Mark Telea, in fielding high kicks safely and making good decisions was another feature.

“There are still so many improvements we can make as a team, that’s the exciting thing.”

Next up for the Mako is a trip to Eden Park and another meeting with Auckland, who Tasman beat at the semifinal stage of last year’s competition.

“It’s a great place to play and a tough place to get a win. We have only managed that a couple of times in our history,” he added.

The 2020 Mitre 10 Cup is shaping as one of the tightest competitions in recent times, with no teams taking control, in either premiership of championship divisions.

Last year the Tasman Mako quickly asserted their dominance, being tagged favourites from the early stages, this time any team can beat any other on their day.

“There are a lot more championship teams tipping up premiership teams,” said Goodman, “more so than what has happened in recent times. It’s a really great competition.”

Isaac Ross played for three Super Rugby franchises. Photo: Supplied.

Mako lock in former All Black

Former All Blacks lock Isaac Ross has been brought into the Tasman Mako rugby squad for the remainder of their Mitre 10 Cup campaign.

With 2020 All Black Quinten Strange and last year’s standout Pari Pari Parkinson ruled out of contention through injury, plus local back-up options Antonio Shalfoon and Max Hicks also struggling to shake off injuries, Ross was seen as a handy addition to the squad at a crucial time of the season.

The 35-year-old, who turned out on eight occasions for the All Blacks, has been playing with the NTT Communications Shining Arcs side in Japan since 2011 and will add vast experience to a pack that has lost a wealth of senior players from their previous campaign.

Ross followed in the footsteps of his father, Jock Ross – a 1981 All Blacks lock, when he pulled on an All Black jersey for the first time in 2009.

At domestic level Isaac represented Canterbury and has played for the Chiefs, Crusaders and Highlanders at Super Rugby level since his debut in 2007.

He has played 53 games for Canterbury, 23 for the Crusaders, nine for the Highlanders and 11 for the Chiefs, plus 83 for the Shining Arcs.

He joins Alex Ainley, Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta and Mahonri Ngakuru among the Mako locking brigade.