Rangers go clear at top of league

Rangers AFC underlined their Marlborough division one football championship potential with an 11-0 drubbing of Central Wolves at A and P Park on Saturday.

In their defense, Wolves were missing a host of players, but Rangers were clinical after taking some time to assert their supremacy.

Three first half goals to the prolific Adam Rose, one from the penalty spot, saw Rangers lead 3-0 at the halfway mark.

Again, Wolves came out and defended well for 15 minutes but after that the floodgates opened, especially when Wolves were reduced to 10 men after Harrison Boyce was sent after collecting two yellow cards. Rose notched his fourth, Julian Delgado scored a hat-trick, Sam Patterson struck twice, Connor Endersby and Oliver Saunders adding the others as Wolves were repeatedly exposed at the back.

Defender Liam Sluiter was in outstanding form for Rangers, along with Saunders, Endersby, Harry Morel and Patterson.

Ben Blackman, Scott Wilkinson, Nick Allen and stand-in keeper Terry Sloan worked hard for Wolves to try and keep the score down.

Meanwhile, the unbeaten run of the Blenheim Valley Marlborough Boys’ College team was ended emphatically at Athletic Park by a dominant Central Pirates combination.

Pirates came away with a 7-2 victory, after leading 4-1 at the break.

A hat-trick to Andrew McCaa, a brace to Chris Turkington plus goals to Shane Evans and Dave Turner did the business for Pirates who utilized an aggressive formation, using two tall attackers to dominate in the air.

MBC battled all the way although coach Gareth Pugh suggested they were off the pace and beaten in every facet of the game.

Down 2-0 they managed to pull one back through Shinji Mikame, who linked well with Phurim Paensuwan.  Mikame added a second goal in the final 45, dribbling from half way beating two players and finishing precisely in the bottom corner. Ben Ivory-McCullum and Jacob Babb had stoic performances.

The day’s third match, at A and P Park, saw BV Masters pip BV Cobras 1-0.

Division one standings: Rangers AFC 12, BV MBC 9, BV Masters 6*, Central Wolves 4*, Central Pirates 3*, BV Cobras 1, Rangers COM 0*. * Team has had a bye.

In division two action,  Call Care Trojans beat Picton Crow Tavern Masters 5-1, Redwood Masters downed Rangers Masters 3-1 and Novus Picton overcame Central Buccaneers 7-1.

Division two standings: Redwood Masters 12, Novus Picton 9*, Trojans 9, Picton Crow Tavern Masters 3*, Rangers Masters 1*, Central Buccaneers 1, Spartans 0*. * Team has had a bye.

Bullets on target

Blenheim Valley Bullets won their first match in the Nelson women’s first division competition on Saturday, beating Nelson Suburbs 1-0 at A and P Park.

The BV Bullets came out firing for their second game of the season, against a well-drilled Nelson Suburbs team. Both keepers had plenty of work to do in a fast-paced, even encounter, decided by a second half goal to Lucy Martin.

The work rate from both teams was impressive, with Jannika Roubos a particular stand-out as Bullets peppered the Suburbs goal, sustaining pressure until the final whistle.

Skater excited by chance to compete against Oceania’s elite

Marlborough speed skater Erin Green goes head-to-head with Oceania’s best in Brisbane this week.

Erin, who has just turned 13, will don the silver fern for the second time at the Oceania championships, having first represented her country at the 2018 champs in Timaru.

Last year she skated her way into two finals and is hoping to improve on that effort this time around.

Her mother and long-time coach, Roxanne Green, feels Erin can make her presence felt at the Brisbane event which ran from April 19-24.

“She is looking really good at the moment, better than she ever has thanks to the help of a young coach who has moved to Blenheim from Timaru.

“Jazmyn McAuley has helped improve Erin’s technique, which is a work in progress,” Roxanne says.

While sprint racing has been Erin’s specialty in the past, she is venturing into the endurance field. She will skate in the cadets grade in Brisbane, racing over short (300m time trial) and long (1000m) sprint distances, plus take on the 21km half marathon.

After being crowned national champion in the juvenile road and flat track class at the 2018 New Zealand champs, Erin stepped up to the junior (12-15) grade at the 2019 champs. Although she finished in the middle of the pack against older skaters, often with much more experience, it was all good preparation for Brisbane.

Roxanne said that while her daughter was nervous, she thrived on competition.

“She doesn’t get hyped about anything … she gets on the line and just does her thing.”

The Blenheim Roller Skating Club raised money to help fund Erin’s trip by staging a roller disco, funds from which paid for her racing wheels.

With about 40 members, the club has been very supportive, Erin said.

Although she relishes the friendships and the social side of racing it is whirring around a track that gives her a real sense of achievement.

“When I race, I just focus on being fast,” she added.

Erin and Roxanne, who is one of the team managers, departed alongside the 31-strong NZ team for Australia on Thursday.

For further information about the Blenheim Roller Skating Club and Erin’s progress visit facebook.com and search under the club’s name.

Waitohi, East Coast top Marlborough standings

E’stel Tasman Trophy rugby made a long-awaited return to rugby headquarters at Lansdowne Park on Thursday night, with Marlborough rivals Waitohi and Central doing battle under lights.

After a traditionally tight battle, it was the Tohis whose Easter Eggs tasted better after they completed a 28-5 bonus point win to stay on top of the sub-union standings, alongside East Coast.

In a scoring spree at the Seddon Domain, the Coasters got their nose ahead on the line to pip Renwick 34-32. The game was locked up 17-17 at halftime and the visitors led by five with four minutes to go before the Coasters grabbed victory with a late converted try to their player of the day, midfielder Ben Filipo.

At Lansdowne Park, the first half belonged almost exclusively to Waitohi, Central only crossing over the halfway stripe at kick off time following three Tohi tries.

A fiery and accurate forward display set up touchdowns for ever-impressive Tongan international fullback Tuli Paea, equally sharp halfback Sosaia Tokai and busy midfielder Daniel Samita. If Waitohi made mistakes they invariably happened close to the Blues’ line, leaving the home team unable to exit any great distance.

Up front flanker Taine Cragg-Love continued to impress, as did hooker Taimi Fangatua, new prop Duane Aholelei, and lock Jack Evans. Corey Bovey directed play well in the 10 jersey, his goalkicking again at a high percentage, while midfielder Tiare Tautari defended well, especially against the ever-dangerous Central centre Timoci Tavatavanawai who rarely saw the ball in the first 40.

The second half was a different story, Central playing with more fire and purpose, led by flanker Braden Stewart, skipper Reyne Volvaola, hooker Jesse MacDonald, plus replacements Peter Vakaloa, Mitchell Boyce and Francis Roebeck.

However, it took them 70 minutes to get on the board, surges by Stewart and Tavatavanawai earning the field position for Vakaloa to burst over.

Just when it seemed Waitohi were going to run out of time to snag a fourth try, Bovey intercepted a hopeful long pass and sprinted 80m to bag the bonus point.

He duly converted to seal a deserved win for a team who have quickly gone from having barely enough players to start the season, to genuine championship contenders.

Player/coach Jimmy Giles was happy to take away five points against “a very good Central side”, especially as Waitohi have struggled to get a full complement to training this week.

“We had good structure in the first half, although we left a few scoring opportunities out there.

“In the second half we had to grind it out as Central came back but we were really happy to get the bonus point try from Bovey.

“I’m rapt with the way the boys played … it gives us an incentive to enjoy the long weekend and hit Nelson next week over there.”

Renwick head coach Glenn Blackmore was disappointed not to get the win at Seddon but feels his teams are making steps in the right direction, despite having to deal with a spate of injuries.

“I’m over the moon with the effort and attitude. It was ding-dong battle, tit-for-tat most of the way but we didn’t really have enough ball in the second half and made too many errors at the end to deserve to get the result.

“We are just in that space at the moment of not really knowing how to finish a game off.”

Sam Lunn, the East Coast coach, described it as “really good game of rugby from both teams”. He praised the effort of first five Myles Hamilton and Filipo and the influence of veteran lock Stu Campbell in the final stages.


Waitohi 28 (Tuli Paea, Sosaia Tokai, Daniel Samita, Corey Bovey tries, Bovey 4 con) Central 5 (Peter Vakaloa try). Halftime 21-0.

East Coast 34 Renwick 32 (Dion Nayaran 3, Ty Bampton, Josh Bason tries, Kurt Schollum pen, 2 con). HT 17-17.

Marlborough sub-union standings (provisional): Waitohi 16*, East Coast 16*, Central 10, Renwick 4, Moutere 2* -* team has had a bye.

Other scores: Waimea Old Boys 29-19; Kahurangi 6 Stoke 3.


MBC side win

In the curtain-raiser to tonight’s game at Lansdowne, the Marlborough Boys’ College Falcons downed Aussie school Downlands College, from Queensland 40-19 in a pre-season match.

MBC led 7-5 at halftime through a try to skipper Ollie Lawson, scored immediately after halftime then weathered a comeback from the Aussies who closed the gap to 14-12. However a second try to Lawson, plus touchdowns to Tino Vakaloa, Jaden Eathorne and a late touchdown on the final whistle got the job done.

Impressive for MBC were Lawson, Monu Moli, Tristan Taylor and halfback Ryan McLeod.