Pride lock in home semi-final as Wellington Development win well

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The Wellington Pride have booked a home Women’s NPC Championship division semi-final in a fortnight’s time with their 50-10 win over the North Harbour Hibiscus on the North Shore on Saturday.

The Pride’s bonus point win sees them leading the Farah Palmer Cup Championship standings with just next Saturday’s final round-robin fixture against Taranaki at Jerry Collins to come before the playoffs. 

The Pride beat North Harbour eight tries to one, left wing Ayesha Leti-L’iga scoring two tries and six other individuals finding the chalk, including one try each to starting props Angel Uila and Dora Laupola.

The Wellington Development side clicked into gear late in their match against the Hawke’s Bay Saracens to win 59-31 in their match at Tremain Field, Napier.

The run of play saw both sides score two tries and Wellington holding a 14-12 lead, before stretching the Saracens defence and scoring their third try just before halftime to take a 21-12 lead.

The match remained tight well into the third quarter, with the Saracens coming back to lead 31-28 with just under 30 minutes to play. Wellington hit the front for the final time in the 60th minute with a chip and chase try from a scrum and pulled clear from there.

In Masterton, the Wellington Centurions U18s beat the Wairarapa Bush U18s 50-10 to win the Hurricanes U18s Shield, their first victory in this competition for 28 years after being beaten finalists to the Wellington Samoans last season.

The Centurions raced to a 19-0 lead after as many minutes, extending this to 31-5 by halftime.

They built on an all-round dominant performance in the second 35 minutes, with second five-eighth Sam Clark, centre Sage Shaw-Tait and openside flanker and captain Alex Faifailoa all scoring two tries. Fullback Ish Perkins, No. 8 Epi Sailo and lock Sene Fa’aosa also played well. 

For Wairarapa Bush, No. 8 Harry Mckay scored late in the first half and Jack Eschenrach scored a consolation try. 

At Jerry Collins Stadium, the Wellington Community U18s finished their season with a 36-19 win over the Wellington Samoans U18s in the playoff for third and fourth.

The Samoans U18s were backing up after playing the Fijian U18s on Thursday night.

The Community U18s had first use of a moderate northerly and flew to a 26-7 halftime lead. The Samoans briefly came back, but the Community side kept their noses ahead in a stop-start second half.

The Samoans opened the second half with a  90 metre try from a defensive scrum and a second try of the match to left wing Esera Andrews.

The Community U18s scored twice more throughout the middle stages of the second half, with blindside flanker Josh Mallon and No. 8 Flynn Crampton the try scorers. The Samoans scored their third try five minutes from the end when replacement halfback Setefano Paese tapped and ran a free kick from a scrum. 

 In Ashurst, the Wellington U18 Girls beat the Hawke’s Bay U18 Girls 56-17.

In Palmerston North, the Centurions U85kg representative team beat the Waikato U85kg side 32-3, to win the Gallon Shield, an U85kg division representative trophy contested between the two provinces. 

In the second game at Jerry Collins Stadium, the Wellington U13 defeated the Auckland U13s 43-24.

Auckland scored the game’s first try and three of the last four tries, but Wellington won the game with a six-try scoring blitz in the middle stages that saw them take a 36-10 lead with almost 15 minutes still to play.

Playing with a wind advantage in the first half, Wellington replied to Auckland’s early try with a 10th minute try and didn’t look back. Wellington led 26-5 at halftime, and then scored a runaway try from the opening kick-off of the second half that proved decisive for the province’s youngest representative team. 

The Wellington U16A and U16 Development teams are in Masterton this week, from Monday to Thursday for the Hurricanes U16 tournament.

The U16A team will be defending the Don Broughton Shield. They play Poverty Bay on Monday and Hawke’s Bay on Tuesday. The U16 Development team will be defending the Saracens Cup. They play Hawke’s Bay Development on Monday and Wairarapa Bush on Tuesday. Wednesday is a rest day and finals day is Thursday.