Sat, Jun 15, 2024 6:07 PM

Super-stars return to the clubs



The return of Nelson’s Super Rugby stars to the club game made an immediate impact as Stoke held on against Waimea Old Boys.

With Macca Springer and Campbell Morgan-Parata in the red and white hoops of Waimea OB and Taine Robinson back in Stoke red, all three players made their mark on a game that wouldn’t be decided until the final whistle.

The 27-23 win for Stoke sees them hold on to the John Goodman Trophy for the summer, while in other results Central beat Nelson 67-14 at Lansdowne Park and Kahurangi blew past Moutere 66-5.

In the women’s premier grade, Marist came out ahead of Kahurangi after a battle with a 39-36 win, while Waimea OB fell just short of Moutere 36-29 at Jubilee Park.

Campbell Parata’s influence, slotting into the 10 jersey with Sam Briggs injured, took just two minutes as he kicked a giant 50-metre penalty to get his team’s first points on the board.

Another penalty from his boot grew the lead again before Taine Robinson, also at first-five, would make his mark as he scored a self-converted try.

Stoke would then extend their lead as Kendall Hodson crashed over for a try in the corner, as the team started to get on a roll.

That momentum would continue into the second half as captain Matt Graham-Williams dotted down one of his own.

Macca Springer’s influence had to wait as he started off the bench for Waimea OB, but he was influential in mounting the comeback after a Stoke try with 20 minutes to go which looked to seal the win as they took a 27-13 lead.

Mason Lund looks to spread the ball wide for Stoke as they controlled the mid-point of the game well. Photo: Evan Barnes/Shuttersport.

Waimea wound up scoring two quick tries as they looked to claw their way back in, with both unconverted.

But, with time still on the clock for the restart Waimea OB had another chance for one final crack but an unfortunate handling error scuttled their chances after marching the ball all the way down to Stoke’s 22.

Captain Codey Grimes says they knew they had the comeback in them and felt unfortunate not to have made it stick.

“We made our way back, we could have got through. But, that’s just rugby.

“Pretty much every time we get within 10 metres of the line, I don’t know what it is.”

He wanted to give congratulations to Jayde Palmer, who brought up his 50th game and celebrated with a try.

Stoke captain Matt says it was a “hell of a game”.

“Waimea are really good and we knew what we were in for.

“We asked our jobs to do a big job today. And they did so the backs were able to reap off those opportunities.

“It’s good to have those boys playing Super Rugby back in the mix. Back to their clubs and making the teams stronger.

“The talent level in Nelson at the moment is incredible.”

He says locking away the John Graham Trophy, which is up for grabs at every regular season home game, up for the summer was a great feeling.

Alongside the Ken Mansfield trophy, he says the team had extra reason to give it their all.

“It means a lot for the boys and it means a lot for the club.”

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