These two teams put on a display in a game that had it all including massive bone crunching tackles and some superb attacking play.
The Roses welcomed another two debutants with Shee Nathan-Wong & Jackie Lauaki both making their debuts in the halves and prop positions respectively.
The Roses got off to a strong start forcing two repeat drop outs in as many sets. As both teams started to settle in it was the Roses first on the board after Shee Nathan-Wong regathered her own nicely placed grubber kick through the line to score on the right edge. Kick unsuccessful 4-0 to the Roses.
Manurewa managed to get a scrum feed from the kick-off after the Roses failed to secure a deep kick which found the side-line 20m out. From the scrum Manurewa spread the ball wide but the Roses defence was up to it forcing the error on the first tackle.
The Roses worked their way down the field and camped themselves in forcing three repeat sets in a row. With the Roses putting on the pressure Kaylarnee Meleisea-Murray took the line on, managing to free her hands in the contact for a nicely timed pass to Rowena Meleisea-Koonwaiyou who ran through for a try on the left edge. Kick unsuccessful, 8-0.
From the kick restart Manurewa again had success but this time benefiting from a short restart with the Roses knocking the ball on. Manurewa had the scrum feed but some strong contact in the tackle saw them lose it on the first tackle again.
The Roses got a good roll on thanks to a strong run from Linda who was always able to get a quick play the ball. The Roses worked their way into their attacking half. Kaylarnee put up a kick up on the final tackle and with some excellent pressure Rowena Meleisea-Koonwaiyou was able to jump above her opposing fullback to catch the ball then flick it off to the captain Georgia Hale who was able to outrun the covering defence to score down the left side. Conversion successful, 14-0 to the Roses.
From the restart the Roses went through the motions again trying to work their way out of their half. A nice shift down the short side near halfway saw Georgia Hale, Shonny & Gloria Fiu use the overlap but some great cover defence by Manurewa saw them tackle Gloria out to shut that set down.
Manurewa were able to capitalise straight away with some individual skills breaking multiple tackles to score. Kick successful and Manurewa close the gap to 14-6. Before half time it was the Roses Madison Bartlett’s turn to put boot to ball into the in goal where she regathered her own kick to score a try of her own. Kick unsuccessful 18-6 going into half time.
Manurewa got out to a good start getting the upper hand early eventually finding there way over. Kick unsuccessful 18-10 to the Roses. Gloria Murray Fiu made a run infield and was able to get the team a penalty after fighting to get up to play the ball. The Roses managed to work their way up the field through the middles. Late in the tackle count it was Madison Bartlett who took the line on and seeing numbers on her left she fired a fine cut out pass right into the hands of our left winger Jess Diamond who dotted down in the corner. Kick unsuccessful 22-10 to the Roses.
Manurewa were having success from the kick restarts and it continued with a Roses error from a short restart. Manurewa were again able to capitalise on this error and scored off the same set. Conversion successful 22-16.
With only one converted try in it Manurewa started to build momentum and took control at this stage working their way down the field. On the final tackle count Manurewa went to the left edge then put a kick back up to the middles. A bouncing ball saw the Manurewa right side regather the ball shifting it to the right side only to be shut down by some great scramble defence with Jess Diamond leading the way tackling the player out.
The following set saw the Roses work their way out in where Georgia drew in the defence, pop a nice ball to Rowena Meleisea-Koonwaiyou who made a break down the side-line only for the referee to call a stop to the game due to an injured player at the previous play the ball. Thankfully, this player was alright. The Roses got the possession back and it went back to the play the ball.
Captain Georgia Hale made a big play through the middle with a nice hit and spin to break the line, drew the fullback and passed it out to Madison Bartlett who was in support to run away and dot down for her second try of the game. Conversion successful 28-16 to the Roses.
Manurewa were able to strike back straight away with a power set down the field and scoring in the corner. Conversion unsuccessful 28-20 and despite a physical battle in the dying stages of the game the Richmond Roses went on to win. Final score 28-20 to the Richmond Roses.
Extremely solid effort today by the whole team which included 11 players having played two games or less for the Roses.
A massive thank you to all the supporters for coming out in great numbers today. We look forward to your continued support.
The $100 Stone Solutions Player of the Day was Madison Bartlett.
3pts – Madi Bartlett
2pts – Kaiyah Atai
1pt – Rowena Meleisea-Koonwaiyou (Birthday Girl)
Tries: Madison Bartlett 2, Rowena Meleisea, Shee Nathan-Wong, Georgia Hale, Jess Diamond
Conversions: Shee Nathan-Wong 2/6
Massive THANK YOU to Sponsors:
Tony Murray of Tony Murray Electrical Inspections & Savi Hafoka of Stone Solutions