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No Success in Opening Round

Waimate's Player of the Day Kurt Rooney attempts to upset Celtic halfback Sekope Mea.

Waimate’s Player of the Day Kurt Rooney attempts to upset Celtic halfback Sekope Mea.

Defending champions Celtic proved they are again the side to beat after a 46-28 win over Waimate.

Waimate made a good start but poor ball control on attack hurt them.

Celtic made no such mistakes as their front row dominated and they spread the ball wide with success.

An early try to Celtic wing Henry Race saw his side take a 10-3 and when Waimate lost impressive No 8 Loni Toumahuni to the bin for a poor tackle the floodgates opened.

Celtic roared out to a 32-11 halftime lead with a four-try bonus point in the bank as Race grabbed a brace, and No 8 Kali Latu and loose forward Jason Rooney also dotted down.

After the break Waimate bounced back with two tries to flanker Moseses Aho before Celtic eased out again with Tim Penitani and Hamish Strachan scoring tries.

The defending champs even scored one when they had two men in the bin, after the referee lost patience with their tactics at the breakdown.

In the end Waimate were forced to play catch-up but showed enough to confirm they will be no easybeats.

For Celtic their front row of Matt Fetu, Sione Vea and Garret Casey were too strong, while Casey showed some silky passing skills as well as a couple of big hits across the paddock.

Halfback Sekope Maea was impressive while James Hawkey distributed the ball well on debut.

Both Celtic’s diminutive wingers, Jarrad Mannex and Race, were keen to get in the action while centre Steve Burt had a tidy game and Latu made some strong runs.

For Waimate new recruit, lock Don Lolo showed he has potential while Jamie Engelbrecht secured good lineout ball.

Aho was a standout for the beaten side and ended the game with three tries.

Halfback Theo Davidson was tidy and like Kurt Rooney outside him got through a power of tackles.

Senior B

In a much closer contest defending champions Waimate Senior B was pipped at the post  going down to Celtic 13 – 15 in a tight encounter but showing that they will again be one of the teams to beat in he Senior B  competition.