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Magpies pluck Waimate late

Loni on the charge with Miles in support.

Loni on the charge with Miles in support.

Temuka turned around an early 19 point deficit to beat Waimate and stay in second place in the Hamersley Cup.

The Magpies triumphed 31-24 as they rode their luck and Waimate’s deserted them.

In the only other senior game Harlequin romped home over Old Boys 50-10 at Ashbury Park, as the Blues depth starts to be seriously tested.

Waimate did however manage to secure two competition points to retain third spot, two ahead of Mackenzie and Harlequins.

Waimate looked all class early on at the Temuka Domain with two tries inside the opening 10 minutes to centre Miles Medlicott and fullback Dan Patterson.

First five Kurt Rooney added a third midway through the first half after a superb play from blind side Mosese Aho, who ran 60m before off loading to Rooney.

He then had a nice interplay with halfback Theo Davidson before scoring.

Temuka looked shell shocked as they were not playing badly but Waimate were creating plenty of attacking opportunities.

A penalty and then a excellent try to Temuka fullback Jimmy Mookkaiah closed the gap to 19-8 at the break.and if centre Ricky Neame hadn’t dropped the ball with the line open it would have been even closer.

The Magpies started the second have with a roar with prop Aifala Taelega scoring.

Waimate’s backline was then devastated with the loss of their halfback, first and second five within five minutes.

Davidson suffered a shoulder injury and did not return after the break, then Rooney sustained what looked like a serious ankle injury just before Jared Matthews limped off.

Temuka kept the pressure on and scored after a line drive by Vaka Taelega and Tarleni Tiai’s conversion gave them the lead 20-19.

The hosts then made the most of a Waimate mistake when Neame plucked a wayward pass and spread the ball wide for wing Tenari Saumani to score.

Tiai then added another penalty  to ease way with 15 minutes left.

Waimate then poured on the pressure and from a 5m scrum, substitute halfback Aaron Clark dived over.

In a hectic final few minutes Waimate tried hard to snatch a win but a late penalty to Tiai sealed it for Temuka.

For Temuka Mookkaiah showed his attacking skills while Saumani ran strongly.

Stand-in halfback Keith Darby coped well with his switch from loose forward.

No.8 Paula Fonokalifi was in everything while lock Jope Vuolo made some good metres.

Waimate played superbly for the opening quarter but then really struggled for momentum after the break with their rearranged backline.

Aho at times was hard to stop while No.8 Loni Toumohuni also played well but needs to get more involved. He also found himself in the backline in the second half.

Open side Jamie Engelbrecht also had a high work and gaines some crucial line out ball.