Nelson avenged their shock loss to Marist in the NPD Tasman Trophy last weekend, with a hard fought 24-21 win over Waimea Old Boys on Saturday.
The win sees Nelson regain their spot at the top of the table from Waimea. Marist sit in third with Renwick rounding out the top four.
Waimea try scoring machine Erenimo Tau now tops the try scoring charts with eight, three clear of Marist’s Isaac Laga, while Nelson pivot Willy Havili is comfortably ahead on the point scoring table with 74.
Erenimo opened the scoring after he picked off a long ball from Havili to run 90 metres and score under the bar.
Nelson centre Chris Kerslake then crashed over in the corner to take the lead and head into the break, up 10-7. Nelson struck again immediately after oranges, Willis Scott muscling his way over for his second after stringing together several phases.
A relentless period of attack by Waimea lead to their second try as Mitchell Amberger dived over untouched. Xavier Albert nailed the side-line conversion to bring his side within three, while flanker Willis Scott was added to the growing casualty list.
The home side looked to have turned the tide when centre Alex Coventry bust the Nelson midfield defence wide open leading to the ever-present Erenimo scoring his second under the sticks.
However, Nelson regained momentum and the lead minutes later when halfback Matthew Soper snuck his way over the chalk.
Willy added the extras to stretch it to 24-21 with five to play.
Nelson grinded away in the final few minutes, hanging on to claim a three-point victory and the Noel Barton Trophy.
Nelson co-captain Chris Kerslake says his side showed a lot of heart to leave Jubilee with the victory.
“It’s awesome to get away with the win, we always knew it was going to be tough against Waimea.”
He says the boys dug deep to bounce back from their loss to the green machine.
“It was a good learning curve for us to lose one after a few big wins and it showed us how we have to play to come away with the tough games.”
In other results, Wanderers defeated Kahurangi 28-22, Renwick beat Moutere 29-12 and Waitohi beat East Coast 26-17.
Scorers: Nelson 24 (Willis Scott, Chris Kerslake, Matthew Soper, Willy Havili 3 con, 1 pen)
Waimea Old Boys 21 (Erenimo Tau 2, Mitch Amberger tries, Xavier Albert 3 con).
Marist 40 (Isaac Laga, Liam Boshoff, Jamie Spowart, Connor Karena tries; James Hawley 4 con, 4 pen) Stoke 15 (Tomas Aoake, Rupena Parkinson tries; Jack Grooby con, pen).
Wanderers 28 (Sean King 2, Joe Sharland, Jacob Berthelsen tries; Jayden Woolley 2 pen, con)
Kahurangi 22 (Stein Schreiber 2, Hana Corbett-Burrows, Vito Lammers tries; Conor Kerins con).
Renwick 29 (Michael Vaeno 2, Chris Bolton, Kurt Schollum tries; Brian Bennett 3 con, pen)
Moutere 12 (Aki Kaumavae, Owen Ika tries; Ben Finau con).
Waitohi 26 (Ray Niuia, Corey Bovey, Jayden Waters tries; Bovey 3 pen, con) East Coast 17 (Sam Houston, Ben Filipo tries, Nicolas Herreros 2 con, pen).
East Coast 17 ()