Number 8 Taina Fox-Matamua put in a polished performance for Marist as they saw off a strong challenge from Stoke at Trafalgar Park on Saturday. Photo: Barry Whitnall/Shuttersport.

Semi-final showdowns loom

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The Nelson sub-union semi-finalists have been found.

However, only one side will enter the play-offs on the back of a win after Waimea, Wanderers and Stoke were all beaten on Saturday.

Next week will see Tasman Trophy champions Marist host Stoke in a rematch of the final round, while Waimea Old Boys will play Wanderers.

The green machine warmed up for its semi-final showdown with a 34- 22 win over Stoke at Trafalgar Park.

Returning number 8, Taina Fox- Matamua, was outstanding for Marist and says it was crucial to take momentum into next week’s semi.

Hopefully we can do another number on them then. We were lacking in certain areas, particularly on defence where we were caught on the back foot a few times, but if we bring the right pieces next week, we will get the job done.”

After missing a large chunk of the Tasman Trophy season through injury, Taina says it’s good to be back.

“Just been trying to find some form and get the lungs back up to par.”

Marist were without skipper James Hawkey, with Sam Briggs shifting from number 10 to inside centre.

Briggs didn’t take long to make an impact as he jinked his way through the defence for the opening try.

Stoke struck back immediately as Karl Ratcliffe split the Marist defence and drew the last man superbly to set Chad Lowrie away.

Taine Robinson responded with a penalty but, while both teams started with a bang, the fireworks soon fizzled as errors plagued the first half.

Marist finally strung some possession together and Richard Tau’alupe found himself unmarked on the wing to score Marist’s second try and establish a handy halftime advantage.

The break did wonders for Marist who came out firing with Fox-Matamua rumbling his way over the line from close range.

Blair Prinsep hit back for Stoke as his side went about reducing the score margin.

The comeback continued as replacement prop Tim Dallison brought the visitors back within nine points.

However, just as Stoke looked to pull off a miracle, Chris Tau’alupe burst through three tackles and strolled in under the bar for the bonus point.

Stoke finished in style to ensure it wouldn’t walk away empty-handed with a fourth try, to Joey Scott.

Elsewhere, Nelson finished its season on a high note as it upset Waimea 38-29 at Jubilee Park to claim the Noel Barton Cup while Wanderers went down 15-12 to Kahurangi.

Scorers:

Marist 34 (Briggs, R. Tau’alupe, Fox-Matamua, C. Tau’alupe tries, Robinson 4 cons, 1 pen Briggs 1 pen) Stoke 22 (Lowrie, Prinsep, Dallison, Scott tries Ratcliffe 1 cons)

Results:

Marist 34 def Stoke 22

Nelson 38 def Waimea 29

Kahurangi 15 def Wanderers 12

Sub union semi-finals, 3pm Saturday July 13:

Marist vs Stoke at Trafalgar Park

Waimea vs Kahurangi at Jubilee Park