Bell Block Marist Dragons 46 Coastal Cobras 14
In a repeat of last years Lile Shield Grand Final Marist Dragons proved too strong for the Coastal Cobras with a commanding performance built around an outstanding forward pack who outmuscled their opponents.
On a bitterly cold afternoon at Hickford Park Bell Block the Dragons played into a howling north easterly wind but quickly got into their work courtesy of their forwards who for the most part were direct and accurate. They were very disciplined not throwing off loads in difficult conditions and this play was instrumental in them scoring four unconverted first half tries to lead 16-0 at the break.
The Cobras tried hard to stem the tide but the second half started with another try to the Dragons and at 22-0 it looked a forlorn hope for the Coastal boys. It was shortly after this that Coastal had their best period of the game scoring two excellent tries, the second the try of the match finished off by big centre Tui Karena and at 22-10 a comeback was possible. The Dragons had other ideas and largely through their strong forward effort they went on to score four more tries to lead 42-10. Both teams then traded a try apiece for the game to finish 46-14 in what was a thoroughly entertaining game with the Dragons comprehensive and well deserved winners.
For the Dragons, all the forwards deserve credit for a powerhouse performance with loose forward Cody Martin and prop Isaac Hekenui particularly prominent. Young Jonathon Fidow had his best game in the Senior competition with several strong carries. In the backs stand off Dylan Hall controlled play well while fullback Tyson Young worked hard.
For the Cobras, the halves pairing of Whai Hohaia and Captain Mark Davis ran with purpose the later scoring two well taken tries. The forward effort was led by veteran forward Maloni Tuitupou while second rower Stacy Hill showed his class.
Bell Block Marist Dragons 46
Dylan Hall 2, Jaron Schischka, Tyson Young, Enele Fidow, Tutuwhenua Tupaea, Isaac Hekenui, Tjontae Morunga, Jonathon Fidow and Andrew Castles tries; Enele Fidow 3 goals.
Coastal Cobras 14
Mark Davis 2, Tui Karena tries; Mark Davis goal.