Dominant set piece sets up big win over Upper Hutt

MSP posted a convincing 38-0 away win over Upper Hutt on 30 June, scoring six tries to none on the back of a completely dominant set piece and plenty of enterprise in the backs (see video highlights below).

It was MSP's 17th straight premier win over Upper Hutt, a statistic that doesn't convey the fact the team has had some tough, close tussles at Maidstone Park over the years.

To their credit, on Saturday Upper Hutt moved the ball around all afternoon searching for points but MSP can take a lot of satisfaction from a top defensive effort.

MSP's forward dominance was obvious after 20 minutes when Upper Hutt infringed in a scrum being shunted to their line from five yards out. When a pushover was again illegally stopped, the penalty try was awarded to open the scoring.

Five minutes later, Fa'atonu Fili, who had just missed touch from a penalty, redeemed himself with a clever short ball to hooker Liu Taituave, whose feed put fullback Andrew Wells under the posts. With an Upper Hutt player in the bin, MSP capitalised again with another short ball putting No 8 Tevita Ah Wong over.

Upper Hutt then had a good attacking spell but couldn't breach the line. Right on halftime, MSP all but wrapped up the match when a Fa'atonu inside pass to Ryan Setefano put the winger in next to the posts for a 28-0 scoreline.

Although lock Bernie Upton was ruling the lineouts and props Arden David and Kas Lealamanua were having a field day in the scrums, the second half lacked the precision of the first. The highlights came from MSP's two tries - some individual skill from centre Aviata Silago, and an excellent team try which saw Ryan Setefano finish off a 50-metre move.

The result was the perfect response to the Norths loss last week. The team now lies second on the Jubilee Cup points table heading into a run of three home games. Here's some match photos.

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