Close games ahead

First chance to see TVC, United, City.

First chance to see TVC, United, City.

ON THE CHARGE: Ngatapa openside flanker Paddy Allen prepares to take on High School Old Boys halfback Andrew Knight in a premier rugby game. Picture by Paul Rickard

AS Ngati Porou East Coast rugby heads into its second week of club games, spectators have their first chance to see TVC, Tokomaru Bay United and Ruatoria City in action.

Looking at tomorrow’s draw, there should be three close games — Hicks Bay against United at Tokomaru Bay, TVC against Waiapu at Rangitukia, and Ruatoria City against Tokararangi at Te Araroa.

United coach Dave Martin said they defaulted their game last weekend because they were short of players.

However, there have been plenty at training this week.

He is looking at a strong front row, with Mike Chambers-Raroa and Te Peehi Fairlie anchoring the scrum, with penetrating play from the backs, working off pivot Matt Marino.

Hicks Bay coach Rawiri Hoerera was pleased with their opening game. The bay’s forwards went well in all phases of play, but were let down by some start-of-the season gremlins which they identified and worked on at training. Certainly Hicks Bay won’t look back if they can get those rolling mauls free of errors.

Their backs played the ball intelligently, particularly first five-eighth Ryan Buchanan and centre Warren Henderson.

Although Ruatoria City are unproven on the Coast this year, they made up most of the NPEC rep team in Te Tini a Maui competition last weekend in Masterton. NPEC played Wairarapa (lost 15-0) and Hawke’s Bay (lost 63-0). It was a useful workout for City, particularly on defence.

City manager Lorne Boyce-Goldsmith said two former Poverty Bay players — openside flanker Paddy Allen and No.8 Chayse Skudder — proved how much value they added, as did prop Neihana Reihana and lock/loosie Aiden Eruera.

Reihana is out injured for the Toka game. Boyce-Goldsmith said new co-coach Ian Logan was concentrating on a “keep it simple” game plan.

Opponents Tokararangi’s main problem is the player numbers versus work commitment story. Fortunately they have No.8 Hone Haerewa available for another couple of weeks.

Coach Morgan Waitoa isn’t complaining about their game last week against the phoenix Hicks Bay side, and the way they took over the second half.

TVC take on Waiapu at Rangitukia tomorrow. It will be a match with some history — TVC kaumatua Winston Waititi used to play against Waiapu’s John Manuel, and Winston’s son Rawiri will be taking the field tomorrow.

TVC coach Whetu Haerewa is counting on many of the players he had in 2015. They started strong then, so Waiapu could be in for a blitzkrieg. Haerewa said the team were disappointed at United’s default last weekend — hosting rugby teams is taken seriously by their community at Whangaparaoa.

I saw the last 20 minutes of Waiapu’s game last weekend, and they were into their stride with several tries through the back line. The Waiapu forwards are a proven tough group, and Tripoli Poi reinforced them last Saturday. But TVC are also strong, both up front and in the backs, so it will be an interesting tussle.

At Tolaga Domain, Uawa host Tawhiti. Judging by their game last week, Tawhiti have moved on from last year, chalking up a couple of tries and standing their ground against Waiapu.

Commenting on Uawa’s loss to Hikurangi last weekend, co-coach Peter Crawford said: “No excuses; Hikurangi are the defending champions and played well so deserved the win. Last week was a learning curve with a few players out with whanau commitments, and the only way is up.” Hikurangi have the bye.

AS Ngati Porou East Coast rugby heads into its second week of club games, spectators have their first chance to see TVC, Tokomaru Bay United and Ruatoria City in action.

Looking at tomorrow’s draw, there should be three close games — Hicks Bay against United at Tokomaru Bay, TVC against Waiapu at Rangitukia, and Ruatoria City against Tokararangi at Te Araroa.

United coach Dave Martin said they defaulted their game last weekend because they were short of players.

However, there have been plenty at training this week.

He is looking at a strong front row, with Mike Chambers-Raroa and Te Peehi Fairlie anchoring the scrum, with penetrating play from the backs, working off pivot Matt Marino.

Hicks Bay coach Rawiri Hoerera was pleased with their opening game. The bay’s forwards went well in all phases of play, but were let down by some start-of-the season gremlins which they identified and worked on at training. Certainly Hicks Bay won’t look back if they can get those rolling mauls free of errors.

Their backs played the ball intelligently, particularly first five-eighth Ryan Buchanan and centre Warren Henderson.

Although Ruatoria City are unproven on the Coast this year, they made up most of the NPEC rep team in Te Tini a Maui competition last weekend in Masterton. NPEC played Wairarapa (lost 15-0) and Hawke’s Bay (lost 63-0). It was a useful workout for City, particularly on defence.

City manager Lorne Boyce-Goldsmith said two former Poverty Bay players — openside flanker Paddy Allen and No.8 Chayse Skudder — proved how much value they added, as did prop Neihana Reihana and lock/loosie Aiden Eruera.

Reihana is out injured for the Toka game. Boyce-Goldsmith said new co-coach Ian Logan was concentrating on a “keep it simple” game plan.

Opponents Tokararangi’s main problem is the player numbers versus work commitment story. Fortunately they have No.8 Hone Haerewa available for another couple of weeks.

Coach Morgan Waitoa isn’t complaining about their game last week against the phoenix Hicks Bay side, and the way they took over the second half.

TVC take on Waiapu at Rangitukia tomorrow. It will be a match with some history — TVC kaumatua Winston Waititi used to play against Waiapu’s John Manuel, and Winston’s son Rawiri will be taking the field tomorrow.

TVC coach Whetu Haerewa is counting on many of the players he had in 2015. They started strong then, so Waiapu could be in for a blitzkrieg. Haerewa said the team were disappointed at United’s default last weekend — hosting rugby teams is taken seriously by their community at Whangaparaoa.

I saw the last 20 minutes of Waiapu’s game last weekend, and they were into their stride with several tries through the back line. The Waiapu forwards are a proven tough group, and Tripoli Poi reinforced them last Saturday. But TVC are also strong, both up front and in the backs, so it will be an interesting tussle.

At Tolaga Domain, Uawa host Tawhiti. Judging by their game last week, Tawhiti have moved on from last year, chalking up a couple of tries and standing their ground against Waiapu.

Commenting on Uawa’s loss to Hikurangi last weekend, co-coach Peter Crawford said: “No excuses; Hikurangi are the defending champions and played well so deserved the win. Last week was a learning curve with a few players out with whanau commitments, and the only way is up.” Hikurangi have the bye.

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