Green Machine ends Waikohu win streak

And some of team may have been relieved to have lost.

And some of team may have been relieved to have lost.

In this photo provided by the America's Cup Event Authority, Emirates Team New Zealand, left, competes with Oracle Team USA during Race 2 of the America's Cup match sailing competition, Sunday, June 18, 2017, in the Great Sound of Bermuda. (Ricardo Pinto/ACEA via AP)

NGATAPA ended Waikohu’s nine-match unbeaten run in the Poverty Bay premier club championship in a 10-try 33-32 thriller at Te Karaka on Saturday.

“Looking at some of the boys’ faces in the changing room after the game, I think some were relieved to have lost,” said Aon Waikohu coach Tahi Hiroki, whose side picked up two bonus points for scoring four tries and finishing within seven points of Ngatapa.

Waikohu had the chance to make it 10 wins in a row when referee Damien Macpherson awarded them a penalty with time up.

“It was a long way out, maybe 50 metres on the angle, and Ethine’s (Reeves) attempt just missed,” said Hiroki. “He had the distance OK but it slipped past the post.

“Nobody likes to lose but maybe the pressure of being unbeaten and defending the Challenege Cup every week was beginning to get to some of the boys. This loss won’t do us any harm. We’ve got a bye next week and a tough game against HSOB the week after. We’ll get back to what we have been doing all season and look to come back stronger.”

Larsawn Ngatapa coach Will Faulks said the bonus point win for his side gave them breathing space in the race for a top-four spot.

Ngatapa are third on the table on 27 points — four ahead of YMP and eight clear of fifth-placed Pirates.

“There’s still three tough games to go (OBM, HSOB and Pirates) so we’re not taking anything for granted, but it was good to come out to Te Karaka and win,” Faulks said.

Ngatapa opened the scoring after five minutes through Poverty Bay legend Sione Ngatu, who barged his way over following a lineout.

After that, Waikohu took over and scored three tries — two to lock Jason Tuapawa and the other to winger Fagan Ruru, which Reeves converted.

Ngatapa hit back with tries to centre Karl Macpherson and winger Matt McLeod, along with a conversion to first five Chris Richardson, to lead 19-17.

“From then on the game see-sawed, with Waikohu scoring a try (to forward Tulsa Kaui) to take a 22-19 lead at halftime.”

Faulks made changes at the break. He brought on experienced prop Campbell Chrisp, halfback Angus Twigley (former Athletic player) and centre Ash Edwards.

Both teams continued to play attacking rugby in front of a large crowd, many of who had attended the unveiling of Te Karaka kaumatua Starr Rutene, who died a year ago.

Tries to first five-eighth Kelvin Smith and Reeves in reply to a five-pointer from Chrisp put Waikohu in front 32-26 with time running out.

Ngatapa midfielder, skipper and man-of-the-match Anthony Karauria then scored a try, which Richardson converted for a one-point lead.

“Anthony just did what he’s been doing all season, playing brilliantly,” said Faulks. “Not far behind was Sione and Campbell, but overall it was a good team performance.”

Hiroki awarded his three MVP points to Smith, two to Tuapawa and one to lock Teariki Tane.

NGATAPA 33 ( K Macpherson 2, S Ngatu, C Chrisp, A Karauria, M McLeod tries; C Richardson 4 con).

WAIKOHU 32 (J Tuapawa 2, F Ruru, K Smith, E Reeves tries; E Reeves, 3 con).

HT: 22-19 (Waikohu).

NGATAPA ended Waikohu’s nine-match unbeaten run in the Poverty Bay premier club championship in a 10-try 33-32 thriller at Te Karaka on Saturday.

“Looking at some of the boys’ faces in the changing room after the game, I think some were relieved to have lost,” said Aon Waikohu coach Tahi Hiroki, whose side picked up two bonus points for scoring four tries and finishing within seven points of Ngatapa.

Waikohu had the chance to make it 10 wins in a row when referee Damien Macpherson awarded them a penalty with time up.

“It was a long way out, maybe 50 metres on the angle, and Ethine’s (Reeves) attempt just missed,” said Hiroki. “He had the distance OK but it slipped past the post.

“Nobody likes to lose but maybe the pressure of being unbeaten and defending the Challenege Cup every week was beginning to get to some of the boys. This loss won’t do us any harm. We’ve got a bye next week and a tough game against HSOB the week after. We’ll get back to what we have been doing all season and look to come back stronger.”

Larsawn Ngatapa coach Will Faulks said the bonus point win for his side gave them breathing space in the race for a top-four spot.

Ngatapa are third on the table on 27 points — four ahead of YMP and eight clear of fifth-placed Pirates.

“There’s still three tough games to go (OBM, HSOB and Pirates) so we’re not taking anything for granted, but it was good to come out to Te Karaka and win,” Faulks said.

Ngatapa opened the scoring after five minutes through Poverty Bay legend Sione Ngatu, who barged his way over following a lineout.

After that, Waikohu took over and scored three tries — two to lock Jason Tuapawa and the other to winger Fagan Ruru, which Reeves converted.

Ngatapa hit back with tries to centre Karl Macpherson and winger Matt McLeod, along with a conversion to first five Chris Richardson, to lead 19-17.

“From then on the game see-sawed, with Waikohu scoring a try (to forward Tulsa Kaui) to take a 22-19 lead at halftime.”

Faulks made changes at the break. He brought on experienced prop Campbell Chrisp, halfback Angus Twigley (former Athletic player) and centre Ash Edwards.

Both teams continued to play attacking rugby in front of a large crowd, many of who had attended the unveiling of Te Karaka kaumatua Starr Rutene, who died a year ago.

Tries to first five-eighth Kelvin Smith and Reeves in reply to a five-pointer from Chrisp put Waikohu in front 32-26 with time running out.

Ngatapa midfielder, skipper and man-of-the-match Anthony Karauria then scored a try, which Richardson converted for a one-point lead.

“Anthony just did what he’s been doing all season, playing brilliantly,” said Faulks. “Not far behind was Sione and Campbell, but overall it was a good team performance.”

Hiroki awarded his three MVP points to Smith, two to Tuapawa and one to lock Teariki Tane.

NGATAPA 33 ( K Macpherson 2, S Ngatu, C Chrisp, A Karauria, M McLeod tries; C Richardson 4 con).

WAIKOHU 32 (J Tuapawa 2, F Ruru, K Smith, E Reeves tries; E Reeves, 3 con).

HT: 22-19 (Waikohu).

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