Grand final here we come

TRY IN THE CORNER: Fagan Ruru looks at the referee for confirmation of his try. He got it and it put Aon Waikohu 20-10 up in their Poverty Bay club rugby semifinal against Kevin Hollis Glass Pirates at Barry Park on Saturday. Waikohu won 20-17 to seal a place in the Lee Bros Shield grand final for the first time. Pictures by Paul Rickard
Earthwork Solutions HSOB winger Andrew Tauatevalu, chased by Larsawn Ngatapa’s Cameron Rowden, dots down in the corner for his defending champion side’s second try in a 23-3 win.

WAIKOHU earned their first Lee Bros Shield grand final appearance while High School Old Boys earned the right to defend the title in two barnstorming premier-grade Poverty Bay club rugby semifinals at Barry Park on Saturday.

Aon Waikohu got home with a 20-17 win against Kevin Hollis Glass Pirates.The boot of Ethine Reeves proved the difference. Pirates scored three tries to Waikohu’s one but fullback Reeves slotted five penalty kicks.

Earthwork Solutions High School Old Boys beat Larsawn Ngatapa 23-3, the reigning champions making the most of their opportunities in scoring three tries.

The semis were held at the same time after being shifted from the Oval to Barry Park because of the weather-affected ground conditions.

First points in the games came almost simultaneously — a Ngatapa penalty kick (first five-eighth Chris Richardson) on one field and a solid, driving forwards try to Pirates (lock Ricky Waitoa) on the other in two pulsating but very different contests.

HSOB kicked a penalty and No.8 Siosiua Moala scored a try, which was converted, to give the blue and whites a 10-3 halftime lead over Ngatapa.

Pirates added another five-pointer (to second five Whakarae Henare) but Waikohu responded with four well-taken Reeves penalties to lead 12-10 at the break.

HSOB scored their second try (winger Andrew Tauatevalu) after a backline movement soon after halftime then added a third (winger George Halley) — again a runaway backline effort midway through the half — to put that match beyond doubt.

On the field alongside, the result hung in the balance up to the closing minutes.

Soon after halftime, Reeves kicked his fifth penalty goal, after Pirates first five Dean Williams had missed a shot from a handy position, to put Waikohu 15-10 ahead.

It was blow for blow until Waikohu finally got some decent field position on the back of yet another penalty that put them near the Pirates line with eight minutes to play. They shifted the ball wide and winger Fagan Ruru scored a try inches inside the corner flag to increase their lead to 20-10.

Pirates were not done yet. With fulltime looming they pressured the Waikohu line and fullback Pamona Samupo scored a try, converted by halfback CJ Fox, to finish just three points adrift.

Ngatapa fought on gamely in their semifinal but could not convert their chances, while HSOB snapped up theirs with both hands in a fairly even contest throughout.

Pirates dominated field position for long periods but penalties from ill-discipline — including a yellow card to skipper Ken Houkamau — cost them dearly and Reeves banged over the three-pointers.

Three tries to one was an indication of how well Pirates attacked but on most occasions the Waikohu defence held firm, and the Buccaneers could not make more of their territorial advantage.

The big crowd who lined the sidelines of both fields were thoroughly entertained. The atmosphere was electric, with cries of support for all four teams.

The result was two enthralling semifinals from which emerged deserving grand finalists who will fight for the championship on Saturday afternoon at Rugby Park.

For HSOB, it is another chance to add to their history.

For Waikohu, it is the chance to make history.

The coaching staff and captains of all four semifinal teams were proud of the way their men played.

~

YMP and Tapuae will decide the Lew Paterson Cup for Senior 1 champions.

YMP defeated Nuhaka 28-7 in their semifinal on Saturday while Tapuae were gifted a place in the final after Ngatapa defaulted.

WAIKOHU earned their first Lee Bros Shield grand final appearance while High School Old Boys earned the right to defend the title in two barnstorming premier-grade Poverty Bay club rugby semifinals at Barry Park on Saturday.

Aon Waikohu got home with a 20-17 win against Kevin Hollis Glass Pirates.The boot of Ethine Reeves proved the difference. Pirates scored three tries to Waikohu’s one but fullback Reeves slotted five penalty kicks.

Earthwork Solutions High School Old Boys beat Larsawn Ngatapa 23-3, the reigning champions making the most of their opportunities in scoring three tries.

The semis were held at the same time after being shifted from the Oval to Barry Park because of the weather-affected ground conditions.

First points in the games came almost simultaneously — a Ngatapa penalty kick (first five-eighth Chris Richardson) on one field and a solid, driving forwards try to Pirates (lock Ricky Waitoa) on the other in two pulsating but very different contests.

HSOB kicked a penalty and No.8 Siosiua Moala scored a try, which was converted, to give the blue and whites a 10-3 halftime lead over Ngatapa.

Pirates added another five-pointer (to second five Whakarae Henare) but Waikohu responded with four well-taken Reeves penalties to lead 12-10 at the break.

HSOB scored their second try (winger Andrew Tauatevalu) after a backline movement soon after halftime then added a third (winger George Halley) — again a runaway backline effort midway through the half — to put that match beyond doubt.

On the field alongside, the result hung in the balance up to the closing minutes.

Soon after halftime, Reeves kicked his fifth penalty goal, after Pirates first five Dean Williams had missed a shot from a handy position, to put Waikohu 15-10 ahead.

It was blow for blow until Waikohu finally got some decent field position on the back of yet another penalty that put them near the Pirates line with eight minutes to play. They shifted the ball wide and winger Fagan Ruru scored a try inches inside the corner flag to increase their lead to 20-10.

Pirates were not done yet. With fulltime looming they pressured the Waikohu line and fullback Pamona Samupo scored a try, converted by halfback CJ Fox, to finish just three points adrift.

Ngatapa fought on gamely in their semifinal but could not convert their chances, while HSOB snapped up theirs with both hands in a fairly even contest throughout.

Pirates dominated field position for long periods but penalties from ill-discipline — including a yellow card to skipper Ken Houkamau — cost them dearly and Reeves banged over the three-pointers.

Three tries to one was an indication of how well Pirates attacked but on most occasions the Waikohu defence held firm, and the Buccaneers could not make more of their territorial advantage.

The big crowd who lined the sidelines of both fields were thoroughly entertained. The atmosphere was electric, with cries of support for all four teams.

The result was two enthralling semifinals from which emerged deserving grand finalists who will fight for the championship on Saturday afternoon at Rugby Park.

For HSOB, it is another chance to add to their history.

For Waikohu, it is the chance to make history.

The coaching staff and captains of all four semifinal teams were proud of the way their men played.

~

YMP and Tapuae will decide the Lew Paterson Cup for Senior 1 champions.

YMP defeated Nuhaka 28-7 in their semifinal on Saturday while Tapuae were gifted a place in the final after Ngatapa defaulted.

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