Coach pays tribute to opponents

AT ARM’S LENGTH: Ngatapa No.8 and player of the day Sione Ngatu tries to hold off High School Old Boys’ Siosiua Moala in a Lee Bros Shield semifinal at Barry Park on Saturday. HSOB won 23-3 and will face Waikohu in the final on Saturday. Pictures by Paul Rickard
ABOUT TO FEND: Pirates captain and No.8 Ken Houkamau takes on Waikohu halfback Mario Counsell in semifinal rugby on Saturday. Pictures by Paul Rickard

WAIKOHU coach Tahi Hiroki wore a smile as wide as Barry Park as his troops embraced their opponents at the end of their match on Saturday, and he saluted Pirates for playing their part in a great semifinal.

“We knew Pirates would come at us from the get-go, and they did just that,” Hiroki said.

“But we stayed true to our game and the boys kept themselves focused on what we had to do.

“I take my hat off to Willie (Waitoa) and his Pirates team for doing what they have done to get into the top four and be here today.”

Hiroki was full of praise for the way fullback Ethine Reeves played.

“Ethine was our player of the day, closely followed by our halfback Mario Counsell and prop Sandy Campbell.

“It was nice the game was so close. It was real semifinals rugby.”

He also paid tribute to his team’s defence.

“It certainly feels great to be in the grand final.”

Pirates coach Waitoa congratulated Waikohu on their victory.

“I genuinely hope with all my heart that they can get the business done next week and win the shield.

“Waikohu know they were in a game today and I am proud of my boys, every one of them. They all gave it heaps.”

He declined to pick out any particular player for special mention.

“I’m just really proud of them all.”

Pirates skipper Ken Houkamau (No.8) said their discipline let them down.

“Unfortunately we kept giving away penalties, and then there was my silly yellow card. But well done, Waikohu. They deserved to win.”

Waikohu skipper Geoff Pari (hooker) said it felt good to be in the club’s first Poverty Bay premier-grade rugby grand final.

“I’m so proud of the boys, and how well did Pirates play?

“But our hearts were for each other out there today. We had the will to fight for each other.”

Waikohu 20 (Fagan Ruru try; Ethine Reeves 5 pen) Pirates 17 (Ricky Waitoa, Pamona Samupo, Whakarae Henare tries; CJ Fox con).

WAIKOHU coach Tahi Hiroki wore a smile as wide as Barry Park as his troops embraced their opponents at the end of their match on Saturday, and he saluted Pirates for playing their part in a great semifinal.

“We knew Pirates would come at us from the get-go, and they did just that,” Hiroki said.

“But we stayed true to our game and the boys kept themselves focused on what we had to do.

“I take my hat off to Willie (Waitoa) and his Pirates team for doing what they have done to get into the top four and be here today.”

Hiroki was full of praise for the way fullback Ethine Reeves played.

“Ethine was our player of the day, closely followed by our halfback Mario Counsell and prop Sandy Campbell.

“It was nice the game was so close. It was real semifinals rugby.”

He also paid tribute to his team’s defence.

“It certainly feels great to be in the grand final.”

Pirates coach Waitoa congratulated Waikohu on their victory.

“I genuinely hope with all my heart that they can get the business done next week and win the shield.

“Waikohu know they were in a game today and I am proud of my boys, every one of them. They all gave it heaps.”

He declined to pick out any particular player for special mention.

“I’m just really proud of them all.”

Pirates skipper Ken Houkamau (No.8) said their discipline let them down.

“Unfortunately we kept giving away penalties, and then there was my silly yellow card. But well done, Waikohu. They deserved to win.”

Waikohu skipper Geoff Pari (hooker) said it felt good to be in the club’s first Poverty Bay premier-grade rugby grand final.

“I’m so proud of the boys, and how well did Pirates play?

“But our hearts were for each other out there today. We had the will to fight for each other.”

Waikohu 20 (Fagan Ruru try; Ethine Reeves 5 pen) Pirates 17 (Ricky Waitoa, Pamona Samupo, Whakarae Henare tries; CJ Fox con).

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