Tauatevalu scores on Heartland debut

BACK ON THE CHARGE: Poverty Bay’s Andrew Tauatevalu takes on the Hawke’s Bay Sacarens, with support from Tip Jones. Tauatevalu celebrated his call-up to the Bay Heartland Championship team with a try and a conversion in Saturday’s 25-14 loss to defending champions Wanganui at Whanganui. Picture by Paul Rickard

HIGH School Old Boys back Andrew Tauatevalu scored a try and kicked a conversion on his Poverty Bay Heartland Championship debut, but Wanganui made it 13 straight Heartland wins against the Bay, with a 25-14 victory at Whanganui on Saturday.

Tauatevalu, who wore the No.10 jersey for the Hurricanes under-20 rugby side this season, replaced winger Karl Macpherson who picked up an injury at training.

Anthony Karauria was another late call-up, for fullback Ethine Reeves (training injury).

“They’re the same as Siosiua (Moala, No.8) — precautionary calls; we hope they’ll be OK for this week,” said LeaderBrand Poverty Bay coach Mana Otai, who has lost hooker Matekairoa McGuire for the rest of the rep season with a broken leg.

Isaiai Vuki (second five-eighth) dropped to fullback with Karauria coming into the midfield.

Despite the loss and the injury to McGuire, Otai was pleased with his side’s performance.

“That was much better than last week,” said Otai, whose team lost 39-5 at home to Horowhenua Kapiti last week.

“There are some areas that still need fixing, where we are vulnerable. But we started much better than we did last week and we finished better. That was pleasing.

“Just after halftime, Wanganui had the wind at their backs and we conceded a try and a couple of penalties.

“Our set-pieces were good — I’ll be looking for more of that in the coming weeks — and, to their credit, the boys came back well.”

Poverty Bay also missed four “kickable” penalties (two by Kelvin Smith and two by tryscorer Jake Holmes), which could have given them a historic first Heartland Championship win against the Butcher Boys.

But Otai refused to blame either player.

“It was the period just after the break that cost us,” Otai said.

“I tend to look at the overall performance and, as I said, I was pleased.

“What I’m looking for now is consistency. We have to back up this performance with an even better one this weekend.”

Wanganui 25 (C Clare, G Hakaraia, J Sawailau tries; C Clare 2 con, 2 pen).

Poverty Bay 14 (A Tauatevalu, J Holmes tries; A Tauatevalu con; I Vuki con).

HT: 8-7 (Wanganui).

HIGH School Old Boys back Andrew Tauatevalu scored a try and kicked a conversion on his Poverty Bay Heartland Championship debut, but Wanganui made it 13 straight Heartland wins against the Bay, with a 25-14 victory at Whanganui on Saturday.

Tauatevalu, who wore the No.10 jersey for the Hurricanes under-20 rugby side this season, replaced winger Karl Macpherson who picked up an injury at training.

Anthony Karauria was another late call-up, for fullback Ethine Reeves (training injury).

“They’re the same as Siosiua (Moala, No.8) — precautionary calls; we hope they’ll be OK for this week,” said LeaderBrand Poverty Bay coach Mana Otai, who has lost hooker Matekairoa McGuire for the rest of the rep season with a broken leg.

Isaiai Vuki (second five-eighth) dropped to fullback with Karauria coming into the midfield.

Despite the loss and the injury to McGuire, Otai was pleased with his side’s performance.

“That was much better than last week,” said Otai, whose team lost 39-5 at home to Horowhenua Kapiti last week.

“There are some areas that still need fixing, where we are vulnerable. But we started much better than we did last week and we finished better. That was pleasing.

“Just after halftime, Wanganui had the wind at their backs and we conceded a try and a couple of penalties.

“Our set-pieces were good — I’ll be looking for more of that in the coming weeks — and, to their credit, the boys came back well.”

Poverty Bay also missed four “kickable” penalties (two by Kelvin Smith and two by tryscorer Jake Holmes), which could have given them a historic first Heartland Championship win against the Butcher Boys.

But Otai refused to blame either player.

“It was the period just after the break that cost us,” Otai said.

“I tend to look at the overall performance and, as I said, I was pleased.

“What I’m looking for now is consistency. We have to back up this performance with an even better one this weekend.”

Wanganui 25 (C Clare, G Hakaraia, J Sawailau tries; C Clare 2 con, 2 pen).

Poverty Bay 14 (A Tauatevalu, J Holmes tries; A Tauatevalu con; I Vuki con).

HT: 8-7 (Wanganui).

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