Coach not happy with decisions

NGATI Porou East Coast coach Troy Para is a strong advocate for referees and touch judges.

But the normally placid Para was “livid” with the officiating in Saturday’s 52-3 loss to Horowhenua Kapiti in a Heartland Championship game in Otaki.

“Match officials have a tough enough job without players, coaches and media bagging them, but we had two major decisions go against us that changed the complexion of the game.

“Charlie Harrison (halfback) received a yellow card in the 38th minute then Te Peehi Fairlie was shown a red card (for punching) in the 45th minute.

“In my experience there are always two sides to every card but on both occasions we copped it.

“Being down to 13 men, then 14 for most of the second half really hurt us.

“I’m not saying we would have won but at 10-3 at halftime we were competitive.

“On the face of it, a 50-point loss is a thumping but Wayne (Ensor, co-coach) and I were unbelievably proud of the way the boys kept picking themselves up and making tackles.

“Pera Bishop (prop), Manaia Nyman (lock) and Verdon Bartlett (first five-eighth), in particular, were magnificent.”

Para said Horowhenua came out fired up for the second half and used the extra man to good advantage.

“In the end we were outdone by numbers,” Para said.

The Coast host Buller in Ruatoria on Saturday, with fullback Kris Palmer — who kicked a penalty against Horowhenua Kapiti — a doubtful starter.

“Kris picked up a knock on his knee,” Para said.

“We hope he will be OK but we’ll know more in the next couple of days.”

Howhenua Kapiti moved into second place as a result of the win.

Meanwhile, South Canterbury were made to work hard before beating neighbours North Otago 36-19 in Timaru to retain outright leadership of the competition.

Defending champions Wanganui suffered another loss — 40-39 to Mid Canterbury in Ashburton.

The two teams are now fifth-equal, five points behind South Canterbury. Thames Valley beat King Country 45-36 and Buller beat Wairarapa Bush 29-24.

NGATI Porou East Coast coach Troy Para is a strong advocate for referees and touch judges.

But the normally placid Para was “livid” with the officiating in Saturday’s 52-3 loss to Horowhenua Kapiti in a Heartland Championship game in Otaki.

“Match officials have a tough enough job without players, coaches and media bagging them, but we had two major decisions go against us that changed the complexion of the game.

“Charlie Harrison (halfback) received a yellow card in the 38th minute then Te Peehi Fairlie was shown a red card (for punching) in the 45th minute.

“In my experience there are always two sides to every card but on both occasions we copped it.

“Being down to 13 men, then 14 for most of the second half really hurt us.

“I’m not saying we would have won but at 10-3 at halftime we were competitive.

“On the face of it, a 50-point loss is a thumping but Wayne (Ensor, co-coach) and I were unbelievably proud of the way the boys kept picking themselves up and making tackles.

“Pera Bishop (prop), Manaia Nyman (lock) and Verdon Bartlett (first five-eighth), in particular, were magnificent.”

Para said Horowhenua came out fired up for the second half and used the extra man to good advantage.

“In the end we were outdone by numbers,” Para said.

The Coast host Buller in Ruatoria on Saturday, with fullback Kris Palmer — who kicked a penalty against Horowhenua Kapiti — a doubtful starter.

“Kris picked up a knock on his knee,” Para said.

“We hope he will be OK but we’ll know more in the next couple of days.”

Howhenua Kapiti moved into second place as a result of the win.

Meanwhile, South Canterbury were made to work hard before beating neighbours North Otago 36-19 in Timaru to retain outright leadership of the competition.

Defending champions Wanganui suffered another loss — 40-39 to Mid Canterbury in Ashburton.

The two teams are now fifth-equal, five points behind South Canterbury. Thames Valley beat King Country 45-36 and Buller beat Wairarapa Bush 29-24.

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