Waikohu go to the top

Character shown in comeback win.

Character shown in comeback win.

Rugby Waikohu v YMP -
Tyler Finau. Picture by BW Media
Warriors Mason Lino losses the ball over the try line against the Sea Eagles in Round 1 during the first day of the Downer NRL Nines rugby league competition, held at Eden Park, Auckland. 4 February 2017 New Zealand Herald Photograph by Brett Phibbs.

A try to lock Richard Green on the stroke of fulltime capped a magnificent fightback from Waikohu as they toppled premier leaders YMP 36-22 at Te Karaka on Saturday.

YMP, who had led the competition by one point from GT Shearing Waikohu, were 22-12 in front with 15 minutes to go.

But tries to hooker Tristan Morten (his second), first five-eighth Kelvin Smith, replacement prop Jarryd Broughton and Green took Waikohu to the top of the table on 15 points, three ahead of YMP, who picked up a bonus point for scoring four tries.

“The occasion — playing the competition leaders in front of a big crowd — got to the boys in the first half,” Waikohu coach Jason Tuapawa said.

“We also started slack; not clearing the ball cleanly and not doing the basics. Then we had to weather a storm from YMP, especially after they scored a try straight after halftime (to openside flanker Willis Tamatea), but the boys showed a lot of character to come back the way they did.”

YMP, with the wind at their backs, won the first scrum battle, pushing Waikohu off their own ball. For the next 60 minutes, the black and white forwards — Axel Campbell, Shayde Skudder, Lewis Fleming, Eru Wharerau, Luke Bradley, Rocky Monika, Tamatea and Mekepio Brown — dominated set pieces.

Monika had his best game of the season, carrying strongly, supporting the ball carrier and smashing into tackles to such an extent that the famed Waikohu backline struggled to get any sort of combinations going.

The crowd of around 300 were stunned when YMP left-winger Winiata Tarawa opened the scoring after 11 minutes. The forwards laid the foundation with Monika prominent. Halfback Quinnton Pari-Collins cleared the ball quickly to skipper and second-five Reihana Wyllie whose slick no-look pass gave Tarawa an easy try.

First five-eighth Brian Whatiri-White converted.

Waikohu hit back from the restart when a clearing kick was charged down and centre Tawhao Stewart won the race to dot down out wide. Fullback Ethine Reeves missed the conversion . . . 7-5.

YMP stretched the gap with a try in the 22nd minute. Fullback Jacob Leaf, Tamatea, Bradley, Monika, Skudder and Wyllie all had a part in the move, which finished with Pari-Collins scoring.

Again Waikohu hit back from the restart, the lively Morten scoring the first of his two tries. Following a lineout 15 metres from the tryline, Morten received the ball and showed strength and determination to burst down the short side to get across the line. Reeves levelled the scores with a conversion from the sideline.

The home side then had three tries disallowed in a six-minute spell just before the break. All were correct decisions by referee Caleb Greaves, who earned praise from both coaches.

The first was when Reeves looked to have won a foot race with Leaf to score. But Greaves was on the spot to see that Leaf had touched the ball down (Herald photographer Paul Rickard has the picture to show Greaves made the right call). The next two came after the ball was lost forward over the line.

Two minutes before halftime, YMP caught Waikohu napping as they launched a counter-attack from deep inside their territory. Centre Te Peehi Fairlie crossed to take his side to the middle 17-12 ahead.

Tamatea extended the lead with a try two minutes after the restart to put his side 22-12 up. With their forwards continuing to dominate, it looked as if the Magpies would go on to win.

Waikohu were behind and not performing to their usual high standard, but their supporters never lost faith.

“Come on, Waikohu, you can do it,” they shouted.

Morten answered the call with a quick tap and try after two penalties close to the line . . . 22-17.

That try galvanised his teammates and it was as though a switch had been thrown as spectators and players sensed they could win.

Backline comes to life with 15 to go

The cry of “Come on, Waikohu, you can do it” grew even louder.

A backline that had been stifled came to life and began to run with purpose and flair. Smith scored a try to lock the scores at 22-all with the kick to come. Reeves obliged and Waikohu were now in front 24-22 with their tails up.

YMP’s tremendous defensive effort in the first 65 minutes was beginning to take its toll and there was no stopping Broughton, who received the ball five metres from the line.

Broughton and Tarawa were sinbinned for an illegal cleanout (Broughton) after a high tackle from Tarawa.

Then came the try of the match, with time almost up.

Halfback Mario Counsell started it with a slick pass to Reeves, who drew a man before offoading to Smith 60 metres from the tryline and close to the left touchline. Smith raced down the line, then chopped back inside as he angled away from the chasing players towards the right wing. Just as he was caught short of the line, Green — Waikohu’s man of the match — arrived to take the pass and score.

YMP coach Steve Smith said he was proud of the way his side took the game to Waikohu but felt they could have turned their possession and territory into more points before the comeback.

“Once they started moving it wide, they began to stretch us.”

WAIKOHU 36 (T Morten 2, T Stewart, K Smith, J Broughton, R Green tries; E Reeves 3 con).

YMP 22 (Winiata Tarawa, Q Pari-Collins, TP Fairlie, W Tamatea tries; B Whaitiri-White con).

HT: 17-12 (YMP).

A try to lock Richard Green on the stroke of fulltime capped a magnificent fightback from Waikohu as they toppled premier leaders YMP 36-22 at Te Karaka on Saturday.

YMP, who had led the competition by one point from GT Shearing Waikohu, were 22-12 in front with 15 minutes to go.

But tries to hooker Tristan Morten (his second), first five-eighth Kelvin Smith, replacement prop Jarryd Broughton and Green took Waikohu to the top of the table on 15 points, three ahead of YMP, who picked up a bonus point for scoring four tries.

“The occasion — playing the competition leaders in front of a big crowd — got to the boys in the first half,” Waikohu coach Jason Tuapawa said.

“We also started slack; not clearing the ball cleanly and not doing the basics. Then we had to weather a storm from YMP, especially after they scored a try straight after halftime (to openside flanker Willis Tamatea), but the boys showed a lot of character to come back the way they did.”

YMP, with the wind at their backs, won the first scrum battle, pushing Waikohu off their own ball. For the next 60 minutes, the black and white forwards — Axel Campbell, Shayde Skudder, Lewis Fleming, Eru Wharerau, Luke Bradley, Rocky Monika, Tamatea and Mekepio Brown — dominated set pieces.

Monika had his best game of the season, carrying strongly, supporting the ball carrier and smashing into tackles to such an extent that the famed Waikohu backline struggled to get any sort of combinations going.

The crowd of around 300 were stunned when YMP left-winger Winiata Tarawa opened the scoring after 11 minutes. The forwards laid the foundation with Monika prominent. Halfback Quinnton Pari-Collins cleared the ball quickly to skipper and second-five Reihana Wyllie whose slick no-look pass gave Tarawa an easy try.

First five-eighth Brian Whatiri-White converted.

Waikohu hit back from the restart when a clearing kick was charged down and centre Tawhao Stewart won the race to dot down out wide. Fullback Ethine Reeves missed the conversion . . . 7-5.

YMP stretched the gap with a try in the 22nd minute. Fullback Jacob Leaf, Tamatea, Bradley, Monika, Skudder and Wyllie all had a part in the move, which finished with Pari-Collins scoring.

Again Waikohu hit back from the restart, the lively Morten scoring the first of his two tries. Following a lineout 15 metres from the tryline, Morten received the ball and showed strength and determination to burst down the short side to get across the line. Reeves levelled the scores with a conversion from the sideline.

The home side then had three tries disallowed in a six-minute spell just before the break. All were correct decisions by referee Caleb Greaves, who earned praise from both coaches.

The first was when Reeves looked to have won a foot race with Leaf to score. But Greaves was on the spot to see that Leaf had touched the ball down (Herald photographer Paul Rickard has the picture to show Greaves made the right call). The next two came after the ball was lost forward over the line.

Two minutes before halftime, YMP caught Waikohu napping as they launched a counter-attack from deep inside their territory. Centre Te Peehi Fairlie crossed to take his side to the middle 17-12 ahead.

Tamatea extended the lead with a try two minutes after the restart to put his side 22-12 up. With their forwards continuing to dominate, it looked as if the Magpies would go on to win.

Waikohu were behind and not performing to their usual high standard, but their supporters never lost faith.

“Come on, Waikohu, you can do it,” they shouted.

Morten answered the call with a quick tap and try after two penalties close to the line . . . 22-17.

That try galvanised his teammates and it was as though a switch had been thrown as spectators and players sensed they could win.

Backline comes to life with 15 to go

The cry of “Come on, Waikohu, you can do it” grew even louder.

A backline that had been stifled came to life and began to run with purpose and flair. Smith scored a try to lock the scores at 22-all with the kick to come. Reeves obliged and Waikohu were now in front 24-22 with their tails up.

YMP’s tremendous defensive effort in the first 65 minutes was beginning to take its toll and there was no stopping Broughton, who received the ball five metres from the line.

Broughton and Tarawa were sinbinned for an illegal cleanout (Broughton) after a high tackle from Tarawa.

Then came the try of the match, with time almost up.

Halfback Mario Counsell started it with a slick pass to Reeves, who drew a man before offoading to Smith 60 metres from the tryline and close to the left touchline. Smith raced down the line, then chopped back inside as he angled away from the chasing players towards the right wing. Just as he was caught short of the line, Green — Waikohu’s man of the match — arrived to take the pass and score.

YMP coach Steve Smith said he was proud of the way his side took the game to Waikohu but felt they could have turned their possession and territory into more points before the comeback.

“Once they started moving it wide, they began to stretch us.”

WAIKOHU 36 (T Morten 2, T Stewart, K Smith, J Broughton, R Green tries; E Reeves 3 con).

YMP 22 (Winiata Tarawa, Q Pari-Collins, TP Fairlie, W Tamatea tries; B Whaitiri-White con).

HT: 17-12 (YMP).

P W D L F A B Pts
Waikohu 3 3 0 0 123 71 3 15
Ngatapa 4 3 0 1 123 75 3 15
OBM 3 3 0 0 85 40 1 13
YMP 4 2 0 2 162 79 4 12
HSOB 3 1 0 2 58 87 1 5
Tapuae 3 0 0 3 39 153 0 0
Athletic 4 0 0 4 48 160 0 0

Waikohu top as they beat Ngatapa

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