Let us at 'em - Waikohu and OBM eager to hit the field 

UNSUNG HERO: Waikohu lock Richard Green is tackled by YMP first five-eighth Brian Whaitiri-White as lock Luke Bradley moves in to help and prop Toro Noanoa backs up his Waikohu teammate. Green and fellow lock Te Miini Kohere-Smiler have been making huge contributions to the side’s unbeaten run, which they will look to extend against OBM tomorrow. Picture by Paul Rickard

WAIKOHU coach Jason Tuapawa says his players can’t wait for tomorrow’s premier club clash with OBM at Rugby Park.

“The boys were flat after HSOB defaulted (last Saturday) but they’ve put that behind them and moved on, and can’t wait to play OBM,” said the former Poverty Bay lock, who, in his first season as a premier coach, will collect his first trophy no matters what happens this weekend.

GT Shearing Waikohu will be presented the Premier Cup as winners of the first round, emulating last season.

Going into the last game of the first round, the men from Te Karaka have 25 points, five more than YMP, who have the bye, and Ngatapa, who play Tapuae. Waikohu also have a much superior points differential of +193 to Ngatapa’s +63.

“We’re not thinking about that (the Premier Cup),” said Tuapawa. “We’ve set standards this season and we want to maintain them, and finish this round with a win.

“Our management team and some of the players watched OBM lose to YMP last week so we know a little bit about them . . . but this is another game. We treat every opposition as a threat and plan accordingly.”

While the Waikohu backs have been hogging the limelight, the contribution from their pack, particularly locks Richard Green and Te Miini Kohere-Smiler, should not be underestimated.

The former Waiapu players, who work together for Opti Log C3 Limited of which Tuapawa is area manager, are the smallest locking pair in the competition.

What they lack in height, they make up for with speed and aggression at the breakdown

What they lack in height, they make up for with speed and aggression at the breakdown.

“They’re good mates and are scavengers when it comes to winning the loose ball,” Tuapawa said.

“They’re both former loosies who know each other’s play well, and they always give you 100 percent. They drive trucks all day all week so they can’t wait to get out on the paddock and unleash their energy.

Tuapawa said Green’s commitment was underlined when he scored a try in the last play of their game against YMP a couple of weeks ago.

“He had made two tackles just outside our 22 but was the one in support when Kelvin (Smith, first five-eighth) popped a pass 70 metres up the park.”

Tuapawa received a welcome boost to the Waikohu squad this week with Poverty Bay flanker Lynden Manuel and Bay hooker Geoff Pari coming into the reckoning.

“Lynden will more than likely be in the 22 but we’ll give Geoff another week off before he plays,” Tuapawa said. “They’re two of our senior players and give us good depth and competition for places heading into the next round.

“We’ve also got Jess Fleming’s (midfielder)younger brother Slade stepping up from our Senior 1 team. Slade’s a big lock with a lot of potential.”

OBM coach Tom Solomon knows what his side has to do . . . “retain posession”

Enterprise Cars OBM coach Tom Solomon knows what his side has to do . . . “retain posession”.

“Waikohu have backs who can score from anywhere but to do that they need the ball,” Solomon said.

“Looking back at last week’s game against YMP (a 24-14 loss), I felt we did that for long periods but after getting ahead we weren’t able to close out the game.

“Our tight five have been giving the backs a good platform but when you look at our backs, they’re young, which is why I’m looking at bringing Keith (Henderson, Solomon’s assistant) into the starting line-up.

“Speaking to people who have been involved with the club in recent years, not being able to close out games has been a problem, but with most of the guys in their early 20s, they’re learning.”

Solomon has signed two new players, former Pirates flanker Koro Miringaorangi and prop Mamau Kaitara.

“They looked good in training and will strengthen the pack,” Solomon said.

“I’d love to have Corban Barbara (openside flanker) available but it’s not looking likely. Corban picked up an ankle injury last week and is working with the physio.

“There’s not a lot of Corban but he’s a natural who smokes players when he tackles them. He suffered the injury early last week but stayed on. He’s class.’”

“All the talk has been about the Waikohu backs but their forwards must be doing something right, which is why we need to win the battle up front tomorrow.”

WAIKOHU coach Jason Tuapawa says his players can’t wait for tomorrow’s premier club clash with OBM at Rugby Park.

“The boys were flat after HSOB defaulted (last Saturday) but they’ve put that behind them and moved on, and can’t wait to play OBM,” said the former Poverty Bay lock, who, in his first season as a premier coach, will collect his first trophy no matters what happens this weekend.

GT Shearing Waikohu will be presented the Premier Cup as winners of the first round, emulating last season.

Going into the last game of the first round, the men from Te Karaka have 25 points, five more than YMP, who have the bye, and Ngatapa, who play Tapuae. Waikohu also have a much superior points differential of +193 to Ngatapa’s +63.

“We’re not thinking about that (the Premier Cup),” said Tuapawa. “We’ve set standards this season and we want to maintain them, and finish this round with a win.

“Our management team and some of the players watched OBM lose to YMP last week so we know a little bit about them . . . but this is another game. We treat every opposition as a threat and plan accordingly.”

While the Waikohu backs have been hogging the limelight, the contribution from their pack, particularly locks Richard Green and Te Miini Kohere-Smiler, should not be underestimated.

The former Waiapu players, who work together for Opti Log C3 Limited of which Tuapawa is area manager, are the smallest locking pair in the competition.

What they lack in height, they make up for with speed and aggression at the breakdown

What they lack in height, they make up for with speed and aggression at the breakdown.

“They’re good mates and are scavengers when it comes to winning the loose ball,” Tuapawa said.

“They’re both former loosies who know each other’s play well, and they always give you 100 percent. They drive trucks all day all week so they can’t wait to get out on the paddock and unleash their energy.

Tuapawa said Green’s commitment was underlined when he scored a try in the last play of their game against YMP a couple of weeks ago.

“He had made two tackles just outside our 22 but was the one in support when Kelvin (Smith, first five-eighth) popped a pass 70 metres up the park.”

Tuapawa received a welcome boost to the Waikohu squad this week with Poverty Bay flanker Lynden Manuel and Bay hooker Geoff Pari coming into the reckoning.

“Lynden will more than likely be in the 22 but we’ll give Geoff another week off before he plays,” Tuapawa said. “They’re two of our senior players and give us good depth and competition for places heading into the next round.

“We’ve also got Jess Fleming’s (midfielder)younger brother Slade stepping up from our Senior 1 team. Slade’s a big lock with a lot of potential.”

OBM coach Tom Solomon knows what his side has to do . . . “retain posession”

Enterprise Cars OBM coach Tom Solomon knows what his side has to do . . . “retain posession”.

“Waikohu have backs who can score from anywhere but to do that they need the ball,” Solomon said.

“Looking back at last week’s game against YMP (a 24-14 loss), I felt we did that for long periods but after getting ahead we weren’t able to close out the game.

“Our tight five have been giving the backs a good platform but when you look at our backs, they’re young, which is why I’m looking at bringing Keith (Henderson, Solomon’s assistant) into the starting line-up.

“Speaking to people who have been involved with the club in recent years, not being able to close out games has been a problem, but with most of the guys in their early 20s, they’re learning.”

Solomon has signed two new players, former Pirates flanker Koro Miringaorangi and prop Mamau Kaitara.

“They looked good in training and will strengthen the pack,” Solomon said.

“I’d love to have Corban Barbara (openside flanker) available but it’s not looking likely. Corban picked up an ankle injury last week and is working with the physio.

“There’s not a lot of Corban but he’s a natural who smokes players when he tackles them. He suffered the injury early last week but stayed on. He’s class.’”

“All the talk has been about the Waikohu backs but their forwards must be doing something right, which is why we need to win the battle up front tomorrow.”

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