Ranfurly Shield carrot for premier semifinalists

‘Past results count for nothing in playoffs’

‘Past results count for nothing in playoffs’

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RUGBY

THERE’S more at stake than a place in the Lee Bros Shield final when Waikohu play OBM and YMP take on Ngatapa in the premier club semifinals at Rugby Park on Saturday.

Poverty Bay Heartland Championship team coaches Mana Otai and Dwayne Russell will name their squad this week to play Taranaki in a Ranfurly Shield challenge on July 28 in New Plymouth.

Rep players not involved in the club final will train next week and will be joined by those in the final the weekend after.

The form book suggests a GT Shearing Waikohu v East Coast Farm Vets YMP final.

The Jason Tuapawa-coached Waikohu won 11 of their 12 round-robin games — their only loss being to reigning premier champions High School Old Boys two weeks ago.

The team from Te Karaka — beaten finalists last year and bidding for their first Lee Bros Shield triumph — warmed up for the semifinal with a 45-14 demolition of Enterprise Cars OBM last Saturday.

While the Waikohu backs scored five of the seven tries and have been in sensational form this season, the work of their forwards should not go unnoticed.

What they lack in size they make up for with superb technique and commitment.

In skipper and hooker Geoff Pari and No.8 Ken Houkamau, they have two inspirational leaders.

Pari has made a remarkable recovery from a serious leg injury and is back to his best.

“I’d love to make the Bay team but my first focus is on helping the boys beat OBM,” Pari said.

Houkamau, in his first year with the club after his former club Pirates pulled out of the competition, has been outstanding on attack and in defence.

Add props Jarryd Broughton and Toru Noanoa, locks Tulsa Kaui and Richard Green and loosies Lynden Manuel and James Rutene and it is not hard to see why Waikohu are the favourites this weekend.

Former Poverty Bay rep forward Tuapawa has probably the strongest 22-man squad in the competition.

So is there any point in OBM turning up on Saturday?

OBM powerhouse prop Jody Allen answered that question in Tuesday’s Gisborne Herald when he said “nothing is set in stone when it comes to semifinals. You can lose by 40 points one week then turn up and guts it out and get a result”.

OBM will welcome back fiesty openside flanker Callum McDonald, skipper Jake Holmes, who can play in the 10 or 12 jersey, and it would be no surprise to see co-coach Tom Solomon join fellow co-coach Keith Henderson in the starting 15.

Holmes, McDonald and Solomon did not play against Waikohu at the weekend.

Although Solomon and Henderson are in the twilight stages of their careers, both have roles to play if they are to upset the odds on Saturday.

Solomon brings a physicality second to none in the competition, bar Allen, while Henderson is an experienced halfback who can drive his forwards on.

The 37-year-old was not supposed to play last week as he was “on childminding duties”, but when Holmes was ruled out, Henderson stepped in at second five-eighth and played 80 minutes.

While the legs are no longer there to beat defenders over long distances, he remains sharp over 10 metres.

He is also one of those old-fashiond players who wear the jersey with pride and put their bodies on the line for the team.

That win avenged an opening day loss at Wairoa, when Ngatapa fought back from 20-0 down after 24 minutes to win 26-25.

“That defeat hurt the boys, it was good to beat them in the second round,” said YMP second-five and skipper Reihana Wyllie

“But we all know past results count for nothing in the playoffs.”

YMP have not reached the final since 2013, when they lost 22-8 to Ngatapa and last tasted Shield glory in 2010 when they beat Pirates in one of the classic finals 23-22.

Lock Eru Wharerau, blindside flanker Willis Tamatea, Wyllie and Kahu Tamatea, were members of the 2010 team.

Wyllie, Wharerau, Willis Tamatea, Chayse Skudder and Brian Whaitiri-White were members of 2013 team and all will be involved on Saturday.

“We’ve got a lot of experience but it’s been a while since we’ve been in the final let alone win it, so we’re not thinking beyond Saturday,” Wyllie said.

Ngatapa also have players from their 2013 team — prop Campbell Chrisp who captained the side, No.8 and current co-coach Sione Ngatu, prop Jason Jones and first five-eighth Chris Richardson.

Ngatu’s coaching sidekick David McDonald was on the coachign staff in 2013.

Ngatu will be playing his 202nd game for the green and whites while Richardson is making his 102nd appearance.

Ngatapa will have lock Richard Webby available after a one match suspension and Semisi Akana could be back after a back injury.

Until the injury Akana was in great form and along with Chrisp and lock Sam McDell will be determined to impress Poverty Bay coaches Mana Otai and Dwayne Russell who will be at the game.

Ngatapa backs, Anthony Karauria (second five), Oka Senerivi (centre) and Cameron Rowden (fullback) are also in the representative frame after playing against Ngati Porou East Coast on Queen’s Birthday weekend

RUGBY

THERE’S more at stake than a place in the Lee Bros Shield final when Waikohu play OBM and YMP take on Ngatapa in the premier club semifinals at Rugby Park on Saturday.

Poverty Bay Heartland Championship team coaches Mana Otai and Dwayne Russell will name their squad this week to play Taranaki in a Ranfurly Shield challenge on July 28 in New Plymouth.

Rep players not involved in the club final will train next week and will be joined by those in the final the weekend after.

The form book suggests a GT Shearing Waikohu v East Coast Farm Vets YMP final.

The Jason Tuapawa-coached Waikohu won 11 of their 12 round-robin games — their only loss being to reigning premier champions High School Old Boys two weeks ago.

The team from Te Karaka — beaten finalists last year and bidding for their first Lee Bros Shield triumph — warmed up for the semifinal with a 45-14 demolition of Enterprise Cars OBM last Saturday.

While the Waikohu backs scored five of the seven tries and have been in sensational form this season, the work of their forwards should not go unnoticed.

What they lack in size they make up for with superb technique and commitment.

In skipper and hooker Geoff Pari and No.8 Ken Houkamau, they have two inspirational leaders.

Pari has made a remarkable recovery from a serious leg injury and is back to his best.

“I’d love to make the Bay team but my first focus is on helping the boys beat OBM,” Pari said.

Houkamau, in his first year with the club after his former club Pirates pulled out of the competition, has been outstanding on attack and in defence.

Add props Jarryd Broughton and Toru Noanoa, locks Tulsa Kaui and Richard Green and loosies Lynden Manuel and James Rutene and it is not hard to see why Waikohu are the favourites this weekend.

Former Poverty Bay rep forward Tuapawa has probably the strongest 22-man squad in the competition.

So is there any point in OBM turning up on Saturday?

OBM powerhouse prop Jody Allen answered that question in Tuesday’s Gisborne Herald when he said “nothing is set in stone when it comes to semifinals. You can lose by 40 points one week then turn up and guts it out and get a result”.

OBM will welcome back fiesty openside flanker Callum McDonald, skipper Jake Holmes, who can play in the 10 or 12 jersey, and it would be no surprise to see co-coach Tom Solomon join fellow co-coach Keith Henderson in the starting 15.

Holmes, McDonald and Solomon did not play against Waikohu at the weekend.

Although Solomon and Henderson are in the twilight stages of their careers, both have roles to play if they are to upset the odds on Saturday.

Solomon brings a physicality second to none in the competition, bar Allen, while Henderson is an experienced halfback who can drive his forwards on.

The 37-year-old was not supposed to play last week as he was “on childminding duties”, but when Holmes was ruled out, Henderson stepped in at second five-eighth and played 80 minutes.

While the legs are no longer there to beat defenders over long distances, he remains sharp over 10 metres.

He is also one of those old-fashiond players who wear the jersey with pride and put their bodies on the line for the team.

That win avenged an opening day loss at Wairoa, when Ngatapa fought back from 20-0 down after 24 minutes to win 26-25.

“That defeat hurt the boys, it was good to beat them in the second round,” said YMP second-five and skipper Reihana Wyllie

“But we all know past results count for nothing in the playoffs.”

YMP have not reached the final since 2013, when they lost 22-8 to Ngatapa and last tasted Shield glory in 2010 when they beat Pirates in one of the classic finals 23-22.

Lock Eru Wharerau, blindside flanker Willis Tamatea, Wyllie and Kahu Tamatea, were members of the 2010 team.

Wyllie, Wharerau, Willis Tamatea, Chayse Skudder and Brian Whaitiri-White were members of 2013 team and all will be involved on Saturday.

“We’ve got a lot of experience but it’s been a while since we’ve been in the final let alone win it, so we’re not thinking beyond Saturday,” Wyllie said.

Ngatapa also have players from their 2013 team — prop Campbell Chrisp who captained the side, No.8 and current co-coach Sione Ngatu, prop Jason Jones and first five-eighth Chris Richardson.

Ngatu’s coaching sidekick David McDonald was on the coachign staff in 2013.

Ngatu will be playing his 202nd game for the green and whites while Richardson is making his 102nd appearance.

Ngatapa will have lock Richard Webby available after a one match suspension and Semisi Akana could be back after a back injury.

Until the injury Akana was in great form and along with Chrisp and lock Sam McDell will be determined to impress Poverty Bay coaches Mana Otai and Dwayne Russell who will be at the game.

Ngatapa backs, Anthony Karauria (second five), Oka Senerivi (centre) and Cameron Rowden (fullback) are also in the representative frame after playing against Ngati Porou East Coast on Queen’s Birthday weekend

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