Cup stays with Uawa again

Rugged Wairoa challenge takes a toll in injuries

Rugged Wairoa challenge takes a toll in injuries

AROUND THE LEGS: Uawa right wing Tipene Meihana tackles Wairoa fullback Siko Sautini, with Wairoa centre Te Kapua Rewi (No.13) in the foreground.Picture by Te Rauhuia Ngata
TACKLE AND FEND: Wairoa fullback Siko Sautini (No.15) tries to tackle Uawa blindside flanker Rikki Kernohan, who fends off Wairoa first five-eighth Rana Hubbard as halfback Tione Hubbard (No.9) and lock Graham Willis (right) move to cover. In close support of Kernohan is Uawa halfback Sam Parkes. Picture by Te Rauhuia Ngata

It was hard; it was fast.

Uawa retained the Barry Cup with a 30-22 win against Wairoa at the Domain in Tolaga Bay on Sunday.

This, Game 3 of the five-game sub-union season, was unquestionably the most rugged match to date.

Uawa — under tough-as-teak lock Scott Lasenby — outscored the Tione Hubbard-led Wairoa by five tries to four, but the win has cost Uawa dearly.

Reserve hooker Mark-James Tuapawa, who replaced veteran Richard Tuhaka, had been on the park for only 13 minutes when he popped his left knee in the 68th minute.

Seven minutes later, blindside flanker Rikki Kernohan also went off with an injury to his left knee.

First five-eighth Tane McGuire rolled his right ankle and had to leave the field with five minutes to play.

“It took a while for us to click into gear,” Uawa head coach Tip Nukunuku said.

“While we dominated at set-piece, they used their forwards well in general play.

“Rikki (Kernohan) and (openside flanker) Chase Sheridan were awesome at lineout time, and we made a massive effort at the scrum.”

Nukunuku said that 17-year-old Sheridan, Uawa’s player of the day, had “an exceptional game”.

And never did the blue pack drive home their advantage any harder than in the 60th minute, when they were awarded a scrum-penalty 15 metres into Wairoa’s half, 10m off the right sideline — on the visitors’ feed. The visceral reaction of Uawa tighthead prop Laman Davies reflected the significance of the moment.

“We had our chances and the injury toll tells you how hard and fast the game was,” Wairoa coach Mac Kapene said.

“Our boys played with passion but it takes an X factor even beyond that to win the Barry Cup.”

The visitors asked questions early. Openside flanker Tame Goldsack won a lineout against the throw. The front row of Jordan Biddle, Graham Scarfe and Tana Culshaw-Kaisa soon after had Uawa’s put-in to a defensive scrum reversed five metres out from the home team’s goal-line, five metres off the left touch. Wairoa’s powerhouse No.8 Johnny Baker then ran openside off the back of the scrum to score in the fifth minute.

Nine and a half minutes in, Uawa halfback Sam Parkes kicked a penalty goal from a metre to the left of the posts on the 22m line, and in the 13th minute he cleared a ruck 15m off the right touch, 15m out from Wairoa’s goal-line. The ball then went through four sets of hands and second-five Rikki Crawford scored in the left corner.

Uawa led 8-5. So tight was the contest that Wairoa’s Rana Hubbard and Uawa’s McGuire — Hubbard from halfway, McGuire on his own 22m line — rolled the proverbial dice on short restarts. In neither case did the ball go forward. Those small misfires might be viewed as a measure of the game of inches both teams were playing.

McGuire and Rana Hubbard were excellent contributors. McGuire took the ball to and through the Wairoa defence, while from a midfield scrum on the Uawa 22, Wairoa’s Baker fed Tione Hubbard running right. The halfback’s quickness and younger brother Rana’s change of pace outfoxed the defence and Rana scored wide out in the 24th minute.

In the 27th minute, Uawa turned over the ball in a ruck five metres out from their own goal-line. Wairoa centre Canning Taumata spun to his right, finding blindside flanker Morgan Bestford for the try. The game’s fourth try was not converted.

The score remained 15-8 to Wairoa until fullback Jacob Leefe went over in the left corner in the 33rd minute to reduce the deficit to two.

With the break upon them, the hosts’ big guns got together five metres out from Wairoa’s goal-line for the last play of the first half. Parkes tap-kicked, McGuire found super-sub fullback BJ Sidney to his right. Sidney evaded three men and found Parkes to his left. He then put Kernohan away under the cross-bar to score for an 18-15 lead to Uawa.

That try was unconverted as both sides’ kickers had a ho-hum day with the boot.

Poverty Bay referee Oliver Holst, formerly of Auckland, was well served by his assistants Neville Barwick and former first-class official Colin Shanks. Their tone and the attitude of both teams was such that no cards were given. Nineteen-year-old Holst did well under pressure.

Uawa centre Te Peehi Fairlie opened the second-half scoring to make it 23-15, at the end of a chain that ran from Parkes through McGuire and Crawford to Fairlie, who dotted down in the left corner in the 48th minute.

Tuhaka and tighthead prop Adam Williams played key roles in the build-up to Fairlie’s try, Williams with a powerful carry and Tuhaka latching on to a loose ball to retain possession. Over 80 minutes, those things add up.

In the 65th minute, Wairoa scored off the best set move of the game. From a scrum five metres out from Uawa’s goal-line, five metres to the right of the posts, Tione Hubbard ran as a decoy to the right, and Baker picked the ball up and sent it left. Wairoa player of the day, left-wing-cum-first-five Wiremu Erkel, cut back inside to score under the bar. Erkel converted his own try but Uawa were still ahead, 23-22.

The Barry Cup holders struck the decisive blow in the 75th minute. From a midfield scrum five metres out from Wairoa’s goal-line, they edged three phases to the right before loosehead prop Adam Williams drove one metre to score the match-clinching try five metres to the right of the posts. Parkes kicked his second goal of Uawa’s third cup defence of 2018 for 30-22.

Wairoa bared their teeth in this challenge. Scarfe and Baker are as hard as nails, while both Hubbard brothers are classy. There was no stage-fright and there were no nerves from Wairoa. They started well and challenged Uawa’s big forward pack, drawing a stern response from the home team.

“That was the hardest challenge so far,” Uawa skipper Lasenby said.

“Wairoa made us work hard and got over the ball quickly at the breakdown.

“At halftime, we had to regroup. The talk then centred around being more clinical in our execution, in all parts of play.”

Tione Hubbard said: “The game was played in good spirit and our boys played courageously. It was tough — just like last year — so we expected that.”

Uawa’s next hurdle is Tihirau Victory Club in Tolaga Bay at 2.30pm on Sunday.

It was hard; it was fast.

Uawa retained the Barry Cup with a 30-22 win against Wairoa at the Domain in Tolaga Bay on Sunday.

This, Game 3 of the five-game sub-union season, was unquestionably the most rugged match to date.

Uawa — under tough-as-teak lock Scott Lasenby — outscored the Tione Hubbard-led Wairoa by five tries to four, but the win has cost Uawa dearly.

Reserve hooker Mark-James Tuapawa, who replaced veteran Richard Tuhaka, had been on the park for only 13 minutes when he popped his left knee in the 68th minute.

Seven minutes later, blindside flanker Rikki Kernohan also went off with an injury to his left knee.

First five-eighth Tane McGuire rolled his right ankle and had to leave the field with five minutes to play.

“It took a while for us to click into gear,” Uawa head coach Tip Nukunuku said.

“While we dominated at set-piece, they used their forwards well in general play.

“Rikki (Kernohan) and (openside flanker) Chase Sheridan were awesome at lineout time, and we made a massive effort at the scrum.”

Nukunuku said that 17-year-old Sheridan, Uawa’s player of the day, had “an exceptional game”.

And never did the blue pack drive home their advantage any harder than in the 60th minute, when they were awarded a scrum-penalty 15 metres into Wairoa’s half, 10m off the right sideline — on the visitors’ feed. The visceral reaction of Uawa tighthead prop Laman Davies reflected the significance of the moment.

“We had our chances and the injury toll tells you how hard and fast the game was,” Wairoa coach Mac Kapene said.

“Our boys played with passion but it takes an X factor even beyond that to win the Barry Cup.”

The visitors asked questions early. Openside flanker Tame Goldsack won a lineout against the throw. The front row of Jordan Biddle, Graham Scarfe and Tana Culshaw-Kaisa soon after had Uawa’s put-in to a defensive scrum reversed five metres out from the home team’s goal-line, five metres off the left touch. Wairoa’s powerhouse No.8 Johnny Baker then ran openside off the back of the scrum to score in the fifth minute.

Nine and a half minutes in, Uawa halfback Sam Parkes kicked a penalty goal from a metre to the left of the posts on the 22m line, and in the 13th minute he cleared a ruck 15m off the right touch, 15m out from Wairoa’s goal-line. The ball then went through four sets of hands and second-five Rikki Crawford scored in the left corner.

Uawa led 8-5. So tight was the contest that Wairoa’s Rana Hubbard and Uawa’s McGuire — Hubbard from halfway, McGuire on his own 22m line — rolled the proverbial dice on short restarts. In neither case did the ball go forward. Those small misfires might be viewed as a measure of the game of inches both teams were playing.

McGuire and Rana Hubbard were excellent contributors. McGuire took the ball to and through the Wairoa defence, while from a midfield scrum on the Uawa 22, Wairoa’s Baker fed Tione Hubbard running right. The halfback’s quickness and younger brother Rana’s change of pace outfoxed the defence and Rana scored wide out in the 24th minute.

In the 27th minute, Uawa turned over the ball in a ruck five metres out from their own goal-line. Wairoa centre Canning Taumata spun to his right, finding blindside flanker Morgan Bestford for the try. The game’s fourth try was not converted.

The score remained 15-8 to Wairoa until fullback Jacob Leefe went over in the left corner in the 33rd minute to reduce the deficit to two.

With the break upon them, the hosts’ big guns got together five metres out from Wairoa’s goal-line for the last play of the first half. Parkes tap-kicked, McGuire found super-sub fullback BJ Sidney to his right. Sidney evaded three men and found Parkes to his left. He then put Kernohan away under the cross-bar to score for an 18-15 lead to Uawa.

That try was unconverted as both sides’ kickers had a ho-hum day with the boot.

Poverty Bay referee Oliver Holst, formerly of Auckland, was well served by his assistants Neville Barwick and former first-class official Colin Shanks. Their tone and the attitude of both teams was such that no cards were given. Nineteen-year-old Holst did well under pressure.

Uawa centre Te Peehi Fairlie opened the second-half scoring to make it 23-15, at the end of a chain that ran from Parkes through McGuire and Crawford to Fairlie, who dotted down in the left corner in the 48th minute.

Tuhaka and tighthead prop Adam Williams played key roles in the build-up to Fairlie’s try, Williams with a powerful carry and Tuhaka latching on to a loose ball to retain possession. Over 80 minutes, those things add up.

In the 65th minute, Wairoa scored off the best set move of the game. From a scrum five metres out from Uawa’s goal-line, five metres to the right of the posts, Tione Hubbard ran as a decoy to the right, and Baker picked the ball up and sent it left. Wairoa player of the day, left-wing-cum-first-five Wiremu Erkel, cut back inside to score under the bar. Erkel converted his own try but Uawa were still ahead, 23-22.

The Barry Cup holders struck the decisive blow in the 75th minute. From a midfield scrum five metres out from Wairoa’s goal-line, they edged three phases to the right before loosehead prop Adam Williams drove one metre to score the match-clinching try five metres to the right of the posts. Parkes kicked his second goal of Uawa’s third cup defence of 2018 for 30-22.

Wairoa bared their teeth in this challenge. Scarfe and Baker are as hard as nails, while both Hubbard brothers are classy. There was no stage-fright and there were no nerves from Wairoa. They started well and challenged Uawa’s big forward pack, drawing a stern response from the home team.

“That was the hardest challenge so far,” Uawa skipper Lasenby said.

“Wairoa made us work hard and got over the ball quickly at the breakdown.

“At halftime, we had to regroup. The talk then centred around being more clinical in our execution, in all parts of play.”

Tione Hubbard said: “The game was played in good spirit and our boys played courageously. It was tough — just like last year — so we expected that.”

Uawa’s next hurdle is Tihirau Victory Club in Tolaga Bay at 2.30pm on Sunday.

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