Barry Cup strength on show

Barry Cup connects, binds and elevates rural communities in rugby

Barry Cup connects, binds and elevates rural communities in rugby

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There are some great things about the Barry Cup.

The first is the tremendous passion and excitement around a sub-union trophy that has connected, bound and elevated rural communities in rugby.

The second is the physical nature of what are superb up-tempo games.

These elements were on show for the first — and last — time this season when Waikohu beat Matakaoa 45-7 at Te Karaka Domain on Sunday.

“It was a big occasion — we’ve been chasing this taonga (treasure) for years,” Waikohu captain and hooker Geoff Pari said.

“The week before, we won it from Uawa but there were mixed emotions because we knew we would have to defend it this weekend. A lot of people have stuck by our sub-union and our club, so we’re blessed to see them rewarded in this way.”

Matakaoa coach Morgan Waitoa wasn’t unhappy.

“The Barry Cup brings people together and that was brilliant rugby,” the Ngati Porou East Coast centurion said.

“Our forwards and our scrum, in particular, were good but they had a slight edge in fitness.”

Waikohu coach Jason Tuapawa agreed with those sentiments. His Waikohu team took a slightly unusual tack in going wide as soon and as often as possible — as opposed to trying to hammer a way through the middle of the park — to keep the ball away from the challengers’ tough pack for the first 20 minutes of the game.

'Our backs had to run for us — to stretch them'

“Our backs had to run for us — to stretch them.”

As the last holders of the year, Waikohu will have their name engraved on the 95-year-old Barry Cup. The cruellest blow has always been to win the trophy only to lose it in the same season.

No.8 Frank Taiapa, who played superbly for Hicks Bay in the East Coast club competition, was one of Matakaoa’s best on the day. He won two early lineouts in grand style but it was Waikohu first five-eighth Kelvin Smith who opened the scoring, in the fifth minute.

On the left side of the ground in the opposition half, he won the race to a chip-kicked ball — Matakaoa fullback Sean Murtagh fell in an effort to beat Smith to it.

In the 20th minute, Waikohu No.8 Tapu Dixon ran straight at veteran prop Norm Hooper in the attacking half and went no further, but in the 25th minute, Smith struck again.

Referee Royce Maynard awarded Waikohu a penalty just outside Matakaoa’s 22, 15 metres off the right sideline. The defending team had not recovered before Smith took the tap and beat everyone else to the punch to score. He converted his own try to make the score 12-0.

Matakaoa centre Pamona Samupo was held up on the Waikohu tryline in the left corner in the 27th minute but scored in the 30th, after a five-metre charge five metres off the left touchline. Halfback Sam Parkes converted to close it to 12-7.

Seven minutes later, Dixon also drove five metres to score, in this case, off the back of a Waikohu scrum set 10m off the right sideline.

The score was 19-7 to Waikohu at the break. The sheer size of both sets of forwards was astounding, and Matakaoa scrummaged powerfully.

In Barry Cup rugby, any team unable to hold their own in this phase of the game will be in even more trouble than would normally be the case because the ball-carriers are ultra-skilful at the defensive line.

But the defence is always committed. Six minutes into the second half, Murtagh helped halfback Keith Henderson bundle Waikohu centre Tawhao Stewart into touch. Stewart, having broken down the left sideline, looked set to score.

Matakaoa captain and lock Willie Waitoa — playing his first game of rugby this year — made a try-saving tackle on the goal-line in the 48th minute. Parkes followed his example with a tryline stop on Waikohu reserve halfback Bradlyn Haimona, off a rush from a ruck in the left corner.

In the 52nd minute, Waikohu fullback Andrew Tauatevalu beat two men in the Matakaoa 22 to score just to the right of the posts. His try was unconverted, and the score was 24-7 to the holders. In the 57th minute, Smith completed his hat-trick and converted for 31-7.

Waikohu blindside flanker Tulsa Kaui powered down the left sideline and then to the posts for 38-7 and right wing Antonio Barbarich scored the last try of the fifth game of the Barry Cup season. Smith converted for 45-7.

Matakaoa’s Willie Waitoa is one of the great men in local rugby — a legend of Tokararangi and Ngati Porou East Coast, and forwards coach of the Poverty Bay under-16s who beat Thames Valley 34-21. His take on the game is as good as any.

“Waikohu were sharp on any turnover ball and the physicality was there. Congratulations to them.”

There are some great things about the Barry Cup.

The first is the tremendous passion and excitement around a sub-union trophy that has connected, bound and elevated rural communities in rugby.

The second is the physical nature of what are superb up-tempo games.

These elements were on show for the first — and last — time this season when Waikohu beat Matakaoa 45-7 at Te Karaka Domain on Sunday.

“It was a big occasion — we’ve been chasing this taonga (treasure) for years,” Waikohu captain and hooker Geoff Pari said.

“The week before, we won it from Uawa but there were mixed emotions because we knew we would have to defend it this weekend. A lot of people have stuck by our sub-union and our club, so we’re blessed to see them rewarded in this way.”

Matakaoa coach Morgan Waitoa wasn’t unhappy.

“The Barry Cup brings people together and that was brilliant rugby,” the Ngati Porou East Coast centurion said.

“Our forwards and our scrum, in particular, were good but they had a slight edge in fitness.”

Waikohu coach Jason Tuapawa agreed with those sentiments. His Waikohu team took a slightly unusual tack in going wide as soon and as often as possible — as opposed to trying to hammer a way through the middle of the park — to keep the ball away from the challengers’ tough pack for the first 20 minutes of the game.

'Our backs had to run for us — to stretch them'

“Our backs had to run for us — to stretch them.”

As the last holders of the year, Waikohu will have their name engraved on the 95-year-old Barry Cup. The cruellest blow has always been to win the trophy only to lose it in the same season.

No.8 Frank Taiapa, who played superbly for Hicks Bay in the East Coast club competition, was one of Matakaoa’s best on the day. He won two early lineouts in grand style but it was Waikohu first five-eighth Kelvin Smith who opened the scoring, in the fifth minute.

On the left side of the ground in the opposition half, he won the race to a chip-kicked ball — Matakaoa fullback Sean Murtagh fell in an effort to beat Smith to it.

In the 20th minute, Waikohu No.8 Tapu Dixon ran straight at veteran prop Norm Hooper in the attacking half and went no further, but in the 25th minute, Smith struck again.

Referee Royce Maynard awarded Waikohu a penalty just outside Matakaoa’s 22, 15 metres off the right sideline. The defending team had not recovered before Smith took the tap and beat everyone else to the punch to score. He converted his own try to make the score 12-0.

Matakaoa centre Pamona Samupo was held up on the Waikohu tryline in the left corner in the 27th minute but scored in the 30th, after a five-metre charge five metres off the left touchline. Halfback Sam Parkes converted to close it to 12-7.

Seven minutes later, Dixon also drove five metres to score, in this case, off the back of a Waikohu scrum set 10m off the right sideline.

The score was 19-7 to Waikohu at the break. The sheer size of both sets of forwards was astounding, and Matakaoa scrummaged powerfully.

In Barry Cup rugby, any team unable to hold their own in this phase of the game will be in even more trouble than would normally be the case because the ball-carriers are ultra-skilful at the defensive line.

But the defence is always committed. Six minutes into the second half, Murtagh helped halfback Keith Henderson bundle Waikohu centre Tawhao Stewart into touch. Stewart, having broken down the left sideline, looked set to score.

Matakaoa captain and lock Willie Waitoa — playing his first game of rugby this year — made a try-saving tackle on the goal-line in the 48th minute. Parkes followed his example with a tryline stop on Waikohu reserve halfback Bradlyn Haimona, off a rush from a ruck in the left corner.

In the 52nd minute, Waikohu fullback Andrew Tauatevalu beat two men in the Matakaoa 22 to score just to the right of the posts. His try was unconverted, and the score was 24-7 to the holders. In the 57th minute, Smith completed his hat-trick and converted for 31-7.

Waikohu blindside flanker Tulsa Kaui powered down the left sideline and then to the posts for 38-7 and right wing Antonio Barbarich scored the last try of the fifth game of the Barry Cup season. Smith converted for 45-7.

Matakaoa’s Willie Waitoa is one of the great men in local rugby — a legend of Tokararangi and Ngati Porou East Coast, and forwards coach of the Poverty Bay under-16s who beat Thames Valley 34-21. His take on the game is as good as any.

“Waikohu were sharp on any turnover ball and the physicality was there. Congratulations to them.”

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