Bay looking forward to ‘great challenge’

Lambton Square is the crucible.

The Wairoa rugby ground is the venue for the Poverty Bay under-16s’ clash with Hawke’s Bay — the first competition game of the Hurricanes Youth Rugby Council tournament.

The Bay’s 34-21 come-from-behind win against Thames Valley at the Rectory ground a fortnight ago and last Saturday’s heroic 26-14 victory against Wairarapa-Bush at Tremain Field in Napier were hard-fought games.

The side lost centre Poumana Gemmell to a broken right thumb in his most-valuable-player performance against the Valley, but Gemmell’s co-captain, openside flanker Amos Roddick (who also scored a try that day), has stepped up to lead with skill and toughness.

At Tremain Field, the Bush’s big ball-carrying forwards found hard driving shoulders in the tackle from the likes of loosehead prop Edward Fili-Weti.

And the Bay forwards coach, Lee Brothers Shield (Poverty Bay) and Rangiora Keelan Memorial Shield (East Coast) winner Willie Waitoa, knows what a strong showing against Hawke’s Bay will take.

“We have to be strong at set-piece, make our tackles and win our rucks — it’ll be a bonus if we can upset theirs,” he said.

“Our boys have a great challenge ahead, we’re all looking forward to it.”

Roddick’s increasingly close-knit team include first-year players who have come back from Year 9 and 10 tournaments to go at it with sizeable opposition. That takes courage.

“It’s a privilege to be able to lead the boys out in the red jersey and the boys go harder for Poumana, knowing he isn’t able to play,” Roddick said.

“We’ll stick to our structure and go into the game with a good mentality. Hawke’s Bay will field a strong team and so we will need to rise to the occasion.”

Hawke’s Bay will be led by fullback Jayden Stok, who scored a try on the left wing in the national Top 4 final.

“Coming up against some Gizzy boys that we’ve played in the past will be good,” said the Napier Boys’ High School first 15 speedster.

“It’ll be a physical game as always, and we’re up for that.”

Stok is one of three returners in a Hawke’s Bay side who boast a pair of 6ft 4in locks and three front-row forwards of 110 kilograms-plus.

Wellington beat Hawke’s Bay 41-32 last Saturday in Palmerston North but Hawke’s Bay coach Andy Green is wary of a Poverty Bay crew whose fighting qualities define them.

“If we turn up thinking we’ve already won, we’re going to return home well-beaten,” said Green, who has brought nine players up with him from last year’s Hawke’s Bay u16 development team.

“The loss to Wellington put everyone on notice. We have to front up and execute the basics.”

Wairoa-based Matt Smith will referee the game.

POVERTY BAY UNDER-16s, 1-22: Edward Fili-Weti, Isaiah Kiwara, Kitini Taihuka, Te Kauri Waitoa, Setefano Tolu, Lochi Mead, Amos Roddick (captain), Henare Brooking, Jordan Christie, Anaru Paenga-Morgan, Lyric Baty-Akurangi, Tuteari Lamont, Whetu King-Taufa, Te Aotahi Tuhaka, Tyrese Tuwairua-Brown. Reserves: Reef Roberts, Max Briant, John Hustler, Noah Totoro, Kayleb Te Whare, Von Huata, Bryan Howard.

Lambton Square is the crucible.

The Wairoa rugby ground is the venue for the Poverty Bay under-16s’ clash with Hawke’s Bay — the first competition game of the Hurricanes Youth Rugby Council tournament.

The Bay’s 34-21 come-from-behind win against Thames Valley at the Rectory ground a fortnight ago and last Saturday’s heroic 26-14 victory against Wairarapa-Bush at Tremain Field in Napier were hard-fought games.

The side lost centre Poumana Gemmell to a broken right thumb in his most-valuable-player performance against the Valley, but Gemmell’s co-captain, openside flanker Amos Roddick (who also scored a try that day), has stepped up to lead with skill and toughness.

At Tremain Field, the Bush’s big ball-carrying forwards found hard driving shoulders in the tackle from the likes of loosehead prop Edward Fili-Weti.

And the Bay forwards coach, Lee Brothers Shield (Poverty Bay) and Rangiora Keelan Memorial Shield (East Coast) winner Willie Waitoa, knows what a strong showing against Hawke’s Bay will take.

“We have to be strong at set-piece, make our tackles and win our rucks — it’ll be a bonus if we can upset theirs,” he said.

“Our boys have a great challenge ahead, we’re all looking forward to it.”

Roddick’s increasingly close-knit team include first-year players who have come back from Year 9 and 10 tournaments to go at it with sizeable opposition. That takes courage.

“It’s a privilege to be able to lead the boys out in the red jersey and the boys go harder for Poumana, knowing he isn’t able to play,” Roddick said.

“We’ll stick to our structure and go into the game with a good mentality. Hawke’s Bay will field a strong team and so we will need to rise to the occasion.”

Hawke’s Bay will be led by fullback Jayden Stok, who scored a try on the left wing in the national Top 4 final.

“Coming up against some Gizzy boys that we’ve played in the past will be good,” said the Napier Boys’ High School first 15 speedster.

“It’ll be a physical game as always, and we’re up for that.”

Stok is one of three returners in a Hawke’s Bay side who boast a pair of 6ft 4in locks and three front-row forwards of 110 kilograms-plus.

Wellington beat Hawke’s Bay 41-32 last Saturday in Palmerston North but Hawke’s Bay coach Andy Green is wary of a Poverty Bay crew whose fighting qualities define them.

“If we turn up thinking we’ve already won, we’re going to return home well-beaten,” said Green, who has brought nine players up with him from last year’s Hawke’s Bay u16 development team.

“The loss to Wellington put everyone on notice. We have to front up and execute the basics.”

Wairoa-based Matt Smith will referee the game.

POVERTY BAY UNDER-16s, 1-22: Edward Fili-Weti, Isaiah Kiwara, Kitini Taihuka, Te Kauri Waitoa, Setefano Tolu, Lochi Mead, Amos Roddick (captain), Henare Brooking, Jordan Christie, Anaru Paenga-Morgan, Lyric Baty-Akurangi, Tuteari Lamont, Whetu King-Taufa, Te Aotahi Tuhaka, Tyrese Tuwairua-Brown. Reserves: Reef Roberts, Max Briant, John Hustler, Noah Totoro, Kayleb Te Whare, Von Huata, Bryan Howard.

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