Uawa go one up over rivals

ON THE SCORESHEET: Uawa fullback BJSidney scored his side’s final try in their 32-7 victory over Hikurangi at Tolaga Bay on Saturday. File picture by Paul Rickard

A man can be bigger than the game.

Or at the least, Ngati Porou East Coast forward Horace Lewis — who passed away in Ruatoria at the age of 51 last Friday — brought it to a standstill momentarily before Uawa and Hikurangi resumed one of East Coast club rugby’s fiercest rivalries on Saturday.

In front of a crowd of 400, reigning champions Uawa dominated field position, their big pack and supremely confident backs countering Hikurangi’s passion with skill-execution at speed.

Uawa won 32-7. Left wing Tee Paenga scored twice, with one try each to hooker Wyntah Riki, right wing Tipene Meihana and fullback BJ Sidney. Halfback Chris Richardson kicked a penalty goal and two conversions.

Hikurangi, who trailed 10-0 at the break, were awarded a penalty try in the second half, which made the score 18-7.

Uawa captain lock Scott Lasenby knew this Week 3 top-of-the-table clash would be hard-fought.

“Us versus Hikurangi is one of my favourite games; it’s always played tough,” he said.

Coach Tip Nukunuku was pleased with his team’s focus.

“Everyone did their job,” he said.

“We played good territory, forced errors and executed well. We carried the ball strongly and blew over the top, and we’ve got a backline that complements our forward pack.”

Tighthead prop Laman Davies, anchor of the Uawa scrum, had a superb game, as did giant No.8 Adaam Ross. The two combined at the 58th minute, 10 metres off the right sideline.

Ross, Uawa’s MVP (most valuable player) put a grubber-kick in behind the opposition for the haring Davies.

Uawa blindside flanker Rikki Kernohan was the game’s best lineout jumper but was also shown a yellow card from East Coast referee Richard Tuhaka in the 61st minute.

Hikurangi lock Rhys Walker competed hard with Kernohan in the air, the work-rate of loosehead prop Tahu Walker and openside flanker Trent Proffit was as high as that of any player on show and fullback Fabyan Kahaki was courageous.

On several occasions, on both defence and attack, Kahaki proved reliable and skilful.

Hikurangi — “The Maunga” (mountain) — grafted hard against an Uawa team whose physicality and intensity was several notches up on what it had been in their 75-12 win against Ruatoria City at Whakarua Park, the champions having had a bye on the opening day of the competition.

Uawa hooker Wyntah Riki opened the scoring 14 minutes into Saturday’s clash at Uawa. From an Uawa scrum set two metres out from Hikurangi’s 22 and 10m in from the left touch, Uawa broke openside and four phases later, from a ruck on the goal-line, Richardson’s 10m clearing pass to the left found Riki on the blindside. He went two metres to score for 5-0.

In the 32nd minute, right wing Tipene Meihana scored a super try in the corner. From an Uawa scrum set on halfway, five metres in from the left sideline, the home team’s second five-eighth Jordan Patrick got the ball to flying left wing Tee Paenga. Having been tackled by Hikurangi inside centre Te Hira Matahiki, Paenga released the ball, rose, scooped said ball back up and sent it to Meihana, who was kept wide by Hikurangi openside flanker Trent Proffit.

Neither of Uawa’s first-half tries were converted and both sides had missed touch with line-kicks. The hosts led 10-0 at the break.

Richardson kicked the first goal of the match, a penalty, two minutes into the second half for 13-0.

Paenga scored an astounding try

Then, 56 minutes in, Paenga scored an astounding try. The Uawa pack put pressure on the visitors’ scrum, and were awarded the feed. Uawa — 15m in from the left-side touch, on the 22 — then went down the blind side courtesy of reserve No.8 Storm Moran. Hikurangi halfback Neihana Ratahi-Brown made an excellent tackle on him but, as with Matahiki’s earlier stop on Paenga, Moran released the ball, got to his feet, picked the ball up and hooked a pass to Paenga as he fell in No.8 Karauria Keelan’s tackle. Paenga then slipped by diving reserve right wing Rob Ngarimu to dot down in the left corner: Uawa 18 Hikurangi 0.

In the 62nd minute, following the yellow-carding of Kernohan on the Uawa goal-line, Ratahi-Brown took a tap-kick, swung the ball right and Keelan was knocked into touch as he went to ground the ball in the corner, and Hikurangi were awarded a penalty try.

In the 74th minute, Paenga scored the hosts’ fourth try. Uawa threw the ball in from the left sideline just outside Hikurangi’s 22; Riki having left the field, it was Davies who hit lock Matt Jefferd at No.2 in the six-man line-out, Richardson found Jordan Patrick at first-five, then he passed inside to Paenga. From a standing start, Paenga scythed through five defenders to score under the crossbar.

Richardson’s second goal, his first conversion, gave Uawa a 25-7 lead and on fulltime their vice-captain and fullback BJ Sidney sealed the deal.

From a tap-kick, Hikurangi controlled the ball for six phases before Davies latched on to it for the hosts. From the ensuing midfield ruck 10m inside Uawa territory, Richardson found Sidney, one of the competition’s best finishers. Sidney beat five men to score between the posts, Richardson converted and the final score was 32-7.

Hikurangi captain and hooker Ngarimu Parata felt line-speed was the difference between the teams — his side needed to stop the likes of Meihana and Sidney from getting front-foot ball.

Doone Harrison, coach of the Maunga, knew exactly where, when and how the key battles were fought and won on Saturday: “Uawa played the game at the right end — our end — and pinned us in the corners. They put us under pressure at set-piece and dominated up front.”

As is the custom, in the second-round rematch between these teams, the holders of the Taina (Chaz) Keelan Memorial Trophy — Hikurangi — will defend it against Uawa on June 15.

Hicks Bay delighted by club's 3-3 record

Hicks Bay don’t blow their own trumpet.

But their co-captains — No.8 Frank Taiapa and fullback Sean Murtagh — are secretly delighted (if outwardly calm) about the club’s 3-3 record. They scored 10 tries (final score 64-7) against Tokomaru Bay United, then beat Tokararangi 32-15 at Te Araroa in Week 2. On Saturday they won their first home game of the season, 36-5.

This latest victory, over Ruatoria City, means Hicks Bay go to the top of the table with 15 points.

Uawa, Tihirau Victory Club and Hikurangi all have 10 points for two bonus-point wins, while Tokararangi, City and United have yet to take a competition point.

“We just made little mistakes — the odd handling error, things like that — which slowed us down,” said City coach Lisa Muller.

“Our hooker John Brown made some great tackles for us, and fullback Quentin Takarangi (MVP), openside flanker Raumati White and blindside flanker Curtis Walker-Leawere all ran hard with the ball in hand. Curtis may be only 17 but he brings a real edge to the game.”

Hicks Bay had a strong southerly breeze at their backs in a first half they led 12-5 but the first 20 minutes belonged to the visitors, whose scrummaging and ball-retention during that period were excellent.

City tighthead prop Pera Bishop barged five metres through two would-be tacklers to open the scoring 15m to the left of the posts in the seventh minute, and City led 5-0.

In the 26th minute, Hicks Bay centre Dom Wilson scored and right wing Leyth Delamere converted for a 7-5 lead.

In the 34th, Hicks Bay’s MVP, veteran halfback Tyrone Delamere, brought his experience to bear. Pressure from Hicks Bay cost City the put-in to a five-metre scrum. Tyrone Delamere was not to be stopped. He attacked the blind side and scored nine metres in from the left touch for 12-5.

First-five Ken Lewis scored five minutes after halftime. Hicks Bay made good metres through their maul and, two sets of hands later, Lewis was dotting down 10m to the right of the posts. Leyth Delamere converted for 19-5.

In the 56th minute, from broken play, Tyrone Delamere ran 30m to score his second try, seven metres to the right of the posts. Delamere’s quickness and aggressive running have always made him a handful. Leyth Delamere converted for 26-5.

Lock Weihana Delamere (61st minute) and reserve second-five Teina Huia (79th minute, right corner) put the icing on the hosts’ cake with well-deserved tries.

Hicks Bay manager and former Ngati Porou East Coast rugby president Graeme Summersby praised the efforts of a gutsy City crew.

“City never stopped running and they’ve got some good young backs,” he said.

“They were committed, determined, well-disciplined, well-coached.”

Tihirau Victory Club beat Tokomaru Bay United

Tihirau Victory Club were big winners in Week 3.

The visitors beat Tokomaru Bay United 50-0 at Hatea-a-rangi, having led 33-0 at halftime.

TVC’s MVP, No.8 Kuhu Haweti, and fullback Dion Koopu scored two tries each. Other tryscorers, with one apiece, were lock Hoani Te Moana, second-five Peeti Delamere, centre Willie Ford and reserve lock Hamiora Waititi. Delamere kicked five conversions.

“We had the wind in the first half and played a good structural game,” captain and halfback Moana Mato said.

“Kuhu carried well and was strong at No.8, tighthead prop Rawiri Waititi was cutting with the backs and our defence was strong. Stags were roaring so we were down a few boys who were out hunting.”

United coach Daryl Goldsmith gave his team’s MVP award to blindside flanker Petera Smith for his superb tackling and work at the breakdown.

“Petera’s not a big boy, but he’s got a lot of heart,” Goldsmith said.

“And so has Te Hei Patuwai. He normally plays six for us, but played lock on Saturday — 80 solid minutes of tackling, chasing, giving his all.

“I enjoyed running touch for (referee) Harawira Matahiki, too. He did a good job and the game was played in good spirit.”

A man can be bigger than the game.

Or at the least, Ngati Porou East Coast forward Horace Lewis — who passed away in Ruatoria at the age of 51 last Friday — brought it to a standstill momentarily before Uawa and Hikurangi resumed one of East Coast club rugby’s fiercest rivalries on Saturday.

In front of a crowd of 400, reigning champions Uawa dominated field position, their big pack and supremely confident backs countering Hikurangi’s passion with skill-execution at speed.

Uawa won 32-7. Left wing Tee Paenga scored twice, with one try each to hooker Wyntah Riki, right wing Tipene Meihana and fullback BJ Sidney. Halfback Chris Richardson kicked a penalty goal and two conversions.

Hikurangi, who trailed 10-0 at the break, were awarded a penalty try in the second half, which made the score 18-7.

Uawa captain lock Scott Lasenby knew this Week 3 top-of-the-table clash would be hard-fought.

“Us versus Hikurangi is one of my favourite games; it’s always played tough,” he said.

Coach Tip Nukunuku was pleased with his team’s focus.

“Everyone did their job,” he said.

“We played good territory, forced errors and executed well. We carried the ball strongly and blew over the top, and we’ve got a backline that complements our forward pack.”

Tighthead prop Laman Davies, anchor of the Uawa scrum, had a superb game, as did giant No.8 Adaam Ross. The two combined at the 58th minute, 10 metres off the right sideline.

Ross, Uawa’s MVP (most valuable player) put a grubber-kick in behind the opposition for the haring Davies.

Uawa blindside flanker Rikki Kernohan was the game’s best lineout jumper but was also shown a yellow card from East Coast referee Richard Tuhaka in the 61st minute.

Hikurangi lock Rhys Walker competed hard with Kernohan in the air, the work-rate of loosehead prop Tahu Walker and openside flanker Trent Proffit was as high as that of any player on show and fullback Fabyan Kahaki was courageous.

On several occasions, on both defence and attack, Kahaki proved reliable and skilful.

Hikurangi — “The Maunga” (mountain) — grafted hard against an Uawa team whose physicality and intensity was several notches up on what it had been in their 75-12 win against Ruatoria City at Whakarua Park, the champions having had a bye on the opening day of the competition.

Uawa hooker Wyntah Riki opened the scoring 14 minutes into Saturday’s clash at Uawa. From an Uawa scrum set two metres out from Hikurangi’s 22 and 10m in from the left touch, Uawa broke openside and four phases later, from a ruck on the goal-line, Richardson’s 10m clearing pass to the left found Riki on the blindside. He went two metres to score for 5-0.

In the 32nd minute, right wing Tipene Meihana scored a super try in the corner. From an Uawa scrum set on halfway, five metres in from the left sideline, the home team’s second five-eighth Jordan Patrick got the ball to flying left wing Tee Paenga. Having been tackled by Hikurangi inside centre Te Hira Matahiki, Paenga released the ball, rose, scooped said ball back up and sent it to Meihana, who was kept wide by Hikurangi openside flanker Trent Proffit.

Neither of Uawa’s first-half tries were converted and both sides had missed touch with line-kicks. The hosts led 10-0 at the break.

Richardson kicked the first goal of the match, a penalty, two minutes into the second half for 13-0.

Paenga scored an astounding try

Then, 56 minutes in, Paenga scored an astounding try. The Uawa pack put pressure on the visitors’ scrum, and were awarded the feed. Uawa — 15m in from the left-side touch, on the 22 — then went down the blind side courtesy of reserve No.8 Storm Moran. Hikurangi halfback Neihana Ratahi-Brown made an excellent tackle on him but, as with Matahiki’s earlier stop on Paenga, Moran released the ball, got to his feet, picked the ball up and hooked a pass to Paenga as he fell in No.8 Karauria Keelan’s tackle. Paenga then slipped by diving reserve right wing Rob Ngarimu to dot down in the left corner: Uawa 18 Hikurangi 0.

In the 62nd minute, following the yellow-carding of Kernohan on the Uawa goal-line, Ratahi-Brown took a tap-kick, swung the ball right and Keelan was knocked into touch as he went to ground the ball in the corner, and Hikurangi were awarded a penalty try.

In the 74th minute, Paenga scored the hosts’ fourth try. Uawa threw the ball in from the left sideline just outside Hikurangi’s 22; Riki having left the field, it was Davies who hit lock Matt Jefferd at No.2 in the six-man line-out, Richardson found Jordan Patrick at first-five, then he passed inside to Paenga. From a standing start, Paenga scythed through five defenders to score under the crossbar.

Richardson’s second goal, his first conversion, gave Uawa a 25-7 lead and on fulltime their vice-captain and fullback BJ Sidney sealed the deal.

From a tap-kick, Hikurangi controlled the ball for six phases before Davies latched on to it for the hosts. From the ensuing midfield ruck 10m inside Uawa territory, Richardson found Sidney, one of the competition’s best finishers. Sidney beat five men to score between the posts, Richardson converted and the final score was 32-7.

Hikurangi captain and hooker Ngarimu Parata felt line-speed was the difference between the teams — his side needed to stop the likes of Meihana and Sidney from getting front-foot ball.

Doone Harrison, coach of the Maunga, knew exactly where, when and how the key battles were fought and won on Saturday: “Uawa played the game at the right end — our end — and pinned us in the corners. They put us under pressure at set-piece and dominated up front.”

As is the custom, in the second-round rematch between these teams, the holders of the Taina (Chaz) Keelan Memorial Trophy — Hikurangi — will defend it against Uawa on June 15.

Hicks Bay delighted by club's 3-3 record

Hicks Bay don’t blow their own trumpet.

But their co-captains — No.8 Frank Taiapa and fullback Sean Murtagh — are secretly delighted (if outwardly calm) about the club’s 3-3 record. They scored 10 tries (final score 64-7) against Tokomaru Bay United, then beat Tokararangi 32-15 at Te Araroa in Week 2. On Saturday they won their first home game of the season, 36-5.

This latest victory, over Ruatoria City, means Hicks Bay go to the top of the table with 15 points.

Uawa, Tihirau Victory Club and Hikurangi all have 10 points for two bonus-point wins, while Tokararangi, City and United have yet to take a competition point.

“We just made little mistakes — the odd handling error, things like that — which slowed us down,” said City coach Lisa Muller.

“Our hooker John Brown made some great tackles for us, and fullback Quentin Takarangi (MVP), openside flanker Raumati White and blindside flanker Curtis Walker-Leawere all ran hard with the ball in hand. Curtis may be only 17 but he brings a real edge to the game.”

Hicks Bay had a strong southerly breeze at their backs in a first half they led 12-5 but the first 20 minutes belonged to the visitors, whose scrummaging and ball-retention during that period were excellent.

City tighthead prop Pera Bishop barged five metres through two would-be tacklers to open the scoring 15m to the left of the posts in the seventh minute, and City led 5-0.

In the 26th minute, Hicks Bay centre Dom Wilson scored and right wing Leyth Delamere converted for a 7-5 lead.

In the 34th, Hicks Bay’s MVP, veteran halfback Tyrone Delamere, brought his experience to bear. Pressure from Hicks Bay cost City the put-in to a five-metre scrum. Tyrone Delamere was not to be stopped. He attacked the blind side and scored nine metres in from the left touch for 12-5.

First-five Ken Lewis scored five minutes after halftime. Hicks Bay made good metres through their maul and, two sets of hands later, Lewis was dotting down 10m to the right of the posts. Leyth Delamere converted for 19-5.

In the 56th minute, from broken play, Tyrone Delamere ran 30m to score his second try, seven metres to the right of the posts. Delamere’s quickness and aggressive running have always made him a handful. Leyth Delamere converted for 26-5.

Lock Weihana Delamere (61st minute) and reserve second-five Teina Huia (79th minute, right corner) put the icing on the hosts’ cake with well-deserved tries.

Hicks Bay manager and former Ngati Porou East Coast rugby president Graeme Summersby praised the efforts of a gutsy City crew.

“City never stopped running and they’ve got some good young backs,” he said.

“They were committed, determined, well-disciplined, well-coached.”

Tihirau Victory Club beat Tokomaru Bay United

Tihirau Victory Club were big winners in Week 3.

The visitors beat Tokomaru Bay United 50-0 at Hatea-a-rangi, having led 33-0 at halftime.

TVC’s MVP, No.8 Kuhu Haweti, and fullback Dion Koopu scored two tries each. Other tryscorers, with one apiece, were lock Hoani Te Moana, second-five Peeti Delamere, centre Willie Ford and reserve lock Hamiora Waititi. Delamere kicked five conversions.

“We had the wind in the first half and played a good structural game,” captain and halfback Moana Mato said.

“Kuhu carried well and was strong at No.8, tighthead prop Rawiri Waititi was cutting with the backs and our defence was strong. Stags were roaring so we were down a few boys who were out hunting.”

United coach Daryl Goldsmith gave his team’s MVP award to blindside flanker Petera Smith for his superb tackling and work at the breakdown.

“Petera’s not a big boy, but he’s got a lot of heart,” Goldsmith said.

“And so has Te Hei Patuwai. He normally plays six for us, but played lock on Saturday — 80 solid minutes of tackling, chasing, giving his all.

“I enjoyed running touch for (referee) Harawira Matahiki, too. He did a good job and the game was played in good spirit.”

EAST COAST CLUB RUGBY RESULTS

Uawa 32 Hikurangi 7; Hicks Bay 36 Ruatoria City 5; Tihirau Victory Club 50 Tokomaru Bay United 0.

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