Big win for Hikurangi

SCRUM TIME: Right, the Uawa front row of Moana Nuku (left), Wyntah Riki and Laman Davies pack down against Ruatoria City, with flanker Rikki Kenohan on the near side and Adaam Ross at No.8. Picture by Tania Hunter
MAKING A BREAK: Above, Hikurangi halfback Hamuera Baker heads upfield in their 87-5 centenary weekend win over Tokomaru Bay United. Picture by Doone Harrison

It was The Maunga’s moment in the sun.

Hikurangi capped their centenary weekend — 100 years of one of the East Coast rugby competition’s great clubs — by eclipsing Tokomaru Bay United 87-5 on Saturday.

Coach Doone Harrison’s side outscored the visitors by 15 tries to one in the hosts’ return match at Kahuitara, their historic home ground, before perhaps 500 fans in near-perfect conditions.

Tanetoa Parata (who played left-wing in the first half, right wing in the second half) scored four tries, first-five Neihana Ratahi-Brown got a hat-trick, fullback Aomuri Parata grabbed a double with the captain — No.8 Te Kaiwi Parata — also scoring a try in his 100th game for Hikurangi. Halfback Hamuera Baker, wing Hone Manuel, second-five Corey Walker, centre Billy Manuel, reserve prop Te Raenawe Parata and tighthead prop Putahi Morice also dotted down.

Hikurangi’s Most Valuable Player in Week 9 — the second week of the second-round quest for the Jury Harrison Memorial Trophy — Morice had the signal honour, as he made the left corner at the two-minute mark, of scoring the first try at Kahuitara in the modern era.

Ratahi-Brown, Manuel and reserve right-wing Fabyan Kahaki kicked a conversion apiece with Tanetoa Parata landing three conversions, as against a first-half try to Tokomaru Bay United’s giant loosehead prop Gary Rangi. The hosts led 39-5 at half-time.

Mutual respect was shown by the teams and United deserve great credit for taking the field with 13 men and fighting hard against a fired-up Hikurangi. United coach Daryl Goldsmith rolled up his sleeves at lock, a fact not lost on his opposite.

“I commend their captain first-five Matt Marino and his men for being part of a special day for our club,” said Harrison. “We were very impressed by their No.8, Tupou Taliauli — I thought he had a brilliant game.”

Taliauli ran very hard with the ball in hand from the outset, invariably beating his first would-be tackler; he was United’s sole try-scorer in the 83-7 loss to Uawa in Week 7.

Both Marino and Goldsmith paid tribute to Hikurangi for a superb, unselfish display: especially noticeable was their quality interplay between forwards and backs, with the tries to Morice and Te Kaiwi Parata being just two of The Maunga’s magic moments.

That’s how it began — a simple penalty goal from the right boot of Tokararangi superboot first-five Slade Tiopira seven minutes into their home game v Hicks Bay gave no clue that an epic was well under way.

Tokararangi won 54-36, having led 16-5 at the break, to retain the Harold Puha and Jum Reedy Memorial Trophies for the year in a game that saw a powerful display from their MVP, blindside flanker Manahi Brooking, and exploded with 10 tries in the second half.

Captain No.8 Hone Haerewa, halfback Taylor Hovell, left-wing Te Aho Haenga, centre Te Kooti Kingi, right-wing William Martin, reserve centre Piripi Abraham and reserve right-wing Kiwa Haig scored tries for the hosts.

Tiopira landed five conversions and three penalties in what was a seven-tries-to-six humdinger. Were it not for his boot, Hicks Bay might well have prevailed.

As it was, Hicks Bay had their own heroes: hooker Jim Hovell, centre Tony Swinton, loosehead prop Josh King, halfback Tyrone Delamere, No.8 Anton King and left-wing William Blair were their try-scorers, MVP Anton King kicking two conversions. First-five Leyth Delamere converted the visitors’ first try, that of Hovell, in the 23rd minute.

Hicks Bay manager Graeme Summersby complimented referee Whetu Haerewa on an excellent display with the whistle and Tokararangi on their expansive brand of rugby; and the role that Taylor Hovell and Tiopira played in facilitating that.

“It was a fast game and Hone Haerewa, the Tokararangi captain, led by example,” said Summersby, a former president of the East Coast Rugby Union.

“Our forward pack played well — we were in good shape when they had the ball: we had momentum then.”

The Tokararangi captain shared Summersby’s sentiments: “The game might have started off a bit slowly but once both sets of forwards got rolling, so did the game — it would have been a good game to watch. Slade kicked at 100 percent but a couple of our forwards wanted to be first-fives as well . . . they missed a couple of kicks.”

East Coast clubs are made of stern stuff — Ruatoria City proved that on Saturday, despite a bruising defeat at the hands of Uawa.

First-round winners Uawa, proud holders of the Kath McLean Memorial Trophy, swamped the visitors 71-0: big left-wing Niao Savage scored a hat-trick of tries, with a double to right-wing Tipene Meihana and a try each to MVP loosehead prop Laman Davies, lock Kerehama Blackman, No.8 Adaam Ross, first-five Jordan Patrick, second-five Jordan Birch, fullback BJ Sidney, reserve second-five-cum-centre Jesse Rye and reserve left-wing Brian Mitchell. First-five Chris Richardson kicked three conversions in the game.

Uawa led 36-0 at the break, but the likes of City tighthead prop Pera Bishop and his captain, lock Tim Barbarich, never stopped working.

Towering lock Blackman scored the first points of the contest with a try five minutes in; it was unconverted.

At the 12-minute mark, there followed perhaps the game’s most memorable try. At the 22m mark, on the right side of the ground, Uawa openside flanker Rikki Kernohan won a lineout against the throw: tap ball down to Ross. Ross found Richardson, whose jet-pass to Patrick preceded a superb long ball to the hard-charging Birch. Birch drew two men and was good enough to put Savage away in the corner. It was a clinical, classy piece of rugby.

It was The Maunga’s moment in the sun.

Hikurangi capped their centenary weekend — 100 years of one of the East Coast rugby competition’s great clubs — by eclipsing Tokomaru Bay United 87-5 on Saturday.

Coach Doone Harrison’s side outscored the visitors by 15 tries to one in the hosts’ return match at Kahuitara, their historic home ground, before perhaps 500 fans in near-perfect conditions.

Tanetoa Parata (who played left-wing in the first half, right wing in the second half) scored four tries, first-five Neihana Ratahi-Brown got a hat-trick, fullback Aomuri Parata grabbed a double with the captain — No.8 Te Kaiwi Parata — also scoring a try in his 100th game for Hikurangi. Halfback Hamuera Baker, wing Hone Manuel, second-five Corey Walker, centre Billy Manuel, reserve prop Te Raenawe Parata and tighthead prop Putahi Morice also dotted down.

Hikurangi’s Most Valuable Player in Week 9 — the second week of the second-round quest for the Jury Harrison Memorial Trophy — Morice had the signal honour, as he made the left corner at the two-minute mark, of scoring the first try at Kahuitara in the modern era.

Ratahi-Brown, Manuel and reserve right-wing Fabyan Kahaki kicked a conversion apiece with Tanetoa Parata landing three conversions, as against a first-half try to Tokomaru Bay United’s giant loosehead prop Gary Rangi. The hosts led 39-5 at half-time.

Mutual respect was shown by the teams and United deserve great credit for taking the field with 13 men and fighting hard against a fired-up Hikurangi. United coach Daryl Goldsmith rolled up his sleeves at lock, a fact not lost on his opposite.

“I commend their captain first-five Matt Marino and his men for being part of a special day for our club,” said Harrison. “We were very impressed by their No.8, Tupou Taliauli — I thought he had a brilliant game.”

Taliauli ran very hard with the ball in hand from the outset, invariably beating his first would-be tackler; he was United’s sole try-scorer in the 83-7 loss to Uawa in Week 7.

Both Marino and Goldsmith paid tribute to Hikurangi for a superb, unselfish display: especially noticeable was their quality interplay between forwards and backs, with the tries to Morice and Te Kaiwi Parata being just two of The Maunga’s magic moments.

That’s how it began — a simple penalty goal from the right boot of Tokararangi superboot first-five Slade Tiopira seven minutes into their home game v Hicks Bay gave no clue that an epic was well under way.

Tokararangi won 54-36, having led 16-5 at the break, to retain the Harold Puha and Jum Reedy Memorial Trophies for the year in a game that saw a powerful display from their MVP, blindside flanker Manahi Brooking, and exploded with 10 tries in the second half.

Captain No.8 Hone Haerewa, halfback Taylor Hovell, left-wing Te Aho Haenga, centre Te Kooti Kingi, right-wing William Martin, reserve centre Piripi Abraham and reserve right-wing Kiwa Haig scored tries for the hosts.

Tiopira landed five conversions and three penalties in what was a seven-tries-to-six humdinger. Were it not for his boot, Hicks Bay might well have prevailed.

As it was, Hicks Bay had their own heroes: hooker Jim Hovell, centre Tony Swinton, loosehead prop Josh King, halfback Tyrone Delamere, No.8 Anton King and left-wing William Blair were their try-scorers, MVP Anton King kicking two conversions. First-five Leyth Delamere converted the visitors’ first try, that of Hovell, in the 23rd minute.

Hicks Bay manager Graeme Summersby complimented referee Whetu Haerewa on an excellent display with the whistle and Tokararangi on their expansive brand of rugby; and the role that Taylor Hovell and Tiopira played in facilitating that.

“It was a fast game and Hone Haerewa, the Tokararangi captain, led by example,” said Summersby, a former president of the East Coast Rugby Union.

“Our forward pack played well — we were in good shape when they had the ball: we had momentum then.”

The Tokararangi captain shared Summersby’s sentiments: “The game might have started off a bit slowly but once both sets of forwards got rolling, so did the game — it would have been a good game to watch. Slade kicked at 100 percent but a couple of our forwards wanted to be first-fives as well . . . they missed a couple of kicks.”

East Coast clubs are made of stern stuff — Ruatoria City proved that on Saturday, despite a bruising defeat at the hands of Uawa.

First-round winners Uawa, proud holders of the Kath McLean Memorial Trophy, swamped the visitors 71-0: big left-wing Niao Savage scored a hat-trick of tries, with a double to right-wing Tipene Meihana and a try each to MVP loosehead prop Laman Davies, lock Kerehama Blackman, No.8 Adaam Ross, first-five Jordan Patrick, second-five Jordan Birch, fullback BJ Sidney, reserve second-five-cum-centre Jesse Rye and reserve left-wing Brian Mitchell. First-five Chris Richardson kicked three conversions in the game.

Uawa led 36-0 at the break, but the likes of City tighthead prop Pera Bishop and his captain, lock Tim Barbarich, never stopped working.

Towering lock Blackman scored the first points of the contest with a try five minutes in; it was unconverted.

At the 12-minute mark, there followed perhaps the game’s most memorable try. At the 22m mark, on the right side of the ground, Uawa openside flanker Rikki Kernohan won a lineout against the throw: tap ball down to Ross. Ross found Richardson, whose jet-pass to Patrick preceded a superb long ball to the hard-charging Birch. Birch drew two men and was good enough to put Savage away in the corner. It was a clinical, classy piece of rugby.

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