YMP earn title shot

Extra-time 21-19 win ‘finals footy at its finest’.

Extra-time 21-19 win ‘finals footy at its finest’.

CHARGING AHEAD: YMP blindside flanker Isaiah Leach tries to escape the clutches of Waikohu lock Richard Green. YMP won the match 21-19 in extra time and will play in the final against OBM on Saturday. Picture by Paul Rickard

YMP have stormed into the final of Poverty Bay rugby’s premier club competition but Waikohu gave them one hell of a workout in an epic encounter that went to extra time.

Even after 100 minutes, the drama was not over at Rugby Park on Saturday.

Down 21-14 and with time up on the clock, never-say-die GT Shearing Waikohu assaulted YMP’s goal-line and replacement forward Sonny Campbell crashed over, setting up a tough conversion for goal-kicker Kelvin Smith to level the scores.

Smith, who had already nailed a conversion about seven metres from the right touch-line five minutes before full-time, was unable to repeat the feat in extra time and YMP came out the victors, 21-19.

YMP will play OBM in the final this week.

Waikohu, the 2018 champions, could hardly have shown more championship qualities in defeat.

Their courage was underscored by the state of their substitutes bench, as they were again short of replacements they could throw into the fray.

YMP, by contrast, had a strong bench that included centre Whaimotu Craft-Chemis, who scored a try at the start of extra-time.

They also brought Pamona Samupo on to the wing and he contributed some heroic defence and kicked two conversions.

Both sides took advantage of the fine weather to play enterprising and passionate rugby, but YMP’s defence was also much improved on recent weeks and that helped get them through to their second final in two years.

YMP coach Steve Smith said his team needed to lift their standards after the previous week’s loss against OBM, and they did.

“We’re not just happy to be in the final,” he said. “This year, we want to go a step further.”

He had nothing but praise for Waikohu.

“It was finals footy at its finest — two Maori teams going at it.

“Neither side gave an inch.

“It was good, hard rugby, right to the wire.”

Smith said No.8 Jesse Kapene was a “warrior” for YMP and blindside flanker Isaiah Leach gave his all.

Leach had several big runs and Jayden Milner was a constant threat at fullback.

Waikohu coach Jason Tuapawa said his team stayed strong till the end.

“In that last 10 minutes of extra time, they were tired, physically, but they weren’t down.

“We were always going to be in this game. We didn’t give up.”

Both teams produced great performances and YMP “just didn’t want to lose”.

The Waikohu scrum had the opposition under pressure and centre Ethine Reeves often shrugged off defenders.

YMP scored the first try after half an hour through lock Willis Tamatea.

Waikohu threatened to hit back before halftime, but YMP prop Axel Campbell snared a crucial turnover and another surge from Waikohu was repelled by some desperate defence.

YMP led 7-0 at halftime but Waikohu scored three minutes after the break with a try to lock Richard Green. The try was converted.

Eru Wharerau, from YMP, became the third lock to score a try about 10 minutes later and Samupo kicked the conversion, putting them ahead 14-7.

Waikohu fullback Larry Fleming scored a try with five minutes to play and Smith kicked the conversion, sending the game into extra time.

With a deficit to make up after Craft-Chemis scored for YMP and with extra time winding up, Waikohu went into overdrive.

Reeves, hooker and captain Geoff Pari, prop Toru Noanoa, flanker Lynden Manuel and winger-midfield back Jesse Fleming all made strong charges for the goal-line.

Then Campbell crashed over, just as he had in their previous knockout game against High School Old Boys.

This time, it wasn’t quite enough to keep the season alive for Waikohu, and YMP earned their shot at taking on a strong OBM side in the final.

YMP 21 (Willis Tamatea, Eru Wharerau, Whaimotu Craft-Chemis tries; Brian Whaitiri-White con, Pamona Samupo 2 con) Waikohu 19 (Richard Green, Larry Fleming, Sonny Campbell tries; Kelvin Smith 2 con).

HT: 7-0 (YMP). FT: 14-14.

YMP have stormed into the final of Poverty Bay rugby’s premier club competition but Waikohu gave them one hell of a workout in an epic encounter that went to extra time.

Even after 100 minutes, the drama was not over at Rugby Park on Saturday.

Down 21-14 and with time up on the clock, never-say-die GT Shearing Waikohu assaulted YMP’s goal-line and replacement forward Sonny Campbell crashed over, setting up a tough conversion for goal-kicker Kelvin Smith to level the scores.

Smith, who had already nailed a conversion about seven metres from the right touch-line five minutes before full-time, was unable to repeat the feat in extra time and YMP came out the victors, 21-19.

YMP will play OBM in the final this week.

Waikohu, the 2018 champions, could hardly have shown more championship qualities in defeat.

Their courage was underscored by the state of their substitutes bench, as they were again short of replacements they could throw into the fray.

YMP, by contrast, had a strong bench that included centre Whaimotu Craft-Chemis, who scored a try at the start of extra-time.

They also brought Pamona Samupo on to the wing and he contributed some heroic defence and kicked two conversions.

Both sides took advantage of the fine weather to play enterprising and passionate rugby, but YMP’s defence was also much improved on recent weeks and that helped get them through to their second final in two years.

YMP coach Steve Smith said his team needed to lift their standards after the previous week’s loss against OBM, and they did.

“We’re not just happy to be in the final,” he said. “This year, we want to go a step further.”

He had nothing but praise for Waikohu.

“It was finals footy at its finest — two Maori teams going at it.

“Neither side gave an inch.

“It was good, hard rugby, right to the wire.”

Smith said No.8 Jesse Kapene was a “warrior” for YMP and blindside flanker Isaiah Leach gave his all.

Leach had several big runs and Jayden Milner was a constant threat at fullback.

Waikohu coach Jason Tuapawa said his team stayed strong till the end.

“In that last 10 minutes of extra time, they were tired, physically, but they weren’t down.

“We were always going to be in this game. We didn’t give up.”

Both teams produced great performances and YMP “just didn’t want to lose”.

The Waikohu scrum had the opposition under pressure and centre Ethine Reeves often shrugged off defenders.

YMP scored the first try after half an hour through lock Willis Tamatea.

Waikohu threatened to hit back before halftime, but YMP prop Axel Campbell snared a crucial turnover and another surge from Waikohu was repelled by some desperate defence.

YMP led 7-0 at halftime but Waikohu scored three minutes after the break with a try to lock Richard Green. The try was converted.

Eru Wharerau, from YMP, became the third lock to score a try about 10 minutes later and Samupo kicked the conversion, putting them ahead 14-7.

Waikohu fullback Larry Fleming scored a try with five minutes to play and Smith kicked the conversion, sending the game into extra time.

With a deficit to make up after Craft-Chemis scored for YMP and with extra time winding up, Waikohu went into overdrive.

Reeves, hooker and captain Geoff Pari, prop Toru Noanoa, flanker Lynden Manuel and winger-midfield back Jesse Fleming all made strong charges for the goal-line.

Then Campbell crashed over, just as he had in their previous knockout game against High School Old Boys.

This time, it wasn’t quite enough to keep the season alive for Waikohu, and YMP earned their shot at taking on a strong OBM side in the final.

YMP 21 (Willis Tamatea, Eru Wharerau, Whaimotu Craft-Chemis tries; Brian Whaitiri-White con, Pamona Samupo 2 con) Waikohu 19 (Richard Green, Larry Fleming, Sonny Campbell tries; Kelvin Smith 2 con).

HT: 7-0 (YMP). FT: 14-14.

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