YMP and OBM go head-to-head in Lee Bros Shield showdown

POWER AND PACE: OBM openside flanker Adrian Wyrill fends off YMP first five-eighth Brian Whaitiri-White in their most recent match. OBM won the game 49-10 and the two teams meet again in tomorrow’s final. Picture by Paul Rickard
POTENTIAL GAME-BREAKER: Whaimotu Craft-Chemis could be a threat for YMP at centre. Picture by Paul Rickard

RUGBY

FIRE, intensity and rugby smarts — striking the right balance between passion and composure — might be how the Lee Bros Shield is won.

The Poverty Bay club rugby premier-grade final between OBM and YMP at Rugby Park tomorrow promises to be compelling.

Enterprise Cars OBM have consistently produced strong team performances but coach Trevor Crosby knows anything might happen in a one-off game and his players need to have their minds on the job.

YMP have strike power.

OBM haven’t won the Lee Bros Shield since 2004.

YMP’s most recent championship was in 2010.

“These are the games you remember for life,” Crosby said.

It’s a battle between the top qualifiers and the team who went through the first half of the regular season unbeaten.

YMP were hot through most of the first round and produced some sizzling breakout tries. They have been patchy since but were terrific in their semifinal showdown against 2018 champions Waikohu, a game they won 21-19 in extra time.

OBM have lost once this season — against YMP in Round 1 — and they’ve looked better and better as the season has progressed.

Crosby expects no shortage of passion from YMP.

“They’ll come out fire and brimstone,” he said.

“We have to meet their fire with the same intensity.”

He is also urging his team to play smart.

They did just that two weeks ago, when they earned themselves a spot in the final by accounting for YMP in wet conditions, 49-10.

“We respect YMP for what they can provide,” Crosby said.

“They’ve come back (after their loss to OBM) and played some hard rugby.

“They’ve got a lot of individual stars, whereas we’ve got a collection of good players.

“We work as a collective.”

To be fair, OBM have some players in their ranks who have stood out. Adrian Wyrill has been magnificent at No.7, Gabe Te Kani is an athletic and strong loose forward and Mark Atkins is a standout No.12.

YMP do, though, have potential game-breakers in fullback Jayden Milner, centre or wing Te Peehi Fairlie, wing Nathan Rangihuna and centre Whaimotu Craft-Chemis.

Their own No.12, Reihana Wyllie, loves to take the ball into contact and the likes of No.8 Jesse Kapene and lock Willis Tamatea are prepared to work hard.

But OBM inside backs Willy Grogan and Jake Holmes have shown their class in previous matches against YMP and should again rise to the challenge.

Crosby said the club, its players and management were “all on the same waka”.

“They all want to work hard for each other.”

YMP’s form has been mixed since an off-field incident in May and coach Steve Smith lamented unhelpful distractions.

Smith objected to The Gisborne Herald’s reporting about five of his players being suspended amid allegations of assault.

The suspensions ended before the playoffs but a police investigation continues.

A second article about the incident ran on Tuesday, which Smith said was poor timing.

“We’ve been through quite a bit,” he said.

“If any team deserves the shield, it’s this team.

“We’re focusing on the game.”

Smith declined to comment on how his team were shaping up for the final.

Players and management had also been advised not to say anything about the team.

Crosby said OBM were refining their game plan and would be able to adapt to conditions.

“We need to be switched on,” he said.

“Steve’s got a good squad.”

The final kicks off at 3pm and will be refereed by Damien Macpherson.

RUGBY

FIRE, intensity and rugby smarts — striking the right balance between passion and composure — might be how the Lee Bros Shield is won.

The Poverty Bay club rugby premier-grade final between OBM and YMP at Rugby Park tomorrow promises to be compelling.

Enterprise Cars OBM have consistently produced strong team performances but coach Trevor Crosby knows anything might happen in a one-off game and his players need to have their minds on the job.

YMP have strike power.

OBM haven’t won the Lee Bros Shield since 2004.

YMP’s most recent championship was in 2010.

“These are the games you remember for life,” Crosby said.

It’s a battle between the top qualifiers and the team who went through the first half of the regular season unbeaten.

YMP were hot through most of the first round and produced some sizzling breakout tries. They have been patchy since but were terrific in their semifinal showdown against 2018 champions Waikohu, a game they won 21-19 in extra time.

OBM have lost once this season — against YMP in Round 1 — and they’ve looked better and better as the season has progressed.

Crosby expects no shortage of passion from YMP.

“They’ll come out fire and brimstone,” he said.

“We have to meet their fire with the same intensity.”

He is also urging his team to play smart.

They did just that two weeks ago, when they earned themselves a spot in the final by accounting for YMP in wet conditions, 49-10.

“We respect YMP for what they can provide,” Crosby said.

“They’ve come back (after their loss to OBM) and played some hard rugby.

“They’ve got a lot of individual stars, whereas we’ve got a collection of good players.

“We work as a collective.”

To be fair, OBM have some players in their ranks who have stood out. Adrian Wyrill has been magnificent at No.7, Gabe Te Kani is an athletic and strong loose forward and Mark Atkins is a standout No.12.

YMP do, though, have potential game-breakers in fullback Jayden Milner, centre or wing Te Peehi Fairlie, wing Nathan Rangihuna and centre Whaimotu Craft-Chemis.

Their own No.12, Reihana Wyllie, loves to take the ball into contact and the likes of No.8 Jesse Kapene and lock Willis Tamatea are prepared to work hard.

But OBM inside backs Willy Grogan and Jake Holmes have shown their class in previous matches against YMP and should again rise to the challenge.

Crosby said the club, its players and management were “all on the same waka”.

“They all want to work hard for each other.”

YMP’s form has been mixed since an off-field incident in May and coach Steve Smith lamented unhelpful distractions.

Smith objected to The Gisborne Herald’s reporting about five of his players being suspended amid allegations of assault.

The suspensions ended before the playoffs but a police investigation continues.

A second article about the incident ran on Tuesday, which Smith said was poor timing.

“We’ve been through quite a bit,” he said.

“If any team deserves the shield, it’s this team.

“We’re focusing on the game.”

Smith declined to comment on how his team were shaping up for the final.

Players and management had also been advised not to say anything about the team.

Crosby said OBM were refining their game plan and would be able to adapt to conditions.

“We need to be switched on,” he said.

“Steve’s got a good squad.”

The final kicks off at 3pm and will be refereed by Damien Macpherson.

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Dana Wyllie, Brisbane - 1 month ago
What an absolute disgrace. Instead of concentrating on both teams in the game and especially on rugby itself, you lower your standards by including one team's misfortune.

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