Promise shown in u20 series

PROMISING PLAYMAKER: Yvarne Carroll played at first five-eighth for the Poverty Bay under-20s in a series of three games. He is pictured against Horowhenua-Kapiti at Rugby Park on August 3. Picture by Paul Rickard

RUGBY

POVERTY Bay’s under-20 rugby side had three losses in a Hurricanes regional series but showed promise and could be well placed for a stronger showing next year.

Up to a dozen players are in line to be back in 2020.

Poverty Bay had their moments in a double-header in Palmerston North at the weekend.

They came within a whisker of scoring two or three more tries against Wairarapa Bush on Saturday, eventually going down 50-14.

They got out to a 19-8 lead on Sunday against Wanganui, who came back in the second half to take the game 22-19.

Wirihana Raihania, one of the Poverty Bay coaches, said he felt they were starting to click as a unit and, despite the score-line, their strongest performance was probably against Wairarapa Bush, who went on to win the title.

“It was an excellent game. We were proud of the effort,” he said.

Poverty Bay went into the double-header looking to improve on a 41-13 loss to Horowhenua-Kapiti the previous weekend at Rugby Park.

“Several of the guys took forward steps,” Raihania said.

Captain and Ngatapa loose forward Chase Sheridan and Gisborne Boys’ High School lock Ofa Tauatevalu were named in the Hurricanes u20s, alongside OBM hooker Ethan Brett, who played in the Horowhenua-Kapiti game.

Brett didn’t travel to Palmerston North, playing instead for the NZ Marist under-23 side against Poverty Bay’s development team and impressed in that game.

Jason Paul (Nuhaka), James Law (Ngatapa), Blake Beard (OBM) and Seth Lundon (YMP) were among the forwards to do well for the Poverty Bay u20s.

Tauatevalu and Kristen Munro (Nuhaka) scored tries against Wairarapa Bush.

Sheridan, Rerehau Grennell (Nuhaka) and Genesis Bartlett-Tamatea (YMP) scored tries against Wanganui.

Team manager Tuki Sweeney said several van-loads of whanau from Wairoa, Nuhaka and Gisborne went to Palmerston North to support the side.

“We knew as a small union we had to step up to a level much higher than the guys have ever experienced, so with the right coaches in David McDonald, Wirihana Raihania and Sione Ngatu, we had the resources to challenge those teams with an abundance of players to pick from.”

They had about a month of preparation, which included a fair amount of travel for some players.

“We had to quickly build a team so they would believe in themselves, that they could compete at that level.”

He said the teams came together in a huddle ahead of Saturday’s game to pay their respects after the death of New Zealand rugby great Sir Brian Lochore, who was from Wairarapa.

“We all could feel the emotion of their team — we knew it was going to be a battle but we fought hard,” Sweeney said.

They were on top against Wanganui.

“The passion the guys showed was outstanding, through tough defence and a never-say-die attitude.”

Sheridan carried three defenders with him to score his try, Bartlett-Tamatea out-paced the opposition for his and Grennell grabbed an intercept try, “raising the travelling supporters to a roar”.

However, with a Poverty Bay player in the sin-bin, Wanganui clawed their way back to win.

The players stayed at the Sport and Rugby Institute in Palmerston North, where they were introduced to innovations such as the indoor turf and ice baths.

Wairarapa Bush had their name engraved on the u20s trophy for the first time in 12 years after a thrilling one-point win against Horowhenua-Kapiti, who were the defending champions.

RUGBY

POVERTY Bay’s under-20 rugby side had three losses in a Hurricanes regional series but showed promise and could be well placed for a stronger showing next year.

Up to a dozen players are in line to be back in 2020.

Poverty Bay had their moments in a double-header in Palmerston North at the weekend.

They came within a whisker of scoring two or three more tries against Wairarapa Bush on Saturday, eventually going down 50-14.

They got out to a 19-8 lead on Sunday against Wanganui, who came back in the second half to take the game 22-19.

Wirihana Raihania, one of the Poverty Bay coaches, said he felt they were starting to click as a unit and, despite the score-line, their strongest performance was probably against Wairarapa Bush, who went on to win the title.

“It was an excellent game. We were proud of the effort,” he said.

Poverty Bay went into the double-header looking to improve on a 41-13 loss to Horowhenua-Kapiti the previous weekend at Rugby Park.

“Several of the guys took forward steps,” Raihania said.

Captain and Ngatapa loose forward Chase Sheridan and Gisborne Boys’ High School lock Ofa Tauatevalu were named in the Hurricanes u20s, alongside OBM hooker Ethan Brett, who played in the Horowhenua-Kapiti game.

Brett didn’t travel to Palmerston North, playing instead for the NZ Marist under-23 side against Poverty Bay’s development team and impressed in that game.

Jason Paul (Nuhaka), James Law (Ngatapa), Blake Beard (OBM) and Seth Lundon (YMP) were among the forwards to do well for the Poverty Bay u20s.

Tauatevalu and Kristen Munro (Nuhaka) scored tries against Wairarapa Bush.

Sheridan, Rerehau Grennell (Nuhaka) and Genesis Bartlett-Tamatea (YMP) scored tries against Wanganui.

Team manager Tuki Sweeney said several van-loads of whanau from Wairoa, Nuhaka and Gisborne went to Palmerston North to support the side.

“We knew as a small union we had to step up to a level much higher than the guys have ever experienced, so with the right coaches in David McDonald, Wirihana Raihania and Sione Ngatu, we had the resources to challenge those teams with an abundance of players to pick from.”

They had about a month of preparation, which included a fair amount of travel for some players.

“We had to quickly build a team so they would believe in themselves, that they could compete at that level.”

He said the teams came together in a huddle ahead of Saturday’s game to pay their respects after the death of New Zealand rugby great Sir Brian Lochore, who was from Wairarapa.

“We all could feel the emotion of their team — we knew it was going to be a battle but we fought hard,” Sweeney said.

They were on top against Wanganui.

“The passion the guys showed was outstanding, through tough defence and a never-say-die attitude.”

Sheridan carried three defenders with him to score his try, Bartlett-Tamatea out-paced the opposition for his and Grennell grabbed an intercept try, “raising the travelling supporters to a roar”.

However, with a Poverty Bay player in the sin-bin, Wanganui clawed their way back to win.

The players stayed at the Sport and Rugby Institute in Palmerston North, where they were introduced to innovations such as the indoor turf and ice baths.

Wairarapa Bush had their name engraved on the u20s trophy for the first time in 12 years after a thrilling one-point win against Horowhenua-Kapiti, who were the defending champions.

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