Minnows exceed expectations in club rugby's first round
Good luck predicting the two team which will drop out of Hawke's Bay's premier club rugby competition at the end of the Nash Cup round.
Napier Pirate Rugby and Sports and Tamatea were both being talked about as candidates for relegation in the build up to yesterday's first round. But both teams exceeding expectations with Pirates losing 41-36 to Maddison Trophy holders Hastings Rugby and Sports and Tamatea losing 29-14 to Nash Cup holders Taradale at Bill Mathewson Park.
"Yes everybody had written us off. But I was proud of our boys ... we showed a bit of ticker and fought back to secure two bonus points," Pirates assistant coach Spencer Bethell said.
"All 22 of our players put their hands up as a unit," Bethell added.
Fijian lock Siko Domonibitu, Hurricanes prop Pouri Rakete-Stones, flanker Damien Scott and halfback Liam Batt were all prominent for the visitors.
"It was tough to watch for us at times as there was a bit of rust there," Hastings Rugby and Sports co-coach Andrew Hui said.
His captain, Jacob Devery, who had stints at No 8 and hooker, led the hosts by example with a player-of-the-match performance. Hurricanes midfielder Danny Toala directed play well from first five-eighth while lock Jesse Lesa-Sipaia and flanker Jardine Chung Ching had huge workrates in the pack.
Hastings Rugby and Sports 41 (Jacob Devery, Thomas Agnew, Miracle Lolofie, Jason Long, Jesse Lesa-Sipaia, penalty try tries; Connor McLeod 3 cons, pen), Napier Pirate Rugby and Sports 36 (Pouri Rakete-Stones, Al Momoisea, Damien Scott, Pat Momoisea, Raun Makirere-Haerewa tries; Zion Clarke 2, Paora Manuel-Harman 2 cons; Clarke pen). HT: 26-17.
TARADALE 29 TAMATEA 14
"If you thought Tamatea were an automatic choice for relegation you're wrong ... they are a classy side."
These were the words of Taradale co-coach Tim Combs who was also happy with the effort put in by the visitors.
Flanker Nathan Tweedy was Taradale's player-of-the-match. Halfback Humphrey Sheild and winger Flynn Allen both impressed in the winning backline.
Magpies first-five eighth Lincoln McClutchie was an enterprising fullback for Tamatea. Brothers Ash and Dennon Robinson shone in their respective first five-eighth and centre positions. Magpies hooker Kianu Kereru-Symes and former Magpies prop Mason Kean were inspirational in Tamatea's engine room.
Taradale 29 (Hemaua Samasoni 2, Gene Syminton, Flynn Allen, Kienan Higgins tries; Cam Robinson 2 cons), Tamatea 14 (Shamara Brooks, Lincoln McClutchie tries; Ash Robinson 2 cons). HT: 17-14.
NOBM 38 CLIVE 27
Napier Old Boys Marist coach Ellery Wilson praised the impact of his bench players after this Farndon Park encounter.
"It was a tight game in which we built a lot of pressure but didn't score from on occasions. But in the second half we came through and our bench players provided more impact than their's."
With their victory NOBM took some of the gloss off the celebrations surrounding Clive prop Kereama Peni's 100th premier match for the hosts.
Centre Pedro Bezanilla was the pick of the Green Machine's backs. Openside flanker Paul Lata and tighthead prop James Holbrook were industrious in the winning pack.
Openside flanker and captain Josh Kaifa was outstanding for a Clive side which functioned well in patches. Winger Anthony Wilson, who scored two tries, and halfback Trent Hape (pictured above, photo Chris Kiely) operated well in the riversiders backline.
NOBM 38 (Michael Buckley, Pedro Bezanilla, Pouvi Fatialofa (pictured below, photo Chris Kiely), Alex Williams, Matt Gardner, Liam Edwards tries; Jonty Stewart 4 cons), Clive 27 (Anthony Wilson 2, Josh Kaifa, Anzelo Tuitavuki, Tianua Poto tries; Jayden Falcon con). HT: 19-17.
TECH 35 HAVELOCK 22
Former Baby Blacks prop Tim Farrell was a powerful figure for Napier Technical in this Anderson Park victory.
First five-eighth Tamati Samuels and second five-eighth Ted Walters were enterprising backs in a good first round effort from the Texans under new coach Kerry Lewis.
Havelock North prop Jasper Wyllie had a huge workrate and scored two tries. Second five-eighth Kalin Paewai and winger Epeli Tanadroga made the most of their opportunities in the villagers backline.
Havelock North 35 (Ted Walters, Wade Moore, Tamati Samuels, Ben Lewis, Elijah Martin tries; Sheridan Rangihuna 2 pens, 2 cons), Havelock North 22 (Jasper Wyllie 2, Trinity Spooner-Neera tries; Spooner-Neera 2 cons, pen). HT: 17-10.
MAC 22 CENTRAL 18
Five players made their premier debuts for MAC in this Central Park victory.
MAC manager, Anthony Morley, said all five made the most of their opportunities. They were blindside flanker Fraser Taurima-Heperi, prop Maika Fehoko, hooker Louis Makiora and wingers Tui Paikea and Zedekiah Awa.
Experienced first five-eighth Jackson Waerea and lock Tiki-Greening joined Taurima-Heperi on Morley's MVP list.
Guty lock Will Gunson impressed for Central until retiring with an ankle injury. Nineteen-year-old prop Tui Kura had a memorable debut. First five-eighth James Logan and second five-eighth Zac Simpson combined well in the hosts backline.
MAC 22 (Johnny Ika, Solomone Funaki, Tupou Afugia tries; Vai Kereti, Sakopa Ofa cons, Ofa pen), Central 18 (Will Gunson, Warwick Slingsby tries; James Logan 2 pens, con). HT: 15-10.