Mercury Bay moved into a share of second spot on the competition ladder after winning a tight game against Waihi Athletic on Good Friday. Round Four of the Senior A competition was planned to start with a Thursday night game between Thames and Coromandel but adverse weather conditions saw that game moved to Easter Monday so Waihi played host to the opening game instead. Two games were played on Saturday and one on Monday ensuring the competition kept on schedule in spite of the best efforts of Cyclone Cook, even though the start to the Waihi game was put back half an hour after the referee was delayed in reaching the ground.
Mercury Bay and Waihi Athletic were evenly matched in three matches last season and so it proved again this year. Tries were hard to come by and the visitors opened the scoring after 20 minutes with a penalty to Jayden Tegg. They added to the tally on the half hour mark when lock, Dan Gaskell finished off a solid build up to record the first try of the day. The conversion attempt from in front of the posts was unsuccessful. Mercury Bay first five, Trent Hill scored a second try for the visitors, dotting down out wide five minutes before the break. The sideline conversion attempt was astray but Mercury Bay went to half time with a 13-0 lead. Jethro Meares broke the drought five minutes after the restart with a try for the home side but the conversion from the sideline missed leaving Waihi trailing by eight points. Jerome Hill was next to score for Waihi, courtesy of an intercept and first five Leigh Hicks landed the conversion from in front to close the score to 13-12 but Trent Hill landed a penalty for Mercury Bay with ten minutes to go and that was enough for a 16-12 victory.
Cobras and Paeroa West played at the earlier start time of 1.00pm at Boyd Park where the home side got out to a handy lead with a penalty to Liam Shields and a try to Tyrone Keith inside the first twenty minutes before Paeroa West replied with a penalty to Tipene Morunga and a try to Coel Kerr which Morunga converted. Leading 10-8 at the interval, West posed a threat to Cobras’ unbeaten run but five unanswered tries, three of which were converted, put paid to any chance of an upset with the home team winning 39-13.
Waihou also kept up its’ good start to the season with a 42-7 win at Whangamata. Hooker, Ryan Lett opened the Waihou account , only for Number Eight, Paki Solomon to do the same for the home team soon after. Chris Doak extended the Waihou lead with a penalty followed by tries to Craig Hutchins and Kent McFarlane as they finished the first half in front 25-7. Tries to Dominic Gore, Ryan Gaskell and Jamie Vette added to the total with Doak and Liam Annals converting one apiece.
It’s been quite a while since there was a club game played on a Monday and a good crowd turned up at Rhodes Park to watch Coromandel take on the unbeaten Thames team. The rain stayed away but the Thames breeze played its part as Coromandel belied its place on the ladder to hold the home side to 12-3 at half time. The gap should have been much closer as Coromandel turned down three kickable penalties in front of the posts, opting for a kick to touch for a lineout , each time , instead.
Thames scored straight after the restart when Jarrod Goodall touched down but he was unable to convert his own try however he had no problems with the next three as the home side steadily increased the lead. Coromandel was rewarded for its efforts when Rangikohu Baker scored at the sixty minute mark but Thames picked up another three tries as they scored nine tries in all, winning 55-8.
There was no Senior B rugby over Easter.