HG Leach Senior Club Rugby Round Up – 06/04/2019
Feature team: Mercury Bay Rugby & Sports Senior A’s
Mercury Bay v Whangamata
Whangamata visited their Coastal neighbours to try and re-claim the Coastal Shield, Mercury Bay however, had other ideas. Although there had been some rain the track was dry and fast and from the kick off Mercury Bay dominated possession and territory but were unable to cash in with stoic defence by the visitors and missed opportunities by the hosts.
Mercury Bay eventually breached the defence with a great try to take a well-earned lead. From the ensuing kick-off, Mercury Bay cleared the ball well with a good touch finder however a quick throw in by Whangamata lead to a very well worked try in the corner.
Mercury Bay went close to scoring immediately from the re-start and again dominated the game until scoring another good try under the sticks. The visitors responded with a penalty kick at goal before Mercury Bay crossed for a third try and took a 19-8 lead into the break.
Whangamata started the second half strongly and with some territory and possession and stormed back into the game when their hard running number eight bustled over from a 5 metre scrum. The game was in the balance at 19-15 and Whangamata were only repelled by the hard working defence of the home team.
Mercury Bay scored their 4th and final try to seal the match and were unlucky not to take advantage of some great counter attacking opportunities where only some exceptional defence from the vastly improved Whangamata side prevented the hosts from extending their lead.
Final Score: Mercury Bay 25 – Whangamata 15
Tairua v Waihou
Tairua visited Te Aroha for the second time this round, this time facing a full strength Waihou side. Tairua started slowly, conceding two converted tries to a very efficient Waihou side. Tairua started to eliminate some errors and a strong comeback began with Tairua starting to dominate territory, two converted tries by Matt Colee and Luca Berte in the space of five minutes swinging the momentum of the game.
This continued into the second period, the game being played almost exclusively in the Waihou half. Pressure turned into penalties, however Tairua failed to turn these opportunities into points. Waihou rallied coming back into the game in the final quarter, managed to maintain possession and get some territory before scoring two more tries.
Tairua will feel this is a game that got away from them. Waihou will be pleased with their quick start and solid finish. Both teams have improvement in them and will be top 4 threats.
Final Score: Waihou 26 -Tairua 14
Waihi v Cobras
Saturday saw a good crowd turn up to enjoy Waihi Rugby clubs supporters and sponsors day. They witnessed two entertaining games of rugby with Waihi hosting COBRAS in both senior games.
In the early game the unbeaten Waihi Senior B side maintained their record with a 39-34 victory in a game that went right down to the wire.
In the Senior A game COBRAS started strongly with their big forward pack dominating the opening quarter of the game. They scored three tries in this period, all tries coming through their forwards crashing over from set pieces close to Waihi’s line. Living off scraps of possession Waihi held their own for the remainder of the half but could only manage a Reuben Meares penalty to trail 19-3.
COBRAS scored early in the second half, but their big men were starting to tire. Waihi kept playing at pace, with half back Carlos Roberts scoring from a quickly taken penalty. Flanker Ford Ainsley scored soon after to keep Waihi’s hopes alive. At 15-26 Waihi were creating most of the scoring opportunities. COBRAS capitalised on a late Waihi mistake to score the final try and seal the win.
Final Score: Cobras 31 – Waihi 15
Thames v Hauraki North
This game was hosted at Rhodes Park and the visitors from Waitakaruru turned up to play, as you would expect in the “battle of the Kopu Bridge”.
Hauraki North took control at ruck time in the first half in a very physical encounter which saw both teams head into the break at 5 all.
The second half started with the Thames side playing territory and maintaining possession. This got the home side into scoring positions that they did not miss. Hauraki North came back at the home side in the last 20 minutes scoring some points of their own and taking the game down to the wire. The home side’s fullback produced some great counter attacks and line breaks and was the pick of the backs on display.
Final Score: Thames 22 – Hauraki North 15
Paeroa v Coromandel
Coromandel ventured down the coast road to take on Paeroa at Centennial Park. Paeroa playing at home were desperate for a win and battled hard against the big Coromandel forward pack. This was an evenly fought match with both sides playing a very physical and combative style of rugby.
Coromandel opened the scoring but Paeroa came straight back and with minutes remaining the score was 14-12 to the home team. It took a midfield break by the Paeroa, leading to an impressive try in the corner to seal this game for the home team.
Final Score: Paeroa 19 Coromandel 12
Ngatea v Paeroa Bs
Played in good conditions at Centennial Park the match between Paeroa and Ngatea was a free flowing affair providing plenty of tries and good rugby for a large vocal crowd. Ngatea started well and where first to open the scoring with a well taken try. Paeroa replied with two converted tries of their own. Both team crossed again, and at half time it was 21 – 12 in favour of Paeroa. Ngatea again started the second half the better of the two teams and closed the gap to just 2 points. Paeroa rallied and added a further 8 point to claim a well taken first win for the season.
Final score: Paeroa 29 Ngatea 19
Senior B results:
- Paeroa 29 Ngatea 19
- Waihi Athletic 39 – Cobras 34
- Thames 36 Hauraki North 19
- Waihou & Mercury Bay both had the bye.