HG LEACH Senior Rugby RUGBY ROUND UP 20/04/2019:
Feature Team – Tairua
Tairua V Hauraki North
On yet another glorious sunny autumn day and in front of a bumper Good Friday crowd another cliff hanger of a game was played in Tairua.
Tairua started much the faster of the two committed sides despite conceding possession and territory for much of the first 20 minutes. Tairua through Luca ‘Marlon’ Berte scored two intercept tries, with the Italian rocket going in from long range, the latter being an easy conversion for Ali Steele 12-0 to Tairua.
Hauraki North then started to create opportunities of their own resulting in a penalty goal. Luca Merolle playing at nine, finished an excellent try by Tairua pushing the score out to 17-3. Northgot back into the game with a try just before the half, with their winger crashing over under the posts to make it17-10 at the half.
After the restart, Tairua kicked a penalty to create a ten point gap. With the game in the balance and using the breeze well, North started to camp in Tairua’s half scoring an unconverted try from a penalty that hit the post from a ricochet 20-15.
This was a day for the Tairua Italians, with Berte carving up the North defence and scoring his third try of the game under the posts. Hauraki North’s never say die attitude had them going over in the corner and with a well converted try closed the score to 27-22 with eight minutes left. Tairua’s defence held out a late match surge by North to secure the victory.
Final score: Tairua 27 Norths 22
Thames v Mercury Bay
Thames travelled over to Whitianga to take on Mercury Bay in this Good Friday fixture. The visitors got off to the best possible start with a try in the first minute of play. This was quickly followed up and within 6 minutes the big Thames side was out to a 12 -0 lead. Mercury Bay finally woke up and gained possession and a few quick rucks later scored. They repeated this and the scores were even within the first quarter of the game.
This set the trend for this spectacular game where it was score for score and end to end throughout. The much bigger Thames pack made great gains up the middle with the equally big and devastating Thames midfield cutting through the Mercury Bay backs. Mercury Bay however showed that when they were able to maintain possession and put phases together they were as effective as the Thames side.
In the end the stronger finishing Mercury Bay side just couldn’t nail some important moments in the game and missed a conversion that could have drawn the game. The Thames defence held strong for the final minutes to earn a well-deserved victory.
Final Score: Thames 45 Mercury Bay 43
Cobras V Whangamata
Whangamata were unlucky not to pick up their first win of the season over top of the table COBRAS on Saturday. Although COBRAS scored early from a charge down they never really clicked and lived of Whangamata scraps.
Whangamata looked dangerous with ball in hand and a midfield break in the first half was only thwarted on the line by a desperate cover tackle after a 50 meter chase from Dylan Robinson. An exciting game for the local supporters whose team were in it till the end and a frustrating one for the visitors who wouldn’t of recognised their team from the previous week.
Final score 26-10 cobras
Waihou V Coromandel
The Waihou Senior A team travelled up the coast to Coromandel on Good Friday and came home with the easter eggs after a very tough 24-17 victory. Coromandel started off a very intense match with a penalty kick after about 5 minutes, before Waihou took the lead 7-3 after a sustained period of forward pressure resulted in them being awarded a penalty try.
Coromandel hit the lead just before half time after their forwards took control close to their line and drove over to claim a 10-7 lead.
Waihou started with more intensity in the second half and a lovely period of controlled rugby led to a fantastic try on the wing to Craig Bedford. Waihou then took control of the match and started to gain much more possession and self-belief. Their forwards raised their intensity and this resulted to an outstanding try against the posts by second-five Sam McCahon, which was duly converted by Ben Bonnar. Waihou skipped further away after a long-range try to centre Brendon McAskie, which he converted from the sideline to give the Waihou team a 24-10 lead. Coromandel had the final say, scoring a converted try in the final minutes, giving Waihou a well-deserved 24-17 victory to go with the bumps and bruises earned in a hard-fought, tough victory.
Final Score: Waihou 24 Coromandel 17
Paeroa V Waihi Athletic
In the first game of the Easter weekend played under lights at the Paeroa Domain, Waihi Athletic came through the gorge looking to take the point’s home with them. The home team in front of a really good crowd, on a cold and dewy night took control of the match early on and good footwork on a slippery surface saw Paeroa race out to an early lead. This game became very loose and seemed to suit the home side who took their opportunities well against last year’s Champs. With 10 minutes to go Paeroa were up 30-3 but a fast finishing Waihi side saw that gap reduce with two late tries.
Final Score: Paeroa 30 Waihi 15