HG LEACH Senior Rugby Round up, 30/03/2019
Feature Team :Waihou
Waihou V Thames
Waihou were back at their home ground in Te Aroha hosting the table topping Thames side. Waihou has struggled in the first few rounds with a number of senior players away on the Club tour of Ireland. Waihou were looking forward to being back to close to full strength however errors were the feature of the first half, with both teams being unable to execute the basics or their respective game plans.
Waihou, assisted by a strong wind were unable to use the conditions to their advantage and went into the half time break 7-0 down. Thames used the conditions well in the second half and managed to string their passes together, scoring another three tries with the wind at their back. Waihou scored a good try near the end of the second half but were disappointing as Thames took control of the match.
Waihou will look to build their season from here and have several must win fixtures ahead of them if they are to remain in top four contention.
Final Score: Thames 28 – Waihou 7
Whangamata V Tairua
A very spirited and organised Whangamata side started much the better of the two teams, with plenty of pressure being delivered from their forwards. Pressure and territory paid off with two converted tries by the home team, including one from former and popular Tairua half back TJ Wise.
Tairua were struggling to get a foothold in the game and looking off colour for most of the first half, but slowly started to string phase play together and work their way into attacking positions, US lock Niko Felice scoring a well worked try, converted by Scot Rui Swan. 14-7 at the half
The second half proved to be more fruitful for Tairua. with a try by Shayne Johnson from a lineout catch and drive and a penalty from Swan. 14-15. Whangamata then replied with a good score from their impressive first five setting up a tense finish. Tairua created space in the corner with Chaz Stevenson touching down with the very difficult conversion from wide out being nailed by Swan. 21-22.
Despite some pressure from a Whangamata side that refused to lie down, Tairua saw out the remaining ten minutes for a win.
Final Score: Tairua 22 – Whangamata 21
Mercury Bay V Coromandel
This “Battle of the Coasts” was played in Coromandel on a firm track and in dry conditions with rain threatening. A scoreless first 20 minutes was a reflection of the intensity and physicality of this match before the Bay landed a penalty goal. The big Coromandel pack challenged the Bay forwards however the Bay took a 16-0 lead into the break.
Coromandel came out firing and looked hard to stop with their impressive ball runners and off loads causing problems for the Bay defence. Coromandel scored two tries in 10 minutes and closed the gap to 16-12. Mercury Bay settled and finally got some ball in good position and scored 3 tries of their own sealing a hard fought victory.
Final Score: Mercury Bay 35 – Coromandel 12
Waihi V Hauraki North
Waihi were keen to put out an improved performance from the previous week and travelled to Waitakaruru to take on Hauraki North. North took advantage of the wind at their backs in the first half and pinned Waihi in their own territory for much of this period. North dominated possession and territory but were unable to score due to their own mistakes and Waihi’s tenacious defence the scores remained at nil all. Waihi made inroads into Norths territory they scored with Jethro Meares diving over for a try off the base of the scrum. Waihi took a 5-0 lead into half-time, a score line totally against the run of play.
Norths again started strongly in the second half scoring an early converted try. Prop Brad Nightingale was sin binned soon after this and with Waihi one man down North took advantage to score again and stretch its lead out to 12-5 going into the last quarter. Waihi found something extra in this period finally starting to dominate possession and territory and were rewarded in the final play of the game when reserve forward Konrad Williams scored under the bar giving Reuben Meares an easy conversion to draw the game. Waihi will feel a bit lucky to share the points with Hauraki North rueing missed opportunities, showing that rugby is indeed an eighty minute game.
Final Score: Waihi Athletic 12 – Hauraki North 12
Paeroa V Cobras
The score line in the COBRAS Paeroa senior A rugby game at Te Aroha on Saturday certainly didn’t reflect the quality or intensity of the performance on the field.
Cobras playing at home dominated the first part of the game but only managed a seven point margin. Paeroa increased the intensity late in the half with Cobras struggling to go with them. Cobras conceded a number of team penalties which resulted in two men in the bin and increased pressure from the team in green. Cobras managed to scramble defensively with only 13 players and kept Paeroa out.
The second half started with the crowd gently reminding the ref about the sin binings & Cobras were back to full strength. The second half was much the same as the first with both teams giving it everything and both scoring for the margin to remain the same. In the late stages of the game the crowd got to see free running rugby with Cobras dominating the mid field to run in several late tries to blow out the score line. A game for the purists with this one being dominated by good defence and willing ball runners.
Final Score: Cobras 40 Paeroa 13
NGATEA V Mercury Bay B.
Ngatea hosted Mercury Bay B’s for their first home game of their season on a very hard and fast field at the Ngatea Domain. This was a hard fought and evenly contested match with both sides producing some great running rugby and tries. Ngatea showed a lot of promise and confirmed a good start to the season with another solid performance. Mercury Bay were always in the fight and managed to maintain their lead to the end of the game.
Final Score: Mercury Bay 34 – Ngatea 28
HG LEACH Senior B’s results:
- Mercury Bay B’s 34 -Ngatea 28
- Thames B’s 29 – Waihou B’s 20
- Waihi Athletic B’s 30 – Hauraki North B’s 12
- Cobras B’s 38 – Paeroa B’s 17