HG LEACH Senior Rugby RUGBY ROUND UP 13/04/2019:
Feature Team Cobras
COBRAS V Thames
Te Aroha put on a beautiful day at Boyd Park on a day when plenty of COBRAS old boys were at the park to farewell 1993 Championship winning coach Jeff Handles Handley.
In the main COBRAS took on Thames in a much anticipated top of the table clash. COBRAS took the field first with the inspirational words of Handles ringing in their ears and a big crowd behind them, the boys looked up for the challenge.
With both sides sharing equal territory and possession it was the home teams defence and set piece dominance that was proving the difference. Thames 2 tries of the game came from pressure that forced COBRAS into mistakes close to their line. COBRAS tries were mostly from good build up and execution with the exception of a well taken intercept.
COBRAS ended up convincing winners at 33 – 12, a true indication of the game. Thames will be no push over at home and a mouth-watering return match looms.
Impressively this was COBRAS 17th win in a row, after missing out on the top 6 last year and they are now by themselves at the top of the points table.
COBRAS B’s have a depth which they have been missing in recent years. Early in the game COBRAS dominated with a strong forward display lead by props Micheal Kidd and Lance McClaren and an especially impressive performance by young hooker Shak. After a scoreless first half by Thames they came out firing and scored 3 unanswered tries, reducing the margin to 2. Both teams then went at it each scoring and with 10 to go the home side lead 26 – 24, a late try to COBRAS saw the final score 33 – 24 and puts COBRAS up to 4th on the Senior B table.
TAIRUA v MERCURY BAY
On a beautiful autumn day on the peninsula, the two local rivals produced the hard fought game anticipated, battling for Taddy’s Cup. Holders Mercury Bay started the game well, keeping possession for long periods but were shut down by a patient Tairua defence that was a lot more disciplined than in previous weeks, with the Bay limited to a single penalty in front of the posts.
Tairua then started to shift through the gears with some very incisive play, possession and territory starting to tell. The back line stated to cut loose with some great lines being run that turned the game inside a 20 minutes spell before the half. Tries by Matt Colee, Luca Berte and Shayne Johnson, the latter converted by Rui Swan had the home side 17-3 up, with the Bay then kicking a long range penalty to peg it back to 17-6 at half time.
Mercury Bay dug deep and started to haul themselves back into the game with towo unanswered tries to gain the lead at 17-18. Tairua found themselves chasing the game and with ten minutes left on the clock, Robbie Orr crashed over in the corner for his first Tairua try which proved to be the decisive score.
Tairua deserving winners on the day and holders of the Taddy’s cup.
Final Score: Tairua 22 Mercury Bay 18
Paeroa v Whangamata
Paeroa travelled over the hill to take on Whangamata at the home of the Beach Hop.
Whangamata came out firing and were impressive with some hard running and dogged defensive work. Paeroa weathered the storm and played some combative rugby of their own and produced some good work to take the lead into the half time break.
After the break the home team responded and in an intense battle the score was 20-19 to Paeroa with 10 minutes left to play.
Whangamata could not score again and near the end of the game Paeroa sealed the game with a well constructed try.
Both of these sides are improving and will be looking to secure a few more wins before the end of the round.
Final Score: Paeroa 27 – Whangamata 19
Waihou V Hauraki North
The Waihou Senior A side continued to build momentum into their season with a well-earned victory over Hauraki North at Waitakaruru on Saturday. In what turned out to be an exciting, last-minute win for Waihou, both teams played with fantastic intensity in a thoroughly entertaining match.
The forward battle was vigorous, with lots of strong carries and big hits. Waihou’s first try to Luke Roache was built on good forward pressure and was nicely converted by Ben Bonnar. The second Waihou try was a fabulous solo effort which capped off a good period of structured play and defensive pressure, seeing Ben Bonnar scythe through the North defence and scamper away to dot down.
With the older Bonnar brother knocking over a penalty, the score was 15 – 19 to North when Dominic Gore burst away in the 79th minute to cap off 10 minutes of sustained Waihou pressure to score in the corner and give the away team a brilliant 20-19 victory.
Hauraki North desperately unlucky not to secure the win in an epic battle.
Final Score :Waihou 20 Hauraki North 19
Coromandel V Waihi Athletic
Waihi Athletic made the long journey up the peninsula to take on the ever improving Coromandel side. Coromandel came out of the sheds firing and scored a try within the first 5 minutes leaving Waihi a little shell shocked.
Last years champions however settled into their work and managed to maintain possession and spread the ball from side to side setting up their fast wingers one on one, a position the quick and accurate outside backs enjoyed and capitalised on.
This game was well contested and Coromandel stayed in the game till the end, but when the big Coromandel pack finally tired they were out ran by a very willing and skilful Waihi side.
Finals Score: Waihi 44 –Coromandel 19
Ngatea V Waihi Athletic
In an exciting and high scoring game at Ngatea , the home team missed out on the points after taking on one of last years top senior B sides in Waihi. In brilliant conditions some very good tries by both sides were scored. Neither side could break free of the other and a great seesaw battle was had. Waihi were deserving winners in the end with Ngatea not quite getting the job done. Ngatea continue to be a competitive team in the Senior B’s competition and will take a few more scalps this round!
Final Score: Waihi Athletic 34 Ngatea 26
HG Leach Senior B Results:
- Cobras 33 Thames 24
- Hauraki North 26 Waihou 19
- Ngatea 26 Waihi Athletic 34
- Mercury Bay 26 Paeroa 12
Easter weekend sees only the Senior A’s playing :
Paeroa V Waihi Athletic 7pm Wednesday @ Paeroa Domain
Mercury Bay V Thames 2pm Friday @ Whitianga
Tairua V Hauraki North 2pm Friday @ Tairua
Coromandel V Waihou 2pm Friday @ Coromandel
Whangamata V Cobras 2pm Friday @ Whangamata.