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HG LEACH Senior Rugby RUGBY ROUND UP 16/03/2019

HG LEACH Senior Rugby RUGBY ROUND UP 16/03/2019:

The HG LEACH Senior Rugby Competition kicked off in the weekend in weather more akin to playing cricket or going to the beach as it was extremely hot and dusty throughout the region. A minutes silence was observed before all senior games to acknowledge and pay respect to the tragic events that unfolded in Christchurch on Friday afternoon.

Feature Team:

Waihi Athletic

The Waihi senior rugby sides kicked off the 2019 season with convincing wins over Waihou at Waihi’s home ground on Saturday.

In the opening game, the Senior B’s started strongly going out to an early lead with a couple of early tries. Waihou fought back well to get within a single point, but to Waihi’s credit they re-grouped to score a late try and a well-deserved 32-24 victory.

The eagerly awaited Senior A game started with both teams fielding several different players from last season. Waihi only having five players who were in the starting fifteen from their championship winning team. In extremely hot conditions Waihou made the early play with both forwards and backs combining to spread the ball wide at every opportunity. Waihi weathered these opening exchanges and from their first foray into Waihou’s twenty-two, Brett Ranga scored, strolling over from the base of the scrum. Another two tries to debutants, centre Mack Smith and prop Sam Webster had Waihi out to a handy 24-3 lead at half-time.

Waihi kept up their domination in the second half, Charles Pipe opening the scoring with a great individual try to secure the four try bonus point. Mack Smith and Brett Ranga added to their first half efforts to push out the score line to 46-3 going into the last quarter. Hooker Manawa Hill capped off a fine game with Waihi’s final try and secure a well-earned 53-3 victory.

This was a great team effort. Special mention must go to Waihi’s forward pack who played most of the eighty minutes on a stifling hot day. Also to all the debutants who showed they can step up to this level. Captain Reuben Meares directed play from first five adding a personal tally of fifteen points off the boot. Players of the day -Jerome and Manawa Hill had great games, but it was a total team effort that won the day.

Thames vs Paeroa

The Thames B’s set the scene with a good win over Paeroa B, adding to the excitement and anticipation for the kick off of Thames A against Paeroa A. Thames dominated possession in the first 26 minutes, scoring a point a minute to lead 26/0, with tries to Sione Fosita, Tony Goodall, Ryan Leopold, Nigel Williams and 3 from 4 conversions to Chopper Boughton. Possession for the remainder of the half was shared evenly, with neither side seriously threatening to score, as fatigue from the heat set in and the error rate for both teams took its toll on the game.

The second half started where the first half finished, with Thames making a mistake receiving the kick off. Paeroa took full advantage of this and dominated play in the following 15mins to score 2 tries, the first to replacement halfback (Jersey 20), after the ball bobbled out of the back of a Thames scrum 5m from their line and the second to No 11 gathering a classy chip quick from 1st V Hendrix Beazley, to score under the posts and was converted by Hendrix.

The remainder of the second half was an arm wrestle with both teams having chances to score, but failing to finish off with early season mistakes.

Final Score Thames 26 Paeroa 14

Cobras vs Tairua

At Boyd Park the Tairua side scored first, stunning the home town team. Cobras rallied and a very physical encounter ensued with lots of big hits and hard play. Cobras eventually prevailed 5 tries to 4 and Tairua grabbed the bonus point.

Final Score Cobras 38 Tairua 24.

Hauraki North vs Mercury Bay

Blistering conditions at Waitakaruru meant the track was hard and fast and the men from Hauraki North came out firing forcing Mercury Bay to defend for the first 10 minutes. Mercury Bay were able to exit and produce a try, which they repeated several more times in the first half taking a 19-0 lead into the half. Hauraki managed to slow the game and produced 3 good tries of their own but were unable to prevent the Mercury Bay scoring another 2 tries and a penalty goal.

Final Score: Mercury Bay 36 Hauraki North 21

Coromandel vs Whangamata

On a hot dry day in Coromandel with a fast hard track the hosts produced the only try of the first half via their hard working forward pack. Whangamata dug in on defence throughout the first half being denied possession but managed to take a 6-5 halftime lead. Coromandel produced 3 more trys in the second half and with Whangamata gaining a share of possession, only handling eras and some good defence stopped them scoring in a hard fought game.

Final Score Coromandel 22 Whangamata 6

Ngatea vs Cobras Bs

Ngatea visited Boyd Park intent on securing a victory after a disappointing 2018 season. The visitors came out firing and continued on in the extreme heat, producing a brilliant team effort and performance. Good direction on attack and defence meant that Cobras would only score 1 try in the game. The Ngatea forwards laid a solid platform for the backs who linked well with the forwards and produced 5 tries in total.

Final Score Ngatea 31 Cobras 11

HG Leach Senior B Results:

Ngatea 31 Cobras 11

Mercury Bay 32 Hauraki North 17

Thames 40 Paeroa 10

Waihi 34 Waihou 21

This weekend’s games 23/03/2019:

Waihi A’s vs Thames A’s – 2pm – @ Waihi

Waihi B’s vs  Thames B’s – 12.25pm – @ Waihi

Waihou A’s vs Whangamata – 2pm – @ Boyd Park, Te Aroha

Waihou B’s vs  Ngatea – 12.25pm – @ Boyd Park, Te Aroha

Tairua vs Coromandel – 2pm – @ Tairua

Mercury Bay A’s vs Cobras A’s – 2pm – @ Lyon Park,Whitianga

Mercury Bay B’s vs Cobras B’s – 12.25pm – @ Lyon Park, Whitianga

Paeroa A’s vs Hauraki North – 2pm – @ Centennial Park, Paeroa

Paeroa B’s vs Hauraki North B’s – 12.25pm – @ Centennial Park, Paeroa