East Coast Rugby Union Season – 2012
Whakarua Park in Ruatoria was the scene of one of the greatest comebacks in the history of national championship finals. Defending Meads Cup champion Wanganui dominated the game and held a commanding 27-3 lead into the second half. The result seemed a formality, even when Moeke scored in the 55th minute and Fisi’ihoi eight minutes later to lift the score to 27-17.The crowd of 2,000 were thinking the Coast would finish with a respectable score in defeat. But when King scored with eight minutes remaining the Coast trailed by only three points and the spectators came alive and play was held up while the touchlines were cleared of encroaching fans. Played in very warm conditions both sides were at near exhaustion but East Coast, supported by their vocal supporters, produced that extra effort needed and when Bartlett crashed over the line in the 78th minute to take the lead 29-27 the field was invaded by ecstatic fans.
No one, apart from the referee, cared about the conversion attempt.The Meads Cup title was reward for the effort made over two years by Ngarimu Simpkins and Rua Tipoki. Early season games did not indicate East Coast would be finalists, particularly after being well beaten by South Canterbury. The best forwards were loan players Ziggy Fisi’ihoi and Everard Reid, a grandson of Tori Reid. The regular players included Morgan Wirepa, Kerehama Blackman, Tripoli Poi, Simpkins, Pakanui Webb, and former Poverty Bay rep Brent Ingram.Veteran Mutu Ngarimu assisted in the later games. Tanetoa Parata showed much promise.
Tipoki directed the backline which contained some dangerous attacking players. Verdon Bartlett enjoyed an outstanding season and origin player Whaimotu Craft-Chemis created many opportunities. Irishman John Semple, loaned from Canterbury, was a big contributor to the scoreboard and he would have relished the Coast hospitality. Pomare Samupo and Tau Moeke earned Heartland selection.
Experienced players Charlie Harrison and Marty Lloyd were again on hand. Eighteen-year old Sam Parkes ignited his team’s revival in the final after replacing Harrison in the 57th minute. The halfback took a quick tap and ran 20 metres before passing to Craft-Chemis in the lead up to Fisiihoi’s try. Parkes is a player with much promise and is a brother of loose forward Ben who was unfortunately injured in an off-field incident in Timaru.
Higher honours went to:
New Zealand Heartland: Moeke, Samupo, Simpkins
|Match.Record:||Played 11 ; Won 9 ; Lost 2|
|Points :||For 312 ; Against 261|
|02 Jun, 2:30 pm||H||Poverty Bay||Sayers Trophy||27 - 42|
|25 Aug, 2:30 pm||H||West Coast||Heartland Championship||23 - 16|
|01 Sep, 2:30 pm||A||South Canterbury||Heartland Championship||37 - 09|
|08 Sep, 2:30 pm||H||Buller||Heartland Championship||20 - 18|
|15 Sep, 2:30 pm||A||Mid Canterbury||Heartland Championship||13 - 20|
|22 Sep, 2:30 pm||H||Wanganui||Heartland Championship||25 - 17|
|29 Sep, 2:30 pm||A||Thames Valley||Heartland Championship||38 - 53|
|06 Oct, 2:30 pm||H||King Country||Heartland Championship||56 - 24|
|13 Oct, 2:30 pm||A||Poverty Bay||Heartland Championship||14 - 24|
|20 Oct, 2:30 pm||H||North Otago||Heartland Championship (S/F) Meads Cup||26 - 15|
|27 Oct, 2:30 pm||H||Wanganui||Heartland Championship - Final Meads Cup||29 - 27|
East Coast RFU 2012
|Rukutai Craig||First Five||1|
|Harley Floyd Haerewa||Winger||1|
|Michael.D.King||Loose Forward, Utility Back||6|
|W.P.'Mutu' Ngarimu||Loose Forward||3|
|Selwyn Tanetoa Parata||Flanker||9|
|Henare Tripoli Poi||Hooker, Prop||10|
|John.R.Semple||First Five, Fullback||10|
|Te Rua.R.Tipoki||Centre, Winger||10|
|Morgan.T.R.Wi Repa||Loose Forward||10|
We hope you enjoy this look back as we look forward to many more years of recording the history of Ngati Porou East Coast Rugby Union. We acknowledge all the information from the NZ “Rugby Almanack” Series from the season’s 1934 through to 2013 and appreciate their hard and dedicated work in providing this detailed history. – Web Admin