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Plenty to work on for East Coast after valuable hit-out

Thames Valley won 59-14

Something had to change and it did.

It was Thames Valley 28 Ngati Porou East Coast 0 at half-time on Saturday but the gutsy Coast came away from Waihi with two converted tries to show for their efforts.

The Valley, well-led by experienced co-captains Brett Ranga and Shawn Hill, beat the visitors 59-14.

Second-five Sailosi Vatubua and loosehead prop Hakarangi Tichborne scored tries for NPEC, with halfback Sam Parkes converting both against a powerful Valley side.

Former Chief, Waikato captain and No.8 Alex Bradley scored three tries, and there were tries apiece to Valley co-captain and blindside flanker Brett Ranga, hooker Glen McIntyre, openside flanker Matt Hart, halfback Matty Fisher, centre Sam McCahon and reserve No.8 cum blindside flanker Ben Vincent.

English first-five Reece Broughton (six conversions) and reserve halfback Cole Berridge (one conversion) kicked goals for the home team.

Coast coach Wayne Ensor put the visitors’ slow start down to combinations and timing.

“We had lots of dots that we couldn’t quite join either in attack or defence.

“We were trialling new guys and new combinations,” he said. “Both Troy (assistant coach Troy Para) and I are pleased by what we saw. We have direction and plenty to build on.”

Ensor said the Coast played well in patches and the score didn’t reflect the toughness of the contest.

Openside flanker Jack Richardson was the Coast’s player of the day for his strong tackling and fearless — though disciplined — physicality.

Tichborne and fellow prop Perrin Manuel were also outstanding.

They are nose-to-the-grindstone forwards who scrum, maul, carry and tackle hard.

by Ben O’Brien-Leaf
Published: August 13, 2018 3:33PM