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First-time cup win for TVC

Tihirau Victory Club have won the Kath McLean Memorial Cup for the first time in their 31-year membership of Ngati Porou East Coast rugby.

The Enterprise Cars NPEC club Round 1 trophy — named for that great-hearted, one-of-a-kind servant to the Sky Blue Union — now sits with the George Keelan Memorial Shield, as a prize claimed this season in TVC’s cabinet.

TVC prevailed over Uawa 26-20 in Tolaga Bay to claim the George Keelan on April 3, and on Saturday bested Ruatoria City 43-10 at Whakarua Park, finishing a seven-week campaign unbeaten.

TVC played excellent rugby on Saturday: to fall at the last in the first round was unthinkable. They led 24-10 at the break.

Ruatoria City’s Most Valuable Player on Saturday was their openside flanker Tuterangi Ngarimu — coach Lisa Muller was proud of her committed posse, from top to bottom — and captain No.8 Jack Richardson said: “We take lots of positive things out of that game but making minor mistakes against a team like TVC are costly. They’re fit, well-structured, and can score tries against the run of play. The tries they scored against us were good team tries.”

Gisborne district councillor and East Coast Rugby Union patron Bill Burdett, a life member of both the Coast and Ruatoria City, knows that City’s was a worthy match effort against the best outfit — on form — in the club championship.

Outstanding game of rugby

“That was an outstanding game of rugby. City entered into the spirit of things, never gave it away and referee Eruera Kawhia was brilliant. We love hosting TVC and they’re wonderful guests.”

TVC scored seven tries: hooker and MVP Te Taawhi Takuira-Mita, lock Peeti Delamere, halfback Anaru Waiariki, left-wing Taleq Simeon, second-five Ash Busher, centre Tutere Waenga and right-wing Kiki Keni were the men to dot down. Waenga also kicked four conversions.

For City, reserve right-wing Grey Mauheni scored a great try, converted by lock Nathaniel Fox, who also kicked a penalty goal.

Defending champions Tokararangi hosted Uawa at Te Araroa Domain at the weekend, and ran out 28-10 winners in defence of the Api Crawford Shield. The 18-point margin between the second and third-placed teams is a measure of Tokararangi’s capacity to go to another level the stronger the opposition, and, when the time is right, to strike hard.

The immortal words of Uawa’s no-nonsense coach Chris Richardson were: “I was pleased with 70 minutes of it.”

Uawa captain Sam Parkes won the toss in 21-degree heat, the visitors playing into a slight nor-easterly breeze on the firm Domain surface. With a crowd of 300 on hand, the scene was set.

Tokararangi opened the scoring in the 11th minute

Tokararangi opened the scoring in the 11th minute after they were given a penalty in front of Uawa’s posts 5m out from the visitors’ goal-line by referee Jackson Reuben-Swinton. The home team’s halfback Whakarae Henare tap-kicked the ball, then openside flanker Willie Bolingford on the charge was held up under the crossbar and finally loosehead prop Adrian Collier took possession from the subsequent ruck to score a metre to the right of the posts.

Tokararangi No.10 Rapata Haerewa kicked the first of his four conversions for 7-0 to the hosts.

In the 13th minute, Uawa first-five Josh Dearden landed a 37-metre penalty goal from in front of the posts; the visitors had taken their earliest opportunity to score points.

Four minutes later, Uawa lock Paddy Allen won a short line-out 8m from Tokararangi’s goal-line — left side of the park — and the ball touched four players before fullback Tipene Meihana dotted down 6m to the right of the posts, finishing a well-worked move with a quality try. Uawa had taken a 10-7 lead.

At the 28th minute, Tokararangi scored their second try — a rip-roaring effort engineered by Henare and Bolingford. From an attacking midfield scrum, 11m in Uawa territory, the halfback received the ball from Bolingford and cut down the right side of the Domain. At the 22 he found Bolingford inside him: the eightman scored 7m to the left of the posts.

Haerewa converted for 14-10 to wrest back the initiative for Tokararangi. They held that lead at the break.

Although both sides played attacking rugby, making line-breaks and half-breaks for the next 27 minutes, there was no change to the score for the better part of half an hour. An injury break, then the award of a defensive scrum — under golden oldies rules (no pushing) — gave rise to Tokararangi scoring the try of the match.

They ran through nine phases of play and from right sideline back, before regular captain, reserve openside flanker Hone Haerewa, who had come on in the 65th minute, threw a dummy to his right and surged 10m to score under the posts. Haerewa converted for 21-10.

Tokararangi scored again from the restart at halfway. Lock Dyllyn Evans made the catch off the right touchline, Henare cleared the ruck and the ball then went through four more sets of hands before left wing James Warnock scored in the corner for 26-10.

Haerewa converted from the touchline at the 22 for 28-10.

Tokararangi won a thrilling game

Tokararangi won a thrilling game of rugby because they tackled well throughout and took two crucial second-half opportunities to score. Those two tries, to Hone Haerewa and James Warnock, were memorable: as was Tipene Meihana’s classic score in the first half.

Tokararangi blindside flanker Richard Green, for his all-round involvement and high work-rate, was named MVP for the home team. Openside flanker Tanira Nepia was a worthy recipient of that award for the visitors.

Hicks Bay and Tokomaru Bay United gave their Week 7 clash at Hatea-a-Rangi everything they had.

Some 250 onlookers saw Hicks Bay beat their hosts 50-15 to record their first win of 2021. Conditions were perfect, United playing with a gentle northerly at their backs.

The home team struck first. Six minutes into the game, TBU halfback Les Te Reo scored a try, which was not converted, for 5-0.

United with their tails up, a proposition to make any opponent sit bolt upright, was one that Hicks Bay could not allow. Powerhouse No.8 Anton King scored tries at the 11th minute (with a conversion by first-five Irie Noanoa) and 17th minute (no conversion) for 12-5.

But United would not go away. After 21 minutes, gutsy blindside flanker Josh Smith scored their second try to close it to 12-10. Perhaps inspired by King’s double, Hicks Bay tighthead prop Manahi Brooking scored for 17-10 (there was no conversion) in the 28th minute before King returned, and with his third try for the hat-trick gave Noanoa another kick at goal. Noanoa landed his second conversion for 24-10, the half-time score.

United play with pride and this match saw more of the same.

Hicks Bay manager and former East Coast Rugby Union president Graeme Summersby noted that loosehead prop Mike Chambers-Raroa led a United forward pack who were an excellent unit, that lock Mike Tiopira was great value at the lineout, and that they competed with vigour and skill in every facet of play.

The home team opened the second-half scoring in the 49th minute, fullback Chad Chambers-Raroa to the fore. Hicks Bay led 24-15 at that stage.

Romeo Newey-Schumann scored two tries in a row

As his captain had done earlier on, right wing Romeo Newey-Schumann of Hicks Bay then scored two tries in a row, at the 54th minute (converted by centre Pamona Samupo on that player’s debut) and 61st minute (no conversion), for 36-15.

Samupo himself scored the visitors’ seventh try 68 minutes in, with a conversion by Noanoa, for 43-15. Nonoa converted the last try of the day, to Hicks Bay’s giant reserve blindside flanker Kazius Collier-Delamere, after 74 minutes, for 50-15.

Brooking and King shared the MVP award for Hicks Bay, with United’s MVP being No.8 Erutini Walker.

Chad Chambers-Raroa spoke for the home team: “We’re starting to find combinations. The boys played well and gave Hicks Bay a real battle.

“It wasn’t our day but we’re proud of our efforts.

“The young players deserve credit, they step up, showcase what Tokomaru Bay United rugby has to come, staying positive, learning and improving.

“We will reach the top of Marotiri.”

by Ben O’Brien-Leaf
Published May 11, 2021 3:35PM<