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Now for round 2: Quest for Jury Harrison Memorial Cup begins

Tihirau Victory Club still have boxes to tick.

Unbeaten in 2021, they are not about to stop at the Kath McLean Memorial Cup as the first round winners of the Enterprise Cars Ngati Porou East Coast club rugby competition.

Tomorrow begins the second round and the quest for the Jury Harrison Memorial Cup en route to the grand final on July 17 and the chance to claim the Rangiora Keelan Memorial Shield.

TVC have picked up five points the easy way from this weekend, with Tokomaru Bay defaulting their clash.

Reigning champions Tokararangi host Hikurangi at Te Araroa (referee Eruera Kawhia), Uawa are at home to Hicks Bay (referee Troy Para) and Ruatoria City have the bye.

Tokararangi captain and openside flanker Hone Haerewa, whose men were in awesome form in a 28-10 win over Uawa last Saturday, is looking forward to tomorrow’s potentially hair-raising clash with The Maunga.

The sheer size of the combatants and force they employ in the tackle beggars belief.

“We’ve been mending sore bodies this week but we want to do well against Hikurangi,” Haerewa said. “It’ll be physical and a bit scrappy but these are two good sides, so entertaining nonetheless.”

Tokararangi won their round 1 meeting 26-10 at Kahuitara.

Tokararangi and Hikurangi will field similar sides to that game and Te Araroa Domain will be in twice as good as nick for the 2.30pm clash.

With TVC’s Te Kura Mana Maori o Whangaparaoa home ground still unavailable, they were scheduled to play Te Araroa at 1pm tomorrow but the default means the ground will be unscathed for the Toka-Hiku match-up.

Uawa head coach Chris Richardson’s priority is for his big blue crew to win the battle for set-piece possession and control.

Uawa have made changes to the team who tried valiantly against an impressive Tokararangi.

Powerful lock Paddy Allen is out and Jordan Birch will start at centre for Jesse Rye — two significant changes.

Regular captain tighthead prop Scott Lasenby is unavailable so halfback Sam Parkes will again lead Uawa.

“Hicks Bay have developed players during the first round, gained a few good ones along the way and will challenge us,” Parkes said. “We need to win our lineouts.”

Uawa beat Hicks Bay 31-13 in round 1.

Like Richardson and Parkes, Hicks Bay coach Aaron King believes the lineout battle will be key at Uawa Domain.

“Our lineouts are coming together but we need to make sure that we’re tight at scrum-time,” said King.

“Our backs also need to work well as a unit — less as individuals — and take their chances.”

In lock Weihana Delamere and fetcher Frank Taiapa, Hicks Bay have two ball-winners and the excellent front-row of Josh King, Jim Hovell and Dylan Biddle-Brown, with rain forecast, could be worth their weight in gold.

That said, the ability of centre Pamona Samupo, captain fullback Shaun Murtagh and Hicks Bay’s newest hero, Romeo Newey-Schumann, could decide the contest.

Or it may be that the goal-kicking of Uawa first-five Josh Dearden is the difference between a win and a loss for The Awa.

by Ben O’Brien-Leaf
Published May 14, 2021 3:32PM