East Coast Rugby Union Season – 2019
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 1934 and appreciate their hard and dedicated work in providing this detailed history. – Web Admin—
Once again it was another winless season for Ngati Porou East Coast in the Heartland Championship. However, there was a definite sign of rejuvenation as the team was certainly a stronger one in both personnel and performance for a number of years, and the fittest for a number of years as well. The supporters also sensed something as Whakarua Park twice had crowds of over 1500 for home games and must be looking forward to the 2020 season.
Only against the two eventual Meads Cup finalists Wanganui and North Otago did the scores blow out and the side held second half leads against West Coast and Poverty Bay. And the scoreline against King Country did not reflect Ngati Porou East Coast’s dominance of possession and territory.
The side secured plenty of possession due to the fine lineout work from Adaam Ross, and his locking partner Scott Lasenby had an excellent all-round game against West Coast. The scrum was comparable to most packs, with prop Laman Davies having his best season, being a strong scrummager. Fellow prop Hakarangi Tichborne missed half the season by being with the NZ Defence Force team in Japan, but still scored four tries in his four games, while Perrin Manuel started at prop and finished at hooker.
Former Chiefs and Maori All Black loose forward Mitchell Crosswell arrived from Taranaki and set a high standard for the others to follow. Hoani Te Moana started the season on the bench but such was his form he was a first choice loose forward in the second half of the season. Captain Hone Haerewa was again the team’s outstanding player, his selection for the NZ Heartland team’s tour was well merited. This loose forward trio was a real strength of the side.
Experienced players Sam Parkes and Verdon Bartlett was not quite as influential as previous seasons but were steady. Debutant Chris Richardson, at first five-eighth, made an encouraging start to his first-class career and second five-eighth Tawhao Stewart (ex Poverty Bay) had an impressive game against Thames Valley.
Not wanted by Waikato, Zac Guildford was a valuable acquisition at centre, as you would expect from the former All Black. He organised the backline and against King Country he played his 200th first-class match, missing the final game through injury. Epeli Lotawa always looked dangerous on the wing and was top tryscorer with six.
Higher honours went to:
New Zealand Heartland: Hone Haerewa
|Sat 12 Oct||14:30||H||Heartland Championship||North Otago||29 - 61||Match Center|
|Sat 05 Oct||14:30||A||Heartland Championship||Poverty Bay||24 - 20||Match Center|
|Sat 28 Sep||14:30||H||Heartland Championship||West Coast||19 - 21||Match Center|
|Sat 21 Sep||14:30||A||Heartland Championship||Wanganui||67 - 24||Match Center|
|Sat 14 Sep||14:30||H||Heartland Championship||King Country||12 - 27||Match Center|
|Sat 07 Sep||13:00||A||Heartland Championship||Thames Valley||43 - 15||Match Center|
|Sat 31 Aug||14:30||H||Heartland Championship||Mid Canterbury||15 - 22||Match Center|
|Sat 24 Aug||14:30||A||Heartland Championship||Buller||54 - 19||Match Center|
|Sat 10 Aug||13:00||A||Pre-Season||BoP Māori||14 - 61||Match Center|
|Sat 03 Aug||14:00||A||Pre-Season||Eastern Bay of Plenty (EBOP)||26 - 19||Match Center|
|Sat 01 Jun||13:00||H||PJ Sayers Cup||Poverty Bay||17 - 29||Match Center|
APPEARANCES For East Coast RFU (2019 - Career)