OBM threw the form book out the window and sent shock waves through the Poverty Bay premier club competition with a 33-8 win against reigning champions Pirates at Rugby Park on Saturday.
Kevin Hollis Glass Pirates went into the match second on the table — one point behind YMP, but having played a game less than YMP, who had the bye.
Enterprise Cars OBM were third, seven points adrift of Pirates, and went in depleted in the forwards — so much so coach Stu Blair was forced to play backs Lani Latu and Max McLean in the pack.
His team responded with four first-half tries to lead a stunned Pirates 26-3 at the break.
“I don’t know what to say,” Blair said. “I’m as shocked as you. You go into every game believing you can win. But to have scored four tries and picked up a bonus point by halftime against Pirates was not something I expected given our shortage of forwards.”
Winger BJ Akuhata opened the scoring for OBM with a try from turnover ball early in the game.
“Most of our tries came from turnover ball,” Blair said. “You can put that down to our midfield defence. Nick Wilson and Lance Hibbert were outstanding, and every time we turned the ball over we seemed to go up the other end and score.
“As far as capitalising on chances goes, the boys deserve full marks.”
Winger Sione Tupa grabbed the second try, followed by a try each to skipper and lock Murray Hewson, and fullback Scott McKinley, who also converted three of the tries.
Pirates’ only first-half reply came from a Dean Williams penalty kick.
Pirates dominated the second half and hooker Jody Tuhaka closed the gap with a try following a cut-out pass from fullback Kelvin Smith.
But any thoughts of a comeback were dispelled when Wilson, OBM’s player of the day, was rewarded for a brilliant game with a try, converted by McKinley.
Pirates coach Henry Maxwell said his players did “some silly things”, but he gave credit to OBM.
“They scored some really good tries and this result shows the competition is far from over, if anyone ever thought that,” Maxwell said.
“I think it is fair to say we dominated long periods of the game in both halves but they scored the points and at the end of the day that’s what counts — points on the board.”
Maxwell discounted any talk of complacency among his players.
“Not at all. We give every team the same respect and, coming off the bye week, we had no reason to be complacent. We turned the ball over, they scored . . . simple as that.
“We have no excuses. On the day, our performance wasn’t good enough, and if our players don’t know that now they will when they turn up for training this week.”
OBM 33 (BJ Akuhata, Sione Tupa, Scott McKinley, Murray Hewson, Nick Wilson tries; McKinley 4 con).
PIRATES 8 (Jody Tuhaka try; Dean Williams pen).
HT: 26-3 (OBM).