SEVENTH-PLACED Te Urewera Raiders claimed their second win of the Gisborne Cosmopolitan Club rugby league season, beating Repongaere Eels 46-20 at Wairoa at the weekend.
The Raiders came out firing from the kick-off, keen for a win after a 40-32 loss to the fifth-placed Eels in round three.
The win was due to a dominant first half, when the Raiders ran in seven tries to lead 34-0 at the break.
But the Eels got back into the game in the second half, racking up 20 points to the Raiders’ two converted tries.
Once again, fullback Louie Mitchell was the danger-man for Waikaremoana-based Raiders, scoring two tries only minutes apart in the first half. He also kicked five conversions.
Teammate Witoko Tahuri also bagged two tries and was good on defence.
Like many of the Raiders’ first-half tries, Mitchell’s two four-pointers came off good passing through the midfield.
The Raiders ran the ball well and showed signs of their rugby roots by passing and offloading rather than taking the ball up and finishing their sets.
The tactic worked as the Eels struggled to get their hands on the ball throughout the first 40 minutes.
But the Eels did not let it continue in the second spell.
They ran in four tries — two to Anthony Karauria and one apiece to Rana Wharehinga and Tommy Hawea. Jaye Hindmarsh kicked two conversions.
Other tryscorers for the Raiders were Beau Turipa, Te Rua Munro, Chase Winitana, Te Amohanga Rangihau and Hemi Davies.
Eastland Engineering Paikea Whalers were also victorious at the Tapuae grounds on Saturday, beating Tapuae Taniwha 22-10.
The game was expected to be close after third-placed Tapuae ended the Falcons’ unbeaten run the previous week.
Defending champions Paikea backed themselves with good defence and fast line-speed, and kicked the ball deep.
Tapuae tried to go round the Whalers and flirted with the touchline on numerous occasions but the wet weather dictated play, with heavy rain settling in the second half.
Prop Axel Campbell bagged two tries for the Whalers with Richard Brown and Evan Bryant scoring one each. Thomas Brown kicked three conversions.
Tapuae tryscorers were Paoraian Harman and Dean Gallagher. Beau Gallagher kicked one conversion.
Turanga Panthers continue to be Waengapu Stallions’ bogey team. The Panthers won their match-up 44-36 at Awapuni Sports Stadium at the weekend.
The Panthers were glad to get a win after losing to their own bogey team, the Eels, last week. They beat the Stallions convincingly in round three but this encounter was much closer, with the Panthers running in eight tries to seven.
Panther PJ Waihape’s hat-trick was matched by the Stallions’ Brad Kiwara, who also kicked four conversions.
Panthers stand-off Nico Poi was impressive, scoring two tries and kicking five conversions. Steve Mataiti also kicked a conversion.
Rounding out the Panthers’ tryscoring were John Fox, Jack King and Tuta Kingi. Tryscorers for the Stallions — apart from Kiwara — were Pepene Hoepo, Trevor Edwards, Hukanui Brown and Nesta Turnball.
The Falcons beat Eastern Knights 80-0 at Awapuni Sports Stadium.