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Out on the blocks quick for first win

POVERTY Bay have registered their first win in the Hurricanes under-18 competition this year, beating Hawke’s Bay Saracens 20-10.

Coach Willie Waitoa said beating a Hawke’s Bay team was a solid achievement and the players were happy.

They lost their first match against Wanganui but had the upper hand in Saturday’s fixture at Wairoa.

“Our boys just got out of the blocks quickly,” Waitoa said after the win against Saracens.

With the wind behind them in the first half, Poverty Bay were up 12-0 early before Hawke’s Bay pegged the deficit back to 17-10.

A second-half comeback didn’t eventuate for Saracens and Poverty Bay had a 10-point buffer at the end.

Captain and fullback Braedyn Grant scored one of their tries, which was set up by prop Jordan McFarlane.

Waitoa said the front row — McFarlane, Amanaki Tonga and Sione Mafileo — were strong and Nic Proffit had an impact when he came off the bench.

Other players who stood out were Amos Roddick, Poumana Gemmell and Niko Lauti.

The Bay’s next game is against neighbours Ngati Porou East Coast.

It is the curtain-raiser for East Coast’s Heartland Championship game against King Country at Hatea-a-rangi Domain in Tokomaru Bay on Saturday.

The first three games for each team in the Hurricanes u18 competition determine seedings for their final matches in the series, which will be in Palmerston North.

IN THE ACTION: Braedyn Grant, here playing for Gisborne Boys’ High School, scored a try for the Poverty Bay under-18s in their 20-10 win over Hawke’s Bay Saracens on Saturday. Picture by Paul Rickard