Broughton try gives Waikohu momentum
They stood their ground.
But brave though Ngatapa were, there was no way to stop Waikohu giant Jarryd Broughton scoring from three metres out on Saturday.
That try in the ninth minute by their mighty tighthead prop gave unbeaten Waikohu the perfect start to the top-of-the-table clash at Paddy's Park, as they maintained their lead in Civil Project Solutions premier rugby with a 38-21 win in the country derby.
The bonus-point victory for the Ra Broughton-coached GT Shearing Waikohu team earned them top placing in the six-team championship with 15 competition points. They are followed by East Coast Farm Vets YMP (10pts), Larsawn Ngatapa (9pts), Contract Consultants High School Old Boys (4pts), Kevin Hollis Glass Pirates (five pts) and Enterprise Cars OBM (2pts).
Ngatapa head coach Steve Hickey spoke of momentum and the importance of starting games well.
“Waikohu turned up to play, while we took half an hour to get into the match,” he said.
“It was an even contest up front, but they got a flow-on.
“Referee Damien Macpherson played a big part. Both teams wanted to play good rugby, and he let us do that.”
Ra Broughton gave this assessment: “It was a good effort by us for the majority of the game — fatigue started to kick in around the 60th minute — but the boys got their wind back to seal the game after Tane McGuire's second try.”
Waikohu first five-eighth Kelvin Smith didn't convert Jarryd Broughton's try, but did do the honours for second-five Leroy Taiapa in the 22nd minute and player-coach Ra Broughton in the 35th.
Ngatapa No.8 Tom Sanson scored on halftime, with a conversion by first-five Pete Livingston to close it to 19-7 at the break.
Waikohu centre McGuire scored the first try of his double two minutes after the resumption, Smith converting that for 26-7.
In the 44th minute, reserve fetcher-cum-No.8 Adrian Wyrill scored the fifth Waikohu try; it was not converted.
At the 48-minute mark, loosehead prop Antonio Walker-Leawere scored his first try for Ngatapa. Livingston converted and the score was 31-14 to Waikohu.
In the 57th minute, Sanson's second try plus conversion by Livingston reduced the deficit to 10 points (31-21) before McGuire sealed the match for Waikohu with his second try, 68 minutes in. Smith converted to mnake it 38-21.
The last act of the game was a yellow card for Waikohu reserve tighthead prop Isaac Ngatai in the 78th minute of play.
Ngatapa's player of the day — 20-year-old, 6ft 3in strongman Walker-Leawere — so impressed with his mobility and ball-skills against High School Old Boys on debut that Hickey was able to move him from loosehead prop to lock at halftime in the Week 3 game on Saturday.
The captains of Waikohu and Ngatapa had contrasting fortunes at the weekend.
Five minutes into the clash, Ngatapa lost their captain and hooker Jason Jones with an injury to his right knee; Waikohu captain and hooker Geoff Pari made a successful return to action after hurting his neck on Tiny White Opening Day.
“We're proud of that performance — we've been grinding away since the lockdown ended,” Pari said.
“This team has potential and we showed more signs of that on Saturday, playing well in patches, but we're still after a whole 80 minutes of it.”
Lock Shaun Ward had an excellent all-round game, winning good ball at the front of the lineout for Waikohu, and No.8 Tristan Morten's continued improvement greatly pleases Pari.
“It was an awesome community day for rugby,” he said.
“There were maybe 700 in. They put on a hangi for us and it was an electrifying atmosphere.”
Results of Week 3 of Premier Rugby and Week 1 of Ngati Porou East Coast club rugby —
Civil Project Solutions premier-grade rugby, Week 3: Kevin Hollis Glass Pirates 34 Enterprise Cars OBM 26, East Coast Farm Vets YMP 27 Contract Consultants High School Old Boys 7, GT Shearing Waikohu 38 Larsawn Ngatapa 21.
Enterprise Cars Ngati Porou East Coast club rugby, Week 1: Uawa 56 Tokomaru Bay United 0, Tihirau Victory Club 73 Waiapu 0, Tokararangi 45 Hicks Bay 5. Bye: Hikurangi.