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Straight talk from Coast coach Hosea Gear

RUGBY.

When talking rugby, the salt of the earth — Ngati Porou East Coast — don't go the airy-fairy “We're disappointed”.

They say, “We gave it death, mate; lost 42-16.”

The Hosea Gear-coached Coast under Hone Haerewa make no excuses: they were beaten by 26 points (42-16) and outscored by five tries to two on Saturday at Enterprise Cars Whakarua Park, Ruatoria, by a Poverty Bay side who remain holders of both the PJ Sayers Cup and Anaru “Skip” Paenga Memorial Trophy.

It was the scarlet-and-whites' 125th win, as against 39 to the Sky Blues, in 169 games since the 19-18 victory to Poverty Bay at Tokomaru Bay in 1923.

Coast head coach Gear tells it straight.

“Poverty Bay were too good,” he said.

“A number of things impacted on our preparation, but it's all good, that's how it was. Again, that game was an opportunity we can reflect and build on; our goal-line defence was outstanding with the number of cracks the Bay had at it — a big positive for us.

“The Bay were great at slowing our ball down and also put pressure on our attack.

“Atonio Walker-Leawere (tighthead prop) played a massive game for them and wouldn't look bad in a sky blue jersey. Their captain, (openside flanker) Adrian Wyrill, was awesome, as was (centre) Tione Hubbard, and (right wing) Matt Raleigh was, as usual, dangerous.

“That first-half try to (loosehead prop) Perrin Manuel was one of our highlights. During the match we'd identified an opportunity to attack space, and for the boys to react to it was really satisfying — it goes to show that they're capable of adapting and adjusting when they need to, so that's a great sign for us.”

East Coast captain and No.8 Hone Haerewa said: “We pride ourselves on our set-piece play. We did well in that area in Gisborne and had a goal to disrupt the Bay's lineout again with our speed across the ground and speed in the air this time as well.

“We're proud of a gutsy effort from our boys against a tough Poverty Bay side — a challenge in itself — and the boys went hard to the end.”