Bay’s opponents know what to expect
POVERTY Bay play hard and fast.
Horowhenua Kapiti’s Mark Tooman and Wairarapa Bush’s Scott Day know it. The head coaches of Poverty Bay’s opposition at Tremain Field in Napier tomorrow are keenly aware that the Bay will be more than competitive.
Tooman’s under-18s include four returners from 2017 — captain Josh Rauhihi, a talent who is down to start at second five-eighth but can also play in the loose forwards; fullback Arana Murphy of the strong Hastings Boys’ High School programme; tough No.8 James Gilland; and loosehead prop/hooker Dariyn McAdam, noted for his graft in the tight and hard tackling.
“It’s very much a rebuilding year for us but we have picked up three good boys,” Tooman said.
Openside flanker Isaac Laracy, first-five Lennix Tovo and deceptively fast centre Caleb O’Reilly had given them something extra.
“We’re excited to play Poverty Bay as it is a rare opportunity to do so,” he said.
The Bay u18s have an all-Gisborne Boys’ High School first 15 starting forward pack. Led by a superb fetcher in Dylan Hall, they have excellent strength, skills and fitness, and an appetite for hard work.
Lock Ofa Tauatevalu is a genuine springheels and No.8 Billy Priestley made his Barry Cup senior sub-union debut three years ago. Others have done that, but not too many.
Forward reserves include the ultra-committed Blake Beard and 6ft 6in Konnor Gibson.
Although Wellington Community beat Poverty Bay 34-20 in Gisborne last Saturday, Priestley and fullback Moses Christie — two of the home team’s four tryscorers — were the equal of any on Rugby Park.
Bay u18s coach and Heartland centurion Jamie Hutana has a message as direct as was his approach on the field.
“We want these boys to give all they’ve got and not leave the field wondering ‘what if?’?”
Scott Day’s Wairarapa Bush u16s, with six returners in their ranks, have trained together for six weeks and are led by 110-kilogram tighthead prop Malachy Wright and openside flanker Cody McGlashan.
“We need a good performance to start the campaign,” said Day, who only five years ago was playing hooker for the Bush in the u16s tournament against the likes of Hurricanes lock Isaia Walker-Leawere of Gisborne Boys’ High.
“We’ve talked about the physicality Poverty Bay will bring,” Day said.
“This is a huge game for us.”
The Bay u16s showed incredible resources and resolve last weekend to fight back from 14 points down and beat Thames Valley 34-21.
Some of tomorrow’s team were members of the outstanding Gisborne Boys’ High u15 team who placed third-equal in last week’s Hurricanes tournament.
POVERTY BAY UNDER 18s — 1-22: Nikau Maxwell, Seth Lundon, Salesi Niuvao, Isaiah Booth, Ofa Tauatavalu, Amanaki Tonga, Dylan Hall (captain), Billy Priestley, Quintony Ngatai, Quinn Collard, Genesis Bartlett-Tamatea, Niko Lauti, Tuhakia Stewart, Braedyn Grant, Moses Christie. Reserves: Sione Mafileo, Blake Beard, Konnor Gibson, De-Villa Pirihi-Coutts.
POVERTY BAY UNDER 16s — 1-22: Eddie Fili-Weti, Reef Roberts, Kitini Taihuka/Isaiah Kiwara, Te Kauri Waitoa, Lochi Mead, Setefano Tolu, Amos Roddick (c), Henare Brooking, Jordan Christie, Kaleb Te Whare, Lyric Baty-Akurangi, Manaakiao Maxwell, Whetu Kingi, Bryan Howard/Te Aotahi Tuhaka, Von Huata. Reserves: Kitini Taihuka/Isaiah Kiwara, Max Briant, Adam Whibley, Noah Totoro, Nic Proffit, B Howard/T Tuhaka, Anaru Paenga-Morgan, Tyrese Tuwairua-Brown.