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Living on the edge

It might not have been pretty from a side who play “on the edge” but YMP did enough to end the first round of the Poverty Bay club rugby regular season unbeaten, defeating Ngatapa 29-5 on Saturday.

On the same day they celebrated hooker and captain Shayde Skudder’s 100th game, YMP claimed the Memorial Cup as leaders of the premier grade after the teams had all played each other once.

Saturday’s matches also featured a six-try haul for High School Old Boys fullback Andrew Tauatevalu as they put away Pirates-GMC 76-12 while OBM extended their impressive run of form with a 52-21 victory over Waikohu.

Enterprise Cars OBM have lost only once so far, against YMP, and the two sides will meet again this weekend in a top-of-the-table clash.

On a warm afternoon at Barry Park, YMP — who have set the standard this year — had flashes of dazzling play but were far from fluent in the first half.

Larsawn Ngatapa got off to the better start, with flanker Jacob Samuel crashing over for a try after five minutes.

Ngatapa coach Steve Hickey rued missed chances to put YMP under more pressure by “cashing in” when they had YMP on the back foot.

“We created good opportunities early,” he said. “But we made little mistakes at crucial times.”

YMP hit back in style. Fullback Jayden Milner made a breathtaking run, leaving several defenders in his wake, before delivering the final pass to halfback Quinnton Pari-Collins, who dotted down.

Flanker Fawn White scored YMP’s second try after a quick tap and they led 12-5 at halftime.

Hickey said YMP controlled the game after the break but his team put up some admirable defence.

“Our guys defended pretty well for long periods. “We shut down their backs reasonably well.

“As the game went on, we were falling off tackles a little bit.”

The Ngatapa scrum was also getting forced backwards and that made it hard for the team to make headway.

YMP coach Steve Smith said they had been working on their set piece and he was happy with their scrummaging.

Milner was a key cog in YMP’s attack and first five-eighth Reihana Wyllie looked at his best when he was taking the ball into contact.

Left wing Nathan Rangihuna continued his good form and scored a try.

YMP’s other tries went to prop Lewis Fleming and blindside flanker Willis Tamatea.

Last 20 OBM surge puts Waikohu awaySmith said his team tended to play “on the edge”, so that accounted for some dropped ball.

He was also leaving “something up the sleeve” for later in the season.

Hickey said Ngatapa loose forwards Chase Sheridan and Tom Sanson both defended well.

First-five Lyle Crudis, playing his first game of the season, had some nice moments and Matt Raleigh went well at centre, he said.

OBM coach Trevor Crosby said his team were able to get away in the last 20 minutes of their game against GT Shearing Waikohu at Te Karaka.

They led 14-0 at halftime but Waikohu fought back to make it 14-all 10 minutes into the second half, before OBM piled on the points, he said.

Waikohu were down to 14 men at the end, with a player shown a yellow card and later a red, understood to be for a second offence deemed worthy of a yellow.

“Our forward pack, as a group, played well,” Crosby said. “Jacob Cook led the forwards well.”

Openside flanker Adrian Wyrill and second-five Mark Atkins, who scored two tries, were other players to have big games, he said.

Crosby said referee Royce Maynard controlled the game well.

Waikohu coach Jason Tuapawa said Ethine Reeves scored two tries for his team.

Lying in fourth, ahead of Ngatapa and Kevin Hollis Glass Pirates-GMC, they would need to get their game going before the playoffs, he said.

Pirates-GMC again conceded more than 50 points, this time against Earthwork Solutions HSOB, and it was not helped when a player got a yellow card.

HSOB fullback Andrew Tauatevalu said it was the first time he had scored six tries.

“There was heaps of space out wide,” he said.

HSOB coach Scott Leighton said Stefan Destounis, Viliami Kavai and Fletcher Scammell all had good games in the forwards.

First-five and co-captain Baxter Mackay said HSOB capitalised on their opportunities, though Pirates-GMC fought back in the second half.

SPEED TO BURN: YMP fullback Jayden Milner leaves Ngatapa players clutching at air on the way to setting up a try for Quinnton Pari-Collins. Picture by Paul Rickard