Gisborne second 15 earn hard-nosed win
Gisborne Boys’ High School second 15 and the Dannevirke High School first 15 set a new bar for hard-nosed rugby at the Rectory last weekend.
The home side, captained by second five-eighth Von Huata and boosted by eight first 15 squad members, outscored the tenacious visitors eight tries to three in a 46-21 scoreline.
But they were made to fight hard.
Replacement loosehead prop Isaiah Kiwara crossed for two tries. Gisborne’s other tries were scored by Huata, tighthead prop Nathaniel Hauiti, replacement tighthead prop Moeaki Mosati, first-five Bryan Howard, centre Adrian Wharehinga-McDonald and left wing Lyric Baty-Akurangi.
Howard kicked two conversions and halfback Kirk Ngatai potted one.
Dannevirke halfback Mese Faleali’i scored twice and captain/second five Bailey Johnson scored a try and kicked two conversions.
Hauiti opened the scoring in the ninth minute, his try converted by Howard. Huata dotted down at the quarter-hour mark for 12-0 and a Baty-Akurangi try after 22 minutes increased Gisborne’s lead to 17-0.
Dannevirke were on the precipice of a heavy defeat but in the 28th minute their captain struck back.
The 6ft 5in (1.95m), 271-pound (123kg) Johnson scored and converted his own try, and four minutes later converted a try by Faleali’i to cut Gisborne’s lead to 17-14 at the end of the half.
Boys’ High made a blazing start from the resumption.
A try to Kiwara was converted by Ngatai to make the score 24-14, then Howard converted his own try for a 31-14 lead in the 39th minute.
That became 36-14 with Moeaki’s try at the 50-minute mark.
Faleali’i completed his double in the 55th minute and Johnson’s conversion closed the gap to 36-21.
Kiwara, in the 60th minute, and Wharehinga-McDonald, with 60 seconds left to play, completed the scoring.
Dannevirke coach Hamish Greatbatch was impressed with the direct style of play by both sides, noting the tough tackling from the home team, which dislodged the ball from his players’ grasp.
Gisborne enjoyed 60 percent of possession.
“It was a good all-round effort by the whole side,” Boys’ High coach Wiremu Kaa said.
“The hard work was done in the first half when we played into a stiff breeze. After the break, we were able to plug the corners and put them under pressure.”