Whangamata¯ win crucial match

Side play Hauraki North in round seven of the Tom Jordan Cup






Saturday rugby saw Whangamata¯ host Hauraki North in round seven of the Tom Jordan Cup. This mid-table clash was crucial as both sides chased a top four place in the Thames Valley Senior A competition. The Whangamata¯ red and whites were hungry for both the win, plus the precious bonus point. “Whangamata¯ need to stick to a basic game with no heroes in these conditions,” long time Whangamata¯ fan Robyn noted wisely before the game. The weather was showery, soft underfoot and the ball not easy to handle. Whangamata¯ skipper Zach Clarke opened the scoring with a converted try followed by a magnificent long range penalty by Sean O’grady. The red and whites were ahead 10-0 after 12 minutes. A major lapse of concentration with two loose passes gifted Norths a soft try, 10-7. The uncontainable Clarke scored Whangamata¯’s second try, 15-7. Then came easily the best try of the game, Whangamata¯ dominated possession with eight phases of play then whipped the ball out to the left wing. Norths were scrambling on defence as wide ranging Clarke sweetly passed the ball inside to power winger Joel Taylor who dotted down. The conversion slipped by the posts. At halftime, Whangamata¯ were comfortably ahead 20-7. Four minutes into the second half Whangamata¯ notched their bonus point with their fourth try and extended their lead to 25-7. However, Norths cranked their game up with some inspired play and closed the score line to 25-19 with eight minutes to play. Yet Whangamata¯ closed the game out with another try by their man of the match dynamic flanker Clarke. This was converted by Sean O’grady for the final score 32-19. The red and whites now have three consecutive wins and are developing into a cohesive way rugby machine. The Whangamata¯ loose forward trio of Zach Clarke, Irishman Charles Clarke and Oisin Halpin with their pace and tackling, proved decisive in this hard earned win. Nippy winger Elijah Byles and the muscle bound prop Tobias Pulley both made strong impact appearances. This win takes Whangamata¯ into fourth spot on the table just ahead of Paeroa and Hauraki North. Thames Valley Rugby Senior A ■ Tom Jordan Cup results – 18/06: Waihi Athletic soundly beaten 62-8 by Mercury Bay. Whangamata¯ 32 v Hauraki North 19. Coromandel 7 v Paeroa 17. Close local derby Waihou 21 just edged by Te Aroha Cobras 23. Competition leaders Thames had a bye. Fixtures – 25/06 (home team listed first, all 2pm kick-off): Paeroa v Whangamata¯ Mercury Bay v Waihou Te Aroha Cobras v Coromandel Hauraki North v Thames