Pirongia beat Suburbs
making his run-on debut, tackling and running strongly all day, to flanker Andrew Charleston whose motor doesn’t ever stop, to the outstanding player of the day Shaun Coutts who always was back to his feet and putting himself into position to take the next hit up. All the mountain men scrapped all day to achieve the little victories that add up to a win. The backs became more threatening as the game wore on and better quality ball was won by the forwards. Wade keeps improving match to match and Waho made some threatening runs as the Suburbs defenders tired. PIRONGIA B Pirongia B went down 40-5 to Suburbs B in a game where duck shooting, injuries, and other player availability affected the team that they were able to put out onto the field. Despite this, the Pirongia team took it to Suburbs in large periods of this game and the result did not really do the Pirongia team justice. The first half was even up to the 30-minute mark. Suburbs had scored a converted try in the 10th minute, but for the next 20 minutes, both sides had their chances. The Pirongia forwards were dominant over their counterparts in the set pieces, but Suburbs were able to make good ground from the counterattack as well as some good offloads from their forwards, through the middle of the field. In the last 10 minutes of the half Suburbs were able to put together two quick tries, both converted, to go into the break with a 21-0 lead. Pirongia started the better in the second half and through constant pressure from the forwards through some pick-and-goes, Michael Earwaker got across to close the gap to 21-5. The Pirongia forwards were again dominant, but could not convert this into points and Suburbs were able to break out from halfway and score again. Play evened out for the next 20 minutes, but Suburbs ended the stronger by scoring two more late tries. Pirongia B were proud of their performance with a makeshift backline, who never gave up, and the way that the forward pack took it to the Suburbs forwards all game. Players of the day went to Tom Poole who was playing out of position at second fiveeighths instead of his usual openside flanker position. He was strong on defence and made some telling runs while Chris Moorfield playing his first game for the club was tireless in the tackle and dominated the lineout. PIRONGIA COLTS Playing the much bigger and highly favoured opposition, the writing looked to be on the wall for the Pirongia Colts when Fraser Tech Colts scored in the opening minutes to lead 7-0. However, from the resulting kick-off Pirongia were able to put Fraser Tech under pressure and a good read of the play had Jason Hill intercept a Fraser Tech back mover and sprint in under the posts to level the score at 7-7. Despite Fraser Tech having a massive size advantage, sustained bootlace tackling by Pirongia had wave after wave of Fraser Tech attack nullified. Fraser Tech used their size advantage to batter their way to the Pirongia goal line and score three converted tries to extend their lead to 28-7 early in the second half. However, periods of possession by Pirongia had Fraser Tech rattled — some attacking tackling from Daniel Webber and Flynn Wuest had a turnover in the Fraser Tech quarter lead to a second try by Hill under the posts — the resulting conversion by Mitch Zeuren closed the gap to 28-14. Debutant Manaia Murphy was having a storming game on attack and defence with some bone-rattling tackles, and with Jay Seebeck and Bradley Gibson having barnstorming runs up the field, Fraser Tech were soon under intense pressure to hold the surging Pirongia team out. From repeated attacks close to the line, Gibson was able to crash over and the resulting conversion from Zeuren closed the gap to 28-21. Pirongia were in attack mode and with Finn MacLean directing his backs and gaining good metres with darting runs around the rucks, the Pirongia backs were gaining large metres with Hayden Beare, Taane Millward and Webber coming into their own. Pirongia suffered several injuries, but each replacement stepped up and kept the pressure on Fraser Tech. Sam Fitness had been gaining good ball for Pirongia in the lineout all day, but his injury had Pirongia going to Marc Walton at the back of the lineout and continue to provide plenty of attacking ball. More attacking play from the Pirongia backline had Zeuren sprint the last 15m to score in the corner. From 30cm inside the touchline Zeuren was able to convert, to lock the scores at 28-28. This spurred Fraser Tech onto attack, and with their big boys battering away at the Pirongia line for the last seven minutes, unrelenting Pirongia tackling across the field had the line stand firm until a try held up in goal had the final whistle blow with the scores locked. This was a monumental effort across the park by the much smaller Pirongia team and bodes well for the rest of the season. Pirongia rugby Sponsors Day is on May 21, a great day to celebrate the contributions of their sponsors. On this¯ day the local derbies between Pirongia and Ohaupo¯/Pirongia B and O¯ haupo¯ B will take place, as well as Pirongia Colts against Te Awamutu Sports Colts.