TP Sports in with chance
RUGBY Te Puke Sports still have their destiny in their own hands but Rangiuru have something of a mountain to climb. With three rounds of the Baywide premier rugby competition to go, Te Puke did their chances of finishing in one of the top four play-off places no harm at all when they beat Tauranga Sports at Murray Salt Stadium on Friday. Rangiuru came agonisingly close to inflicting Greerton Marists’ first defeat of the season. Te Puke sit in sixth, two places and two points behind Tauranga Sports in fourth. The next opponents are Whakarewarewa who come to Te Puke on Saturday. A win would leapfrog the Rotorua side. Rangiuru will host table toppers Te Puna at Centennial Park on Friday afternoon when the Western Bay challenge trophy, the Jordan Cup, will be on the line. In a rare game under lights last Friday, Te Puke Sports came from behind to beat Tauranga Sports 24-11 after trailing 11-10 at halftime. Jack Hollinshead opened the scoring with a 17th minute penalty before a try and two penalties put the visitors ahead. Te Puke’s Leighton Fowler scored a try right on halftime, the conversion by Hollinshead pulling Te Puke back to within one point. Te Puke kept Tauranga scoreless in the second half. Jacob Janson scored the only try of the second half, with Hollinshead’s three penalties securing the win points. At Greerton Park, the home side held the smallest of advantages at the break, 8-7, with neither side troubling the scoreboard in the second half. Rangiuru’s points came from a Champagnat Solomon-mua try, converted by Isaac Te Aute five minutes before the break. Three teams now sit on 35 points at the top of the Baywide table — Te Puna, Mount Maunganui and Greerton Marist.