Aotea Rugby Se­niors hold on for win

Bush Telegraph - - Property Market - By DAVE MUR­DOCH

A de­pleted Aotea se­nior rugby side man­aged to hang on for a win 29-27 against Waipawa, a team one place ahead of it in the com­pe­ti­tion, at Rugby Park on Satur­day, June 23.

Aotea be­gan strongly scor­ing two con­verted tries to lead 14-0 be­fore Waipawa came back to score two tries of its own con­vert­ing one of them.

A penalty in­creased the lead to 17-12 be­fore a yel­low card re­duced Aotea to 14 play­ers. Waipawa seized the op­por­tu­nity to score, its winger out­flank­ing Aotea’s de­fence to score in the cor­ner, a re­mark­able con­ver­sion giv­ing the vis­i­tors the lead 17-19 at half­time.

Back to full num­bers, Aotea scored early in the sec­ond half when a break up the cen­tre by Eruera Hauiti was passed to star winger Piritea McGuire who fed a ram­pag­ing Bai­ley John­son scor­ing un­der the posts.

Aotea’s for­wards con­tin­ued to work hard in the loose and they com­bined with its back­line to put prop Bai­ley John­son over for his sec­ond try — the lead now be­ing 29-19 with 12 min­utes to play.

A penalty to Waipawa nar­rowed the gap to seven, spurring on its for­wards to pres­sure Aotea’s line. Good con­trol of pos­ses­sion against a de­ter­mined de­fence even­tu­ally yielded a Waipawa try in the cor­ner. Cru­cially the con­ver­sion miss­ing.

The last two min­utes had Aotea in de­fence mode and Waipawa point­less for an Aotea win.

For Aotea Piritea McGuire was ev­ery where on the counter at­tack while 16-year-old Bai­ley John­son (al­most a vet­eran of se­nior rugby at this ten­der age) was on hand to use his bulk to score two crit­i­cal tries. The back­line was di­rected skil­fully by sec­ond-five Whare­mako Pae­wai in the ab­sence of the Petera boys although Tama ar­rived in time to play the last 20 min­utes.

Whare­mako Pae­wai close to the Waipawa line with Piritea McGuire in sup­port.

Eruera Hauiti tries to steal the ball from a Waipawa throw.

(Left): Shaun Wat­son led the for­ward charge on many oc­ca­sions.

Aotea’s winger Piritea McGuire was lethal on the counter at­tack.

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