Ma­nurewa grab close victory

Franklin County News - - Opinion -

Ma­nurewa 10 Pukekohe 5 It was a typ­i­cally tough arm-wres­tle be­tween Pukekohe and Ma­nurewa, with Ma­nurewa get­ting an im­por­tant first-up away victory by de­feat­ing 2008 semi­fi­nal­ists Pukekohe at Colin Lawrie Fields.

Re­peat­ing what was an up­set victory late in the sec­ond round of the McNa­mara Cup last year, when they were able to call on the ser­vices of Lelia Masaga, Ma­nurewa again had an ace player up their sleeve in the form of Steeler Tim Nanai Wil­liams.

Af­ter star­ring for the New Zealand Sev­ens team on the world se­ries cir­cuit, Nanai Wil­liams was avail­able to play for the vis­i­tors be­cause of a break be­fore an up­com­ing NZ un­der-20 camp.

His penalty and con­ver­sion helped Ma­nurewa get home.

Coach Lee Lidgard was pleased with the en­thu­si­asm Nanai Wil­liams brought to the side, af­ter the club had been strug­gling for num­bers at early train­ing ses­sions.

Be­cause of the small turnouts, the team had worked hard on fit­ness and it paid off in a match Lidgard de­scribed as ‘‘a real good 80 min­utes of rugby’’.

Pukekohe had lim­ited op­por­tu­ni­ties but too of­ten pan­icked and made mis­takes when they did get some ball.

Coach Rhys Cul­li­nane de­scribed it as ‘‘ a pretty poor per­for­mance’’ in ‘‘ a pretty scrappy game’’.

Ma­nurewa 10 ( A Tuala try, T Nanai Wil­liams con, pen) beat Pukekohe 5 (S Tag­i­cak­ibau try).

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