Val­ley Heart­land team too good for Colts

Hauraki Herald - - RURAL -

The Thames Val­ley Heart­land rugby team made a good start to their home rep­re­sen­ta­tive sea­son with a solid 27-20 win against the Auck­land Colts at Thames on Satur­day.

Oc­ca­sional show­ers and a muddy ground made con­di­tions dif­fi­cult but both sides still man­aged to move the ball about quite read­ily. Auck­land made an ideal start and opened the scor­ing in the se­cond minute with an un­con­verted try. The vis­i­tors were play­ing at a tremen­dous pace but the home side re­sponded well and with the wind at their back Jar­rod Goodall kicked the first of two penal­ties to close the gap af­ter five minutes.

An­other try to Auck­land was con­verted to in­crease their lead but prop Travis Scott scored a try which was con­verted by Goodall to bring Thames Val­ley within two points af­ter 20 minutes. Auck­land scored an un­con­verted try only minutes later but Shaun Hill crossed over shortly be­fore half time for a con­verted try that locked up the game at 17 all.

With the wind be­hind them for the se­cond 40 minutes, Auck­land strug­gled to get go­ing and could only man­age an­other penalty, to re­gain the lead af­ter 50 minutes. Thames Val­ley kept plug­ging away till Goodall landed his sec- ond penalty with quar­ter of an hour to go and tied the scores.

Cen­tre Sam McCa­hon fin­ished off a pe­riod of good lead up work to cross over in the score­board cor­ner with four minutes left on the clock. Goodall kicked into the teeth of the wind from out wide to con­vert the try. Thames Val­ley kept Auck­land at bay un­til full time to record a 27-20 win.

The Thames Val­ley de­vel­op­ment team played the cur­tain­raiser on Rhodes Park No.3 field against the Te Marawhero XV, a Coun­ties Manukau club com­bi­na­tion side com­prised of play­ers from the Te Kauwhata, Mara­marua and Onewhero se­nior teams.

With a full squad to pick from, coach Peter O’Con­nor put a strong side out for the game. The lead changed hands sev­eral times and with two minutes to go Te Marawhero scored an un­con­verted try to take the lead 28-26.

Thames Val­ley swung onto the at­tack from the restart and pushed for­ward into the Te Marawhero half. A sweep­ing move was halted short of the try line but Ford Ains­ley was on hand to fin­ish off the play and scored the win­ning try for Thames Val­ley to make the fi­nal score 31-28.

The sec­ondary schools fi­nals took place on Satur­day and Paeroa Col­lege had a great day, record­ing wins in the Fourth Grade Fi­nal and the first XV 1A fi­nal for the Coul­ter Cup. Thames won the Se­cond Grade fi­nal and Waihi Col­lege won against Te Aroha Col­lege, 35-21, to take the Allen Fisher Cup in the 1st VX 1B fi­nal. The youth rugby com­pe­ti­tions also wound up with six fi­nals held around the union to fin­ish off a suc­cess­ful year. Re­sults: Un­der 13 Div 1: Waihi, Div 2: Coro­man­del, Un­der 11 Div 1: Mer­cury Bay, Div 2: Thames, Un­der 9 Div 1: Paeroa, Div 2: Thames, Un­der 8 Div 1: Mer­cury Bay, Div 2: Whanga­mata.

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