Bonus point bumps Val­ley up to 5th

Hauraki Herald - - SPORT -

Af­ter record­ing back to back losses in the Mitre 10 Heart­land Rugby Cham­pi­onship, Thames Val­ley won 26-7 against pre­vi­ously un­beaten Buller at the Paeroa Do­main on Satur­day.

The four tries to one re­sult was just-re­ward for a much im­proved home side that had al­lowed cer­tain vic­tory to es­cape their grasp in their last two out­ings. The side picked up a bonus point for scor­ing four tries and now sits in fifth po­si­tion in a tightly packed points ta­ble.

Thames Val­ley made a great start when full­back Harry Lafi­tu­a­nai fielded a grub­ber kick just out from his own posts and pro­ceeded to step his way clear and sprint the length of the pitch to score un­der the posts in the first min­utes of the game.

Jar­rod Goodall con­verted and from the restart Thames Val­ley broke out from their own 22 with a run that ended just out­side the Buller 22. Thames Val­ley loan player Hay­den An­der­son suf­fered a se­ri­ous leg in­jury in the move­ment and play was halted un­til he was cleared from the field.

Buller re­sponded well af­ter the re­sump­tion in play. Lead­ing com­pe­ti­tion points scorer, James Lash con­verted to level the scores but he failed to trou­ble the score­board again. Thames Val­ley were next to score when Alex Bradley crashed over from a 5m scrum.

Thames Val­ley now moves on to play King Coun­try this week at Te Kuiti while Buller re­turns to West­port for a home game against Wairarapa Bush. The Thames Val­ley De­vel­op­ment Team is the toast of the union af­ter win­ning the North­ern Re­gions Un­der 85kg com­pe­ti­tion fol­low­ing a 32-0 win over Waikato at Marist Park in Hamil­ton.

The team was un­beaten go­ing into this match and the bonus point win means they can­not be caught on the leader board with only one round re­main­ing. Flanker Dy­lan Horne scored two tries with Stephen Wise, Jar­rod Baker, Tu­mua Uluile­lata and Read Tobin get­ting one each. Ham­mond Wick­liffe kicked a con­ver­sion to com­plete the scor­ing.

The Un­der 18s went down by two points to the New Zealand Har­lequins at Cen­ten­nial Park in a tight tus­sle. This is an Un­der 18s com­pe­ti­tion game so the team picked up a bonus point for the loss but it is a game the coach­ing crew felt they should have won.

Cur­rently Thames Val­ley shares top spot with Taranaki on 11 points but NZ Har­lequins are just one point be­hind and have a game in hand. The Un­der 16s lost to Waikato 57-7 in the early game at Cen­ten­nial Park while the Un­der 45kg team played out the third day of the In­vi­ta­tion Tour­na­ment at Boyd Park, Te Aroha on Sun­day. The team lost 31-26 to top side Hamil­ton Gold in the first game but gained a mea­sure of redemp­tion by beat­ing King Coun­try 26-10 in their fi­nal game. The team won three and lost two games to fin­ish third in the com­pe­ti­tion for this year.

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