Tawa round off a brilliant season
Tawa rugby senior 1 coach Logan Tauiliili said his side’s combination of humility, confidence and team spirit won them the Ed Chaney Cup final.
Their 14-6 victory over red-hot favourites Paremata-Plimmerton at Ngatitoa Domain on Saturday was built on defence and determination. Immense forward play and a dominance at set-pieces – a hallmark of their premier team’s Jubilee Cup heroics this season – plus canny kicking helped them edge to victory in a dogged and tight match.
Centre Maka Ioane scored a fantastic individual try on the half-hour mark and halfback Nick Butterworth put the game out of reach with a 48-metre penalty 10 minutes before the end.
Hundreds of vocal supporters of both sides enjoyed the late winter sunshine as Paremata- Plimmerton’s impressive 14-game unbeaten run was broken.
They fell at the final hurdle last season as well, losing out to Wellington.
Tauiliili, in his first year with Tawa, said his players were ecstatic to emulate their premier side’s success.
The Tawa senior players trained as one unit this season and it made all the difference, he said.
‘‘There is so much shape, structure and hard work at this club.
‘‘The players respect each other, turn up for training on time and train hard.
‘‘They are humble but confident, and sometimes it looks like there is not a first and second team, but a 52-man squad.
‘‘On the field, the premiers set a benchmark that we chased very hard.’’
He said many of the senior 1 squad had come through colts together and they hoped to retain the Ed Chaney title in 2014.
Paremata- Plimmerton coach Dave Birnie rued crucial lineout misses, turnovers and two missed late penalties by fullback Ryan McLean. He could not fault the character of his team, however.
‘‘It was such a tight game. Both teams really wanted this, but someone has to win,’’ Birnie said.
‘‘Our boys are really happy with what they’ve achieved this season – it was just a pity to drop this game in front of a home crowd.
‘‘This is another building step for us as we take the club forward.
‘‘We have a group of players who work hard for each other and will achieve more in the future.’’
Birnie said success was not gauged just on the collection of silverware. Having 1000 supporters attend a senior 1 club rugby final pointed to the right things happening at Paremata-Plimmerton, he said.
Silverware: The trophy cabinet at Lyndhurst Park will need to be enlarged after Tawa’s senior 1 side captured the Ed Chaney Cup on Saturday.
On the attack: Tawa halfback Nick Butterworth was a key cog in his side’s Ed Chaney Cup win.