City ver­sus coun­try

Matamata Chronicle - - Your Local News - LAWRENCE GULLERY

Waikato rugby se­lec­tors had plenty to con­sider af­ter watch­ing this year’s John Porima Memorial U18 Se­ries at Bed­ford Park in Mata­mata.

In the end it was the Waikato City team which won both games in the se­ries against its Waikato Coun­try op­po­nent.

The city team won the first match 12-3 on Au­gust 31, and the sec­ond 31-14 a week later.

Mata­mata Col­lege boys Kieran Holdsworth (first­five), Chase Pauro (winger) and Jared Tuhakaraina (flanker) turned out for the coun­try team.

Richard Waru and Dar­ryl Ben­ni­son were the coaches of the coun­try team, Turk Cramp­ton was its man­ager and Andrew Sprag­gon was the cam­paign man­ager.

The city team was coached by Howie Rota and Tane Buck­ley while the man­ager was Marisa Rota.

Ben­ni­son said both teams played well and will be push­ing for spots in the Waikato U19 Academy next year.

He said both games were very phys­i­cal but also freeflow­ing, al­low­ing the Waikato U19 rep­re­sen­ta­tive coaches who were watch­ing, a chance to see the depth of tal­ent.

Ben­ni­son said the se­ries was a great chance for the young play­ers to ex­pe­ri­ence rep­re­sen­ta­tive rugby and for some it will be a step­ping stone to other teams.

He said Rhys Dick­in­son, who played for Mata­mata Col­lege and the coun­try team last year was one ex­am­ple.

‘‘He’s now part of the Waikato un­der 19 team so it’s a good path­way for boys to be in­volved in rugby.’’

Ben­ni­son said all three of the Mata­mata play­ers in the coun­try team per­formed well.

‘‘Kieran Holdsworth played par­tic­u­larly well in the first game. Chase was the only one of the three that played both games.’’

Jared Tuhakaraina was in­jured and couldn’t play the sec­ond game Kieran also had com­mit­ments.

Ben­ni­son said Bed­ford Park hosted both games this year.

‘‘We must give a big thank you to Alan Pryor and Wayne Dick­in­son who or­gan­ised the park for us and put on an awe­some af­ter-match func­tion for both games.’’

A com­bined U14/U15 team will play against St Ives Rugby Club from Syd­ney. That game will be played at Mata­mata Col­lege, 4pm, Septem­ber 27.

Also at Bed­ford Park and Hin­uera Rugby Club, the U14 and U15 Corinthian teams will also be play­ing game two of their Waikato Quad­ran­gu­lar tour­na­ments. while work

SUP­PLIED

The first game of the John Porima Memorial U18 Se­ries was held at Bed­ford Park, Mata­mata. Au­gust 31.

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