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