Fans head east for epic rugby bat­tle

South Taranaki Star - - PROPERTY - BE­VAN BROUGHTON

OPIN­ION: With the Manawatu gorge bro­ken, we trekked over by the Sad­dle.

This took us through Vik­ings coun­try (Cen­tral Vik­ings, that was a fail­ure of epic pro­por­tions) to Napier.

While in sum­mer Hawke’s Bay has de­li­cious fresh fruit, yel­low pad­docks and the ex­cite­ment of the now flooded Fan­tasy Land, in win­ter, well it has noth­ing.

With for­mer Hawke’s Bay Mas­cot and front-row ex­pert Paj John­ston un­avail­able for the trip with his worn out pelvis, we ar­rived in en­emy ter­ri­tory.

Our team put on a very good per­for­mance. Es­pe­cially grat­i­fy­ing was our li­ne­out per­for­mance and the loose for­ward trio.

While mag­pies are ag­gres­sive, am­bush ex­perts, sneaky and ter­ri­to­rial - their rugby team is not. They are strug­gling this sea­son. Bulls are like Sharks. They like to in­tim­i­date. They like to chase stuff, smash it and re­mind ev­ery­one they are scary. So it was on Satur­day night. We even got to play a cou­ple of U19’s play­ers ; one be­ing for­mer Ross Brown South Ju­nior Ciarahn Ma­toe, who was busy in his de­but and nailed his one op­por­tu­nity at goal.

Win­less on McLean Park since 1973, it was a re­sound­ing record breaker for the Taranaki Bulls, win­ning 48-17.

The Bulls don’t get to play South­land, so we won’t get to see Lewis Or­mond play live in the strug­gling South­land Stags team. He is get­ting lots of game time and hav­ing to make a ton of tack­les. On Wed­nes­day night, with Lewis and Jesse op­pos­ing each other and Paul Wil­liams on the whis­tle, it was great to see these exSouth­ern play­ers go­ing well.

And we’ll bat­tle Jar­rod Hoeata and the very com­pet­i­tive North Har­bour in the last round, but may miss Kurt Baker who was in­jured play­ing for Manawatu.

We headed home, via the Pon­garoa Pub for the fish meal, our thoughts and dis­cus­sions moved on to Thurs­day’s game against for­mer Kaponga player and Bulls as­sis­tant, Leo Crow­ley’s Tasman.

To be hon­est, it’s hard not to look for­ward a fur­ther week to the shield chal­lenge – but let’s ce­ment a win over Tasman first. Tasman had our num­ber in the semis last year, with the Marty Banks Ebola and Beers show. It was one of the fun­nier days on the em­bank­ment I reckon.

TRFU has not had a great spell of weather for game nights, here’s hop­ing this Thurs­day night is dif­fer­ent.

SUP­PLIED

Ferdy, Taranaki rugby’s mas­cot cel­e­brates a mem­o­rable vic­tory against the Mag­pies.

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