Sharks lost their bite

South Waikato News - - SPORTS / TE PAPA HAKINAKINA - By PET­RICE TAR­RANT

Af­ter a de­ves­tat­ing 30-24 loss to Pikiao War­riors, Pa­cific Sharks were left down but thank­fully not out.

De­spite a home ad­van­tage Pa­cific failed to nail the win in the week­end mean­ing they will bat­tle Pheonix for a spot in the grand fi­nal.

The tal­ented young side came out on to the field fir­ing and dom­i­nated the first 15 min­utes. Strong for­ward Callin Tereu crossed the line first but the com­mand­ing spell was short-lived.

The hosts let Pikiao back in to the game phys­i­cally and it was only by sheer de­ter­mi­na­tion that Pa­cific went in to the chang­ing sheds at half time lead­ing the score­board 12 to 8.

The sec­ond half be­gan in the same fashion that the first ended, pre­dom­i­nan­tely con­trolled by the op­po­si­tion.

Pa­cific strayed from their game plan, fail­ing to hit hard up the cen­tre and de­fen­sivly the unit fell flat.

Coach Pan­iora Daniels said they were in­con­sis­tent and al­lowed Pikiao a few easy breaks through the line, par­tic­u­larly out on the wing. ‘‘Our reads weren’t on.’’ Ur­gency was lack­ing amongst the home side that strayed from its game-win­ning struc­ture.

‘‘That’s been our strength all year,’’ Daniels said. ‘‘We were our own worst en­e­mies. I feel they wanted it more than us, they came out of the chang­ing sheds with a step.’’

A week off and wet ground con­di­tions did noth­ing to help Pa­cific, he said.

‘‘We are a dry track team. If the ruck can be sped up a lit­tle bit more then we can re­ally show what we can do.’’

Stand out per­form­ers were Jack Pereua, Callin Tereu and Ethan Tete­vano, Daniels said.

Daniels said they will be look­ing to raise the in­ten­sity and pick up on de­fence as they head into their next match.

A win would take them to the grand fi­nal for the third con­sec­u­tive year.

Team ef­fort: Pa­cific Sharks bat­tle it out against arch ri­vals Pikiao for a spot in the grand fi­nal.

Pho­tos: MEREAUMATE VANO

Taken down: Cas­sius Read pins his op­po­si­tion down.

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