Epic sec­ond-half come­back

South Waikato News - - SPORT -

On a clear but chilly Ro­torua day Pa­cific Sharks were up against Cen­tral in the re­serve grade and the hap­less wooden spoon­ers Ngongo­taha Chiefs in the pre­miere game.

The re­serves bat­tled it out in a top of the ta­ble en­counter. Pa­cific Sharks bulked up their team to match Cen­tral who un­char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally fielded a speedy and ag­ile team. In the first 10 min­utes, Pa­cific were dom­i­nant with pivot Jack-Bond Per­aua and barn storm­ing for­ward Do­minic Mea scor­ing tries. Sharks’ cap­tain Jade Hawkins con­verted for a 12-0 lead in as many min­utes.

But Cen­tral had a game plan with their speed across the park re­ply­ing with six unan­swered tries to take an unas­sail­able lead into the half­time break of 28-12.

How­ever, in the sec­ond half it was all Pa­cific who used their pow­er­ful for­wards to wear down the Cen­tral de­fend­ers scor­ing five more tries. Sharks’ player of the day and hooker Dane Clark kept the Cen­tral marker de­fence busy with two tries and un­com­pro­mis­ing cen­tre De­laney Takiri was un­stop­pable close to the line with two tries.

The fi­nal score of 40-34re­flected the at­tack­ing po­ten­tial of both sides and their en­ter­tain­ment value as the crowd that gath­ered were rap­tur­ous through­out the game.

Sharks’ pre­mieres were stunned when Ngongo­taha scored two well ex­e­cuted tries to their left wing af­ter 20 min­utes for a lead of 10-0. Sharks were strug­gling to find any rhythm in the backs and clout in the for­wards.

Af­ter 30 min­utes Sharks be­gan to as­sume dom­i­nance ter­ri­to­ri­ally and from an at­tack­ing scrum, winger Vic­tor Reu cruised over for a try, 10-4. From the restart of play Sharks for­wards Callin Tereu and Peter Le­toga pro­moted the ball for half­back Patariki Takiri to place a well weighted bomb and cen­tre Tam­a­toa Reu to score, 10-8.

Af­ter half­time the Sharks lifted their in­ten­sity and had the Chiefs in all sorts of bother try­ing des­per­ately to get out of their half.

Sharks full­back Vinny Morunga was in blis­ter­ing form and Cap­tain Pa­trick Rus­sel who re­trieved his own in-goal grub­ber at­tempt sent cen­tre Weyan Hewett in to score. Takiri con­verted, 14-10.

Min­utes later, Rus­sell was again in­volved with a deft grub­ber kick be­hind the de­fence for winger Reu to score, 18-10.

Af­ter 55 min­utes Rus­sell who was able to get on the score­board when from an at­tack­ing scrum Hewett and heady for­ward Is­rael Vano helped the play to­wards to the goal­post. Rus­sell was un­stop­pable from dummy half Takiri con­verted, 24-10.

Af­ter 65 min­utes, cen­tre Reu showed his class from 40 me­tres out when hes­ped away to score in the cor­ner, 28-10.

Pa­cific added mis­ery to Ngongo­taha’s day by scor­ing a fur­ther five tries to Ho­hepa Gibb, 2, Yan­nis Mea, 2, and winger Vic­tor Reu to com­plete a hat-trick for a fi­nal score of 52-10.

Re­tox Player of the Day went to Pa­trick Rus­sell.

Pa­cific Sharks player Yan­nis Mea is too quick for the Cen­tral de­fence.

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