Pacific test competition leading Tigers
Last Saturday on a clear sun swept winters afternoon at Resthills park in Hamilton, Pacific Sharks met Waicoa Bay rugby league premier competition leaders Hamilton City Tigers in the clash of the round.
Pacific’s previous two games were rained off and they were looking to getting their season back on track by toppling the giant Tigers.
In the earlier reserves game, Pacific thrashed Tigers 42 – 18 with youngsters Josiah Vaevae and Nea Tai playing a pivotal role in their colossal win.
In the premier game Hamilton City Tigers showed their class in the first half with a clinical performance completing their sets with the ball and meeting Pacific with brutal defence.
Though they scored three tries Pacific were as enthusiastic and creative showing no signs of redundancy.
Sharks scored three tries of their own to winger Victor Reu, ever present captain Patrick Russell, and mercurial centre Tamatoa Reu for a mouthwatering half-time score line of 16-14 to Tigers.
In the second half, City Tigers were not the same team making uncharacteristic errors due to the Sharks swarming defence and hence lost territory.
On one such raid off the Tigers goal line, Sharks standoff Ezra Takiri skilfully threaded a grubber kick behind the defence and in-goal for attentive winger Reu to score. Sharks went ahead 20-16. With 10 minutes to go, Pacific were again threatening the Tigers line only to be awarded a penalty in front of the goal post.
The penalty conversion, 22-16, meant Tigers had to score twice to win.
With minutes to go, Tigers attacked the Sharks goal line with vigour for their diminutive fullback to score through several defenders.
Tigers converted, for an eventual fulltime score of 22-all. Pacific’s player of the day, back rower Haukainga Tiatoa was dynamic in attack and defence.
Next Saturday Pacific will play Taupo Phoenix in Tokoroa and on the following Tuesday at 6pm will be the first catch up game against Central (reserves) and Ngongataha in Rotorua.