TA blows Suburbs off the park
Te Awamutu Sports overcame first half rustiness following two weeks’ break to blow Eastern Suburbs off the park for a 52-20 win in Waikato championship rugby.
Sports scored eight tries at Albert Park on Saturday, including doubles for winger Shauncy Waho and No.8 Fetu Sasalu. Matthew Towers, Awa Morris and Ryan McNeil also picked up tries.
Fullback Logan Karl slotted six conversion along with a try for a personal haul of 17 points on a day where a forgettable first half was outshone by a scintillating second half.
Sports hit the ground running with two quick tries to Sasalu and Towers to take a 14-0 lead in 10 minutes.
Penalties, errors and frustration then piled up on the home team as their lead was cut to six points, 14-8, after Suburbs scored from a slick lineout move. The visitors had a real bounce in their step and felt the rumblings of an upset brewing for the second half.
Sports dashed those dreams with three tries in 10 minutes as the backs found their groove and space all over the field.
Waho scored two tries either side of a stunning break and chip kick laying on a try for Karl.
Suburbs picked up a try, against the run of play, when a clearing kick was charged down.
Stung back into action, Sports applied massive pressure at scrum time, winning a tight head which caught the visiting backs short and Morris strolled over for an easy try.
A 25m, perfectly-executed rolling maul gave Sasalu his second try and a 45-15 scoreline.
Suburbs snuck another try when a wide pass was intercepted to pull it back to 45-20.
In swarming pressure on the Suburbs’ ruck McNeil scooped up the loose ball and score between the posts to wrap up his team’s comprehensive victory to kick off their championship campaign.
Sports can reflect on a second half where they righted the ship big time, with the backs reaping the rewards off a strong forwards effort.
Midfielder Caleb Loomans continues to improve and was a constant menace through the middle.
Waho showed a glimpse of his immense potential, proving Photo: Justin Miezenbeek almost untouchable in space. Karl was dangerous at fullback and excellent from the tee.
Lock Josh Reynolds was strong in the lineouts, Connor Loomans and Matthew Towers worked hard around the fringes, and Sasalu and prop Gordon Fullerton carried the ball strongly.
Sports travel to Puta¯ ruru next weekend looking for two wins in a row.
Te Awamutu Sports' rising star, winger Shauncy Waho leaves the Te Rapa defence in his wake when scoring at Albert Park on Saturday.