Comfortable win for Pirongia XV over Huntly
Pirongia posted a comfortable 39-5 win over Huntly, despite having to field a number of B players for the Waikato division 1A rugby clash.
Jesse Bright made an instant impact on his return after a number of weeks off for study and recovery from surgery.
The classy centre opened the scoring when the ball was spread wide from a set piece. Fullback Scott Sands cut through and offloaded to Bright who had doubled around to score in the corner.
Bright soon had his second try when he ran around the first line of defence and then around the cover. Unfortunately for the season’s top try scorer, he didn’t last much longer before retiring with a twinge to his hamstring. Hopefully the injury won’t keep him out of next week’s big clash versus O¯ haupo¯ .
The game then almost became the Sam Hunter show when the winger scored the next three tries either side of half time. Firstly, given space on the blindside inside his own half, Hunter had too much pace for the Huntly cover defence and touched down in the left corner without a hand being laid on him. Fullback Scott Sands converted from the sideline.
His second try before halftime was the result of the inside backs giving him room on the outside and he used his speed and blockbusting style to again score in the left corner for a 22-0 halftime scoreline.
Pirongia cleared their bench over the first 10-15 minutes of the second half giving everyone the opportunity to push for a place next week.
Hunter, now playing at centre, was in for his hat-trick when he burst through and over the Huntly defence to score under the posts.
Mitchell Urbahn scored next when he came in off his wing to a midfield ruck under the posts and simply picked up and dove over for the five pointer. Urbahn had been at the races with family when he got the call at lunchtime Saturday that another player had pulled out due to illness.
Tom Kirkbride, on at halfback for the second 40 minutes, scored the final try when he broke from a scrum and used his pace to break the line and his strength to brush off the last defender to score. Urbahn topped off the day with the conversion.
Huntly had never given up all day and were rewarded with a late consolation try.
Player of the day was Kayden Moorfield who popped up all over the park on attack and in defence knocking over the big Huntly ball carriers. He was ably supported by stand-in captain Sam Gibson and Cameron Coombes.
The outstanding back was Hunter who may well have been player of the day had it not been for his controversial sinbinning for a deliberate knockdown.