Tom Smith celebrates blazer game for Kerikeri
Kerikeri 43 Hora Hora 29 (17-24): Keri reversed a halftime deficit to finish relatively convincing winners at home in round 14/18 of the Bayleys Premiership match on Saturday.
Coach Sean Anderson said it was a successful day for the club with the Bs also emerging triumphant by 55-15 win in the reserve grade.
The As’ win came from scoring six tries to Hora Hora’s five, thus the main difference clearly being No 10 Tom Smith enjoying a good day with the boot, kicking some from the sideline, grabbing a try and picking up the back POTD award. No surprises he was so inspired, this was his blazer game (now 21, Smith played the first of his 100 appearances for the Kerikeri seniors at age 16).
Also notable were Levi Clark scoring three tries, and Peter Drummond with one try, while the forward POTD award went to O’Neal Rongo in his last game for a while as he leaves to start training with Rarotonga preparing to take part in a world cup qualifier.
Meanwhile, standouts for the Bs were Jayden Hutchinson (forward POTD) and first five Myles Halvorsen. Anderson noted the As are now sitting in 5th spot on the Joe Morgan Memorial table, “just outside the top four”, while the Bs are fourth equal, noted Anderson
“In the contest of everything, we are achieving better than I was aiming for,” he said.
Kerikeri are preparing to host another big game coming up this weekend facing a rejuvenated Wellsford who drew 23-all with runaway pacesetters Kamo in what many regarded as the upset of the round last Saturday. Anderson noted Wellsford is now boasting five Mitre 10 Cup players including the likes of Rene Ranger and Jordan Hyland.
“They will be a hard nut to crack,” he said, predicting it will be a good day for the club especially with the likes of Ranger on the prowl and representing a major drawcard for more neutral supporters.
■ STANDINGS after round 14/18. Prems: Kamo (for/ against 503/212) 66 points, OBM (516/311) 52, Hora Hora (337/157) 48, Waipu (358/328) 46; Kerikeri (416/385) 36, Mid Northern (424/424) 31, Wellsford (303/386) 30, Western Sharks (255/443) 20, Hikurangi (272/451) 18, Otamatea (242/506) 11. Prem reserves: Kamo (553/202) 63, OBM (383/232) 49, Mid Northern (437/345) 47, Kerikeri (421/363) 41; Wellsford (421/367) 41, Otamatea (266/327) 31, Hora Hora (298/434) 30, Hikurangi (245/366) 27, Waipu (274/354) 25, Western Sharks (196/504) 19.
Tom Smith — shown here catching up with his Northland Sevens coach Peter Nock back in 2016 — played his blazer game for Kerikeri seniors on Saturday.