Moerewa UK one step closer to promotion
FROM PAGE 32
That first goal he was referring to was winning the North Zone final in order to be able to challenge for a seat at the table of Whanga¯rei rugby.
After the Bay finals on July 7, Moerewa United Kawakawa will play the winner of the South Zone championship (still TBCd). The winner and loser of that affair respectively then progress to face the bottom and second-tobottom teams from the Bayleys Premiership in a promotion/ relegation round on July 14.
Awanui gaffer Jordan Jujnovich was unable to be at Saturday’s game but from what he’d been told, said it sounded like another frustrating effort. “Based on yesterday’s performance, they are not playing too good. We have lost to UK twice [both times because of our] own mistakes. Just making silly mistakes, UK are a good enough side to make us pay.”
The truth of the matter is that Awanui didn’t really deserve to win. Last year’s Bell Shield finalists didn’t want this anywhere near as much as the home side because they’ve never been serious about returning to Whanga¯rei (and especially since those contentious days of being in the Northland wide around the turn of the century).
Jujnovich was adamant that approach had not been an issue going into the game; the important thing was for the Awanui players test themselves — the ultimate goal actually being to claim bagging rights — against their Bay of Islands counterparts. He also noted Awanui would have liked to have made the subsequent series of play-off games: “The boys are pretty keen to see how they go against a Whanga¯rei side.”
On behalf of the team, he thanked father Raymond’s business for sponsoring a bus to take the team and its supporters to Saturday’s clash.
Kaitaia 50 Otiria 26: Kaitaia scuppering their Bay of Islands counterparts in the bottom four final of the 2018 North Zone Championship at Simson Park [not Arnold Rae Park as initially promoted] on Saturday. Kaitaia manager Clayton Murray said it was a great game, and noted the big, wide and remarkably dry pitch allowed the Mangonui team’s backs to shine.
“We travelled a bit light on numbers in the end but got the job done so that’s the main thing. Really enjoyed our time with the boys from Otiria and they must be commended on their new strip and staunch haka they opened the game with. With 14s, 16s, 18s and the two senior games played at Moerewa on Saturday, it was a great day of rugby!”
Otherwise, it must be said the North Zone competition ended with whimper not a bang; two defaults evidence of the lack of interest some teams held towards the the third/ fourth playoffs: Kaikohe defaulting to Eastern in the top four, Panguru to Ohaeawai/ Okaihau in the bottom four. Both defaulting teams were the travelling ones.
■ DRAW for this Saturday’s fixtures is, Mangonui: Kaitaia vs Te Rarawa (possibly to be played at Ahipara on Friday night) and Panguru vs Awanui; Bay of Islands draw was still to be advised at edition time.