Up­set at Taipa

The Northland Age - - Sport -

Eastern had their first pre-sea­son hit out against Kerik­eri at Taipa in very hot con­di­tions on Satur­day with the Man­gonui se­nior club rugby cham­pi­ons even­tu­ally emerg­ing nar­row win­ners by four tries to three. The re­sult could be re­garded in some cir­cles as an up­set in re­gards to Kerik­eri last sea­son win­ning — and ac­cept­ing — pro­mo­tion to play the higher level of the Whangarei-based South­ern Dis­tricts cham­pi­onship this year. Eastern coach Dave Jurlina noted the game was played in quar­ters with both sides need­ing plenty of wa­ter and lots of subs as the af­ter­noon went on. It also pre­sented an op­por­tu­nity for both par­ties to ex­per­i­ment with new com­bi­na­tions thus saw dif­fer­ent play­ers com­ing and go­ing through­out. “Con­sid­er­ing it was their first game, Eastern played with a sur­pris­ing level of ball skills and or­gan­i­sa­tion. Kerik­eri would be look­ing to work on their pat­terns as they are only two weeks away from the start of the com­pe­ti­tion, but have a very keen young side with plenty of skill,” said Jurlina, “The game was well ref­er­eed by John Ham­mond who gave up his Satur­day to run around in the hot con­di­tions.” Eastern travel to Hiku­rangi this week­end for their fi­nal pre sea­son game but al­ready nurs­ing some early in­juries.

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