Tani­wha suf­fer heavy de­feat

The Northland Age - - Sport -

North­land 28 Waikato 71 (HT 7-38): Waikato gave the Tani­wha an old-fash­ioned hid­ing in the penul­ti­mate round of the reg­u­lar sea­son of the Mitre 10 Cup Cham­pi­onship divi­sion at Toll Sta­dium on Satur­day.

The brick­bats were quick in com­ing with North­ern Ad­vo­cate re­porter Im­ran Ali be­ing par­tic­u­larly scathing about the home­side per­for­mance by de­scrib­ing the man­ner in which North­land con­ceded 71 points at home — “al­most a point a minute” — as “hu­mil­i­at­ing”.

“This is not the style of rugby North­landers want,” Ali noted in his re­view of the rout.

“They [Waikato] opted for di­rect run­ning know­ing there was ev­ery op­por­tu­nity North­land would fall off tack­les and the Tani­wha did just that . . . It all boils down to sloppy de­fence and good­ness knows how many train­ing ses­sions North­land will need to get that right.”

It was the 75th time the two sides have clashed since 1926, with Waikato claim­ing 47 wins to North­land’s 26 and two draws. The re­sult rep­re­sented re­venge for Waikato which lost the pre­vi­ous en­counter 37-7 in Whanga¯rei in Septem­ber last year.

Satur­day’s game fea­tured plenty of cur­tain-rais­ing en­ter­tain­ment Kerik­eri half­back Sam Nock (pic­tured here in a file photo) scored a try for North­land in the 71-28 loss at home to Waikato at Toll Sta­dium on Satur­day af­ter­noon.

in­clud­ing the North­land po­lice vs North­power team fol­lowed by an “all-ac­tion po­lice sce­nario” in­volv­ing he­li­copters, dogs and shenani­gans just be­fore the main game kicked off.

This lat­est re­sult has added to the re­cent run of ex­tremely mixed form by the Tani­wha. This in­cludes the hard-fought 24-20 win over Coun­ties Manukau in Pukekohe the pre­vi­ous Sun­day, and the 55-41 away loss to Hawke’s Bay in Napier in week 7 on Wed­nes­day, Septem­ber

26. North­land now have a win/ loss record of 4-5 in this na­tional pro­vin­cial com­pe­ti­tion cam­paign, while Waikato sits atop the lower tier cham­pi­onship stand­ings with a six win — three loss record.

Despite this, North­land has still qual­i­fied for a semi-fi­nal sport cour­tesy of the bonus point they earned against Waikato (for scor­ing four tries).

The Tani­wha pre­pare to play Bay of Plenty, cur­rently fifth in the Cham­pi­onship, this Satur­day. Waikato, mean­while, pre­pare to host Otago in Hamil­ton in a Ran­furly Shield chal­lenge match.

Good­hue side­lined

The North­land rugby com­mu­nity was dis­ap­pointed Jack Good­hue never got to play for the All Blacks against the Spring­boks on Sun­day morn­ing.

The All Blacks came from be­hind 13-30 to post a 32-30 over the ’Boks in Pre­to­ria, South Africa. Despite hav­ing been named in the start­ing line up, Good­hue was un­able to play a part in pro­ceed­ings af­ter con­tract­ing a virus.

The Kawakawa-born player has re­ceived plenty of good press lately, with some com­men­ta­tors de­scrib­ing him as the fu­ture of the All Blacks and not­ing his se­lec­tion showed he is now the first choice for the No 13 jersey ahead of Ryan Crotty as the build-up for next year’s World Cup be­gins.

Most no­table has been the high praise from All Blacks coach Steve Hansen, who be­lieves the 23-year-old Bay of Is­lands player is a per­fect fit for the mid­field along­side Sonny Bill Wil­liams: “For a young guy, he’s got an old head.

“He plays re­ally ma­turely, he’s a tra­di­tional cen­tre.

“He’s a good reader on de­fence and he’s got a bit of gas as well.”

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