Taitokerau becomes Land of the Giants
KERIKERI MAKOS 16 UTA TE WHANGA GIANTS 50: The Giants gradually overwhelmed the home side in beautiful autumn conditions for league in round 5 of the Taitokerau Rugby League Premiership at Kerikeri Domain on Saturday.
Despite the result adding to a stellar start to the season for the new team in the competition, Giants player coach Vincent Joyce wasn’t ready to start talking his side up.
“We’re doing all right . . . taking it a week at a time,” he said. The game’s standout was Wiremu Te Iringa.
The Giants have been given mostly away fixtures for the first round but are planning to host a few games once they’ve got their rustic pitch in Uta Kura Valley (located on the back road which runs from Horeke to Okaihau) up to scratch; Joyce noting a bit of rain would be helpful ahead of giving the field a good roll.
Kerikeri coach Tim O’Leary was relatively pleased with his side’s performance, noting it was something like only the second or third time they’ve played this season despite it already the competition already in to its fifth week; this due to various withdrawals by some teams.
“We did all right, I’m happy with the progress so far,” he said.
Standout was Ken Edwards, while also singled out for praise were the side’s new youngbloods, players such as Vance Tyson who are filling the breach.
They may have yet to hit their peak, but the Makos at least know they have one of the best playing surfaces in the north. With its lush covering of grass under blue skies and a boisterous but good natured crowd basking in the balmy autumn breeze, it was difficult to imagine any club in any code able to boast of a better venue than the domain.
O’Leary said the side were comfortable at being given the tag of caretakers of the domain during the season but was concerned that outside interests were trying to turn the village green into some kind of creative arts space. This risked preventing sport from being played there which would be a big loss to the local community.
PAWARENGA BRONCOS 22 NGATI KAHU SHARKS 44: The visitors won the intensely contested battle between west and east at Broadwood.
TAIAMAI TANIWHA 0 MOEREWA TIGERS 44: Tigers turned this in to a match of one-sided proportions at Ludbrook Park.
Byes for Aupouri Repo and United Valleys Crushers (both awarded 30-0 wins over the defunct Kaikohe and Ngati Wai Seahawks respectively); apparently organisers are revising draw following the withdrawal of the Seahawks and Kaikohe Lions.
■ STANDINGS to be updated, and no games over Easter weekend as the competition breaks.
Richard Koroi was part of a strong Uta Te Whanga Giants unit which overwhelmed the Kerikeri Makos 50-16 at Kerikeri Domain on Saturday.