Taniwharau make finals after defeating Turangawaewae

By Taroi Black

Taniwharau Rugby League Club will be showing out in green and gold next weekend after both teams from the Waikato league competition made finals in the premiere and reserve grades.

Davies Park in Huntly saw two old rivals in the premiere semi-finals, Taniwharau and Turangawaewae.  

Kyle Soti got the opening try for Turangawaewae after breaking the line and scoring under the post.    

Within the first 10 minutes of the game, Taniwharau replied with their No.4, Renata Leilua, who dummy-passed from the left wing to even the score.

Despite missing the first conversion and trailing to Turangawaewae 6-4, Taniwharau captain, Joel Thompson, made his mark on the game scoring their team’s second try.

Before halftime Damian Darlington’s quick flick-pass out to Ruben Fourie on the right wing added more fuel to Taniwharau, leading 14-6.

The second-half saw Turangawaewae with a different mindset, more persistent and clinical play.

Iwa Te Koi, who was wearing jersey No.16, broke through three Taniwharau players from the five-metre mark scoring their second converted try.

10 minutes later another Turangawaewae power play saw Kihiroa Wihapi grubber kick the ball towards the post with Mahuta Ngaraki-Matthews blitzing to the try-line.

Taniwharau was now trailing Turangawaewae by 4 points. However, Pawhare Brown responded with a clean run under the post to even the scores again.

Five minutes later, Tamihana Morunga followed through with their team’s fifth try.

Pawhare Brown who converted two of six tries says, “We knew to come into the match, it was going to be a tough outing against Turangawaewae.”

Taniwharau won the semi-final premiere game 30-18 after Darlington caught a downfield kick from Turangawaewae territory to score the last try under the post with a dynamic dive.  

Premiere Finals: Old College Boys vs Taniwharau

Premiere Reserves: Hukanui vs Taniwharau