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Isaac Seuili - had a fantastic game for Waihi Athletic. Photo: SUPPLIED/TVRFU

Silcock shield rugby report

Round 4, Silcock Shield, courtesy of Tighthead Ted
The first weekend of genuine wet weather rugby, heavy showers, interspaced with drizzle and light showers across all four venues. Despite the weather, there was plenty of good rugby on display. Whangamata ran rampant to record their first win of the season, over COBRAS. Mercury Bay in defeating Hauraki North at the Waitakaruru International Stadium also got their first “W” of 2024.
Waihi Athletic Rugby Club. Referee: D Tui-Taylor. Rain, heavy at times, greeted the two undefeated sides in the 2024 Senior A competition. Early on though it looked like Waihi would take the game away from the visitors. The well-drilled Waihi forwards provided some quality pill from a scrum for a slick Waihi back move to put wing Dylan Bellamy over in the corner. With more deception runners than seemed humanly possible, the Waihou backs would have needed an Enigma machine to work out who to tackle.
After 20 minutes, thanks to a couple of Quinn Collard penalties, the score hit 11-0, and things were looking ominous for Waihou. However, in true Waihou fashion, they dug deep into their reserves and started to apply pressure.
With the score 11-7 at halftime, and the Waihi lineout finding it next to impossible to win their own ball, it was game on. Hard carrying from loose forwards Isaac Seiuli and Matt Axtens stretched the Waihou defence, and with the rest of the pack following suit, the penalties flowed.
Quinn Collard obliged by slotting the three pointers, and the lead stretched to 20-7. Waihou though, did not know they were beaten, and in the last 10 minutes were hammering on the Waihi line. As the rain intensified there was no way through the iron curtain of Waihi’s defence, Brett Ranga and Dylan Horne putting in some hits bigger than Thriller. Waihi 20 (D Bellamy try; Collard 5 penalties) beat Waihou 7(S Van Der Valk try; R Stevenson conversion).

By Whanga’s Whispering Will. The Boom Pitt, Whangamata. Referee: S Watts. Whangamata have their first win on the board after a convincing display over recent close rivals COBRAS. The home side enjoyed a wealth of possession, and despite the rain, which was torrential at times, were able to spin it wide with success. The opening two tries came through hard work from the forwards, picking and going for multiple phases, then staying patient to reap the rewards for their efforts. Then came the try of the day. A COBRAS clearing kick found fullback Connor Emerson near his own 22 and, opting not to kick, he ran it back and his long pass put Fozz Gilbert away down the left touchline. Whangamata led 28-0 at halftime and the side were playing with confidence. COBRAS came out more determined in the second stanza and there were periods where neither side could gain ascendency. By now Whangamata had their tails up and the forwards were making great gains with their carries. Playing on top of COBRAS, Tyler Cotterill made a half break down the wing and lock Ben Laurie capitalised by dotting down in the next phase.
The forty-two point victory, in which Whangamata defended doggedly and attacked freely, is a performance the team will be pleased with and look to build on to keep their season trending in the right direction.
Whangamata 47 (T Bond 2, J Barfoot, S Rau, B Laurie, T Cotterill, J Cordice tries; T Raoren 6 conversions) beat COBRAS 5 (S Rototakala try).

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Rhodes Park, Thames. Referee: R Rogers. Like Waihou, and COBRAS, Thames came into this game against front running Paeroa with a few players missing at late notice, but like the two aforementioned teams dug deep into the “club first” ethos and filled the gaps with B players, who more than handled themselves at the higher level. Another match played in conditions more suited to duck shooting than rugby, Thames battled the larger Paeroa pack well, with prop Justin Kibbett, in his first A match for five years, outstanding. Handling errors from both sides saw pressure hard to build, and with Paeroa giving away too many penalties, Thames went into the halftime break ahead 12-10. Paeroa, who had scored a lovely try in the first spell with some slick backline antics, changed tack in the second spell and reverted to some wet weather tactics which saw them take the lead early on in the second 40, soon blowing out to 22-12. With discipline now better, Paeroa looked to be well in control. However, Thames got a late sniff with lock Corbin Saunders snaring an intercept, haring away like a startled hedgehog to score and to bring the game close again 19-22. Paeroa were not to be denied the win, and added their own five pointer, and the game was again safe for the visitors, 27-19.
Thames 19 (D Hughes, L Mau, C Saunders tries; Hughes 2 conversions) lost to Paeroa 27 (J McCain, L Tiatia, S Talimao, O Soisoi tries; N Emery, T Malielegaoi conversions, Emery penalty).
Waitakaruru International Stadium. Referee: AJ Hartley. In a clash of the winless, Mercury Bay secured their first victory singalong of the season, earning a bonus point in the process. The visitors hit the ground running, with an early try from a smart short side dash from halfback Conor Macaulay putting Dane Matthews in for the opening five pointer. North replied with a penalty soon after.
The match settled down into an arm wrestle after the opening fireworks, both forward packs bashing away at each other with glee as they attempted to take control. With the atrocious weather, handling was difficult at best, and errors often released the pressure for the defenders as cracks were appearing. The North lineout had the yips which did not help, while the Bay set piece was better, but still not great. Scrums were an even battle, neither side gaining a clear edge in the wet.

North once again were well led by veteran Matty Fisher, who was joined by fellow veteran Rikki Sherrock, lining up for his second game of the day after battling with Ngatea in the B game. Both playing at a level that screams out “age shall not weary them, or the years condemn”. Fraser Anderson also did a double and was outstanding in both matches. An entertaining match that saw that large crowd well entertained – and well into the night by all accounts, in true North fashion!
Hauraki North 15 (F Anderson, E Leutogi tries; E Fiavaai conversion, penalty) lost to Mercury Bay 29 (D Matthews, C Best, M Save, A Waterhouse tries, C Curren 3 conversions, penalty).
Round 3. Waihi 28 v Waihou 25 (21-3). Waihi looked in line for a big win in this match, leading by 21-3 at the break for oranges. Waihou though came out firing in the second spell, and some silly mistakes from the hometown heroes saw the visitors snatch a lead 22-21. A penalty soon after, stretched the lead to 25-21. Ferocious defence from Waihou saw a comeback win in the offing, before Waihi’s unrelenting final onslaught bore fruit, with a five pointer out wide – duly converted by Mears to snatch the win back.
Whangamata 13 v Mercury Bay 12 (5-5); Hauraki North 3 v Ngatea 3 (0-0); Thames 12 v Coromandel 49 (7-39).