Tuesday, 15 August 2017
Taranaki teams impressive ahead of rep seasons
Taranaki teams prepared for their upcoming representative rugby seasons with convincing wins at the weekend.
The Taranaki Development team rounded out their preparations for their Northern Regions campaign with a 50-12 win over Heartland Championship side the King Country Rams in Taumarunui on Saturday.
Wet and muddy conditions didn’t deter the development side from shifting the ball and playing an expansive game. They led 26-0 at halftime and continued with the same attacking mindset in the second half to stretch out to a 50-0 lead.
To their credit, King Country didn't give up and scored two late tries to get on the scoreboard.
Port Taranaki Bulls squad members Reuben O’Neill and Kylem O’Donnell got 30 and 40 minutes respectively under their belt. O’Donnell, who took part in the Bulls’ Game of Three Halves hitout in Pukekohe the night before, scored three tries during his stint.
The Taranaki Development team opens their Northern Regions competition this weekend against Counties-Manukau at Yarrow Stadium. Kick-off is 3.05pm.
The CMK Taranaki under-19 team were also convincing in a 33-5 win over King Country Development at Taumarunui.
The win completed their preparations for the Chiefs region seeding games ahead of the Jock Hobbs memorial under-19 tournament in Taupo next month.
After taking control in the first half, a number of changes were made at halftime with several younger players getting their chance.
First five-eighth Brayton Northcott-Hill directed play well and was accurate with the boot, while Jahmarl Weir was dangerous from fullback and was among Taranaki’s try-scorers. Captain Bradley Slater led the team impressively, while fellow Chiefs academy member Tom Florence, who also played for the Port Taranaki Bulls the previous night, had a solid 40 minutes.
CMK Taranaki under-19 have had a busy pre-season, with matches against Manawatu, Hawke’s Bay and Taranaki Development testing the players’ physicality and fitness.
The team begin their three Jock Hobbs seeding games with a tough match against Waikato, usually a top team in the Chiefs region, at Hamilton Marist Club, at 1pm on Saturday. The team’s other seeding games will be against Counties-Manukau and Bay of Plenty.
In the final of the Taranaki secondary schools premier A competition played at Yarrow Stadium on Saturday, the Opunake High School first XV produced an impressive defensive display to beat Hawera High School 20-5.
Hawera had plenty of the ball and territory, but were unable to capitalise, while Opunake were able to make the most of the few chances they had.
In other finals, the New Plymouth Boys’ High School under-15 A team beat the NPBHS 6th XV 41-7 in the final of the secondary schools premier B competition, NPBHS under-14 A won the under-15 A competition with a 24-3 win over Central under-15, Opunake High School under-15 pipped NPBHS under-15 B 24-21 in the under-15 B competition, and in the under-15 under-63kg final, Central beat NPBHS Black 38-5.
The First Gas Taranaki under-18 girls’ squad were far too good for Wanganui in a trial game at Waverley last Friday, while the Taranaki under-13 girls’ sevens side played two games at the weekend, beating Highlands Intermediate, but going down to Wanganui.