Heartland Championship Week 7
October 1, 2022, 2:30 pm
Poverty Bay RFU
29 - 17
Thames Valley
Poverty Bay RFU
Referee: Marcus Playle

Match Report

Thou shalt not catch me

Poverty Bay Wekas produce their best.
This one’s for “the ladies”.

Bottom-of-the-table Poverty Bay shocked third-placed Thames Valley 29-17 in their best performance of the Heartland Championship season to date at Rugby Park on Saturday.

The Civil Project Solutions Poverty Bay Wekas’ bonus point win — their second victory of a tough campaign — moved them up two places to 10th on the table.

An emotional Wekas head coach, Miah Nikora, was proud of his boys

It had been a long time coming, he said.

“To get the win today is massive.”

The match was dedicated to “the ladies . . . partners, wives, daughters all came in to present the boys their jerseys and it means a lot,” Nikora said.

“I think it was the extra inspiration we needed.”

The squad wore special, one-off pink jerseys which are to be auctioned off and the funds raised donated to the Gisborne Terrier Race Against Time charity group who support local women going through breast cancer.

The Wekas began with ferocity and intensity.

“The boys fronted physically and that enabled us,” Nikora said. “We were making our tackles and if we weren’t, there were guys covering for each other.

“We are each other’s keeper, as we are always going on about, and we saw that today. I’m very proud.”

Thames Valley co-coach Joe Murray said they had no excuses and gave the Bay high praise.

“We knew exactly coming here that this wasn’t going to be a walk-in,” Murray said. “The Poverty Bay boys turned up. They smothered us, they beat us up around the collision area, the breakdown, and we just couldn’t get any of our flow going, which is what we look for.

“We like to play a fast, expansive game. Rain and conditions don’t help but hey, we have got to be able to adapt to that and they did it better today — well done Poverty Bay.”

“They had a charity jersey on today and they did it proud,” Murray said.

“We are obviously gutted with the result moving forward but it’s a great check for us . . . it’s a good leveller, it’s a humbler and we will take that and move forward.”

Thames Valley applied early pressure, forcing their way into Wekas territory.

TEAM EFFORT: Poverty Bay prop Jordan McFarlane crashes over the line with the help of captain and lock Dan Law during their 29-17 win over Thames Valley on Saturday.

The home defence held off repeated threats then struck back in the sixth minute after receiving a penalty and finding touch five metres from the try line.

From the lineout and a driving maul, No.8 Tamanui Hill was driven over, and first five Kelvin Smith slotted the conversion.

The Wekas increased their lead in the 21st minute after the backs put them hot on attack two metres from the line.

With the help of captain and lock Dan Law, prop Jordan MacFarlane went over.

Smith added the conversion to extend the lead to 14-0, which became 17-0 with a Smith penalty kick in the the 27th minute.

The Wekas continued to apply pressure and in the 35th minute the ball made its way to winger Hunter Mokomoko, who slid over for the home side’s third try and a 22-0 advantage.

Thames Valley finally broke a staunch Wekas defence in the 39th minute with a good try to centre Harry Lafituanai.

Replacement back Charlie Best kicked the conversion and the Bay went into the break 22-7 ahead,

As expected, Thames Valley came back hard in the second half, camping in the Wekas’ 22 but were not able to crack the defence.

The score remained the same for 23 minutes of the half before the Valley received a penalty, opted to kick and Best sent the ball over.

The Wekas resistance was rewarded in the 66th minute when great support play and quick hands gave winger Moses Christie an overlap and he ran 45m to the try line.

Centre Ethine Reeves slotted a difficult conversion and the home side could smell victory.

Their defence finally relented again with an 80th minute try to Lafituanai and Best’s consolation conversion was the last play of the game.


Name TR CON PEN DG Cards
2 1
1532 Dan Law (c)
5 1
7 2 1
8 1
1512 Jacob Leaf
10 1
15 1


Name TR CON PEN DG Cards
1367 Campbell Peter Lincoln Chrisp Shayde Skudder
1520 Fletcher Scammell Morgan Reedy
1347 Mario Counsell Ruan A. du Plooy
1518 Jarryd Broughton Jordan McFarlane
1545 Ricardo Patricio Kelvin Muir Smith
1495 Jesse Kapene Tamanui Hill
1541 Tulsa Kaui Lance Dickson
1548 Mitchell Purvis Jacob Leaf