Poverty Bay were deserving third division winners but they will be mindful that in 2006 they may not have the benefit of the present “loan player” regulations. The key element to the union’s success was the inspired appointment of experienced former Waikato coach Kiwi Searancke and his astute selection of quality players from outside the union who each became major contributors in the championship win. Scott Leighton directed play superbly from first five and contributed 109 points, winger Viliame Waqaseduadua scored seven tries with his pace and former NZ Under 19 player Aaron Good was efficient at halfback. Former Super 12 player James Kerr had returned to his hometown Gisborne and though not playing any club rugby he came into the team at centre and showed his vast experience by running his wingers into positions that they could profit from. The controversy surrounding his eligibility which erupted prior to the final disrupted team preparation but Kerr was not available for the match as he was required to meet his commitment to his Italian club on the same weekend. Fijian international Isoa Domolailai, a lock standing over two metres tall, dominated the lineout and was very mobile about the field, while Joe Duffy was an excellent hooker. Winger Daniel Moeke was a local product brought in from Waikato.
Searancke and his backs coach, Les Barbara, successfully moulded the loan players into the squad, a vital factor which so many other unions have difficulty in achieving. The result was the the local players, many of them very young, played to the best of their ability with some showing real promise for the future. The forwards showed improvement with each game and the tea remained focused for the full 80 minutes. It was a happy squad well led by Mark Jefferson, who had last appeared in 1996, having returned home after a successful career in first class cricket.
Prior to the NPC commencing Poverty Bay played three games, the first just days after t club final when Auckland thrashed the Ranfurly Shield challengers 116-3. Four days later Poverty Bay was defeated 65-7 by East Coast before a narrow 16-12 win was achieved over Horowhenua Kapiti. The Lochore Cup was lost in the first championship game but gradually the tide turned and excellent performances against Wairarapa Bush and South Canterbury placed the union as strong title contenders and the team received excellent crowd support during the playoffs.
Of the local players experienced lock Jamie Hutana was invaluable as a grand forward leader, being supported by the equally experienced Toka Liku at the back of the scrum. A crop of very young forwards developed well during the season, prop Josh Maynard being one oft best performers in the pack. Hooker Ben Marshall, prop Colin Hovell, locks Willie Hallgarth a Petelo Piliu and flankers Sione Ngatu and Jeremy Cook each showed much promise.
At fullback Semosoni Pone displayed speed and flair on attack while strong running winger Mosese Paunga broke many tackles to score seven tries in his more direct approach to the try-line Two 20 year olds, Shane Leach and Wade Owen, were newcomers to impress, Owen producing outstanding display at centre during the final when he made several clean breaks which attract the attention of the national selectors who included him, along with Liku and Maynard, fort Divisional trials.
|16 Oct, 2:30 pm||H||Wairarapa Bush||Final NPC 3rd Div||37 - 14|
|09 Oct, 2:30 pm||H||Horowhenua-Kapiti||S/F NPC 3rd Div||22 - 13|
|02 Oct, 2:30 pm||A||West Coast||NPC 3rd Div||24 - 53|
|25 Sep, 2:30 pm||H||South Canterbury||NPC 3rd Div||30 - 03|
|18 Sep, 2:30 pm||H||Wairarapa Bush||NPC 3rd Div||30 - 05|
|11 Sep, 2:30 pm||A||King Country||NPC 3rd Div||25 - 18|
|04 Sep, 2:30 pm||H||Horowhenua-Kapiti||NPC 3rd Div||44 - 15|
|28 Aug, 2:30 pm||A||Buller||NPC 3rd Div||23 - 30|
|21 Aug, 2:30 pm||H||Mid Canterbury||NPC 3rd Div||22 - 24|
|28 Jul, 2:30 pm||A||Auckland||Ranfurly Shield||116 - 03|
|Colin J.K. Hovell||Prop||n/a||n/a||10|
|Scott Leighton||First Five||n/a||n/a||7|
|T.Toka Liku||Lock/Loose Forward||n/a||n/a||10|
|Sione Ngatu||Flanker/No.8, Prop||186||115||10|
We hope you enjoy this look back as we look forward to many more years of recording the history of Poverty Bay Rugby Football Union.
We acknowledge all the information from the NZ “Rugby Almanack” Series from 1934 and appreciate their hard and dedicated work in providing this detailed history. – Web Admin—