In 2015 Poverty Bay went backwards in the Heartland Championship after last year’s second place in the round robin down to second last in 11th place. The win against East Coast in the competition opener proved to be the only win of the campaign, compared to five last year, but despite this the try scoring in the round robin slightly increased from 32 to 34. The (big) problem was defence, as tries conceded escalated from 18 to 45.
At fullback loan player Tamati Samuels played the first three championship games and scored a try in every one of them, but played no more due to injury. Carl Riini was an in-form winger and top try scorer with loaned centre Leigh Bristowe, who was a good finisher. On the left wing schoolboy Hunter Mokomoko made five appearances. Ethine Reeves made a mid-season return from Manawatu and gave some fine performances. First five-eighth Kahu Tamatea reappeared after five seasons. So too did the two halfbacks Willie Haenga and Mario Counsell, who shared the starts.
In the forwards the standout was debutant Tamanui Hill, who had returned from overseas. Playing mainly at number eight he was strong on defence and a good runner with the ball. The other two loosies – James Grogan and Corban Barbara – both had promising debuts as well. The captain Murray Hewson again led from the front while Jake Paringatai covered three positions. Apart from the Queen’s Birthday match, Sione Ngatu played the season at loosehead prop while Russell Burns was a physical tighthead prop. Jody Tuhaka was the starting hooker, and when he became unavailable Geoff Pari took over.
The record number of 47 players was used in the season’s first-class programme, with eight only appearing in the two pre-Heartland matches. Of the 39 who appeared in the Heartland Championship, 18 were in their first season. Lock Dan Goodwin, who played twice, had previously represented Bay of Plenty and Northland. Of last year’s regulars, missing were Brynn Uriarau (Bay of Plenty), Moss Doran (Thames Valley), Everard Reid (Hawke’s Bay), Seymour Lambert (Tasman), while Tau Moeke, Clayton Kiwara, Sam Parkes, and Donny Mill all turned out for East Coast.
Poverty Bay had their first All Black from the province since Ian Kirkpatrick and Laurie Knight in 1977 when Hika Elliot played against Samoa in July. He played one match for Poverty Bay last year, and at the time of All Blacks selection this year did not have a provincial contract with any union. Because his last registration was with this union, he is Poverty Bay’s seventh All Black. The Union celebrated its 125th Jubilee over Queen’s Birthday weekend.
Higher honours went to:
New Zealand Heartland: H.T.P. Elliot
|10 Oct, 2:30 pm||H||South Canterbury||Heartland Championship||19 - 62|
|03 Oct, 2:30 pm||A||Wanganui||Heartland Championship||55 - 23|
|26 Sep, 2:30 pm||H||Mid Canterbury||Heartland Championship||25 - 38|
|19 Sep, 2:30 pm||A||Buller||Heartland Championship||36 - 14|
|12 Sep, 2:30 pm||H||North Otago||Heartland Championship||23 - 30|
|05 Sep, 2:30 pm||A||Horowhenua-Kapiti||Heartland Championship||54 - 26|
|29 Aug, 2:30 pm||H||Thames Valley||Heartland Championship||37 - 43|
|22 Aug, 2:30 pm||A||East Coast||Heartland Championship||15 - 60|
|15 Aug, 2:30 pm||H||Wairarapa Bush||Pre-Season||17 - 53|
|30 May, 2:30 pm||H||East Coast||Pre-Season||26 - 20|
|Te Peehi Fairlie||Wing||n/a||n/a||4|
|James Grogan||Loose Forward||183||98||8|
|Ken Houkamau||Loose Forward||187||112||5|
|Siosiua Moala||Loose Forward||188||106||6|
|Sione Ngatu||Flanker/No.8, Prop||186||115||8|
|Jake Paringatai||Loose Forward||n/a||n/a||9|
|Kahu Tamatea||First Five/Fullback||n/a||n/a||9|
|William Tamatea||Loose Forward||196||105||1|
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—