Poverty Bay won their opening Heartland Championship match against East Coast in good style to reverse the result of the Queen’s Birthday encounter, but then lost the next four games and eventually finished seventh for a Lochore Cup semi-final place. The defeats to King Country (in the round-robin match) and, in particular, Wairarapa Bush were winnable games that slipped away. Despite this, an improvement was made on last year.
A record 50 players was used for the 12-match first-class programme with 23 appearing for the first time. Seventeen players appeared in only the three pre-Heartland matches. Local regulars missing from last year were Tamanui Hill, Kahu Tamatea (both in Bay of Plenty), Leigh Bristowe (Southland), Corban Barbara (England), and Carl Riini (injured).
The outstanding forward was number eight Siosuia Moala, brother of All Black George, having last year played at second five-eighth. He was impressive on both defence and attack, scoring five tries. Everard Reid made a welcome return from Hawke’s Bay and assumed the captaincy. Playing mainly at blindside flanker, he displayed good form. Murray Hewson got better as the season progressed, with he and Reid being good lineout winners. Lively openside flanker James Grogan unfortunately succumbed to injury halfway through the championship. The 130-kg prop Jody Allen arrived and made a difference, returning to the province where he had made his first-class debut in 2006. He was available for only three matches due to recall by North Harbour, and scored five tries. Sione N’gatu set a new’ appearance record for Poverty Bay, ending the season on 138 matches, having given tremendous service to his union since his debut in 2003. Eighteen-year-old Isaiah Leach looked a bright prospect at hooker.
The backline contained four outside players with all making positive contributions. Maia Gibbs was the starting halfback, centre Ratu Daurua was top try scorer with eight, first five-eighth Isaia Vuki topped the points scoring with 86 points, including four tries, and Dan Mclntyre was a quick and elusive fullback. Of the locals, Ethine Reeves was versatile and the only player to appear in all 12 games, while former All Black Rico Gear was available for just one match due to business commitments.
Higher honours went to:
New Zealand Heartland: S.Moala, E.J. Reid
|22 Oct, 2:30 pm||A||King Country||S/F Lochore Cup||48 - 26|
|15 Oct, 2:30 pm||A||Thames Valley||Heartland Championship||14 - 50|
|08 Oct, 2:30 pm||H||Wairarapa Bush||Heartland Championship||30 - 32|
|01 Oct, 2:30 pm||A||West Coast||Heartland Championship||28 - 62|
|24 Sep, 2:30 pm||H||Wanganui||Heartland Championship||30 - 52|
|17 Sep, 2:30 pm||A||South Canterbury||Heartland Championship||52 - 28|
|10 Sep, 2:30 pm||H||Buller||Heartland Championship||18 - 30|
|03 Sep, 2:30 pm||A||King Country||Heartland Championship||30 - 24|
|27 Aug, 2:30 pm||H||East Coast||Heartland Championship||54 - 30|
|13 Aug, 2:30 pm||A||Wairarapa Bush||Pre-Season||26 - 14|
|04 Jun, 2:30 pm||A||East Coast||Pre-Season||26 - 08|
|02 May, 2:30 pm||H||N.Z. Universities||Pre-Season||00 - 44|
2016 Heartland , Finished 7th, Round Robin
Lost 1st Semi Final, Lochore Cup
Coach: W P Mutu Ngarimu
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—