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‘Awesome’ bench behind win

Nikora Ewe scored two tries. PHOTO/HAWKE’S BAY TODAY

RUGBY

CHRIS COGDALE
[email protected]

Farriers Wairarapa-Bush coach Joe Harwood was rapt with the impact from his bench in the team’s 46-26 win over Poverty Bay at Tremain Field, Park Island, Napier on Saturday.

Wai-Bush played with the aid of a strong wind in the first half and led 18-12 at halftime on the back of tries to blindside flanker Joe Tako after four minutes and prop Lewis Bush after 14 minutes.

“They were pretty trying conditions and that wasn’t enough points with that wind behind us,” Harwood said.

“Sometimes playing into a strong wind you play a lot better and that’s what we did in the second half, and we held on to the ball and the guys came off the bench and really pushed hard.”

“There was some awesome impact off the bench, and it made a big difference when the guys came on and really started going direct and getting over the advantage line.”

Wai-Bush crossed for four second half tries, with powerful second-five Nikora Ewe dotting down twice, and the others going to replacement prop Tupou Lea’aemanu, and Inia Katia, who created havoc among the Poverty Bay defence when he replaced Cameron Ravenwood at halfback for the final 30 minutes.

“Inia got some great ruck ball and got the guys going forward, Max [Tufuga] led us well at tighthead and Tupou was outstanding and made some massive breaks,” Harwood said.

“That’s what we’ve been working hard on is the impact off the bench and that was the big turning point in the game.”

Sam Morison, who was originally named at fullback, started at first-five, and again impressed with his tactical kicking and goalkicking, nailing five of the six conversions and two crucial first-half penalties in the tricky conditions.

Harwood said there’s still plenty to work on, but he couldn’t fault the effort from the team.

“Even when things weren’t quite going right, they were getting up and getting stuck in across the park, and that’s numbers from one to 22,” he said.

“We were weak at times and let ourselves down with some one-on-one defence and that’s something we’ve got to work hard on this week.”

“It’s a good win over a strong Poverty Bay side. They had some big boys there.”

Wai-Bush’s midfield stocks took a further blow, when the experienced Tipene Haira left the field just before halftime with a groin injury that could sideline him for the two Bruce Steel Memorial Cup games against Horowhenua-Kapiti and Whanganui.

Harwood expected Teihana Brown and Tafa Tafa to be back for Saturday’s clash with Horowhenua-Kapiti.

BRIEF SCORE

Farriers Wairarapa-Bush 46 [Nikora Ewe [2], Joe Tako, Lewis Bush, Tupou Lea’aemanu, Inia Katia tries; Sam Morison 5 cons, 2 pens] beat Poverty Bay 26. Halftime: Wai-Bush 18-12.

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