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Rutene rues numerous errors

Jack Loader takes a hit up, with Tafa Tafa [12] and Eddie Cranston [7] in support. PHOTOS/PAUL RICKARD

RUGBY

Halfback Daryl Pickering gets a pass away while Inia Katia barks instructions.

“Missed tackles and discipline cost us.”

That’s the succinct message from Farriers Wairarapa-Bush coach Mark Rutene after the team’s 26-30 loss to Poverty Bay in the second round of the Heartland Championship in Gisborne on Saturday.

Rutene felt there was improvement from the first-round 5-35 loss to North Otago but was disappointed with the basic errors, especially in the second half after building a 19-13 halftime lead.

That included a costly yellow card to standout second-five Tafa Tafa for repeat infringements. During his 10 minutes off the field Poverty Bay scored a try and took the lead, which they never relinquished.

“Our discipline was not good at the breakdown, and there were too many missed tackles,” Rutene said.

“We were up at halftime, but we just missed too many tackles, we just couldn’t hold on to the ball, we were getting it lost in tackles, we were trying to offload when we shouldn’t, we just kept getting penalised when we got a bit of momentum, and that was frustrating.”

Rutene was particularly disappointed with his players’ tackling technique, which allowed Poverty Bay’s big ball runners too much latitude.

“It’s more just basic, like going too high at the player and not going low, and they just pushed us off. They had a good ball running prop, and he got through four or five tackles. We’ve just got to go low and hard.”

He said the discipline and defensive deficiencies are fixable and plans to work hard to rectify both aspects before Wai-Bush tackle their next opponents, Horowhenua-Kapiti, at home on Saturday.

One area where Wai-Bush did impress Rutene, especially in the first half, was the setpiece.

The scrum was solid and forced at least one tighthead, which led to No 8 Jack Loader’s opening try, while the lineout functioned well with Sam Siaosi’s pinpoint throwing.

“The lineout had a few wobbles in the second half, but certainly in the first half, the lineout was good, and the scrum was good. I was happy with the setpiece,” he said.

“The second half, we made some changes, and we lost a couple of scrums and missed a couple of lineouts when we were looking promising.”

Captain and blindside flanker James Goodger, prop Tupou Lea’aemanu, who scored two tries, and halfback Daryl Pickering stood out for Rutene.

He said Sam Gammie gave an honest 80 minutes in the unaccustomed lock role, and Loader had a good 60 minutes and gave the team good go-forward.

He said winger Fiula Tameilau made the most of his opportunities on the wing, and Tafa always looked like he had time on the ball.

Rutene was pleased to outscore Poverty Bay four tries to three and pick up two bonus points to move off the bottom of the Heartland standings.

Chris Cogdale
Chris Cogdale
Chris “Coggie” Cogdale has extensive knowledge of sport in Wairarapa having covered it for more than 30 years, including radio for 28 years. He has been the sports guru at the Wairarapa Times-Age since 2019.

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