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Wai-Bush make promising start

Reece Calkin dives over for one of Wai-Bush’s six tries. PHOTOS/JADE CVETKOV


Wairarapa Bush 38
Central Hawke’s Bay 8

Hooker Ryan Wilson busts through the Central Hawke’s Bay defence.

Farriers Wairarapa-Bush coach Mark Rutene was satisfied with his inexperienced squad’s first hit out of the season against Central Hawke’s Bay on Friday night.

Wai-Bush ran in six tries, three in each half, in a dominant performance at Trust House Memorial Park, in the first of three warm-up matches in preparation for the Heartland Championship.

Five of the tries were scored by the backs with exciting Carterton winger Fiula Tamelau crossing for two, and the others to first-five Reece Calkin, centre Nikora Ewe, and winger Tristan Flutey, while lock Andrew Smith also grabbed a five-pointer.

Rutene felt the team played well in patches and was pleased to come away with a first-up win.

“We started well for the first 20 and they came back at us and got a bit of momentum,” Rutene said.

“There were lots of changes and guys coming and going so we’re pleased to get one under our belt and pick up a win.

Winger Fiula Tameilau dots down for one of his two tries.

“We could’ve scored more, and we probably gave away three tries from poor decision-making but 38-8 was an okay start.

“Some areas didn’t function. We lost a bit of ball at the breakdown; we lost a couple of lineouts and a few kick receipts, but our defence was good.”

Rutene was impressed with Tameilau, Wellington prop James Coburn, who was strong at scrum time and busy around the field, and potential import Aidan Champion from Manawatu, a halfback cum first-five, who played for the Hurricanes in this year’s Under-20 national championship.

Others to stand out were loose forward Logan Flutey, halfback Sam Walton-Sexton, and prop Stan Wright Jnr.

Injuries meant Rutene only had two back reserves for the match, with injury ruling out the two stars of the previous weekend’s club final – Marist centre Charles Mataitai, and Carterton fullback Aseri Waqa.

Rutene expected to have a more balanced team for Saturday’s warm-up game against Wellington Centurions, which he said would be a step up from Central Hawke’s Bay.

Brief scores

Wairarapa-Bush 38 [Fiula Tameilau [2], Andrew Smith, Nikora Ewe, Tristan Flutey tries; Reece Calkin try 2 cons, Aidan Champion 2 cons] Central Hawke’s Bay 8. HT 19-3

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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