The familiarity of their combinations told for the Wanganui Under 20 side who got their HYRC Series off to a great start with a 48-10 win over Poverty Bay U20 on Saturday.
Playing a home Under 20 representative fixture for the first time in several years at Spriggens Park, Wanganui scored eight tries, the majority of them in the first half through strong work in the set piece by the forwards.
“Our points in the first half [decided it], and then hold onto the lead,” said coach Danny Tamehana.
“It was one of those games you get out to a lead and build confidence as the game goes on.”
With about 7-8 of the squad coming from the champion St Johns Club Whanganui Metro, they followed the same mould as their Manawatu Colts campaign, which included scoring after drives from the lineout, surprising Tamehana somewhat given Poverty Bay had some tall timber.
“The forwards, a lot of them have played together, so that shone through.
“Definitally set piece, [Wanganui] was the dominant team.”
The Wanganui forwards showed good technique at the breakdown and set piece. Here, prop Emanual Savage prepares to pick and go with the protected ball. facebook twitter email linkedin google-plus whatsapp pinterest reddit
It took the backline a little longer to settle into a rythum, but they had done so by the second half, adding to the tryscorers list.
Wanganui‘s tryscorers in the starting lineup were hooker Hamish Broadhead, flanker Jason Myers, No 8 Dante Rooney, winger AJ Newton and fullback Shaquille Waara.
Coming off the bench to get five pointers were Dale Akuhata, Kholt Coveny and Luke Foster.
Openside flanker Myers was named man of the match.
“He was a really strong player. He stood out, but it was a team effort,” said Tamehana.
The team used different goal kickers depending on the range, with centre Sheldon Pakinga-Manhire adding three conversions, while first-five Desmond Tyrell got one.
Wanganui will now play a double header at the S&R Institute in Palmerston North, facing Horowhenua-Kapiti U20 on Saturday and then Wairarapa-Bush U20 on the Sunday.