Both sides play best rugby into the wind

A superb second half into a howling nor’wester saw Temuka cruise past Waimate 48 – 19 to grab fourth spot in the Hamersley Cup senior rugby championship in the weekend.

Both sides played their best rugby into the wind at Manchester Park but the Magpies showed some class out wide and their support play was outstanding.

Temuka got off to a flying start when wing Rupeno Cokanasiga found some space down the left hand touch to score. First five Facundo Columba landed the conversion from wide out with the assistance of the upright then crossbar after aiming across the strong wind.

Waimate second five Loni Toumohuni then scored after recovering halfback Josh O’Neill’s chip kick into the wind and first five Shane Airey converted.

Temuka then appeared to lose their composure as Waimate ran the ball back at them with front rowers Conor Glyn and Toko Fakatava prominent.

With 10 minutes left in the half Cokanasiga looked certain to score his second but Matt Hayman pulled off a superb tackle.

Columba then landed a clever penalty kicking across the wind again to get Temuka up to 10-7 before fellow Argentinian Sebastian Sedren hit the line at pace and the centre went straight to score to make it 15-7 at the break.

With the wind at their backs the Waimate fans felt comfortable the game was within reach until Temuka produced their best rugby of the season.

The visitors used Waimate’s first half tactics of keeping the ball in hand and it worked a treat. Prop Brett Turner scored when he popped up to support wing Jose Mendez, who had made a strong run.

Cokanasiga got in the action again with another excellent run from 60m out and this time No 8 Joeli Kotobalavu was in support and after the ball went through another couple of hands second five Ricky Neame was in under the posts, with Columba converting both to make it 29 – 7 and it looked over. Waimate then mounted a comeback with Fakatava and Toumohuni both driving over from close-un and Miles Medlicott added one conversion to make it 29 – 19 and the hosts looked to be a chance.

Temuka however found another gear and ran in three more to Sedran, Cokanasiga and replacement Tarleni Tiai as Waimate ran out of gas and fell off tackles. Sedran’s second was a ripper after fullback CJ Miller made the initial break and several players came up in support.

For Temuka their three Argentinian backs came to life after their pack woke up in the second half while Cokanasiga proved hard to stop. Hooker Junior Faavae was energetic while Keith Darby also played well.

For Waimate Fakatava and Toumohuni were strong ball carriers but the game had to shift fields after Toumohuni was injured with 5 minutes left.

Senior B

Again the wind was the winner with Temuka beating the locals 33 – 8 but plenty for this team to look forward to  in the seasons ahead as they build experience.