TE TEKO premier two rugby player Cayless Chisholm on his way to scoring a try against Marist St Michael’s in the Baywide premier two final which they won 45-17 on Saturday at Dunderdale Park.
It was a massive day for Te Teko with both the premier two side and the development team making the Baywide finals.
In the other Baywide rugby finals, Paroa and Edgecumbe clubs also won the division one and division two finals respectively.
EASTERN Bay clubs claimed three Baywide rugby titles on Saturday in the men’s grade and there were also links to the women’s premier title.
In the final of the premier two grade, Te Teko beat Marist St Michaels 45-17 at Dunderdale Park.
Earlier the Te Teko premier two development team played the final in Rotorua against Ngongotaha at the earlier time of noon. The game went Ngongotaha’s way with the final score 36-5.
But there was no way the Te Teko premier two team was going to let the title slip on their home turf and, with the backing of a huge crowd, chalked up a 45-17 win.
It is the finish to the season Te Teko premier two coach Anthony Studer was looking for and one the team and club had been working towards.
Being crowned the Baywide premier two champions means Te Teko will be assured of a place in the top 12 teams in the current Baywide format in 2020.
This season has been the first in the long-term plan for Te Teko, which Studer said they were modelling on Baywide premier one champions Te Puna, who a decade ago were where Te Teko was now.
The club’s success has brought player interest and numbers, which is a much-needed prerequisite for all Baywide premier one and two division teams to have a development side.
Te Teko premier two manager Nick Te Maipi said it was an epic weekend for the club with two teams making the finals and they were “extremely proud of their young guys coming second in the development grade”.
Te Maipi said, “After the weekend’s finals with four Eastern Bay teams in the play-offs, Eastern Bay rugby is pretty strong.
“We know it comes around and goes around – each club takes their turn in premier one but now we’re back up there we’re aiming to stay there.”
Baywide division one title for Paroa
FINALS may not always be the most tactically exciting rugby, but the Baywide division one final between Paroa and Judea gave a large crowd plenty to cheer about right from the kick-off to the post-match haka.
The death of 24-year-old team-mate Joshua Ranapia was a huge motivator for the Paroa senior team in taking on Judea in the Baywide division one final.
Paroa senior team spokesman and uncle Terrence (Wax) Ranapia said, “We had Josh’s photo in the changing rooms and on the subs bench and at the end of the game we put him in the circle – it was important to honour him.”
In the first half, Paroa capitalised on still breeze behind them and an early converted try saw them take the lead.
“We had most of the first half possession and territory, it was a pretty perfect 40 minutes.”
Ranapia said they probably should have scored another try in the first although the addition of a penalty slotted by Rob Tai gave Paroa a 10-3 lead at the break.
The second half was a different game and Paroa struggled to get out of their half, only breaking into Judea’s 22 three or four times.
“Failure wasn’t an option – we just refused to give in” Ranapia said.
Tenacious defence combined with the support of a vocal crowd kept the boys in the game despite one try to Judea but the sure boot of Tai who kicked two second-half penalties put them out to a 16-8 lead.
Ranapia said the whole team got up for the game but of particular note was the “flanker trio of Ngamanu Amai, Jamie Porter and Kaue Kaue who were really impressive and backs Cassidy Jobe and Sam Hemopo”.
Another who stood out was young lock Luke Dunn who Ranapia said could be destined for higher honours.
Post-match, Ranapia said both teams performed rousing haka for their supporters.
“It was a classic match between two Maori rugby clubs, which are related through the Patuwai whanau and it was such an awesome atmosphere and really made an impression – it’s great for the kids.”
Underdogs win Baywide division two
THE underdogs, Edgecumbe, clawed back in the second half against Katikati to win the Baywide division two title 25-17.
Edgecumbe had earlier won the Eastern Bay senior reserve title and most recently drew with Katikati in round-robin games.
Edgecumbe senior rugby manager and club president Parekura Hale said it was a classic come-back after the home side scored two tries within the first 10 minutes.
The “shell-shocked” Edgecumbe side managed an unconverted try, but Katikati replied with another try going to the break 10-5 ahead.
The second half started with a converted try to Katikati and a 17-5 lead. The tide finally turned when the Edgecumbe forwards “settled down and got a few tightheads”, which changed the game.
“Maybe it was nerves in the first half but as soon as the forwards picked up and started to dominate the scrums and the breakdowns – the game changed.”
Hale said “the team showed a lot of heart” to score three more times, one try was converted and then a penalty about five minutes before full-time pushed the score out to eight ahead.
All bar one got onto the field which Hale attributed the win to the whole squad and their supporters who travelled to Katikati.
Hale said the win was “really good for the club” and particularly for coach Hamiora Hale who had taken the team to two semis in the past. For captain Lester Grace, who Hale said had a stand-out game, it was an “honour to win a final and he certainly lead the way in the forwards.”
The win also meant Edgecumbe would be promoted to Baywide division one in 2020 under the current format.
Hale said moving up to this division “would benefit the team’s many young players.
Eastern Bay women in final
IN the Baywide women’s premier grade final, Rangiuru beat Whakarewarewa 29-0 at home in Te Puke.
Almost a third of Rangiuru’s players are from the Eastern Bay, including Tynealle Fitzgerald, Helena Coughlin and Leah Wilson from Opotiki. Other Eastern Bay links in the team include players Layla Te Riini, Te Urupounamu McGarvey and Chrysler Weneti and Rangiuru backs coach Hamana Amoamo who is originally from Ruatoki.
Although happy with their season, Rangiuru was “mindful of the gutting one-point loss in the 2018 premiership final against Rangataua which had been inspiration for the team in the build-up to the 2019 final,” Rangiuru women’s manager Ereti Williams said.
The best-placed Eastern Bay women’s team was Waimana, which placed fourth overall in the Baywide premier division.