The Good , The Bad and the Ugly but a Win is a Win
by Tui Bromely 11/09/2013
Spectators at Rugby Park, Greymouth, on Saturday could have been forgiven for thinking that they were instead in a movie theater watching The Good The Bad and The Ugly.
There was some ugly play from both teams, and plenty of bad, but enough good from the locals to somehow eke out an unlikely four-try bonus point 30-14 Heartland Championship victory over Poverty Bay.
Shining out like beacons on a bleak and windy day were West Coast’s blindside flanker Rowan O’Gorman and diminutive first-five Tim Priest.
It was fitting that O’Gorman scored the final try because he had been in the thick of the action, and outstanding from the opening minute, while Priest, a little wayward in the first half, used his trusty boot to ensure that the game was played at the right end of the park in the second spell as he made several sharp breaks and finished with 10 points.
The teams went to the break with Poverty Bay leading 11-8 after an error strewn first half, punctuated by scrums and penalties whistled up by referee Michael Lash, who might also be embarrassed by his performance when he views the video.
Lash whistled up 20 penalties or free kicks (10 to each team), but turned a blind eye to most of Poverty Bay’s blatant offside play and deliberate knock-downs and West Coast’s scrum frequently rolled their opposites off the ball but, more often that not, ended up getting penalised for it. Impressive lock Willie Tamatea had ambled across the line from a lineout move to put the visitors in front in the last play of the half, leaving the Coast forwards mere spectators.
West Coast prop Heroshi Tea was impressive throughout, along with lock Josh Manning and, occasionally No 8 Suamalie Tuiletufuga. Tuiletufuga was good with the ball in hand but, unlike O’Gorman, missing in action without it. Priest was calm and assured and outside him centre Kevin Moore and fullback Robert Thomson were the most penetrative of the backs, although wing Maleli Mudu twice cut the opposition to pieces on his long solo run leading up to the first try.
Substitute, Beau Cain, showed great pace to get back and save a certain try after Thomson’s hack at a loose ball on halfway left three Poverty Bay players toeing it to the Coast line and racing to be the first to touch it down.
Poverty Bay halfback Sam Parkes kicked a penalty to open the scoring but O’Gorman hauled down a lineout soon after and Coast’s halfback Nick Makea dotted down near the corner flag to put the home team up 5-3.
A good Priest penalty extended the lead but another Parkes penalty and Willy Tamatea’s try put the visitors ahead at the break.
Apart from another Parkes penalty, the second-half scoring was confined to West Coast, with Priest nailing a penalty, and a superb sideline conversion of Tuiletufuga’s try, followed by tries to Heroshi Tea and, in the last seconds, O’Gorman who crossed with an unmarked man outside him.
West Coast 30 (N Makea, Tuiletufuga, H Tea, R O’Gorman tries; T Priest pens, 2, cons 2)
Poverty Bay 14 (W Tamatea try, S Parkes 3 pens) Half-time 8-11.
In other games Thames Valley beat Buller 23-18, Horowhenua-Kapiti beat King Country 19-18, Whanganui beat South Canterbury 24-23, Mid Canterbury beat Wairarapa-Bush 29-23.