Representative Rugby Preview
Round Two of the Pink Batts Heartland Championship sees Thames Valley return to Boyd Park, Te Aroha to face King Country in the annual clash for the Centurions Cup. This fixture takes on special significance as the two unions play each other in six different grades on the same day at the same venue. Apart from the Heartland game there will be games for the Development Teams, Under 18’s, Under 16’s, Under 14’s and Under 45kg’s.
The Thames Valley Heartland team will be looking for significant improvement in several areas when they take on the visiting King Country Rams. The Rams had a convincing first up win against Wairarapa Bush, who had quite a useful build up to this year’s competition. The Rams have recruited well and included in their squad are several of last season’s side that beat Thames Valley in Taupo. Former Valley lock Gene Waller is turning out for the Rams as is one time Valley loan player Whakataki Cunningham. Other players of note are lock Anthony Wise and second five Joe Perawiti, both from Otorohanga Sports.
The Thames Valley side should a similar look to last week’s line up as there were no major injury worries following the game in Levin. This will be their first home game for the 2014 Heartland Championship and they will want to put on a better performance after stuttering somewhat last week.
There will be plenty of support from the locals as a good crowd is always in attendance for this Te Aroha fixture and the hard, grassy surface at Boyd Park lends itself to a good running game of rugby.
New skipper Brett Ranga, from Waihi will be most likely to start as lock and he will be expecting a stronger showing from his pack this week particularly at ruck and maul time where a large number of penalties were given away against Horowhenua Kapiti. The backs showed promise and will be looking to make the most of any opportunities that come their way. Defence was a strength last time and Coach Hayden Roe will expect more of the same as the King Country side boasts a dangerous attacker in Joe Perawiti who demands close attention.
Kick off is at 2.00pm at Boyd Park, Te Aroha.
Other start times are: U14’s and U45’s at 11.00am, Development at 12.15pm, U16’s and U18’s at 12.30pm
The Thames Valley Roller Mills team plays Waikato at Ngatea on Sunday at 1.30pm at Hugh Hayward Domain.
Thames Valley Heartland Rugby Report 23-8-2014
The 2014 Pink Batts Heartland Championship kicked off with a full round of games last weekend. The Thames Valley team opened this year’s campaign with a 19 all draw against Horowhenua Kapiti at the Community Trust Domain in Levin. In other games there were wins for Buller, King Country, Mid Canterbury, Poverty Bay and South Canterbury. In fact the Thames Valley team was the only team playing away from home that didn’t get beaten.
Playing conditions were reasonable with a swirling breeze
the only concern. Horowhenua Kapiti took first use of that breeze and opened
their account with a couple of penalties to lead 6-0 early in the game. While
Thames Valley struggled for any meaningful possession the home side continued
to dominate and missed the chance to increase the lead as their kicker failed
to convert his next couple of shots at goal.
A lack of discipline at the breakdown saw the Thames Valley team concede a high number of penalties and eventually loosie Pepa Koloamatangi was binned after a team warning for repeated infringements. Ironically, with one man down, they then went on the attack with backs and forwards carting the ball up repeatedly and making good ground until halfback Richard Judd made a darting run from about 40 metres out, that split the Horowhenua Kapiti defence wide open before offloading to his support who carried on the movement that saw Heartland Debutante Nick Judd touch down beside the posts to finish off an excellent try.
At 14-6 things were looking good but basic errors were to dog the team throughout the rest of the game as they failed to build on their lead.
Horowhenua Kapiti came out firing in the second half and scored an unconverted try soon after the restart.
The Thames Valley reply was swift as the home side attempted to clear the ball from inside their own 22 after the kick off. Blake Hill, playing at No.6, charged down the clearing kick and winger Watisoni Lotawa gathered the loose ball and won the sprint, to score in the corner, giving the Valley a 19-11 lead as the conversion attempt missed.
Horowhenua Kapiti continued to dominate possession and kicked another penalty to close the gap to 19-14 before Koloamatangi received his second yellow card for the day, reducing Thames Valley to 14 men. The hosts piled on the pressure and crossed for their second try to tie the game but the kicker missed a difficult conversion to leave the score deadlocked.
Tenacious defence by the visitors saw them repel any further attacking thrusts as Horowhenua Kapiti tried desperately to take the game. It finished at 19 all with both sides getting a couple of points from the game. The Valley had their chances to win the game, being held up twice over the line and an eye catching run from hooker Hayden Wisnewski was stopped just short of the line but it was the constant flow of basic errors and penalties against the team which that cost the most.
Richard Judd at halfback shone in the Thames Valley jersey and pivot David Harrison also performed well. Kent McFarlane, Blake Hill and Brett Ranga were solid all day and newcomer George Lelenoa from the Thames club showed some good touches as well.
The Thames Valley Development team played Te Awamutu in the second round of the Stan Meads Cup competition at the Paeroa Domain and found themselves up against a side that would challenge most Heartland Teams, going down by 59-19.
The Thames Valley Under 16’s had a warm up game against the Matamata Corinthians at Hinuera and won 27-22.
On Sunday the Roller Mills team had a preseason game against Counties at Manurewa, losing 39-5 and on Monday night the Thames Valley Under 18’s played a Hauraki North Under 19 XV and won 27-19
22 April 1936 – 16 August 2014
All Black Number 623
Kevin Barry died suddenly on Saturday 16th August 2014. Having made 23 appearances for the All Blacks he was Thames Valley’s most successful rugby player. Kevin was born in Lower Hutt and was the son of 1932-34 All Black, E.F. (Ned) Barry – a policeman who worked in several New Zealand communities. Kevin played his early rugby in Masterton and Pahiatua but in 1953 he attended Sacred Heart College in Auckland. Sacred Heart won the Auckland Secondary Schools’ Championship that year and besides pulling his weight in the forwards Kevin was the team’s goal kicker.
With his father stationed at Whitianga in 1954 Kevin turned out for the Mercury Bay Club and his form was such that he went straight into the Thames Valley senior team. Since the Union’s formation in 1922 this was the Valley’s most successful team: Played 11 games Won 7 Drew 2 and Lost 2. Points for 154, Against 88. In their first nine games the team remained undefeated and their victories included a famous win over Auckland by 25 points to 17 – a game which Kevin really cherished. For his efforts that year K. E. Barry was named as one of the New Zealand Rugby Almanack’s Five Promising Players of the Year.
Having decided to become a school teacher Kevin attended Ardmore Teachers’ College in 1955 and was an automatic selection for the newly formed South Auckland Counties Union.
It was ironic that the first ever representative game for Counties was against Thames Valley at Waiuku with the home team winning by one point. (The Valley reversed this result with a 17-11 win at Paeroa later in the season). Kevin was a key player for Counties for six seasons. He played three games for the Bay of Plenty, Counties, Thames Valley Combined team in 1956 including the match against the Springboks at Rotorua where T. P. McLean wrote: “Barry made some exceedingly fine dashes off the side of the scrum in the early part of the game.” His early promise was finally rewarded in 1957 when Kevin played in his first All Black trial and was later selected for the New Zealand Under 23 team which toured Japan. In 1959 he made the first of two appearances for the North Island.
In 1961 Kevin transferred to Auckland and experienced his most successful provincial season.(see cutting left) Auckland held the Ranfurly Shield and Kevin showed his ability as a tight forward by locking the scrum in all of his fifteen appearances. That year he wore a distinctive white headband and spectators sure new when Barry was making one of his devastating runs. After the shield challenge from his old union, Counties the following report was written: “And an extra large gong for Kevin Barry. It seemed to me that he got fed up with all the messing about up and down the side line and elected to put some real ginger into the attack. I guess that Counties must have wondered what hit them.” Auckland successfully defended all eight shield challenges and Kevin’s contribution to the team was recognised by “ Bystander” ( reputed to be T P McLean) in the final match programme of the year when reviewing the season: BEST Forward in Auckland: If I plumped for Whineray, Barry might jump on me: if I said Barry-well Whineray has a nice line of right crosses that I prefer not to sample. You take your pick. K. E. Barry was also selected as a reserve for the Rugby Almamack’s 1961 New Zealand XV.
After such a great season Thames Valley supporters could not believe their luck when Kevin arrived in Paeroa as a representative for the Atlantic Oil Company. He quickly linked up with the Paeroa West Club, boarding with the Shaw family and became lifelong friends with Terry and his parents. His good form on the rugby field continued and after participating in All Black trials he was selected for the All Blacks tour to Australia. As the 623rd All Black he made his debut against Central West at Bathhurst on May 16th 1962 scoring two tries for good measure. All in all he played 6 matches on the tour and scored 20 points. Against Newcastle he was tried at prop and again played in this position for the North Island on his return to New Zealand. There was no doubting Kevin’s skills and ability but he was seen as being not quite big enough for an international lock. However he outplayed two international rivals when he led Thames Valley to an historic victory over Australia at Te Aroha on September 18th later that year. Kevin captained a spirited team which played most of the game with fourteen men but they held on to win 16-14. In all of their history this is Thames Valley’s best ever result. The comradeship of that 1962 team is a joy to behold. The team has had many reunions and the departure of their captain, to the great playing field in the sky, leaves a gap that cannot be filled.
Kevin again played in New Zealand trials in 1963 and was selected for the All Black tour to the UK, France and Canada. He played in 17 matches and scored two tries, most often appearing as No.8. Although he did not receive an international cap Kevin was a valued and popular team member.
Back in the Valley he did his best to inspire the local side to play to its potential. Every year Thames Valley played all of its neighbours in the Coronation Shield districts (unions with far more players and resources).They would usually record a couple of victories and were rarely defeated by more than a few points. In Kevin’s 200th first class match in 1968 Thames Valley gained a very satisfying 15-14 win over Waikato at Hamilton.
In 1965 Kevin again played for Bay of Plenty/ Counties /Thames Valley against the Springboks at Rotorua and the following year he captained Counties/Thames Valley against the Lions at Papakura. This was a particularly torrid match but Kevin scored a try and the combined team only lost 9-13.
Kevin retired from provincial rugby at the end of 1968 by which time he had played 67 times for Thames Valley and captained the team in 53 of those matches.
K E Barry played his last first class game of rugby for the Barbarians against Auckland in a Commonwealth Games benefit match at Eden Park in 1972. The Barbarians included international players from Australia. Fiji, South Africa & New Zealand and Kevin’s 205th game ended on a high note as the Barbarians won 31-16.
We farewell and salute a true champion of Thames Valley rugby. He was taken far too soon but his name will live on not only because of his playing record but because he was a true gentleman in every sense of the word.
First Class Matches Summary
K Plummer TVRFU STATSman
Thames Valley Starts With a Draw
The Thames Valley Heartland Team got off to a steady start by securing a 19 all draw on the road against Horowhenua Kapiti in the opening round of this year's Pink Batts Heartland Championship at the Community Trust Domain in Levin. Outscoring the home side three tries to two the team should be pleased with their attacking game but a horror penalty count against them was a serious concern as they lost Pepa Koloamatangi to the bin initially and then the sideline as he picked up a second yellow card for repeated team infringements.
Points scorers were J. Turner, N Judd, W. Lotawa tries, D. Harrison 2 conversions.
Kent McFarlane and Brett Ranga get ready to challenge the HK lineout
________________________________________________________________Stan Meads Cup Review
23 August 2014
Defending Stan Meads Cup champions Eastern Bay of Plenty entered the 2014 title race, when they repelled a spirited challenge from Piako at Opotiki in the heart of the Bay of Plenty, on Saturday (23 August 2014).
The partisan home crowd, had early problems identifying players due to a clash in jersey colours, however the game quickly settled down to a hard fought slog. The Eastern Bay side led 12-7 at the half time break before asserting dominance in the second half.
Piako ran in second spell touchdown, but could only watch as the home side bagged 12 further points, to take out a 24-12 victory. Next weekend brings the big Bay of Plenty derby between Eastern and Central Bay with the Te Hurinui Apanui Shield on the line.
The section one match-up at Owen Delaney Park in Taupo, between Hamilton and King Country B was an absolute thriller that went down to the wire, before the Waikato team won the encounter by a solitary point. With the clock ticking down the King Country side were in front, before a Hamilton kick at goal at the end, nailed a 24-23 victory.
Te Awamutu continued their stranglehold on the Peace Cup (SMC Challenge Trophy) with a 59-19 win over Thames Valley B. While the Te Awamutu visitors to the Paeroa Domain posted a big score, the home side weren’t fazed and never gave up the battle.
Entering next weekend’s final round robin round, two wins apiece will be enough to take Te Awamutu and Hamilton through to the crossover Stan Meads Cup semi-finals from section one. An Eastern Bay victory over Central Bay in section two next Saturday would propel Eastern Bay and Piako to the Cup playoffs.
Stan Meads Cup Results 23 August (Round Two)
Section One: Hamilton 24 King Country B 23, Te Awamutu 59 Thames Valley B 19.
Section Two: Eastern Bay of Plenty 24 Piako 12, Central Bay of Plenty the bye
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