Thames Valley Starts With a Draw
The Thames Valley Heartland Team got off to a safe 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
Heartland Championship Preview
The 2014 Pink Batts Heartland Championship kicks off this weekend with a full round of games throughout the country. Unlike the ITM Cup competition, all Heartland games are played on a Saturday afternoon with kick off at most games at 2.30pm apart from the occasional earlier start time to accommodate flight times for the travelling teams.
Thames Valley begins the season with a trip to Levin to play Horowhenua Kapiti in a 2.30 kick off. The Thames Valley team has played a couple of useful warm up games against the Waikato Development XV and Auckland Under 21’s before rounding off its preparations with a two day camp last weekend at Pauanui.
There has been some change to the makeup of the squad since its initial announcement with several players making themselves unavailable and one or two falling to injury. Gone from the original selection are Mike Smith and Mana Taotala from Cobras, Savenaca Tabakanalagi from West and loan player Ryan Kelleher. Incoming players Eden McLean and Pedro Scardapane from Mercury Bay, Watisoni Lotawa, George Lelenoa and Huperio Riwhi from Thames and Adrian Holmes from Waihi Athletic will replace those listed above and will provide cover for a couple of others that are carrying injuries.
Coach Hayden Roe will be taking a cautious approach to the Horowhenua game as little is known about their current squad or form. Previous encounters with Horowhenua have thrown up a variety of results with Thames Valley winning four out of the last six matches between the teams. In the most recent game in Horowhenua, back in 2012 Thames Valley lost 25-19 at Paraparaumu .
There is a good blend of youth and experience in this year’s squad with David Harrison having played over 80 games and Aaron McDonald closing in on his century of games for the union. Lance Easton will be approaching fifty games and if Barton Thompson fronts up he is quite likely to hit the big Five O as well. Other payers with three seasons or more of Heartland Championship experience include Caleb Brown, Blake Hill, Adrian Holmes, Jason Laurich, Kent Mc Farlane, Joe Murray and Kieran Ramage. Newcomers to the rep scene are Cobras pair Turner and Hema, Hayden Wisnewski from Waihou, William Tamanalevu and George Lelenoa from Thames and Haere Renata from Coromandel.
The Thames Valley Heartland team has its first home game at Te Aroha in the annual Centurions Cup Day fixture with King Country, the following week. There will be a feast of rugby as the two unions compete in six different grades at Boyd Park with the first games starting at 11.00am. Apart from the Heartland game there will be Development, U18,U16,U14 and U45kg matches as part of the massive day of rugby. More information will follow next week. Good luck to the Heartland team for this week.
Development Team and Age Grade Reps
This week the Development Team is playing Te Awamutu in the second round of the Stan Meads Cup at the Paeroa Domain in a 2.00pm kick off. This game will be preceded by the Thames Valley Under 14 Team Trials which start earlier in the day on the No. 2 field at Paeroa Domain.
The Thames Valley Under 16's are scheduled to play the Corinthians Under 16's at Hinuera on Saturday at 12.30pm
On Sunday the Roller Mills team gets underway with the Thames Valley boys facing Counties at Manurewa at 12.00pm
And on Monday night the Under 18's play a Hauraki North Under 19's selection, at Waitakaruru, as part of their warm up programme.
The following week nearly all the teams are at Boyd Park, Te Aroha for the annual King Country clash.
Thames Valley Secondary School
4th Grade : Paeroa College & Thames HS
Development Grade: Waihi College
1B Championship: Te Aroha College
1A Championship: Peninsula
Girls 15 a side: Mercury Bay Area School
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