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1st April - Match Reports (Prem's)

Premier Match vs Southern, 1st April

The season kicked off against a much improved Southern team in Hawera at Hicks Park.

Hate to say it...but injuries in our preseason made it tough to select a side that would be needed to front against a mammoth Southern scrum.

We had 8 young players making their debut which is very promising for our clubs future.

Debutants we're Jackson Bennett , Beau Pari , Ropata Taylor , Cullum Tito , Jacob Whittle, Samuel Drought, Luka Cassidy and Harley Seymour-Loveridge and we as a club welcome them and their families to the club for the new faces.

The game started very evenly but a glaring problem was our scrum struggling to hold its own against a big Southern pack. Southern had the services of ex-Ireland and Taranaki tight head prop anchoring their scrum and dominating the Coastal 8.

They scored a slick try in the 16th minute off a loose pass to make it 5-0, then scored again in the 32nd minute after a couple of poor defensive reads to make the score 12-0 at halftime to leave us an uphill battle in the second half.

After some stern words after half time Coastal started hitting their straps and scored a well worked try after a number of phases, to impressive centre Jackson Sinclair, with a wideout conversion to make it 12-7 and we were back in the fight.

Then Southern upped the anti attacking our scrum and with good ball movement scoring one push over try and one off a poor kick clearance to make it 26-5 . Kobe Sinclair scored a ripping try in the 60th minute to drag it back to the final score of 26-12 .

Southern thoroughly deserved their win. There set peice was strong and their general play was very organised.

For Coastal a tough day at the office but there were a lot of good stuff.

Our lineout was solid with Taylor's throwing and Luka Cassidy pulling in some nice ball making us turn down scrums and take line outs instead .

A lot of phase play in the second half was very good but consistency let us down.

Our defence was over all good but little lapses cost us big time to Southerns credit .

Our Players of the day were as follows:

- Jackson Sinclair 1

- Jeremy Newell 2

- Beau Pari 3: Our Player of the Day.

Beau's defence was amazing and his ball carries were outstanding. I would like to of seen his stats as his work rate was as good as it gets.

Mention must go to our front 6 who toiled hard against an awesome scrum, although dominated we couldn't fault the effort and how big of an ask it was against the calibre of the Big Sharks front 3.

Next week we are at home to NPOB so things don't get any easier. NPOB have a star studded line up to travel to Rahotu on Good Friday but I'm sure our guys will relish the challenge and get stuck in. We will take heart from our 1st full hitout as a team of the year and know that improvement will come from that.

We have a lot of great talent and a mix of some quality experience so when a few more numbers are back we can play some entertaining rugby and get on the winning track.

This year our Captain is Chris Gawler, who didn't play today because of illness, and vice Logan Crowley who took the job for the day. We wish them all the best - running a successful team with help from other experienced players and a mixture of very talented young players to play a great style of footy.

Great to see the number of under 20s coming along they certainly give the club a great feel and were just pipped at the final whistle by Southern today, hardluck boys.

Div 1 once again did a great job getting a team on the field and turned a very respectable performance against Southern a beaten finalist last season by a couple of tries.

Once we get 2 or 3 weeks down the track there numbers will grow and they have some great players young and more mature to make them a formidable force in the comp.

The woman's team look a good side this year and pushed Southern to the wire today as well also a beaten finalist last season.

So get along and follow the players of all sides. They really enjoy playing in front of a good local crowd and it's a good way to get out and about and show the rest of the province how unlucky they are not to be Riding The Wave with our Coastal Club.

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