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Match Report: Premier Mens, 7/04

It was back home to Rahotu for our first home game of the season to play NPOB the team that most people say will be the team to beat in this years competition.

After last weeks disappointing effort we put a lot of emphasis on putting on a better display.

Having current All Black and Chiefs lock, Josh Lord, made available by Chiefs Management was a huge boost. This gave us big momentum heading into the Good Friday clash and with the return of Chris Gawler our loose head prop and our new season captain, the intensity to put in a big performance.

We won the toss and played with a strong breeze at our back we wanted to start well with a good crowd in attendance .

We did start well and matched NPOB in all areas of play. Our set piece was excellent , our lineout was dominant with great throwing and plenty of tall timber to win us a steady supply of quality ball.

Our scrum, which was a major problem the week before was the opposite this week as we pushed NPOB back on a number of occasions. Unfortunately the only person in the ground who thought it wasn’t legal was the man carrying the whistle . It stymied a lot of our play as we were penalised on a number of occasions while showing dominance which was frustrating for us.

NPOB crossed for the only scoring play of the 1st half at about the 20 minute mark with a well worked try to make it 0-7 at halftime. After some stern words we turned into a strong wind we were playing so much better than our 1st game.

Our continuity was so much better. Daniel Crowley was running a good cutter at 9 with his snipes and competitive nature demanding plenty out of the pack. We finally managed to get on the board with a penalty kick by Jackson Sinclair.

We let ourselves down with clearing our end from kickoff and NPOB crashed over to make it 12-3.

Our defence was very solid Jeremy Newell, Blake Barrett and Beau Pari knocking NPOB players over behind the advantage line and with Cullum Tito making a couple of bone shakers on his more fancied opposition.

Then Kusi Druana, our fullback made our best play of the game off a kick return. His blistering pace and hot feet almost managed to go 65m beating many NPOB defenders showing what an exciting player he’s going to be this season .

Josh Lord looked like he was going to score his first try ever for coastal but eventually Jackson Sinclair finished out wide to score to make it 12-8 .

After a long period NPOB scored again making it 17-8 and it looked like we were going to come out of the game with nothing.

In the 78th minute we were awarded a penalty to the right of the posts and took the shot to make it 17-11 final score and a bonus point to give us something to take out of the game.

All our bench that came on added plenty and we kept attacking to the end special mention to replacement halfback Kurt Hofman, on debut as an 18 year old. He hadn't even trained with the team but gave it plenty and certainly didn’t look out of his depth and showed with the other 6 or so players who are under 21 in the squad for the game that Coastal has a great talent pool coming through.

We like to mention our supporters who turned out, much appreciated and all the clubs sponsors. It was great to see so many young kids running around the grounds and having a fun day put on by the club. It brought back memories when we were younger at the footy, gives the club a good feel and hopefully a few more budding Josh Lords and Ben Brophy’s coming through.

Lastly cheers to Josh for fronting this week, his professional approach was good for the younger fellas in the team to see. He’s a great bloke and an awesome player. I’m sure we will see him in France in The Black jersey trying to bring home the Webb Ellis Trophy.

If anything it’s great to see the best players playing for their clubs. I challenge the NZRFU that all All Blacks should connect with their clubs 1 game a season as it is great for grassroots rugby, that has had a tough time over last few seasons with player numbers and Covid hasn’t been easy for all there are three other Barrett’s who we would love to see in green at some stage.

Our player of the day was:

Cullum Tito 3 , Ropata Taylor 2 and one point shared one each to Jackson Sinclair and Daniel Crowley.

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