A week after being walloped 58-14 by defending champions Bridge Pa, Omahu Huia pipped Dannevirke Tigers 54-48 at the Hawke’s Bay Regional Sports Park in Hastings on Saturday after trailing 30-10 at halftime.
Omahu co-coaches Henry Heke and Aki Renata realised after the Bridge Pa defeat their side had to be strengthened and among their newcomers last weekend was former Cook Islands and Hastings Rugby and Sports union player Ioane Ioane, who was player of the match.
The 29-year-old fullback scored 28 points with three tries and eight conversions from 10 attempts at goal.
Heke pointed out there was an extra incentive for the Fernhill-based club to deliver at the weekend.
“We dedicated the match to Nan (Omahu club stalwart Nan Nuku), who passed away on Friday.
“We’ve had some big losses in recent months with Maurice (former New Zealand Maori rep Cook) and another stalwart Tom Tuhi also passing and we reminded the boys how much people like them have done for the club in the past.
“At the same time I must thank God that rugby league is a game of two halves. At half time I told the boys not to panic, be patient and respect the ball when we are on attack,” former New Zealand Universities rep Heke said.
Props Richard Gillies and 18-year-old Henry Tapiata and centre David Neho joined Ioane as the pick of the Omahu players. Ioane’s brothers, Kavana and Tahi, captain John-Harley Wong, Clark Lipani, Debdon Keil and Petera Kahui-Ariki also scored tries for Omahu and Kavana Ioane kicked a conversion. - NZ Herald