Peter is a sports writer at the Bay of Plenty Times

Rugby: Rangataua to lift game against Mount

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Mount Maunganui hooker Leigh Hughes takes the ball up against Arataki last week.
Mount Maunganui hooker Leigh Hughes takes the ball up against Arataki last week.

Forecast heavy rain should test the early season handling skills tomorrow in round two of the Baywide Premier, Premier Development and Division 1 competitions.

Following their upset win over Te Puke Sports on the opening weekend the revamped Rangataua Sports team is hunting for another major Premier scalp against Mount Maunganui Sports at Blake Park.

Rangataua coach Aramahou Ririnui says they love taking on the top four teams.

"Our scrums and lineouts were a lot better than they were in the pre-season games, our ball retention to attack and go through our game plans was good and good ball carries. We normally do well against the top teams cause the boys rise to that standard and try and stay at that standard."

Mount Maunganui made a solid start with a 28-10 win over neighbours Arataki but will have much more attacking threats from the Rangataua backline to deal with tomorrow.

In other Premier games, Tauranga Sports are home at the Tauranga Domain after perhaps the longest away trip in New Zealand club rugby to Opotiki. The bus journey can't have affected them too much as they won easily but Arataki proved against Mount Maunganui they will be competitive.

Te Puna host Rotorua's top team Whakarewarewa at Maramataga Park in what could be a close encounter, while Te Puke Sports are at home to Greerton Marist with both sides looking for their first win. Whakatane Marist are home to Opotiki and Paroa host Rotoiti at Lawson Park.

There will be fierce local pride in the Division 1 clash between Rangiuru and Judea at Centennial Park in Te Puke. Both teams won their opening encounter and would love to be playing in the Premier division.

Rangiuru coach Joby Reid says they are looking for improvement in all areas.

"Communication, scrums, lineouts, line speed, everything across the board - we will be looking to improve these areas week in, week out, so by the end of the season we will hopefully have the full package."

His opposite Dion Seeling says this week they are focusing on what they can control.

"Our effort, attitude and discipline. Rangiuru is a very strong and proud club that we take very seriously and if last year's results are any indication this game will be very close and hard fought," he said.

"We have a strong core of players that have trained all pre-season which has been great for our team. Now we are coaching and teaching our new and not so experienced players to reach the level that we need to win games in first division."

Rugby draws:

Baywide tomorrow
Premier, kick off 2.45pm, Development 1pm

Tauranga Sports v Arataki at Tauranga Domain, Te Puna v Whakarewarewa at Maramatanga Park, Mt Maunganui v Rangataua at Blake Park, Whakatane Marist v Opotiki at Rugby Park, Paroa v Rotoiti at Lawson Park, Te Puke Sports v Greerton Marist at Murray Salt Stadium

Division 1, kick off 2.45pm
Papamoa v Ruatoki at Gordon Spratt, Waimana v Te Teko at Waimana, Waikite v Marist St Michaels at Bellvue Rd, Ngongotaha v Kahukura at Ngongotaha Domain, Poroporo v Katikati at Poroporo Park, Rangiuru v Judea at Centennial Park

- Bay of Plenty Times

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