Western Bay sides fall short

The heartbreak was complete for Te Puke Sports and Greerton Marist in the Baywide club rugby competition, with both proud clubs missing out on their respective semifinals despite superb seasons.
Te Puke did everything they could to snatch the final premier playoff spot, coming off the canvas to beat Tauranga Sports 32-26 on Saturday.
But Rotoiti's comfortable 39-5 win over Rangataua saw them finish equal on points with Te Puke, and seal the last spot courtesy of their victory over Te Puke three weeks earlier.
Greerton Marist, who like Te Puke were unbeaten through the first round, fell at the final hurdle, losing 22-17 to Arataki and missing the semifinal spot by a single point.
Kawerau are eying their fourthdivision one championship in five years after beating Whakatane Marist 22-10 to snatch the fourth spot.
Defending champions Mount Maunganui finished as the top qualifiers in the premier division, beating Te Puna 34-14.
They'll play Rotoiti at Blake Park in one semifinal, while Whakarewarewa will travel to Tauranga Sports for the other, where the home side will still be smarting from their loss to Te Puke.
Down 26-10 at the halftime break, the Te Puke side appeared out of the match but, four minutes after the break, flanker David Whitecliff-Davies crossed for a try and Brett McLeod followed minutes later. Paul Roozendaal completed the comeback and McLeod sealed the win with a late penalty.
Whakarewarewa weren't at their very best but they were more than a match for Rangiuru as they ran in nine tries to one in front of their home fans on Saturday.
Kelly Haimona converted eight of the five pointers with centre Aliki Kisina and fullback Trent Vatsalias shining with ball in hand.
It was a hard round for Rangiuru _ they started the season with just 22 players and that has been their high.
First-five Simon Rolleston scored their only try, a bizarre one at that, with 29 players standing around as he poached the ball from a quick lineout and raced about 80m to score at the other end of the field.
Arataki completed a dream turnaround under departing coach Greg Doolan, who leaves soon to take up a short-term coaching stint in South Africa.
They'll play the top division next year for the first time in nearly a decade, joining Kahukura and Te Teko, who confirmed places in post section with wins over Judea and Opotiki.
Former Bay rugby heavyweights Ngongotaha sneaked in the division two top four when they upset Poroporo 12-7, while Waikite nailed a home semifinal when they beat Edgecumbe 45-10.
Papamoa and Poroporo will join the two Rotorua teams in the final four.
In the colts division Te Puna beat Waikite 22-0 to secure the top spot, while Tauranga Sports grabbed the second home semifinal when they came from behind to beat Rangataua 32-22.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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