It has taken all season but finally Rangataua showed what they are capable of with a brilliant display of attacking rugby to upset in-form Te Puna 41-15 at Te Ariki Field on Saturday.
Rangatau were clinging to their Premier status by a pair of boot laces and had won just one game from 13 starts this season, but they were fired up for a top performance at home. Playing into the wind in the first half they ripped into their work and shocked a lethargic looking Te Puna side by running in five tries to lead 29-0 at halftime.
Some of the play deserved to be filmed for tries of the season, with blockbusting left winger Ross Taurima showing he has the pace to match his size as he waltzed away for a top class hat trick. He has played most of his rugby in Wellington and was a guard for Wellington Saints in the NBL. On this form he will likely be on the radar of the Bay of Plenty rep coaches.
Another stand out for Rangataua is a player at the other end of the experience register who rolled back the years with a superb performance. Former NZ Sevens and NZ Maori star Matua Parkinson had a blinder, showing the other loosies what support play is all about, as he laid on the final pass for first half tries to first-five Daiyu Ishimori and standout midfielder Roha Dalton Reedy.
If they play like this every week they will be semifinal prospects rather than facing relegation. They are now five points clear of Paroa, who they face at home on July 13.
Parkinson combined well with highly regarded open side flanker Matt Clutterbuck and blindside Ezra Johnstone to snuff out any Te Puna counter attacks in the first half.
Trailing 29-0 at the break, Te Puna looked more composed in the opening salvos of the second spell and briefly threatened to get back in the game. They scored tries to first-five Te Aihe Toma and Villi Tia to close the gap to 29-10 with Parkinson and Taurima in the sin bin within a minute of each other.
Taurima's third try sealed the win but there was time for a late flourish from both teams that saw Ishimori score his second try to take Rangatau out to a 41-10 lead before Daniel Schuster crashed over for Te Puna to end the scoring.
Rangataua 41 (Ross Taurima 3, Daiyu Ishimori 2, Roha Dalton Reedy, Nathaniel Walker tries; Dan Groot 3 cons) Te Puna 15 (Te Aihe Toma, Villi Tia, Daniel Schuster tries)