Hawke's Bay's New Zealand softball legend Chubb Tangaroa's bag of coaching tricks is fuller than most.
The four-time world champion has been there and done that with a variety of teams including the world champion Black Sox, senior provincial sides and age group teams. However, he didn't have to dig too far into his bag to get what he wanted out of his Hawke's Bay under-15 boys side on day one of their North Island tournament at Haitaitai Park in Wellington yesterday.
Tangaroa promised his troops one of his wife Jacqui's favourite steam puddings after their main course of spaghetti bolognese for dinner last night if they achieved their target of two wins from their first three games.
"We got the two wins but it was hard work. They will still get their steam pudding ... they deserve it," Tangaroa said after the side's debrief.
His side, who are aiming for a top four finish, opened their four-day campaign with a 7-2 win against Waikato, lost 8-0 against Auckland in their second outing and pipped Wellington Development 5-4 in their last match of the day.
Against Waikato Tangaroa's son and right outfielder Ihaka Tangaroa and first baseman Sam Coldicutt both collected two hits from as many turns at bat.
Pitcher Kristen Munro got on base with all three of his turns at bat and on the mound conceded two hits while accumulating five strikeouts.
"We gave everybody a run against Auckland as it was a game we didn't target. We got bombarded and only got two hits," Tangaroa said.
His son started on the mound against Wellington Development and conceded four runs during the first four innings. He was replaced by Munro who shut the Wellingtonians out.
Versatile infielder Manaaki Aranui collected three hits from four turns at bat while short stop Liam Udy-Johns got on base with all five of his turns at bat with four hits and a walk. Left outfielder Crudance Burton produced two hits from his three turns at bat.
Hawke's Bay play Hutt Valley and Tairawhiti today.