If Sheridan Rangihuna wasn't playing rugby he would comfortably score a berth in the Hawke's Bay senior men's golf team.
The Tech Group of Companies Napier Technical halfback is that good. He was unbeaten at No2 in the Napier club's championship one team going into yesterday's third round of pennants and the 0.4 handicapper's best round on his home club's Waiohiki course is a four under par 68.
However golf isn't Rangihuna's priority. Making the New Zealand under-20 rugby team for the June World Cup in France is.
He agreed his unbeaten run in golf and as captain of the unbeaten Napier Technical side who beat Carters Frame and Truss Taradale 21-3 in a third round Tui Nash Cup clash at Taradale on Saturday might prove lucky omens in the buildup to the naming of the national team on April 24.
"We're gutsing out wins. We're not playing pretty but we're still getting the wins. Once we click we're going to be even harder to beat ... we're an exciting team when we put it all out there," Rangihuna said after a player-of-the-match performance, which included four successes from five attempts at goal.
"I'm pretty happy with my form but I still have to work on my running game a bit more," the 2011 New Zealand Secondary Schools representative, who is benefiting from his one-on-one training sessions with Magpies assistant coach and former All Black halfback Danny Lee, said.
Others to impress for Tech on Saturday were openside flanker Angus Benson and midfield back Ted Walters. Taradale coach Blair Cross said the score didn't reflect the game.
"We were right in it but bombed three or four tries. We played some good footy but couldn't put points on the board ... at the same time we were guilty of not taking kickable points when they were on offer," Cross said. Fullback Manihera Eden, blindside flanker Andrew Gardner and winger Nathan Ramsay all made Cross' MVP list.
Scorers: Napier Technical 21 (Josh Te Whata-Colley, Izaiah Martin tries; Sheridan Rangihuna 3 pens, con), Taradale 3 (John Semple pen). HT: 10-3.
MAC 32 Tamatea 12
MAC secured top spot on the points table with this emphatic five tries to two victory at Flaxmere's Ron Giorgi Park.
The visitors forwards were bigger, fitter and more cohesive than the disappointing Tamatea pack. MAC's backs displayed more nous with option taking.
Tighthead prop Tere Joel and lock Everard Reid were both prominent in the host pack. Winger Jeston Craig was always given space by his inside backs.
Tamatea's forwards were too individualistic. Far too often busy loosies Campbell Johnstone and Hamiora Rowlands would make breaks but would lose the ball at the breakdown because they lacked the necessary support.
After trailing 27-0 at halftime Tamatea produced a vastly improved second spell. However, had the visitors second half team started they could have at least travelled home with a bonus point.
Scorers: MAC 32 (Tere Joel, Jean Pierre Liebenberg, Jeston Craig, Everard Reid, Ihaka Waerea tries; J'ndre Liebenberg 2 cons, pen), Tamatea 12 (Campbell Johnstone 2 tries; Jimmy Harris con). HT: 27-0.
Havelock 41 Pirate 5
"Finally ... a complete 80-minute performance."
These were Progressive Meats Havelock North coach Tom Blake's words after a surprisingly comfortable Challenge Shield defence against another previously unbeaten side, Tanalised Napier Pirate Rugby and Sports, at Anderson Park.
Prop Kelly Petrowski, 18, again impressed in the host pack and displayed his versatility with stints on both sides of the scrum. Tireless No8 Zane Rangi was another to shine in the pack.
First five-eighth Ihaia West, who again had a stint at fullback, scored 21 of the hosts points with two tries as well as four penalties and a penalty from seven attempts at goal. Winger Mike Vuicakau displayed his class with two spectacular 50m tries. "We were outclassed. It's a case of back to the drawing board for us," Pirate coach Phil Rumpler said. Losing experienced first five-eighth Aayden Clarke in the 25th minute to injury was a huge blow to the visitors. Lock Michael Allardice, prop Kelsey Miller and halfback Ewen Bromwell all had memorable moments for the visitors.
Scorers: Havelock North 41(Ihaia West 2, Mike Vuicakau 2, Adam Bradey, Adam Jowsey tries; West 4 cons, pen), Napier Pirate Rugby and Sports 5 (Ewen Bromwell try). HT: 27-5.
Clive 13 Central 12
Hurricanes openside flanker Karl Lowe was an influential figure as his Clive side won this nail-biting topsy turvy encounter at Farndon Park.
Lowe scored his team's only try and produced numerous powerful carries. Imported No8 Mark Atkins was another prominent member of the winning pack.
Halfback Rob Murray and fullback Richie Laming were the pick of the Clive backs. Had Central lock Lance Baker's 75th minute conversion attempt not bounced off the posts the visitors could have recorded their first win of the season.
Blindside flanker Tom Symes, hooker Lance Tupaea and halfback Tom Beachen all made Central manager Tony Lepelaars MVP list.
Scorers: Clive 13 (Karl Lowe try; Adam Chapman 2 pens, con), Central 12 (Daniel McIntyre, Karl Lepelaars tries; Lance Baker con). HT: 10-7.
NOBM 35 Hastings 24
Improved urgency and determination saw Hawke's Bay Insurances Napier Old Boys Marist win this club day encounter at Park Island.
"Our defence was still a bit watery," NOBM coach Mike Warren said referring to the fact his troops leaked four tries.
Openside flanker Sean Watts, halfback Cory Simpkins prop Mike King and No8 Mike Coman were the key architects of NOBM's first win of the season.
IMS Payroll Hastings Rugby and Sports co-coach Karl Jones said his winless troops weren't pushing the panic button.
"We played well in patches but conceded a couple of soft tries. We played better than in past weeks," Jones said.
Powerful No8 Peni Tokakece, lock Api Maleke and hooker Jamie Muir were all prominent for the visitors.
Scorers: Napier Old Boys Marist 35 (Mike Coman, Joseph Penitito, Jone Paumau, Pete Simo tries; Sam Giddens 2 Paumau cons; Giddens 2, Liam Rukuwai pens), Hastings Rugby and Sports 24 (George Crichton, Adam Ross, Tolu Lalagaaia, Junior Tere tries; Luke Makris 2 cons). HT: 13-10.