Talk about making the most of a late call up ... Hawke's Bay Magpies XV rugby team's replacement winger Dan McIntyre did yesterday.
McIntyre, 22, trained with the Magpies wider training group last year but opted out this year because he wanted a spell over the summer. However this didn't stop Magpies assistant coach Danny Lee from giving Taradale's McIntyre a call at 7pm on Saturday when Central winger Ethan Prichard withdrew from yesterday's game against Wairarapa Bush in Masterton with an injury.
"I was pretty sore and tired because we had a tough game against Hastings. I made sure I had a quiet night so I would recover in time for Monday," McIntyre recalled.
He recovered well and scored two tries during his 70 minutes of action in the Bay's 68-19 victory before being taken off with a minor quad injury. McIntyre, who scored a hattrick on Saturday, was one of several standout players to receive praise from Lee after the final whistle.
"I was lucky I got a lot of ball. I want to make the Magpies team later in the season and to do that I have to take the opportunities which come and try my best. As I learnt this weekend it only takes an injury and you could be the one who receives a phone call," McIntyre added.
The most experienced Magpie in yesterday's travelling squad of 27 for the non first class fixture in which the Magpies wore Hawke's Bay Saracens colours on the artificial turf, Trent Boswell-Wakefield, led the team well from lock. Flankers Ben Hamelink and Matt Gardiner reproduced the outstanding form they have displayed in club play all season.
Centre Matt Garland regularly splintered the Wairarapa Bush defensive systems and deserved his two tries. Lee said Garland's assists were also spectacular and he is putting considerable pressure on Lee to consider him for a berth later in the season.
Sanaila Waqa, who was a regular lock for the Magpies last season, performed well on the wing when he was shifted from the engine room.
"We've certainly got some healthy selection headaches and they're good to have as we prepare for the Manawatu Evergreens later in the month. We were missing all of our Super players and a lot of club players put their hand up ... it showed the depth we have in the Bay," Lee said.
His troops scored five tries in each half and both of his goalkickers were classy. Tianua Poto succeeded with six of his seven attempts at goal and Dan Snee with all three of his.
Lee pointed out more tinkering is still required with the Bay's attacking systems as some new ones have been introduced to the squad. He also wants to see more urgency on defence.
"We were disappointed we let the Bush boys in for three tries but they were gutsy and tenacious as we expected.
"We could have scored more points if we had held on to the ball a little bit longer at times too," he added.
Although well beaten by more skilful opponents there were encouraging signs from the Bush players as they prepare for their Heartland Championship campaign. First five-eighth Tim Priest directed play well and made some telling breaks, especially in the first half.
Wingers Nick Olson, who scored two tries, and Jimmy Boyle both had busy games as did loose forwards Liam Devine, Sam Gammie and James Goodger, who was particularly impressive in disrupting Hawke's Bay's lineout ball. The Bush forwards were guilty of poor discipline at the breakdown and conceded seven penalties there during the first half alone.
Hawke's Bay Magpies XV 68 (Dan McIntyre 2, Matt Garland 2, Trent Boswell-Wakefield, Joseph Penitito, Lucas Goodin, Jarvy Aoake, Sanaila Waqa, George McPherson tries; Tianua Poto 6, Dan Snee 3 cons), Wairarapa Bush 19 (Nick Olson 2, Andy Humberstone tries; Tim Priest 2 cons). HT: 35-7.