Rugby: Hawks dominate in Kemp tribute

By Imran Ali

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Otamatea Hawks premier reserve first-five Bodean Mane celebrates as he crosses in Saturday's final round robin match in Maungaturoto. Photo/Michael Cunningham
Otamatea Hawks premier reserve first-five Bodean Mane celebrates as he crosses in Saturday's final round robin match in Maungaturoto. Photo/Michael Cunningham

Jordan Kemp couldn't have asked for more from his fired-up Otamatea reserves' teammates who piled on 31 points against Hora Hora to win their final club game of the season 31-7.

Playing in memory of the 17-year-old who died from a suspected brain bleed just over a week ago while playing against Old Boys Marist, Otamatea dominated possession and territory for virtually the entire match in heavy underfoot conditions at Maungaturoto Sports' Complex on Saturday.

Handling errors and players falling off tackles were glaringly obvious but expected after nearly a week's rain made play difficult right across the ground.

Both teams observed a minute's silence for Jordan prior to kick-off before Hora Hora players performed a haka in their Bayleys Premier Reserve Grade match.

The crowd, including Jordan's family who all turned up in a people mover, enjoyed the beautiful weather for most of the day.

Hora Hora started the match with the worst possible start after a knock-on from kick off.

Their best scoring opportunity came in the 11th minute from a lineout play but they were penalised just metres from the Otamatea tryline for incorrectly entry in the ruck.

Scrums and lineouts chewed up much of the first half as both teams went to the sheds without any points at halftime.

The home side struck minutes into the second half from a scrum close to the opposition tryline. First five Bodean Mane drew first blood and his try was converted.

In another promising move by the hosts, an Otamatea player broke free from his 22 metre line before offloading to another who knocked the ball on.

Mane got his second try for Otamatea midway in the second spell after a brilliant offload from his outside back.

Poor defence by Hora Hora allowed Otamatea to score their third try a minute later.

That try was also converted.

Twelve minutes from fulltime, the hosts scored their fourth and last converted try to push score to 31 points.

Hora Hora players couldn't get front foot ball and when they did, they coughed up possession.

They managed a consolation try on the stroke of fulltime after the Otamatea prop was sin-binned.

Otamatea official Kevin Robinson said his side's brilliant play was obviously spurred by Jordan and his family that were present at the ground.

Hora Hora presented a koha to the grieving family during an informal get-together after the game.

- Northern Advocate

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