Rugby: Otamatea fall short of target in emotional match

By Imran Ali

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Otamatea needed five points in the match against Hora Hora on Saturday.
Otamatea needed five points in the match against Hora Hora on Saturday.

Otamatea Hawks needed five points to make it into the premiers final but never looked like coming close to it against a big and well-drilled Hora Hora outfit on Saturday.

Lack of training last week since the death of young Jordan Kemp showed as Otamatea struggled to contain the opposition for most of the match in heavy underfoot conditions at the Maungaturoto Sports' Complex.

Hora Hora won 21-8.

Before the match, players from both teams observed a minute's silence for Jordan.

Hora Hora applied pressure right from the opening whistle and their first opportunity to score came in the fourth minute but first five Ume Fosita fumbled the ball during an attack about 5 metres from the Otamatea line.

In the 27th minute, Hora Hora's halfback committed a similar error just seven metres from the tryline while trying to clear the ball off a ruck.

Two minutes later, Hora Hora's winger touched down in the corner after an attack on the right flank after beating his opposite number.

The winning team employed good switch play and pinned the hosts in their 22m line.

Otamatea defence was caught out at times and poor options, particularly inside their 22m line, piled more pressure on them.

Their first points came via the boot of first five Dan Hawkins through a penalty. The hosts' first try came in the second half after a brilliant break in the midfield.

Otamatea premier coach Dean Kenny admitted Hora Hora players were big, strong and well-drilled, although the hosts didn't leave anything on the field.

"We didn't have an opportunity to train the whole week because we decided not to do any training after Jordan's passing.

"We needed a five-pointer today but it never looked like we could have got it," he said.

A huge turnout and sunny weather were ideal platforms for a great match and an occasion to remember young Jordan, he said.

The loss means Otamatea fails to qualify for the semis next weekend.

Hora Hora will play Mid Northern and Wellsford to tackle Mid Western in the other semifinal.

Results:

Premier Grade
Mid Northern 47 Hikurangi 24
Mid Western 34 Kamo 17
Western Sharks 12 Old Boys Marist 28
Hora Hora 18 Otamatea 8
Wellsford 26 Waipu 19

Premier Reserve Grade
Mid Northern 22 Hikurangi 7
Kamo 36 Mid Western 9
Western Sharks 30 Old Boys Marist 22
Otamatea. 31 Hora Hora 7
Wellsford 33 Waipu 12

- Northern Advocate

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