Poverty Bay 31
West Coast 13
Poverty Bay celebrated Sione Ngatu's 100th game with a 31-13 defeat of West Coast in their Heartland Championship game at Rugby Park, Gisborne, today.
The blindside flanker produced his usual non-stop 80 minutes as the Bay bounced back from two heavy losses to Wairarapa Bush and Wanganui for a bonus-point victory.
Gisborne Boys' High School openside flanker Toa Halafihi marked his first game for the Bay with a display that should ensure he adds to his appearances when they travel to Oamaru for their next match against North Otago.
Hawkes Bay loan players, halfback Adam Ross and hooker Henry Yortt, scored their first tries in a Bay jersey. Ross, making his debut, dotted down twice.
Former Namibian international David Philander, playing on the left wing, also opened his tryscoring account with a 70m effort after an intercept six minutes from time to seal the win.
West Coast started with a hiss and a roar, dominating possession and territory for the first 15 minutes during which time they score a good try to second five-eighths Sean McClure, after forwards and backs combined.
But from the moment Yortt scored a converted try in the 17th minute, it was all Poverty Bay. They took the game to a Coast side who did not help themselves with weak tackling as the home side built up a 21-8 halftime lead.
Although on the losing side, Coast No 8 Rowan O'Gorman was outstanding and was easily his side's best player.
Poverty Bay 31 (Adam Ross 2, Henry Yortt, Jason Tuapawa, David Philander tries; Scott Leighton 3 cons) West Coast 13 (Sean McClure, Troy Tauwhare tries; Corey Deans pen). HT: 21-8.By John Hill of the Gisborne Herald