Rugby: Two tries break Shield drought

By John Hill

Holders Waikato overcame the Ranfurly Shield challenge of East Coast, winning 63-10 in Ruatoria yesterday.
Holders Waikato overcame the Ranfurly Shield challenge of East Coast, winning 63-10 in Ruatoria yesterday.

East Coast blindside flanker Brent Ingram yesterday became the first Coast player to score a try in a Ranfurly Shield challenge against Waikato at Ruatoria.

No matter that the ITM Cup first division oufit scored 10 in the win in front of a crowd of 2000.

The Coast have challenged for the Shield on six previous occasions - starting with 42-0 point loss to Wellington in 1953 - and their only points came in 1997 when Nigel Ormsby landed two penalties in a 115-3 defeat by Auckland in Ruatoria and two Mano Flutey penalties against Canterbury in 2002.

And when openside loosie Tanetoa Parata dotted down for Coast's second try just before halftime the crowd erupted.

"Three more tries boys," shouted one Coast supporter as his side headed to the middle trailing 22-10, a reminder of his team's comeback from 27-3 down to beat Wanganui 29-27 in last year's Meads Cup final.

But there was no fairytale ending this time as a power, pace and superior skills of Waikato was too much in the second 40 minutes.

Prop Latu Talakai crashed over for the first of seven tries.

Left winger Semisi Masirewa helped himself to a hat-trick and New Zealand sevens star, rightwinger Tim Mikkelsen bagged two as did blindside flanker Whetu Douglas.

Waikato 63 (Semisi Masirewa 3, Tim Mikkelsen 2, Whetu Douglas 2, Brian Alainu'uese, Latu Talakai, Mick Snowdon tries; Trent Renata 5 cons, pen).

East Coast 10 (Brent Ingram, Tanetoa Parata tries). HT: 22-10.

- NZ Herald

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