While Arataki have suffered narrow losses to Tauranga Sports and Greerton, they have shown enough to suggest that with a little more control they could cause some upsets this season.

On Saturday, in round two of the Baywide Premier competition, Arataki hosted Greerton and with their unique brand of power and aggression very nearly stole the win.

Trailing by a solitary point and with the 80 minutes up, Arataki goal kicker John Collier carefully placed the ball on the tee.

With a penalty about 30m out and 10m in from the sideline, it was Collier's hero or zero moment. Unfortunately for him, and the passionate Arataki home crowd, it was not to be as his kick hooked to the left of the posts.


Greerton collected the ball and kicked it out of play to secure a narrow 22-21 victory. A week earlier, Arataki lost 30-27 to Tauranga Sports after missing a shot at goal to tie the game.

Arataki manager Daniel Dickison says it is pleasing to see the side getting themselves into positions to win, but with no competition bonus points on offer this year, they have some work to do.

"It was a good game but I think we put ourselves under a lot of pressure in the first half and Greerton capitalised a couple of times on that. We spent a lot of time inside our own half.

"In the second half I think we came into our own and fought back into the game well but we just probably were our own worst enemies with out discipline and we made a few errors in crucial parts of the field."

Despite being under immense pressure for much of the first half, Arataki took a 7-5 lead into halftime. They scored straight after the break to make it 14-5, but Greerton came flying back at them with two tries to make it 17-14.

The intensity continued to rise as the clock ticked down. Arataki showed they were not going down without a fight when they regained the lead through a converted try to Nic Haledezos who galloped through several tackles on his way to the line. The try was converted and Arataki led 21-14.

Greerton's Kody McGovern was one of the standout players against Arataki. Photo / Andrew Warner
Greerton's Kody McGovern was one of the standout players against Arataki. Photo / Andrew Warner

The game had really come to life and with five minutes left to play Greerton were in again. After a rampaging move up the middle of the field, into the Arataki 22m, they shifted the ball left where one of the reserve forwards was able to stroll over and score the match-winner.

Arataki may be without a win so far this season, but Dickison expects them "turn a few heads" this season.


"Overall it was a step up from last week and going forward we have a good foundation of a team. We're on the back foot now with no points. We've kept ourselves in both games this season but haven't quite had the composure to get across the line, that's something we need to work on."

Meanwhile, Greerton coach Kane Parker says his side's performance was an improvement on the previous week in which they drew 22-all with Rangiuru.

"We're trying not to panic in how we want to build the guys this year. Out of a possible eight points, we've got six now so we'll just keep tracking.

"I think our set piece dominated and defensively we scrambled well. Arataki is a good side and we knew that, we knew it would be tough coming here, they have some big boys. We knew if we shut down their time and space we'd be in the game, we didn't quite do it for 80 minutes but we'll get there."

Next week Greerton face "a big test" against Te Puke.

"I think we've got to look after the ball a lot better and I think we're throwing a lot of 50/50 passes. When we're in the opposition red zone we have to realise that when we turn ball over we don't have to panic - we've done the job, we just need to relax and be patient. There were crucial times today when we didn't do that," Parker says.

Baywide Rugby Results
Te Puke 48 vs Tauranga Sports 10
Greerton Marist 22 vs Arataki 21
Rangiuru 27 vs Rangataua 24
Rotoiti 29 vs Te Teko 24
Whakarewarewa 53 vs Ōpōtiki 10
Te Puna 46 vs Mount Maunganui 8

Premier Development
Te Puke 25 vs Tauranga Sports 12
Greerton Marist 20 vs Arataki 10
Rangataua 71 vs Rangiuru 22
Te Teko 32 vs Rotoiti 22
Ōpōtiki 17 vs Whakarewarewa 7
Te Puna 32 vs Mount Maunganui 16

Division 1
Kahukura 29 vs Reporoa 10
Ngongotahā 18 vs Waikite 5
Paroa 50 vs Poroporo 6
Murupara 34 vs Judea 7
Marist St Michael's 54 vs Whakatāne Marist 0
Ruatoki 26 vs Pāpāmoa 8