Pāpāmoa Bulldogs coach Jock Nicholson says his side produced an ambush in their rugby league season opener on Saturday.

Pāpāmoa beat Hamilton City Tigers 30-6 at Gordon Spratt Reserve to make a perfect start to their Waikato Rugby League premier campaign.

"We ambushed them. It might not do us any favours for the rest of the competition as we were a little bit of unknown before this week. We have a pretty good forward pack and we held the ball and completed our sets. We did the basics well."

Pāpāmoa winger Ben Yeeles scored three tries and Nicholson says his side completed 20 of their 24 sets in the victory. He says they were able to put pressure on Hamilton.


"It was a really pleasing win," Nicholson says. "But this is round one and we are not getting ahead of ourselves, we just need to do the basics. It can be hard when you have win like that, the shoulders will be up a bit at training, but we have to talk about it.

"We have to reflect on things like how we lost to the [Ōtūmoetai] Eels three weeks ago and how that felt. I have to make sure I get in their heads and we stay grounded."

The competition will take a break over Easter, before Pāpāmoa host Ngaruawahia on April 27.

"Ngaruawahia are another top side and we have to make sure we can play like we did today – it is a matter reproducing that again and again."

The Ōtūmoetai Eels opened their season with a 26-12 defeat to defending champions Taniwharau.

Ōtūmoetai coach Grant Sundborn says the game was a good learning curve for his side.

"They showed us what level of intensity we need to lift our game to. It was a very tough game, they set the benchmark and we made a couple of decisions that we probably shouldn't have. The boys didn't give up and we were on top for the last 15 minutes. We are not far away and we will get better."

Sundborn says the Easter break is at a good time for his team.


"The break will give us a chance to work on things that we need to and allow us to get over a couple of injuries. We will work on our defence, we were moving up but not drifting. We also want to have a little more urgency all round."

When the competition resumes, Ōtūmoetai will play Hamilton City in Hamilton.

"I had to make a few adjustments in the game on Saturday but I don't want the boys to panic. We only have a few little things to fix and we are pretty competitive."

Waikato Rugby League results, April 13
Premier grade
Pāpāmoa Bulldogs 30 Hamilton City Tigers 6, Taniwharau 26 Ōtūmoetai Eels 12, Ngaruawahia Panthers 40 Hamilton Hornets 0, Turangawaewae 38 College Old Boys 10.

Reserve grade
Ngaruawahia Panthers 34 Hamilton Hornets 16, Turangawaewae 52 College Old Boys 14, Taniwharau 34 Ōtūmoetai Eels 16, Pāpāmoa Bulldogs 16 Hamilton City Tigers 52, Te Awamutu Fire Hawks 38 Ngaruawahia Lions 22.