It may have been a public holiday but the rugby didn't stop and it was certainly a Good Friday for Mount Maunganui who hammered Rangataua 44-15.

In fact, you could argue it was a good day for all involved as upwards of $17,000 was raised for the Waikato/Bay of Plenty Cancer Society. Rangataua swapped their traditional black jerseys for white, the Mount side wore pink, and most of their players shaved their heads to raise money for the cause.

Mount Maunganui coach Reuben Parkinson says he can usually tell during the warm up whether his team is on and yesterday he had a good feeling. His instincts were spot on.

Rangataua knocked on near halfway in the opening minutes and Mount Maunganui made them pay with a try to winger Josh Calvert through a neatly worked set play.


Ten minutes into the half the Mount extended their lead to 8-0 when awarded a penalty right in front of the sticks.

Mount Maunganui were playing with width and great pace. After another strong period of possession halfback Matt Golding got on the score sheet, selling a dummy and ducking out of a tackle to cross the try line. Mount Maunganui led 15-0.

Rangataua stayed in touch with a penalty goal before Mount winger Calvert scored his second, a fantastic solo effort after pouncing on a loose ball near halfway. No 8 and captain Matty Axtens scored on the brink of halftime to make it a commanding 27-3 lead for the away side.

Rangataua's Tute Grant makes a break against Mount Maunganui at Te Ariki Park. Photo / Andrew Warner
Rangataua's Tute Grant makes a break against Mount Maunganui at Te Ariki Park. Photo / Andrew Warner

The first 10 minutes of the second half were a good arm wrestle before Golding broke the shackles, showing great awareness to again dart down the side of the ruck and score his second. Fullback Christian Kelly got in on the act 15 minutes into the half, with a try from a well worked set play, and Mount Maunganui led 41-3.

Rangataua never gave up and added tries of their own to centre Akira Mako and prop Leighton Hika to reduce the deficit a little, but Mount Maunganui were always in control, kicking a penalty to make the final score 44-15.

Mount coach Parkinson says he is pleased to see the players trusting the system he wants them to play in.

"I'm really pleased, especially with that first half. We've been working so hard on our defence and our attacking shape so it was good to see the boys having belief in that. For us it's just mental.

"We know how strong Rangataua are, particularly at their home ground. We knew if we don't start well they could put 60 points on us, that's how crucial it is."


He says the game, as well as the week leading up to it, had been special as the two teams came together for a good cause.

"We all got together on Thursday at our clubrooms and all shaved our heads. The majority of us have been raising money for a few weeks, it's been awesome, we're so appreciative. It's just really good for the boys too, just having the different jerseys and a little bit of a different meaning of what they're playing for."

Baywide Rugby Results
Arataki 62 vs Opotiki 5
Tauranga Sports 59 vs Rotoiti 21
Greerton Marist 18 vs Whakarewarewa 17
Rangataua 15 vs Mount Maunganui 44
Te Teko 0 vs Te Puke Sports 51
Te Puna vs Rangiuru (to be played on Saturday)

Premier Development:
Arataki 38 vs Opotiki 24
Tauranga Sports 96 vs Rotoiti 7
Greerton Marist 35 vs Whakarewarewa 14
Rangataua 26 vs Mount Maunganui 5
Te Teko 10 vs Te Puke Sports 53
Te Puna vs Rangiuru (to be played on Saturday)

Division 1:
Poroporo 5 vs Ngongotaha 81
Murupara 19 vs Marist St Michael's 26
Ruatoki 37 vs Kahukura 25
Judea vs Whakatane Marist 34
Paroa 20 vs Waikite 17
Papamoa vs Reporoa (to be played on Saturday)

Western Bay Senior Reserves:
Eastern Districts 38 vs Judea 7
Tauranga Sports 17 vs Matakana Island 22
Te Puna vs Katikati (to be played on Saturday)
Greerton Marist - BYE