Otumoetai Eels Premiers maintained their unbeaten BOP/Coastline season record with an emphatic 68-8 thrashing of cellar dwellers Taneatua Warriors Rugby Park, Whakatane on Saturday.
Taneatua took it to the Eels early but the Eels weathered what storm the Warriors could throw at them then turned on the burners to race away in the second half with a commanding performance.
Young 17-year-old Carlos Levao, standing in for regular Connor Hohepa at fullback, was brilliant in all facets of attack and defence scoring two superb tries in the process.
With injuries starting to creep in player/coach Alex Parker has had the satisfaction of being able to call players up from the club's second side who are also unbeaten after Saturday's 48-10 round-eight win over Te Teko Bulldogs, with the likes of Tyler Nicholas and Josh Allen making the step up.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
Ryan Gordon, Tane Leef and second row player/coach Parker were others to dot down twice. Centres Mark Ballantyne and Aritaku Robens and prop Thomas Crosby were the other try scorers.
In other matches, second-placed Pikiao Warriors had to come from behind to defeat Mangakino Hawks 32-28, and Ngongotaha had a good 44-30 win over Taupo after their ill-disciplined defeat to the Eels the previous week.
This week Otumoetai Eels Premiers are at Taupo, Tokoroa's Pacific Sharks host Pikiao, which promises to be the match of the round with both vying for second position on the ladder. Taneatua have another tough game at home against the ever improving Mangakino with Ngongotaha sitting out a bye.
Last weekend was another clean sweep for the Eels club.
The U11s beat Tauranga Whalers 78-6 at Arataki on Sunday, the U13s also coming away with a tough 38-14 win over the Whalers, the U14s defeated Pikiao 18-14 in Rotorua in a top of the table clash, with the U15s hammering Pikiao 62-10 and the Eels U17s also getting a win over Waikite.
"This is total testament to appointing the best coaches and managers available and ensuring all coaches at all levels have NZRL qualifications alongside a very structured and hard working club volunteer base, with the club also providing teams for kids as young as 4 to 5 through to aged 9," club contact Stan Nicholas said.