Televised highlights of a local derby Wairoa rugby match have become part of the memorial for the two people killed in a crash near Nuhaka in Northern Hawke's Bay last Friday night.
Killed in the crash were Fabian George Cook, 33, and Freedom Rikael Morunga 21, while Jordan Edwards, a third person in the car which collided with a truck and trailer on State Highway 2, near Nepia Lane, just west of Nuhaka, last night remained in a critical condition in the Intensive Care Unit at Wellington Hospital.
The match between Poverty Bay competition Wairoa sides Tapuae and Athletic went ahead less than 24 hours after the tragedy, and features in this week's Haati Grassroots Rugby episode shown for the first time on Maori TV on Wednesday night.
With Tapuae struggling for numbers after two recent defaults, Cook was to have played his first game of the season in the green and black of the 108-year-old club. One brother, Brody, manages the side and on Saturday had no shortage of players, with a full team, including another brother, BA, plus a substitutes' bench of eight.
Athletic, which had also struggled for players in some recent games, also had no shortage with a bench of seven, and won the game 12-10.
Morunga's father, Puttputt, is a stalwart of Wairoa rugby, having played for most clubs in the area, and also for the sub-union representative side.
Tangi for the two deceased were held at separate marae, final services being simultaneously for Cook at Taihoa, in Wairoa, and for Morunga at Te Rakato, Mahia.
The national road toll for the year yesterday stood at 202, up nine on that at the same time year, and more than a third up on the 2014 toll when there were 150 fatalities up to the first week of July.
But the toll for the Eastern Police District, from Norsewood to East Cape, yesterday stood at 10, compared with 17 from January 1-July 4 last year.