The Hawke's Bay under-19 rugby side has to beat their Wellington counterparts in the capital next week to secure a top eight berth at their national tournament in Taupo next month.
Hawke's Bay were beaten 15-5 by Manawatu at Napier's Park Island today. Manawatu had first use of the strong wind and led 15-0 at halftime.
Tighthead prop Patrick Teddy had another strong outing for the hosts. Openside flanker Josh Gimblett was again a workaholic.
Centre Gideon Kautai made the most of his attacking opportunities in the Bay backline and shone with his defensive reads. Substitute Damarus Hokianga provided quality impact and plenty of physicality in both the hooker and blindside flanker positions.
Busy No 8 Liam Udy-Johns scored the Bay's try. The national under-19 tournament will be played from September 7-14.
The Hawke's Bay Samoans won the High Commission Cup for the third time in four years today with a 34-30 win against defending champions Whanganui Samoans in Levin.
As the score suggests it was an entertaining tussle in which there were numerous momentum swings. The score was 17-all at halftime.
"We did really well considering we only had the starting XV and two reserves," veteran hooker Nathan Pulega said.
Taradale colts loosie Jason Tufuga produced a powerful performance on the wing. Former Samoa and Magpies flanker Fa'alemiga Selesele displayed the benefits of his vast experience.
This victory completed an unbeaten season for the Hawke's Bay Samoans who earlier this month beat the Manawatu Samoans and Horowhenua-Kapiti Samoans.