Three sets of brothers turned out for the Bridge Pa premier men's rugby league team which registered their first win in the lower North Island's Coast to Coast competition on Saturday.
Props Ben and Kane Tahau, scrumhalf Piripi and winger Larry Jessup and back rower and player-coach Ihaka and prop Lee Waerea created a slice of history for the 2016 Hawke's Bay Spring Competition champions in a 48-20 win against Tainui in Palmerston North.
This was Bridge Pa's second game in the comp and the winless Tainui team's third.
Ihaka Waerea said while the victory and three brothers made it a memorable expedition through the Manawatu Gorge the match will also be remembered for a couple of different reasons.
"We only travelled with 15 players and lost Ben [Tahau] with an injury during the warmup. Five minutes into the game we lost second rower Jaamin Pere through injury and we were lucky one of players from last year, Jeston Craig, who lives in the Wairarapa these days came over to be a spectator and was able to help us out with a stint as a second rower."
"Barry Edwards was home on holiday from Australia and had his first game for the team in the key position of standoff."
Prop Taurus Taurima and second rower David Neho had huge workrates for the winning pack. Seventeen-year-old fullback Ozshaarn Waerea, a cousin of Ihaka and Lee and members of the Hastings Boys' High School 2nd XV rugby team, was outstanding in the Bridge Pa backline and finished the game with 22 points from a try and nine conversions from 10 attempts.
Bridge Pa return to Palmerston North next weekend to take on competition leaders Kia Ora.
Poor option taking and some soft defensive work in their red zone proved costly for the Hawke's Bay women when beaten 40-12 by a fitter Linton Cobras team in a Mid Central competition match at Kirkpatrick Park in Hastings yesterday. Veteran Hawke's Bay captain and forward Deidre Hakopa, 47, who was a tireless worker throughout the game, would have been disappointed with the manner in which her troops conceded 24 unanswered points during the final.
Fellow veteran Lisa Ropiha, 44, impressed with her enthusiasm when she had stints off the subs bench. Secondrower Te Aroha Hunt was the Bay's player of the match with a massive defensive workrate and numerous metres on the carry. Fellow second rower Shevaughan Dellow scored a cracker of a try in the second half.
Former Black Fern Amy Williams and fellow experienced backs Te Maari MacGregor and Ngahuri Thompson had memorable moments but they needed more variation. The hosts missed the services of regular player-coach and former Kiwi Fern Chanel Huddleston who was on holiday.
Former Kiwi Fern Janna Vaughan was classy in the hooker's role for the Cobras. Scrumhalf Samantha McIntosh, fullback Corrineke Windle and winger Makenzie Mackay were others to shine in a team which had no passengers.