The Hawke's Bay Development rugby team won the second half but the damage had been done in the first when they took on the Whanganui Heartland team on Saturday.

Whanganui won the Park Island encounter 33-14 after leading 26-0 at halftime. Manager of the Bay team Mike Smith said halfback Jayden Rihia was a late withdrawal as he has been promoted to the Magpies Mitre 10 Cup squad as injury cover and this meant Taradale halfback Karl Hewitt had to play the full game.

"We had lots of new guys and only two trainings and Whanganui had just come off a camp too," he added.

The host side had some good patches in the second half. Captain and openside flanker Ben Hamelink and Magpies loosehead prop Jarvy Aoake led the host pack by example and Tamati Samuels had memorable shifts in the first five-eighth and fullback positions.


The Bay's under-19 team lost 62-12 to the Whanganui Development team in the curtainraiser. Bay coach Blair Cross said his troops were on the back foot after losing first five-eighth Jack Harley in the first play of the game with a broken leg which is likely to sideline him until the end of 2018.

"Our halfback, Bronson Hokianga, had to play at 10 and he had never played there before. We struggled physically against some wily old club players who had more game nous too," Cross added.

Winger Nathan Burton scored both of the Bay's tries, one of which was converted by fullback Isaac Thomas. Prop Cam Pratt and No 8 Tua Ulupano were prominent in the Bay pack. Second five-eighth Felise Iopu was the best of the Bay backs.

The Tuis also opened their pre-season campaign on Saturday with 40-minute games against Manawatu and Bay of Plenty in Taupo. They beat Manawatu 21-20 and lost 20-10 to Bay of Plenty.

Prop Awhina Wainohu was powerful against Manawatu and scored two tries. Krysten Cottrell displayed the benefits of her vast experience with classy shifts at fullback, first five-eighth and wing. Promising centre Niamh Jefferson played at blindside flanker and impressed with her defensive workrate including a memorable try-saving tackle against Bay of Plenty.