Tamatea second rower Joe Taafi scored four tries in Saturday's opening round of Hawke's Bay's premier men's rugby league competition.

Taafi's 16-point haul came in Tamatea's 40-22 win against Omahu Huia at the Hawke's Bay Regional Sports Park.

Rugby League Hawke's Bay draw master Mike Tamati has placed all seven senior men's teams in the premier comp for the start of the season and he will divide them into premier and reserve grade divisions once he gauges the calibre of the teams.

One of Taafi's second row partners, Mark Ioane, was also prominent for Tamatea. He kicked four goals and was just as powerful at centre as he was during his minutes as a forward.


Standoff Haisley Robson directed the Tamatea backline well. Johnny Saifiti, Te Rira Rowlands, Jordarn Harmer and former Hawks basketballer Mataeus Marsh were the other try scorers for Tamatea.

"We did well for a team we just managed to scrape together," Omahu Huia coach Aki Renata said.

"We lost six players to Bridge Pa and several are busy with rep rugby so we are virtually starting all over again," Renata explained.

"We were competing well until we lost Taniera [standoff Miratana] with a hamstring injury midway through the second half.

Winger Ivan Renata and hooker Eddie Miratana were the best of the Omahu players.

Other games saw Bridge Pa A beat the Waka Leonard-coached Maraenui 42-18, Dannevirke Tigers beat Bay Bulldogs 40-36 and Bridge Pa B beat Flaxmere 32-20.

Premier champions Kahuranaki had the bye on Saturday.

In the women's grade, defending champions Bridge Pa, who are coached by Alan Mason, walloped Hastings Rugby and Sports 85-10 and Tamatea handed newcomers YMP an 88-0 drubbing.

Tamati said YMP were missing six players who had rugby commitments in Wairoa and the bulk of their players were new to the 13-player code.

The Bay's top referee, former Unicorns speedster Shane Foster, gave them plenty of tips and he said they will improve with more game time.