Rotorua Daily Post
takes a look at the last week of sport.
Can anyone stop Rangiuru?
We may only be two weeks in to the Baywide Women's rugby season, but if Rangiuru keep up their current form they might just be unstoppable.
They have scored a combined 166 points in just two games having beaten Rotoiti 98-0 and Whakarewarewa 68-0. I was at the game against Whakarewarewa on Sunday and what I saw left me in little doubt that they are the real deal.
As the rugby cliche goes, you have to win the battle up front before spreading the ball wide and that is exactly what Rangiuru are doing. Their forwards are monstrous, both at set piece and at the breakdown, Whakarewarewa could barely get their hands on the ball and when they did it was turned over almost immediately.
That sets the platform for their backs, who have all the pace and skills in the world, to dominate and they are scoring tries for fun so far this season. What stood out to me was the support play. There were very few times that a Rangiuru player was tackled and did not have someone ready and waiting for an offload. Those offloads put players into space and wreak havoc among a set defensive line.
The other key to their success so far is fitness, when other sides are tiring towards the end of a game, Rangiuru are stepping up another gear and running up the score.
If you want to see some entertaining footy I highly recommend heading out to a Rangiuru game at some stage this season.
A game with a bit of everything
Speaking of Rangiuru versus Whakarewarewa, there were a few unique moments outside of the general play.
About 20 minutes into the game the referee was forced to limp from the field with an injury. The more senior of the two touch judges was carrying a niggle himself so it was left to the other, a teenager, to step up and referee the game.
To his credit, he definitely stepped up to the plate. The game flowed freely but was never out of his control. If his performance is anything to go by, the future of rugby officiating in the Bay of Plenty is bright.
Another interesting moment was, after about 60 minutes, when the entire game, spectators and all, was moved to an adjacent field.
One of the Whakarewarewa players suffered a head injury and could not be moved from the field until an ambulance arrived. So, rather than wait, players and supporters grabbed the corner flags and post padding and carried it all over to another field to continue playing.
Grass roots footy at its finest.
Ngongotahā AFC never gave up
They say in sport, winning becomes a habit. I think the same can be said about losing. Just look at the Auckland Blues.
The Ngongotahā football team, who are in their second season in the Northern Region Football League Division 2, had gone eight games without a win this season. It's the kind of run that can really suck the life out of a team.
However, by all accounts, the players never let their heads drop. They weren't getting hammered every week and seemed sure a first win was around the corner.
On Saturday they did it with a 3-2 win over Albany United. It goes to show how important a 'never say die' attitude is in sports. Even against Albany, they went down 1-0 early, but their coach Ron Cane said, rather than feeling disheartened, the players started playing with more enthusiasm and desire.
The challenge now is to turn that one win into two, starting with an away trip to Bucklands Beach AFC this weekend.