The 2018 North Harbour Amateur Representative campaign kicked off at Kaipatiki Park with the Under 19 hosting the Auckland Development team at 1pm and the Men’s B/2nd XV hosting the Auckland Colts at 2.30pm. There was a very good crowd on hand with good playing conditions, a sunny day, but a chilly wind.
First up pressure applied by Auckland U19 Development created an early lead with a converted try then a penalty. Auckland were physical and made Harbour work hard to stay in touch. Just before half time Harbour managed to catch Auckland and go into the break 14-10 up. After a re-group Harbour switched into a more structured game plan and with the directional leadership of Captain and 1st Five Jack Heighton and good front-foot ball presented by the forwards to Half-Back Connor Leather, the backs were able to run hard at the Auckland defence. A strong showing by the Harbour bench meant a final score of 27-10 to Harbour. The ever reliable Jack Heighton kicked five penalties and one conversion with tries to 2nd Five Tom Barham and wing Tuna Tautalafua.
In the Men’s B/2nd XV fixture both teams were locked at 10 all after 40 minutes and nothing could separate them. Harbour points came from a push-over try to No. 6 Nathan Vaatausili and Ben Searle adding the extras and securing a penalty. The second 40min had both teams trading penalties and a try went to wing Gannon Moore with his 7’s pace down the right-hand touch to dot down in the corner, with Searle managing to swing the conversion in for another 2. Auckland replied with two tries and a penalty and hit the lead 26-23 with two minutes to go. Harbour managed to roll up-field with great ball retention, then headed up the right hand touch, some 10 metres away from the goal line, the backs called the play to the left, for centre Tito Sufia in the mid field to spin a big cut-out pass to reserve inside back Blake Hall to charge in for the winning try in the 80th min for a score line of 30-23. Ben Searle well for three conversions and three penalties to be POD.
Thanks to Glenfield rugby club for hosting in particular President Alan Linstrom, and a special mention to the team in the kitchen staff, Claire and Ray Woodbury who produced awesome food, much appreciated by the four teams. Thanks to Kat and Eric behind the bar.
Games for Saturday 25 August have the Under 85 Kg team getting their campaign underway at Harvey Wright fields at 2.45pm hosting Waikato. The Under 19’s make the big trip to Eastern RFC, Taipa near Mangonui to play Northland at 2pm and Men’s B travel to Hamilton OB RFC, Fred Jones Park to play Waikato at 1pm. Getting underway on Saturday 1 September is U14 and U16 teams with games against the Northland sides in Kamo and Kerikeri.