HBHS 48 Flaxmere 8
A trophy with a bit more than just the average meaning was presented for the first time as Hastings Boys High School beat Flaxmere College in the inaugural Kevin Tamati Trophy Hawke's Bay secondary schools rugby league match yesterday at Kirkpatrick Park, Hastings.
The trophy is a tewhatewha (fighting club) produced from native wood by Waiohiki carver Hugh Tareha, as part of an initiative to bring some of the names of Kiwi league heroes back into play in provincial areas around New Zealand.
In this case the honour went to Tamati, the Rugby League Hawke's Bay chairman. Born and raised at Bridge Pa and a HBHS old boy, he played 22 matches for the Kiwis from 1979-85 and ended a professional playing career in 1988, long before any of the players in yesterday's game were born.
But the honour was also with the players, said HBHS captain Dempsey Greening, one of several Super 8 first fifteen rugby competition players whose fitness and skills proved too much for the Flaxmere side in a nine-tries-to-two, 48-8 victory.
While it was one of only two rugby league games for the Hastings team this season, most have been playing club rugby league, with Greening turning out at Premier level for Bridge Pa.
HBHS were able to run the ball freely, although the ball retention rate was not high, all but one of their tries going to the backs, with three to centre Ben Smith.
Result: Hastings BHS 48 (Ben Smith 3, Josh Foster, Tiki Greening, Zhane Hazel, Danya Tulou, James Siaosi, Nathan Kerisiano tries; Ash Robinson 4, Dempsey Greening, Taniera Miratana goals) Flaxmere College 8 (Shaun Tehaukamau, Iraia Tehaukamau tries). HT: 16-4.