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Baywide Club Rugby Preview 05.08.17

Thursday, August 3, 2017
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An abundance of rugby will hit the Eastern Bay this weekend when the Baywide Premier and Division 1 finals take place. Paroa’s club rooms will be bursting at the seams with supporters ahead of the Baywide Premier 2 final against Arataki and Dunderdale Park’s side-lines will be packed with whanau and support as their two local teams Te Teko and Ruatoki battle it out for the Division 1 title.

Baywide Premier 2 Competition: Final
Paroa v Arataki

Paroa will host Arataki this weekend at Lawson Park. Arataki secured their final spot after a successful 37-8 win over Ngongotaha and Paroa defeating their local rivals Whakatane Marist 34-27 last weekend. Both sides have been consistent performers in the second round with only one point separating them in their last encounter, it is expected this weekend will be no different.

Paroa Coach Mike Smith commented, “The club as a whole is looking forward to the occasion, it will be great to be able to show case to the public what can be achieved by a small united club,” said Smith.

“Defending the title hasn’t been part of our build up, but enjoying the final for what it is has been this week’s focus,” said Smith.

Smith finished, “Arataki provided a fierce contest, which is what we expect and are preparing for this weekend”.

Arataki Coach Billy Russell highlighted maintaining confidence in their structures will be a key focus, “We have to keep doing what we have been doing all year, that is to have faith in our systems and trust our processes. We also need to enjoy the occasion, play hard for each other and represent our club and whanau well.”

Russell is calling his team to express themselves, “This weekend I asked the boys to express themselves and enjoy their time together. As with any final game of the season, it could be the last time they put the same jersey on as the person beside them so I've told them to play for each other and cherish the moment.”

Russell finishes, “Winning any type of trophy is awesome for our young club. It sets the tone for 2018 and creates a stronger bond between players. Our hearty supporters are always our backbone and no doubt we will need them to bring their voices to help us out. We never run on the field as just a team but more of a community and family.”

Baywide Division 1 Competition: Final
Te Teko v Ruatoki

Te Teko will host local rivals Ruatoki in front of a vocal Te Teko crowd. In their last encounter Te Teko secured an away win over Ruatoki with only one point separating them both. Once again it will no doubt be a tight encounter between the two sides played with plenty of mana.

Te Teko coach Simon Geddes commented, “It is really fantastic having two Maori Clubs in the final of the first division. It is a massive occasion for both communities. Everyone is really excited; players, coaches and supporters.”

“We would like to win this weekend and to do so we need to apply the game plan we have devised for the final,” said Geddes.

Geddes finishes’ “The most important thing for this team is to enjoy and embrace the occasion as this is what rugby is about; getting into finals. You don’t know who is going to come up out on top, so we need to enjoy the occasion as it doesn’t come around very often, especially as it is a home final. This is what brings people back to the clubs and keeps grassroots rugby going.”

Ruatoki coach Markie Pouwhare was unavailable for comment. Ruatoki have been consistent performers across the Baywide Club Rugby season.

Ruatoki coaching team of Markie Pouwhare and Niwa Maui were unavailable to comment on this occasion. Ruatoki have proven to be a strong team in the second round. It is expected the Ruatoki will be clinical in their attack and maintain a tight defensive structure. To ensure the win for the visitors they will need to utilise their strong forward pack to pressure Te Teko in turning over the ball, but will be a challenging task for Ruatoki with the abundance of home support, but fantastic viewing for spectators.

Baywide Premier 2 Final:
Saturday 5 August:

Premier kick-off: 2.45pm
Paroa v Arataki at Lawson Park

Baywide Premier 2 Development Final:
Saturday 5 August:

Development kick-off: 1.00pm
Waikite v Opotiki at Bellvue Road

Baywide Division 1 Final:
Saturday 5 August:

Kick-off: 2.45pm
Te Teko v Ruatoki at Dunderdale Park

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