This was a hard fought battle which saw the Whanganui U18’s dig deep to keep the Taranaki Schools team at bay. Taranaki went on the attack early and looked like they were going to score early.
However, the Whanganui U18’s defence was solid and we were able to hold them out. The Whanganui U18 tight 5 had to work all day doing some great work in and around the rucks. Junior Ainea had a stand out game putting in some hard tackles and involving himself in the rucks to turn over possession.
Daniel Kauika had another solid game at fullback and made some good breaks out wide. However, the Taranaki Schools team were also solid on defence and were able to stop our offensive charge. Taranaki Schools took advantage of a penalty in front of the posts going to the break with a 3 point lead.
After the break it was much of the same with Taranaki Schools having a majority of the possession. Whanganui U18’s were again solid on defence but Taranaki Schools finally found a gap out wide and their winger went over in the corner.
Whanganui U18’s had a few chances to level but Taranaki Schools were relentless and kept shutting down our attacks. It was another good hit out for the boys and gave coaches Cornell Mason and Daniel Tamehana a good idea of what we need to improve on for our first competition game this Saturday at Cooks Garden against Wellington, kick off at 12.30pm.