OBU 27 Tawa 9

The rugby trip to the suburb of Tawa-hiti is always a torrid affair. This week was no exception. For extra spice, Tawa drew the ire of many in the rugby community by starting the player currently accused of assault in an incident outside the Poneke clubrooms late at night a few weeks ago. From an OBU perspective, the most important points were a solid defence that didn’t leak any tries and no serious injuries. Sam Reid has a minor injury concern but was thumbs up for the Avalon fixture this coming Saturday.


It was an overcast day with with barely a breath of wind. This brought terror to those still petrified from Alfred Hitchcock’s movie, ‘The Birds’ as a tree on the clubrooms side of the field attracted thousands of twittering birds. Who knows if it interfered with the lineout calls.

OBU was playing from right to left from the terraces side of the field in the first half. Or if you like back to the road and clubrooms end.

Notable Performances

  • Caleb Delaney had one of his best if not the best performances in the jersey. A towering presence in the lineout and involved in everything around the field.
  • Similarly Morgan Poi had the best game I’ve seen him play for OBU proving a really difficult opponent for Tawa to stop.
  • The partnership of Dale Sabbagh and Callum Harkin at first and second five is looking stronger every week both on attack and defence!
  • Ty Poe continues to grow in the centre role. He may not be the size of some of the players he marks, but he proves that they still hit the ground hard if you use good technique.
  • It seems like I repeat myself every week but Shamus was stellar at the back of the scrum, as was Kyle at 9 and Sam Reid playing at fullback this week.

How the game unfolded

Minute What happened Score
1 Min OBU win the kickoff and set to the right. Finally lost forward in the ensuing ruck.
4 Min OBU scrum on halfway, close side. the ball spins wide but goes in behind the backs. Well picked up and taken into contact. OBU penalised for holdng on.

Kick to the corner by Tawa goes out in goal.

6 Mins Scrum to OBU, Shamus takes it down the blindside and recycled 10 m on. Kyle chips it over the top.

Tawa gather and bring it back to the close side of the field. Sam Reid makes a good tackle and Shamus turns the ball over and kicks it long.

8 Mins OBU feed to the scrum. The backs take it right for one phase then back to the left. Tawa backs get caught offside. It’s not straightforward but is a kickable penalty. OBU successfully kick to the corner through Dale.

The lineout throw is called not straight and scrum is set. OBU penalised for dropping the scrum.

16 Mins OBU penalised for side entry to the ruck. Tawa opt for the shot 38 metres out from the posts and just to the left. Penalty is successful! Tawa 3 OBU 0
18 Mins OBU knock on from the restart!
20 Mins OBU penalised for not releasing the tackled player.

This starts a solid period on defence 5 meters out from the goal line.

Eventually Tawa spill the ball on about the 6th or 7th pick and go.

Somewhere in the middle of that Taine subs off for blood and Josh runs on to take his place (Caleb into lock, Josh on the blindside).

  • Josh Gimblett Replaces Taine Plumtree (blood bin)
25 Mins OBU penalised for player going off their feet at the ruck. It’s about 35 meters out and in front of the posts. Kick at goal is successful. Tawa 6 OBU 0
27 Mins The kickoff goes out on the full. Taine and Josh trade places after Taine is cleaned up.

  • Taine Plumtree replaces Josh Gimblett (blood bin)
33 Mins Tawa lineout on their 22 meter line. They clear the ball down to Sam Reid who runs it back strongly but is taken in a head high for his trouble.

OBU elect to go for the shot 40 meters in front. Dale lands it.

Tawa 6 OBU 3
39 Mins Tawa penalised for dropping the scrum 5 meters in from the near touch on halfway. OBU kick to the corner to take the lineout 5 meters out.

Tawa are penalised for collapsing the ensuing maul. OBU go back to the lineout again. The lineout drive goes again with the backs piling in. The ref has a penalty advantage to OBU. there are several pick and go’s.

The penalty is called and a quick tap is taken with a driver at the line. try to Taine. Successfully converted by Dale.

OBU take 10-6 lead into the halftime oranges.

Tawa 6 OBU 10
44 Mins OBU attacking the Tawa line are penalised for not releasing the tackled player. Someone offers an opinion and we are marched 10 meters. Ouch!

Tawa elect to have a shot 45 meters out and to the right of the sticks. Tawa kicker lands a useful kick

Tawa 9 OBU 10
46 Mins Tawa center makes a good break and looks to put his wing into space. Not sure if the pass wasn’t up to it or the wing didn’t get to where he needed to be, either way the ball rolls meekly into touch on the close side of the field.
48 Mins Tawa holding on in the tackle. OBU go for the posts about 42 meters out in front and slightly to the left.

The discipline monster is back to upset proceedings for Tawa. The kick misses but the ref plays his joker and gives Dale another shot. I think it is due to a Tawa player trying to put Dale off by shouting something. No-one seems to know what the hand signal is for that!

Dale makes no mistake on his second attempt.

Tawa 9 OBU 13
50 Mins From the 10 meter line in Tawa territory Adam Clarke gets away an impossible pass to Sam Reid who boosts along the far touchline and scores it in the far corner.

The referee and his assistant consult for a few seconds before the try is awarded.

The difficult conversion is successful.

Tawa 9 OBU 20
53 Mins Great kick from Dale down into Tawa corner. Tawa lineout. OBU backs are caught offside. Tawa clears to touch about halfway. An action replay takes Tawa into the 22. Morgan is issued a team warning.

Tawa mounts an attack down the sideline and the Tawa fans are ecstatic but Kyle has taken care of the hooker who is in touch before the corner.

  • Kurt Sickler on for Sam Reid (injury)
58 Mins Tawa concede a penalty on the 22 for backs offside. The referee issues another warning to both teams.

  • Josh Gimblett on for Matt Sleith (tactical)

Matt has had yet another busy day at the office. This time in the number 7 shirt after a few weeks in the front row.

63 Mins Tawa has a strong scrum which they drive off to the left. The OBU clean-out comes from the side and the ball is cleared out to the touch on halfway.
65 Mins OBU has a strong lineout drive to disrupt Tawa possession. Tawa’s experimental kick pass to the left wing doesn’t pay off as OBU is awarded a penalty possibly for in front of the kicker. Cleared down to 15 Meters out from Tawa line.
66 Mins Another powerful OBU lineout drive at the line with Shamus taking it over to keep his try tally marching on (2nd equal for Wellington premier rugby, 1 ahead of Sam Reid and 2 ahead of Ty Poe and Taine Plumtree!)

OBU were under penalty advantage for collapsing again.

Conversion successful.

Substitutions –

  • Luke Chisholm on for Fui at tighthead prop (tactical)
  • Wirangi Parata on for Kenan Gillson at hooker (tactical)

Great to see these two back in action after a few weeks off for injury.

Tawa 9 OBU 27
75 Mins
  • Matt Fowler on for Kyle Preston at halfback (tactical)
  • Izzy Foai on for Adam Clarke (tactical).

Clarky was on the wing but Izzy is usually a 2nd 5. I didn’t get much time to work out who moved to where but safe to say Izzy’s hard ball running was back on display nearer to the ruck than wing. Great to have him back!

Josh  makes a great break from a lineout but the pass in the tackle goes into touch.
78 Mins Long period of OBU attacking the Tawa line. Tawa infringe and seeking the bonus point, OBU takes the lineout in the corner.
81 Mins From there an error leads to a Tawa scrum. they bravely try to run it out to salvage something from the game. Eventually they knock it on from some strong OBU defence.

From the scrum OBU are penalised for not rolling away and after a few more phases the game is whistled to completion.

All in all a well taken victory.

OBU looked in control for most of the match while not ever looking completely dominant. That was probably the strongest scrummaging side of the season so far. We didn’t get the clear advantage we have usually enjoyed. That’s to Tawa’s credit.

There were a lot of penalties, but to that we’d have to say there was a lot of infringing! The referee had a very good game I thought.