Taniwharau dominant in proud performance in Waikato club rugby league
Taniwharau produced the proud performance the occasion sought when they continued their unbeaten run in the Waikato club rugby league competition.
Coach Harley Raihe said on Saturday his players wanted to put in a sterling effort to mark the passing of George Noda - father of club stalwart and key player Malcolm - whose funeral was held the same day.
"That was a major part - the boys wanted to play well for him," Raihe said after Taniwharau hammered Turangawaewae 72-0 to win their ninth match on the trot.
Waka Tai Rakena led the way with six tries from the left wing while halfback Darren Kingi was instrumental in guiding the team around the park. Dana Ratu and Pawhare Brown were among the standouts in the pack.
After running up a 78-0 victory the previous weekend against Hukanui, Taniwharau were expecting stiffer opposition from Turangawaewae but the title favourites were too strong up front and too quick and decisive in their backline.
"We were hoping for a tough game but our boys put on a pretty clinical performance," Raihe said.
"The boys have been training hard and their attitudes have been pretty good. The senior players are pretty much driving the culture in the team so it's making my job easy as a coach.
"They're doing well but they're not getting ahead of themselves at the moment. 2015 sits in the back of their mind, when they went through the season unbeaten and lost the grand final."
Ngaruawahia Panthers are in second spot after they bounced back from the previous weekend's loss to Hamilton City Tigers to defeat Hukanui 20-4, while the Tigers saw off Old Boys 54-18 to sit third and loom as the major title challenger to Taniwharau.
AT A GLANCE
Waikato premier club rugby league: Taniwharau 72 Turangawaewae 0, COB 18 Tigers 54, Hukanui 4 Ngaruawahia Panthers 20.
Points table: Taniwharau 27, Ngaruawahia Panthers 23, Hamilton City Tigers 20, Coast Steelers 16, Turangawaewae 12, Old Boys 11, Hukanui 11.