Bay of Plenty Development took Counties Manukau down to the wire in the Steamers curtain raiser at Pukekohe last Friday. Rawiri Tapiata scored a try for the Bay side in the first half with Willie Ripia adding the conversion and slotting a penalty, as Counties took a narrow 13-10 lead into half-time.
In the second half, the home side crossed for their second touchdown of the game to post an 18-13 victory. Bay of Plenty's campaign was not helped when Counties were awarded a penalty try in the first spell. However Bay of Plenty were competitive throughout and made a number of attacking forays that finished just short of the line.
Bay of Plenty Secondary Schoolgirls came back from a seven-point deficit at halftime to post a hard-fought victory against Waikato on Saturday. Three Bay tries to Ruta Wall, Kathleen Kelly and Lorelei Punga, and a conversion to Fern Lockley, saw the Bay team wrap up the Chiefs franchise side of the draw winning 17-12.
Bay of Plenty head coach Charlie Hurihanganui was extremely pleased with his side's performance in the second spell and singled out for praise forwards Shanelle Conwell, Khanum Elisaia, Brooke Takuira and Tayla Delamere, along with backs Kodi Taylor, Chevylee Crean and Stacey Waaka.
A second Bay side to post a solid victory was the Under-16 A representatives. The 24-15 win, which include a bonus point for four tries, was a further step up in intensity for the Bay side. Connor Fifita touched the ball down twice with Christian Kelly and Resden Hirama also scoring tries.
The Bay forwards provided good ball from the set pieces, with the backline running in four well-executed touchdowns. Fullback Connor Fifita saved several opposition tries with solid tackling as well as grabbing two tries.
While defeated 33-8 by North Harbour, the second Bay of Plenty Under-16 team never gave up the battle and are looking forward to meeting the Bay A side next weekend.
Another Bay side to taste defeat were the Bay of Plenty Under-20 team. They were right in the match at half-time trailing 12-6, before North Harbour went on to post a 36-9 victory. Matt Axtens stood out for the Bay reps breaking the North Harbour line at will several times during the game, with prop John Bosco Tagaloa and lock Taylor Jones also praised for their efforts.
BOPRU Representative Northern Region results:
Development: Counties Manukau 18 BOP 13 (Rawiri Tapiata try; Willie Ripia 2 pen con). Half-time 13-10.
U20: North Harbour 36 BOP 9 (Jordan Ngamoti-Poi 3 pen). Half-time 12-6.
Under-16: BOP A 24 (Connor Fifita 2, Christian Kelly, Resden Hirama tries; Christian Kelly 2 con) Counties Manukau 15; North Harbour 33 Bay of Plenty B 8.
Secondary Schoolgirls: BOP 17 (Ruta Wall, Kathleen Kelly, Lorelei Punga tries; Fern Lockley con) Waikato 12. Half-time 0-7.