Double Silverware for Harbour Hawks

Harbour wrested the Challenge Shield off Taieri with a 36-22 win.
The Hawks also collect the Speight’s Jug for winning the first round.

University pumped Kaikorai 62-17 and is in a rich vein of form.

Southern climbed one spot on the ladder with a 28-3 win against Green Island but still cannot catch the ball.

Dunedin was awful but still too good for Pirates, winning 58-13.

Zingari-Richmond showed more resistance this weekend but lost 41-32 to Alhambra-Union.

Harbour 36
Taieri 22

Harbour’s dominance of territory and possession gradually wore Taieri into submission and the parting of the Speight’s Challenge Shield after 17 successful defences and a reign two weeks shy of two years.

Taieri won the Challenge Shield by defeating University A 32-29 in a thrilling encounter on May 31, 2014, beginning the most successful sequence of defences.

Taieri scored a try through captain Kori Rupene in the opening minutes, but then lost a player to the sin bin, and Harbour capitalised with tries to Naulia Dawai and Joe Collins.

Although Taieri clawed back after being restored to 15 men to hold a 15-14 lead at the break, a further sin-binning offence meant it was back to 14 men for the start of the second half.

Again Harbour capitalised and regained the lead, defending it vigorously, while maintaining a stranglehold on territory and possession.

Taieri defended stoutly, forcing errors on the Harbour attack, but failed to counter when Harbour changed tactics and let its forwards run loose, netting a further two tries and shutting the gate on any chance Taieri had of retaining the Challenge Shield.

Not bad, considering Harbour finished the match with 13 men after two of its players were sin binned in the final minutes.

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