Harbour’s first and only 15-a-side pre-season game, which in reality was the Premier 1 trial game, took place at Port Chalmers against University with a crowd of around 150 in attendance.
Watson Park was looking picture perfect at this early stage of the season and the home side played some attractive rugby from the outset, to put Varisty on the back foot early in the game and they never really relented in any of the 4 x 20 minute quarters.
It was the first outing for several of the Hawks new signings this year and not one of them looked out of place in the red, white and blue strip. Hemaua Samasoni looked strong with the ball in hand on several occasions and scored an impressive individual try with his upper body power and leg drive. The locking pairing of Chucky Koroi and Alani Burling gelled well for their first game together and with more match fitness they should be a force to be reckoned with during the season. Ex-Perth prop Benny Rumble got through 70 minutes of good work, with solid scrummaging technique and strong clean outs at ruck time. He was ably supported on the tight-head side by the ever-consistent George Bower who looked quite fit at this early stage of the season. James Tomkinson was again tigerish on defence, dominating the breakdown situation – look for this up-and-coming player to go very close to a spot in the Otago Mitre 10 Cup squad this season. Ewan Brumwell looked adept and both 1st and 2nd Five during the game with some nice touches on both attack and defence, as did Logan Allen when he was running the cutter from 10. Jerome Harimate looked to have plenty of time on midfield attack and he was solid in the tackle again too.
The final score ran out to be a 48-10 win to the Hawks but this was obviously not University’s top side on the paddock but they did have at least half a dozen of their main team playing in the game, so it was a good effort nonetheless.
The first round of the competition starts on Saturday March 25th at Watson Park against Southern and it is hoped the home supporters will get along in numbers to cheer on the boys at this crucial early stage of the season.
Capt. B.F. Pierce