By Tasman Rugby League
The Tasman Titans representative campaign opened on Saturday when they hosted West Coast Chargers at Champion Green. It was a great day weather wise, and a good sized crowd were entertained by two teams kicking off their South Island representative seasons looking for the win.
Coast second rower Jordan Paterson opened the scoring in the 2nd minute after Coast capitalised on a handling error from Tasman. Tasman returned serve 5 minutes later with a try from their second rower Jason Garlick who found the gaps in the West Coast defence and backed himself and went for it.
Then followed a period where the Coast gained the ascendancy through tries to Brogan Jackson, Anata Iraia & Hamish Paterson to extend the lead to 22-6 after 24 minutes. Garlick got his second try for Tasman which was duly converted by Simon Duncan to narrow the margin to 10 points. Coast winger William Clark finished off some good work from his inside to score a long range try & Jackson got his second try of the half when he crashed over from dummy half on the stroke of half time to make the score 32-12 to West Coast.
The second half started like the first half with Iraia adding to his tally with a try wide out on the right hand edge. Tasman responded with a try to Ben Tikeri who scored after some good interplay from the Tasman halves and centres on their right edge.
Coast extended the lead in the 54th minute with a try to Navare Jacobs. The game became a stop affair as tireness and the lack of recent game play took effect. West Coast prop Kiel Johnson rounded out the scoring in the 79th minute with a try from close range. Jordan Campbell added his sixth goal of the day to make the score 48-16 in a commanding performance for the West Coast team.
Players that stood out for West Coast were half back Jordan Campbell and interchange player Alex Levien. For Tasman, Jason Garlick was the pick of the bunch with Ben Tikeri also having a great game making a nuisance of himself for the oppostion all over the field. There are certainly some things for the Titans to work on before their next game but Coach Harry Tipene was pleased with their first run. This was a great showing for West Coast Rugby League who were unable to have a senior competition this year, and shows the commitment and dedication of their players and management to keep league alive on the Coast. Well done to everyone concerned.
Everyone then headed to the Ocean Lodge where they were warmly welcomed for the after match function. Thanks to Paul & Fiona for your hospitality.
In the other representative game played in Invercargill, Otago Whalers had a narrow win over the Southland Rams 26-22.
Next week the Titans face an away trip to Timaru where they play Aoraki Eels while the West Coast host the Southland Rams in Greymouth.
Wishing all the teams the best of luck for the next round and safe travels.