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Hawke’s Bay Club Rugby: Taradale win Nash Cup with one match to play after dominant display

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Andrew Gardner in thick of it for Taradale as they clinch Nash Cup victory on Saturday. Photo / Paul Taylor

In a thrilling penultimate showdown, Taradale emerged as the undefeated Bayleys Commercial Nash Cup champions, marking a significant milestone in their club rugby campaign this year.

Despite a valiant effort from Havelock North, Taradale’s sheer dominance was evident as they scored a resounding victory, leaving the scoreline at 54-0 in their favour.

Taradale’s Hunter Morrison and Mikaele Tapili were the game’s top scorers, both reaching the try line twice. Thomas Eden, Dylan Gallien, Joshua Eden-Whaitiri, CJ Mienie, and Iakopo Petelo Mapu also made noteworthy contributions with impressive tries.

“It’s another piece of hardware for the cabinet, but we’re looking forward to the bigger picture,” Taradale coach Namatahi Waa said.

“As a coach, it feels good, but you’ve got to give credit to all the boys who are buying into what we are trying to do.”

Waa credited Tapili, who played an “outstanding game”, and Andrew Gardner, who “always leads from the front”.

“I’ve got to give props to the whole front row; they did a massive job.”

Havelock coach Adam Blake said the team knew it was going to be a physical game and he commended the players for their defensive determination in the first half.

“A turnaround at 20-0 with the wind, I thought we were in it, but we couldn’t capitalise on the few opportunities we had inside their 22.

“Once the score reached the 30s, the number of tackles we’d made took its toll on our boys, and Taradale ran away with it in the end.”

He said his team showed “a lot of heart” and really “stuck in” as long as they could.

“I’m proud of the boys. Even over the last couple of weeks, when we’ve lost games, we’ve [got] stuck in and fought really hard.

Havelock’s next goal, Blake said, was to continue their Maddison Trophy campaign.

“It’s been a while since we’ve competed for that trophy, so our main goal is making it to the top six. We started really well and obviously didn’t want to lose these last few games, so there’s a bit to work on.”

Waa said Havelock put up a tough fight and credited their determination. He said Taradale was focused on keeping their positive culture moving forward during the season.

“It’s about keeping humble and grounded but also lifting our momentum.”

Other Bayleys Commercial Nash Cup weekend results

MAC Prems vs NTOB (27-41)

Aotea Prems vs Clive (61-24)

NOBM vs Napier Pirate (19-38)

CHB vs HRS (27-46)



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