NHRU: Reborn Southern Beaches get shot at redemption against Hamilton
SOUTHERN Beaches captain Va Talaileva reckons watching an under-12s game would have been better viewing than the last time they played Hamilton.
The Hawks dominated the round-12 clash from the outset on the way to a crushing 45-5 victory at Passmore Oval.
The surrender proved a defining moment for Beaches.
They haven’t dropped a game since. On Saturday they get a shot at redemption against the Hawks in the major semi-final at No.2 Sportground.
“We got smacked by the Hamilton at Passmore Oval,” Talaileva said. “After that a few of the boys didn’t talk to each other. It was pretty disappointing. You would have rather watched under-12s play than us that week. We had to take a look at ourselves. The next week we won against Wanderers and it clicked that we can actually match the big boys.”
Beaches went through the final five rounds undefeated before overpowering Wanderers 43-18 in the qualifying semi-final.
The Hawks, fresh from a weekend off as minor premiers, have also won seven straight games and will start favourites.
“I love being the underdog, sitting under the radar,” Talaileva said. “That has been us all year. The boys aren’t buying into the hype. I keep reminding them that, although we are winning games, we have to stay humble and respect the opposition.”
Beaches forwards led the way against the Two Blues. They controlled possession with a methodical pick and drive game and made the most of their attacking opportunities.
“We will stick to the same game plan,” Talaileva said. “Go up the guts and try and suck the defence in.”
Hamilton coach Scott Coleman was in the stands for the qualifying final and is expecting more of the same from Beaches.
“I can’t imagine them mixing up their game too much,” he said. “It has been working for eight weeks. We have to match their physicality.”
But Coleman was also wary of a Beaches backline, turbo charged by Delore brothers, Michael, Adrian and Andrew.
“The Delores play as though they are in the backyard,” Coleman said. “They have some quality out wide. They are not just 10-man rugby. They don’t go out there to play pick and drive the whole game. They have some men who can hurt you.”
The Hawks welcome back breakaway Tiueti Asi from a broken hand
Wesley gives Beaches lock solid grounding
TIM Poese graduated from famed Auckland rugby school Wesley College.
A member of the 2013 first XV, he walked the same corridors as All Blacks greats Jonah Lomu and Stephen Donald and Wallabies prop Sekope Kepu.
A Methodist school, Wesley College has won more New Zealand national championships than any school and has been a production line of All Blacks and Super Rugby players.
“Everyone knew our uniform, and wherever we went people would recognise us,” Poese said. “I learnt so much about rugby there. In my last year, we won the counties championships before going down to Hamilton in the top four at the nationals.”
A blockbusting No.8, Poese represented counties Manakau under-16s and 18s. After school he decided to “try something different” and move to Australia and was recruited by Newcastle club Hamilton.
After a year at the Hawks, he joined Southern Beaches and had been central to their charge to the finals this season, typified by a bulldozing try in the 43-18 win over Wanderers in the qualifying final.
“He has a bit of belief in himself this year which has been a key driver for most of these guys,” Southern Beaches coach Johan Lourens said.
“He has had a good rugby education. You only have to tell him things once and he gets it. He is great under a kick-off, his set piece is perfect and he is a very reliable ball carrier. He gives us go-forward and likes the physical stuff.”
““You only have to tell him things once and he gets it.” ”
Poese moved to Brisbane recently and has been flying back to Newcastle on Thursday night to train and play.
“Inghams (Chickens) are closing in Newcastle, so I got a transfer,” he said. “I will look to play rugby up here or maybe even league next season. It would be nice to go out with a premiership.”
Southern Beaches will be chasing an eighth straight win when they meet Hamilton in the major semi-final at No.2 Sportsground on Saturday.
“We struggled early with heaps of players getting injured,” Poese said. “It wasn’t until the start of the second round that we got it together. The brotherhood here is very strong. Everyone has bonded and the players are starting to challenge each other.”
Lourens, who took the reins midway through last season, has changed the way Beaches are playing. There has been a greater focus on recycling possession and sharing the work load.
“The biggest thing for us was getting them to buy in,” he said. “We asked ‘what is it we are trying to achieve’. Everyone had to put their hand up. If we want to get to this point, there has to be a big effort from everybody not just a couple of people. Now they have bought in, they see the system works. If you look at the forward pack, a lot of those boys had to stand up.”
NHRU: Adrian Delore puts sevens on backburner to focus on Beaches’ premiership tilt
SOUTHERN Beaches young gun Adrian Delore was going to sit out the remainder of the Newcastle and Hunter Rugby Union season and get his body right ahead of a big sevens program.
Delore tore the medial cruciate ligament and suffered bone bruising in his knee playing sevens for Australia at the World University Games in Wales in July. But such is the positive vibe and sense of anticipation at Beaches, Delore couldn’t stay away.
The 21-year-old made a successful return on the left wing, scoring a double, in the 55-22 win over Singleton which sealed third place. The victory was Beaches’ sixth straight and set up a qualifying semi-final showdown with Wanderers at No.2 Sportsground on Saturday.
“I was going to give it a miss and concentrate on getting ready for sevens,” said Delore, a member of the Australian Sevens Development squad. “There is such a good feeling in the club, I wanted to be a part of it.”
A 29-21 win over Saturday’s opponent in round 13 was the turning point for Beaches.
“Once we all got on the same page, everyone started working for each other,” Delore said. “Against Wanderers we changed it up and our forwards really took it to them. At the start of the year, we had one or two go-to blokes in the forward pack. Now everyone is putting up their hand to have a crack.”
The defeat to Beaches was one of three losses in the regular season for Two Blues, who warmed up for the finals with a 47-6 hammering of Merewether.
However, the rout over their arch rivals came at a cost with No.8 Daniel Martine and captain Luke Sherwood suspended after each received their third yellow card. Bizarrely, one of Martine’s was an “off-field yellow card”, issued retrospectively after he was cited for a tackle against Hamilton in round 16.
Dan Kevill replaces Martine and utility Zac Atallah comes in for Sherwood as a makeshift halfback.
“Zac has a very good rugby brain,” Wanderers coach Viv Paasi said. “He is fit, quick and can be a bit of a game changer as well with his ability to shoot through a hole. As a halfback, he knows the primary focus is to distribute the ball. He has quite a good pass both sides and we are confident he will do a job.”
- The semi-finals will be streamed live from 3pm at www.theherald.com.au via BarTV sports.