The Premier 1st had two fairly easy games in recent weeks win huge wins with the most recent being a 78-0 drubbing of the Manukau Magpies. Coaches Henry Solomona and Jess Bourke were expecting a tough tussle. With a few injuries the coaching team were wanting a strong side to take Otara's forward pack on with former Richmond Rovers junior Lance Wright on debut in the hooker role. The team was lead strongly by prop forward Logan Wright, captain Akuso and Steve Watkins in the forward pack. The teams dominance proved strong in the opening 40 minutes however the lack of execution let the team down and effectively gave the visiting team enough space for a fight back. The Premier 1st team went in to the half time break leading 10-6.
As expected Otara came out with a hiss and a roar and to the coaches disappointment the team strayed away from the game plan providing Otara ample opportunities to sneak back into the game. Ball security and forced passes frustrated the Premier 1st boys and the determined Otara team scored with 15 minutes gone in the second half. The weather provided some difficulty with heavy rain and flash lightning affecting both teams for a solid 15 minutes. However this did not deter the Premier 1st team from forcing passes and throwing long balls in our own half giving up ball possession and valuable field position.
Otara mounted some pressure and scored again to take a commanding 18-10 lead. With five minutes to go the team scored in the corner and on debut hooker Lance Wright slotted the side line conversion to take the game within 2 points, 18-16 to Otara. Unfortunately, Otara scored again in the dying minutes to take the final score to 22-16 to Otara.
Thanks to all the Richmond supporters who braved the wind, cold and rain. We wish to make up for this and look to make amends this coming weekend when we take on the Te Atatu Roosters at Grey Lynn park, 12.45pm kick off.