Ngāti Umutahi battle Te Arawa in Māori Rugby League nationals

By Rahia Timutimu
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Ngāti Umutahi were one of the best Waka teams at this year's National Māori Rugby League competition.

They were also one of the teams that had the best haka.

They were also the first team to score, when NZ Māori player Rusty Bristowe crossed the line for Umutahi.

Te Arawa had opportunities to cross the line, but silly mistakes cost them their chances.

In the end, Ngāti Umutahi were strong on defence, 6-nil to Umutahi was the half-time score.

In the first minute of the second half, Ngāti Umutahi found the line again.

As the rain started coming down, both teams found it harder to score.

But with 10 minutes to go, Te Arawa grabbed their first try.

With minutes to go before full time, both teams had the chance to win.

Ngāti Umutahi scored their third try of the match to win the Waka title for the year, 14-6 being the final score.

According to Te Arawa player Hammond Matua, “It's taken a long time for this family team to all get together again, it's been in the works for years.

It was a battle of sorts amongst ourselves, knowing that they were carrying the Te Arawa name and we were too, so it was like going up against our own.”