Crowds from every bend of Waikato turned out in Tūrangawaewae over the weekend for Waikato's rugby clash of the year, the Koroneihana Shield. Te Puaha o Waikato and Raungaiti went head-to-head on the field, but only one taniwha was victorious.
A roaring haka from Te Puaha o Waikato (TPW) who came to contest the trophy from the defending champs.
Eli Peters (Ngāti Tipa, Waikato) says, "It's only an annual thing, so you only get one opportunity to come down here and play and pull on our shirt as well."
A stronger and more accurate TPW side quickly overpowered their opponents Raungaiti scoring three tries and two conversions to boot in the first half.
19-0 to TPW at half-time.
Eli Peters says, "It's really Māori styles. We all kind of get together and just have a bit of fun and throw it around and see what happens. Yeah that's pretty much how we do."
Rain slowed both teams down.
A desperate Raungaiti eventually finding a clear space to find their first try 50 minutes in.
But it wasn't enough to overpower TPW who continued to extend their lead with a penalty and two tries to finish.
34-5 final score.
Eli Peters says, "It’s very special not just for the boys but everyone who has worn the jersey before us."