HEROIC: Firehawks push competition leaders with only 11 players

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Te Awamutu Sports Firehawks produced an heroic performance to extend Waikato premier rugby league leaders Hukanui to 40-20.

The Kirstie McGrail sponsored Firehawks played 60 minutes of the game with just 10 players at Resthills Park, Hamilton on Saturday. Defaulting was never an option for coach Kane Rangitonga, despite the setback of players being unavailable due to work and family commitments.

“The team rallied together, deciding that if Hukanui were going to score tries with a three-man overlap, we would limit them to scoring out wide, and trust our defence not to let them score down the middle of the park.

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I was proud of the ways the boys got out there and worked for each other when faced with insurmountable odds.” Hukanui led 22-4 at halftime, scoring four tries and three conversions to the sole try of Isaac Howell.

The home team opened the second half scoring, then played second fiddle as the Firehawks replied with three tries to Henare Raukawa and Isaac Howell (2) — Howell notching his second hat-trick of tries in as many weeks.

Raukawa converted two of the tries to have the Firehawks trailing 28-20 with 15 minutes remaining before Hukanui scored two late converted tries to extend the winning margin