It laid down the challenge and what a challenge it was.
Gore High First XV performed its Maruawai haka before its impressive 41-7 win over St Peter’s College on Saturday.
It was the first time this season the team did it, and coach Ray Anderson said it was a player-led decision.
“The boys really got up for it,” Anderson said.
The decision paid off as it rallied the side to an emphatic win.
Gore played a cohesive game and took a 5-0 lead early on.
Its forwards took the ball to the line and were physical upfront, helping create the space out wide for its backs.
Gore got on the board again as St Peter’s struggled to make tackles, allowing the space to open up.
Second five-eighth Aaron Morrison caught the ball off a St Peters chip-kick and ran about 80m to seal the first half , 17-0.
No 8 Billy Andrew put in a big shift in the first half before hobbling off with a hip injury early in the second.
St Peter’s had more traction in the second half and came close to scoring on a couple of occasions.
However, Gore continued to pile on the points and was up 34-0 with two minutes to go.
Fullback Colby Gilder fired out a nice ball wide to allow winger Hayden Graves to put his foot down and score the side’s final try.
However, St Peter’s centre Morgan Lawton finally got his side on the board with an intercept try right on fulltime.
Anderson said it was a much-improved performance from its win the week before against Southland Boys’ High School.
They played with more structure and used the width of the paddock.
“We played some tempo rugby.
“St Peter’s got good ball. We just shut them down and they couldn’t get any rhythm.”
He was impressed with the side’s scrum and said the older boys stepped up.
St Peter’s coach Ben Sanson was proud of the side’s lineout and lock George Hickie’s game.
“They never gave up against a bigger squad.
“We’re pretty proud of the support we get from everyone,” Sanson said.