Taranaki have held onto the Ranfurly Shield in their first defence of the year, but more important – they unearthed another Naholo that torments defences.
The result was never in doubt, as the Bulls thrashed Poverty Bay 78-0 at Tikorangi Domain north of New Plymouth on Saturday.
Latu Vaeno led the scoring with a hat-trick, while Kiniviliame Naholo – brother of All Black Waisake – shined on the wing, adding two tries of his own.
Kiniviliame Naholo might even be quicker than his All Black brother Waisake Naholo.
Given Naholo scored 40 tries in 20 games for Hastings Boys’ High School’s first XV last year, his nose for the line had already made headlines.
However, lighting up a Heartland Championship team at Tikorangi Domain was proof he’s more than simply a schoolboy bully.
He beat four defenders with multiple steps for his first five-pointer, before he gassed the opposition from 45 metres out for his second, a burst which included an eye-opening step and fend.
Naholo, who was substituted at halftime, also played provider, breaking out from his own 22-metre area, drawing the last defender and feeding centre Latu Vaeno for his second of the match.
Taranaki’s next defence is against Whanganui in Hawera next weekend.
For Poverty Bay:
Taranaki Bulls: 15 Jayson Potroz, 14 Avon Lewis, 13 Latu Vaeno, 12 Brayton Northcott-Hill, 11 Kiniviliame Naholo, 10 Daniel Waite, 9 Logan Crowley, 8 Toa Halafihi, 7 Tom Florence, 6 Mitchell Crosswell (captain), 5 Kane Thompson, 4 Jack Jordan, 3 Asaeli Sorovaki, 2 Donald Maka, 1 Jared Profit.
Replacements: 16 Scott Mellow, 17 Chris Gawler, 18 Reuben O’Neill, 19 Jarrad Hoeata, 20 Kaylum Boshier, 21 Shaan Waite, 22 Ciarahn Matoe, 23 Liam Blyde.
Poverty Bay squad: Campbell Chrisp, Mario Counsell, George Lelenoa, Willy Grogan, Semisi Akana, Hamuera Baker, Andrew Petelo, Kelvin Smith, Tamanui Hill, Matt Raleigh, Rikki Terekia, Jesse Fleming, Shayde Skudder, Tawhao Stewart, Jacob Cook, Anthony Karauria, Sam McDell, Mapa Tu’ipulotu, Micaiah Torrance-Reid, Te Peehi Fairlie , Juston Allen, Andrew Tau’atevalu, Willis Tamatea, Ethine Reeves, Mekepio Brown, Cameron Rowden, Callum McDonald, Oka Sanerivi, Kurt Taylor, Korey Love, Fawn White, Tom Iosefo, Lyndon Manuel, Ken Houkamau, Jess Kapene.
Sources: Taranaki Daily News & NZ Herald
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