King Country hit the ground running in the opening round of the 2018 Heartland competition on Saturday when posting a 75-17 win over East Coast at Rugby Park in Te Kuiti.
First five-eighths Declan Barnett and three-quarter Dean Church both crossed for three tries, while Evans Reihana had a big day with his boot landing seven conversions and two penalty goals which when added to his try gave him 25 points.
Last season’s Meads Cup winners Wanganui scored a key early win when beating South Canterbury 21-10 while Lochore Cup champions Mid Canterbury beat Horowhenua Kapiti 30-24 in Foxton.
Poverty Bay also picked up a four-try bonus point in beating Wairarapa Bush 27-22
Heartland scores from Week One:
Wanganui 21 (Gabe Hakaria, Simon Dibben tries; Craig Clare con, 3 pen)
South Canterbury 10 (Garret Casey try; Theo Davidson con; Willie Wright pen)
King Country 75 (Declan Barnett 3, Dean Church 3 , Sam Warden, Shilo Cullen, Alex Thrupp, Evans Reihana, Ratu Vosaki tries; Reihana 7 con, 2 pen)
East Coast 17 (Jack Richardson , Hakararangi Tichborne 2 tries; Ngarangi Harewa con)
Poverty Bay 27 (Kelvin Smith, Te Peehi Fairlie 2, Andrew Petelo tries; Ethine Reeves 2 con, pen)
Wairarapa Bush 22 (T Flutey, N Hohepa, G Walters tries; Walters 2 con, pen)
Thames Valley 25 (Shaun Hill, Sam McCahon, Kerrin Lee tries; Reece Broughton 2 con, 2 pen)
West Coast 27 ( Maleli Mudu, Pete Te Rakau, Regan Stanton, Amenatave Tukana ,Tom Reekie 1pen, 2xConvs )
– HT 22-08 TV
North Otago 30 (Ralph Darling, Simon Lilicama, Pita Sinanoni tries; Josh Buckham 3 con, 3 pen)
Buller 24 (Robbie Malneek 2, Iliesa Ravudra, Jack Best tries; James Lash 2 con)
Horowhenua Kapiti 24 (James So’oialo, Himiona Henare, Willie Paia’aua, Michael Fermanis tries; So’oialo 2 con)
Mid Canterbury 30 ( Brian Matormusha, Isireli, Masiwini, Timoci Nabakeke, Eric Duff tries; Jarred Percival 2 con, 2 pen). HT: 7-27