Plains Rangers FC

25 & 26 May 2024
Rangers men 1, Waiariki 1
Rangers women 0, Tauranga City Wolves 4

Plains Rangers enjoyed a home weekend, with both the men's and women's teams hosting visitors on the Edgecumbe Domain.
On Saturday Plains Rangers men had the challenge of Waiariki from Rotorua. The two teams had met in the grading round with Rangers coming out on top 2 – 1. Rangers used some good passing and movement to put early pressure on their visitors and it took a good save from their keeper to stop an Elias Thomas shot after ten minutes. Waiariki used the long ball as their main attacking weapon, and this paid off. After fifteen minutes, Waiariki got away on a fast break and put a strong shot past keeper Christian Wetting to open the scoring. Rangers continued to press, forcing a series of corners. Captain James Hart put a header wide of goal. Two minutes later young winger Kobi Wetting was flattened. The resulting freekick was headed back across the visitors' goal but no-one managed to turn it in. Five minutes before half time another corner did lead to a goal, with centre-back Teimana Awhimate powering in a header. Late in the half Kobi Wetting put in a good run and set up Jordan Hoete for a shot, but he couldn't keep it down. The score was 1 – 1 at the break.
The second half turned out to be a series of more chances for the home team. Only three minutes in, a good ball from Hoete put Thomas away, but his strike sailed over. Rangers continued to create and then not capitalise, leading to shots being taken early out of frustration. With five minutes to go Thomas got away again and put the ball in the Waiariki goal, but was called back for off-side! The final score remained Plains Rangers 1, Waiariki 1.
Ben McPherson was named player of the day for Rangers after a productive display. Awhimate also impressed in keeping the defensive unit tight. Rangers need to work on their attacking link play to make the most of their possession. Their next outing is a combined league and Miller Cup fixture away to the high-flying and free-scoring Waipuna Rangers on Saturday 8 June.

On Sunday Tauranga City Wolves were the visitors to Plains Rangers women. Tauranga had a strong breeze behind them for the first half and used it at times to press the home team. After fifteen minutes the visitors got past Rangers' outstanding keeper Katie Mahy to score. Rangers acquitted themselves well though, against a team well above them on the table and defended with determination when necessary. Rangers also had the occasional break-out and on the half hour Lauren Powell made the most of being put through, hitting a strong shot and drawing an excellent save from the Tauranga keeper. At halftime Rangers were in the game at 0 – 1.
The wind seemed to also change itself around at half time, and Rangers didn't get much of a benefit after the break. After ten minutes, a well-hit Tauranga shot bounced down off the Rangers crossbar and was gathered by Mahy, but after some deliberations, the goal was awarded. Rangers were having some attacks, with striker Alexaan Puutu Dredge doing well receiving passes and trying to make combinations work. After twenty minutes Tauranga scored again, a couple of attackers lurking in positions close to off-side, put away their chance. Late in the game the visitors sealed their win with a fourth goal to make the final tally Plains Rangers 0, Tauranga City Wolves 4.
Player of the day Samantha Stewart did well in an unaccustomed position in defence, where she was well supported by the strong-tackling Danielle Giordano and Sarah Wigzell. Rangers women also have this coming long weekend off and their next game is away to Papamoa Legends on the 9th of June.

Ranee's report:
Us VS Tauranga City,0-4
What a windy day to be playing soccer today.
We started out and had a strong first half by only letting them get one goal, the instructions that Sam gave you listen and you did, passing was good, moving around the field good. We definitely kept Tauranga on their toes for the first half.
Come the second half we had the wind in our favour even if it did decide to keep changing direction. Once again we played strong, keep the ball moving up the field, taking shots. We just had a couple of slow moments when they got the run on us and got a couple more goals. For playing the top team today ladies nothing to be disappointed about at all. Yes it was a hard game, yes we had players in different positions, that show some great potential too. However we held our own and never gave up and it showed in how you played the game.
Well done to the ones who played in a different position today.
Lauren you had a strong game in wing today never backed down.
Alex nice work playing striker and wing.
Gemma no more throw-ins for you!
Back line you had a tough game out there but you all did bloody amazing today well done.
Player of the day goes to Samantha. For never playing in the back line you sure look like you had, amazing job you did today and well deserved getting player of the day.
Well done ladies big ups for today.
See you all at training Wednesday night.

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