APART from getting used to the cold weather, Clayden Paranihi had a relatively gentle introduction to English rugby union.

The 20-year-old New Zealander came on at half-time during Bradford Salem’s 66-3 Counties One Yorkshire victory over Roundhegians - by which time Salem were leading 24-3.

They rubbed in that advantage by scoring 42 unanswered points in the second half to climb a place to seventh in the table.

Paranihi, the latest in a long line of Kiwis to play for Salem, had been in England for a week and a half before making his debut.

The Christchurch native admitted: “I usually play hooker but at Salem I will be playing somewhere in the back row and I will be here for the rest of the season.”

It sounds like he took some persuading to come over to England, however, initially turning down the invitation to play for the Heaton club.

Paranihi explained: “I was playing in Australia for Manly Marlins and one of the Salem players, Ben Markey, had gone over on an exchange and he got in my ear telling me to come over here for some experience.

“At the start I wasn’t too keen, but Ben said ‘Come on mate. You have to see the world’, so I have put my carpentry education on hold, though the weather back home is warmer than this. That’s the only issue.

“I played a little bit of first XV for Christchurch Boys’ High School back home and then moved into club rugby for Linwood, where some big names have emerged like Tane Norton, and then I moved to Manly.

“For Linwood, some weeks you are playing against Crusaders and some weeks you are playing with Crusaders so the standard of rugby is high.

“They are a good bunch of people at Salem though. I am loving it. I didn’t really do much in the game. I just passed the ball around and let the other boys score tries.

“We could be one of the top sides in the comp if we keep on grafting. We are capable of anything.”

In a game that was well refereed by Graeme Hall, the visitors from Leeds actually took the lead in the first minute.

Hegians’ kick-off was knocked on and a Salem player picked the ball up in an offside position, allowing the visitors to knock over an easy penalty.

However, that early setback was only the precursor to a flurry of home points - slowly at first and then, after half-time, more freely.

Lock Dom Bailey was just short of the line with one attempt in the 10th minute but the relief was for Hegians was short-lived as Salem won a penalty, kicked for touch, won the five-metre line-out and hooker James Brown scored from the drive.

Winger Jake Green missed the difficult conversion close to the right touchline but nailed his second attempt nine minutes later from a similar spot to back up his own try.

Green was then shoved into touch by the same corner flag, before the hosts scored a sublime third try.

Full-back Callum Smith’s up and under was gathered by left winger Caleb McConville for skipper Christian Baines to stride over.

Green’s conversion made it 19-3 but then Smith had a try wrongly ruled out for a knock on, with referee Hall’s view obscured from the open-side.

However, Salem secured the try bonus point in first-half added time, as centre Hesitoni Fa powered over, strong tackling then denying Hegians a sniff of a reply.

Salem were playing towards Heaton Woods in the second half and soon bagged tries five and six courtesy of fly half Sam Allan, the first from a 15-metre burst.

Green converted both to make it 38-3 and he also bagged his second try from a breakaway down the right, nailing the easy conversion.

Smith’s try on the hour brought up the half-century, and it was he who added the conversion, just before the only unsavoury incident of the match.

Salem scrum-half Harley Robertshaw was upended and his team-mate, lock Ben Whitaker, was sin-binned for retaliation.

Being a man down mattered little to Salem, though, and they added a try when short-handed, this time from centre Heimulu Taufa, with Smith again tagging on the extras.

Bottom-of-the-table Roundhegians’ conceded their 10th try five minutes before the close, as Fa becoming the third Salem player to notch a brace, with Green’s conversion rounding off the scoring.