Posted by Graham Culton on 16/07/2012
A Gut Wrenching Loss Ends The Senior A's Season
Waihi Senior A Rugby team put up a great performance last Saturday against Hauraki North. Waihi led for most of the match, until North were awarded a penalty with the last kick of the game, which they duly converted, taking the match 15-13.
Played under near perfect conditions at Waitakaruru, Waihi knew they had to get off to a good start & gain early control which they did with good go forward play & some good backing backline play. A converted try & penalty goal gave Waihi a valuable 10-3 lead at half-time. North were playing a very one dimensional game plan with all their moves involving a forward based rolling maul, with their halfback & flyhalf kicking for field position. This worked well for them early in the second half, with Waihi being penalised 3 times in succession, trying to stop these rolling mauls. The Northâ€™s kicker was on target with all 3 shots at goal, pushing Norths out to a 12-10 lead.
Waihi replied with a penalty goal of their own to take a 13-12 lead going into a tense final 20 minutes of play. Waihi were showing more enterprise on attack and were unlucky not to add to their total, with a couple of close scoring apportunities. This all led to North having one last chance for another rolling maul which brought that final heart breaking penalty goal.
It was a great semi-final match up with both sides playing contrasting styles of play.
Waihi can be very proud of their seasons achievements and hopefully this team can stay together for another season or two.
Special mention to Ant Davies and Mike Bellamy who have got this side up to be genuine championship contenders. Ant has been in charge for the last 7 years and his will be big shoes to fill if he decides to retire next year.
Once again, cheers to all the loyal supporters who have followed the team this year, always outnumbering the opposition crowds.
The Waihi Senior Bâ€™s are now carrying the title hopes for the Waihi Club. They had a good 37-24 win over Paeroa Old Boys last Saturday. They now have a home semi-final on Saturday against Waihou, so come down the Waihi Athletic rugby grounds and support the boys.
Hear what Mike Matutinovic from PGG Wrightson had to say about the weekend's rugby here.
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