Posted by Graeme Culton on 12/05/2014
Waihi Senior A & B rugby teams hosted Waihou club on Saturday with mixed results. Again, in perfect rugby conditions, in front of a large vocal crowd, Waihi started the afternoon well with the Senior B side winning their encounter 27-7 earning a valuable 4 try bonus point to keep them near the top of the ladder. They opened with a great try in the opening minutes and maintained the pressure scoring 2 more tries to lead 19-0 at the half time break. Waihou made them work harder in the 2nd half, but found the early deficit too hard to pull back. A great team effort from all players, with recent successes hopefully carrying on next week with an away game against a struggling Ngatea side.
In the main game a close match was expected and this proved to be the case. Waihou opened the scoring when Waihi fell off some tackles to allow the Waihou winger to score out wide. Waihi hit back immediately, crossing over for 2 converted tries by the back of the day Sam Cooper and the other promising five eighth, Brad Wilson. With Waihi taking control of most aspects of the game, winger Nigel Neemes was cruelly treated when the bounce of the ball denied him a certain try, which would of pushed Waihi out to a very handy lead. Unfortunately this was not to be and only seemed to lift Waihou , taking their game to a higher level and with the help of a one sided penalty count, they cut into Waihi's lead, kicking 3 penalty goals and a converted try to snatch back the lead 21-17, with 10 minutes left on the clock. Waihi worked their way up the field to be awarded a penalty, which was cooly slotted by replacement player Matt Guptill to draw within 1 point and set up a frantic final 5 minutes.
Waihi finally were getting some referee decisions in their favour and were awarded a kick able penalty attempt to snatch a last minute victory, but unfortunately the kick slide past the post leaving Waihou victors by a single point leaving Waihi to grab a valuable one point bonus point to keep them in 2nd place in a congested top six points table.
The team have a long road trip to Whitianga next Saturday hoping to pick the win to ensure a spot in the top six sides for the next round.
Stand out players were Sam Cooper in the backs with Adam Ryan, returning from injury, having a great game in the forwards. With injuries still disrupting the back line, all the stand in players are doing a fantastic job to keep the side competitive.
Â Graeme Culton
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