Waimate supporters paint town red and blue

MOMENTUM BUILDING: Waimate is getting right behind its team's first appearance in the senior rugby club final in seven years. Hammer Hardware's Athol Page and Nicki Richardson have decorated their store in red and blue.

MOMENTUM BUILDING: Waimate is getting right behind its team's first appearance in the senior rugby club final in seven years. Hammer Hardware's Athol Page and Nicki Richardson have decorated their store in red and blue.

Waimate rugby supporters are keen to paint their town red and blue.

Anyone travelling through this week will be in no doubt that something special is happening.

With Waimate making the Ranger Shield senior rugby final there seems to be a certain buzz around.

Almost every shopfront has blue and red in some form with some sporting either team jerseys or a wallaby – which appears on two sides of the clubs’s crest.

Discussions seem inevitably to lead to the chances Waimate have against Harlequins and no-one is worried by the underdog tag.

Upbeat Waimate District mayor John Coles is encouraging Waimate rugby supporters to be present at the final.

“Be there or be square. We want to get as much support as we can.

“Waimate hasn’t been in the final for the last seven years, and there is every chance we could pull off a win so we want as many supporters there as possible to see it.”

Waimate Rugby Club secretary Nicki Richardson has also been busy rounding up support and is urging everyone from the district to wear the club colours.

“We are expecting a big contingent and certainly want to make our presence felt to support the boys who have done a fantastic job.”

With the club’s development team making their section of the finals the buses will be leaving early.

Nicki said as well as the two team buses a supporters bus had been organised to travel to Alpine Energy Stadium.

Hammer Hardware manager Athol Payne said it was great for the town to be in the final.

“There’s a great feeling and the girls spent a lot of time putting their window display together to support the team.

One fan that will be travelling from Christchurch is Craig Sullivan.

Sullivan managed the Waimate team last time they won the final in 1990 and although he has moved away his business `The Plastering People’ has sponsored the team for the past four years.

Uniquely, while his business name appears on the jersey he does not operate in South Canternury, only Christchurch and Queenstown.

Sullivan said he was keen to help out as he enjoyed his time with the team and many of his family still lived in Waimate.