Waimate vs Old Boys 24 – 15
While there was only one winning Waimate team this weekend, it was the team with the most at stake as the Senior B’s reversed the narrow loss to Old Boys a fortnight ago to win the final of the Senior B Bottom Four and take home a trophy (The Woods Cup), something no other teams have achieved yet.
Played at AES 2 Old Boys soon applied all the pressure and an early penalty gave them a 3 nil lead for a long period.
Waimate’s defence stuck to their task, but were having trouble getting into the opposition territory, until what was probably the try of the match changed the momentum when Matt Hayman got possession of the ball and evaded the sideline, at least 3 would-be tacklers and out-sprinted the chasers in a 50 yard dash to the tryline, scoring under the posts making for an easy conversion.
With a 7 – 3 lead Waimate followed up by spending more time in the Old Boys half and it wasn’t long until they were rewarded again stretching their lead to 14 – 3 before a long period of defence saw Old Boys score right on halftime. The failure of their kicker to convert left Waimate ahead 14 – 8 at the break.
The second half Waimate had the sun behind them, but this half was even scrappier than the first with Old Boys players looking for niggle at every opportunity and both teams making a habit of turning over good ball. Waimate’s fortunes worsened when halfback Josh Bleeker got sent to the bin for 10 minutes, but the Waimate defence, one of their features held strong and Matt Devlin generally got the ball down into the Old Boys half at every opportunity and made them have to come back from a long way.
While some of the Waimate kicking looked a bit haphazard when not contacting cleanly, the following up chase line was good, and one miss-kick lead to a series of Old Boys blunders from which Waimate scored. They added a fourth try not long after to have what seemed to be a commanding and safe 24 – 8 lead.
However, in the last 15 minutes Old Boys, with the impact from their subs, seemed to find a second wind as they took the attack to Waimate and eventually after a long period of defence on their line, Waimate succumbed letting Old Boys score a converted try.
The spectators didn’t panic as we knew it was full time and with the score at 24 – 15 knew that there wasn’t time for Old Boys to score twice, but then incredulously the referee signalled another 7 minutes left to play and the nailbiting continued.
Luckily, the Waimate boys weren’t going to ruin a good finish to the season at this late stage and continued their solid defence, mixed with periods of attack to hold on until fulltime with no further change to the score.
A really good game to watch, played in typical finals fashion with the passion levels often over-riding the skills, but in the end the right result as the team held the Woods Cup aloft.
U18 vs TBHS 18 – 21 (Loss)
The Waimate under 18 boys travelled away to School Park on Saturday to face first-placed, undefeated, Timaru Boys. This was to be an important game as winning would push Waimate into second place going into the playoffs but losing would mean finishing third and going into the semifinals in poor form.
The away boys entered the game with a full strength squad and looking to avenge the defeat earlier on in the season. The game started well for Waimate, after a few minutes of continuous pressure the away side looked positive, looking most likely to score first, Timaru Boys on the other hand looked a little rusty, poor kicking choices and handling resulted in poor field possession.
After seven minutes of play, Scott Willoughby, playing in full back, skyed a ball into the air, the kick floated down into the opposition twenty two and when the Timaru Boys winger dropped the ball cold, Scott was able to pick the ball up, take two steps and score the try untouched. This was the start Waimate wanted.
The next twenty minutes was very even, both sides looking break the opposition down. Waimate had the opportunity to increase the gap a couple of times but two missed penalty goal opportunities left Timaru in striking range. On the twenty third minute, Timaru made Waimate regret those missed points by scoring a well earned try of their own, a successful conversion put them ahead by two, with the half time whistle looming. Waimate responded swiftly with a penalty goal, earning them the lead once again. It was the home side that would head into the break with the lead. Timaru Boys showed their quality just before halftime, scoring another well worked try. Another successful conversion put the score at 14-8. Waimate, after leading most of the game, would have to overturn a six point deficit.
The second half was very much of the same, both sides pressured each other, physical breakdowns and strong defence in the back lines, meant each side was almost cancelling each other out. Waimate however continued to look strongest, ten minutes into the second half the Waimate forwards pressed Timaru Boys into making a breakdown error and Waimate were presented with another three point opportunity. Unfortunately, again the opportunity was missed. Three minutes later another penalty opportunity arose, it was this kick that would close the gap down to just two.
Although Waimate looked to be the strongest side, and only a few points from victory, the win was about to be stolen from their grasp. Timaru Boys again scoring a try, and converting pushing the lead to ten and with only fifteen minutes to go the game seemed to be out of reach for the away side. It would take a huge effort to overturn that score with only a little time left. On the 30th minute, Waimate struck, Bryce Shearer scoring great try, and a successful conversion closed the lead to just three with five minutes to play.
Timaru Boys were able to hang on and held onto the win, winning 21-18. Waimate although disappointed can look at this game as a success. They seemed to be the better team and dominated large parts of the game.
With a few things to work on going into the knockout stages, the boys in blue and red will be looking to win the cup no matter what place they finished.
Rainbow Dairy’s man of the match was hooker Trev Malloy with yet another impressive performance. Thankyou to all of the supporters who came to watch.
U16 vs Roncalli 10 – 42 (Loss)
U14.5 vs TBHS Leopards 10 – 67 (Loss)