The weekend started with Manchester Park ready to be home ground to a finals push in Senior, Senior B & U16 grades, but after the results matched the weather, miserable, overcast and a bit damp, Waimate finished the day by losing all three matches with the Seniors losing in the final 10 minutes to Temuka, not helped by having two men in the sin bin.
The Senior B’s, and U16’s matches both produced results that reversed wins in the previous round against the same opposition and it was a subdued after-match spectacle, while the U18’s travelled to Fairlie for a tough battle with Mackenzie whom they also lost to this round.
Senior v Temuka 28 31 (Loss)
A late try to assistant coach and substitute first five-eighth Hami Goldsmith saw Temuka get out of jail at Manchester Park, where they won 31-28 over Waimate in the sudden death playoff.
Waimate scored three converted tries in the second half but by the end were down to 13 men courtesy of two yellow cards.
The result means Temuka play Harlequins at Alpine Energy Stadium on Saturday for the remaining place in the grand final.
In Waimate, the hosts were somewhat soft in the first half and leaked points to be down 17-7 at the break.
They certainly showed more urgency in the second half as they scored three converted tries to go ahead 28-17, with second five-eighth Simon Proudfoot a key man in their turnaround.
Waimate, however, could not hang on in the final 10 minutes as a late tackle and repetitive infringing saw two players in the sinbin.
Temuka made the most of their numerical superiority, too, with Goldsmith nabbing his second try in the final play of the game to snatch a dramatic victory.
For Temuka, Matt Donehue played well up front along with hooker Aifala Taelega, who also scored a try.
Openside flanker Semisi Taseka was another to have a very good game. Mark Tutton’s direction at halfback helped the Magpies as well when things started to go pear-shaped.
For Waimate, who finished the season one place behind their effort of last year, wing Daniel Wetherall scored two tries, with one each to fullback Jackson Henshaw and tighthead prop Shannon Howe.
Senior B v Old Boys 14 – 17 (Loss)
U18 v Mackenzie 6 – 18 (Loss)
On Saturday, the Waimate under 18 boys travelled to Fairlie for a tough game against fellow country side Mackenzie. Both teams entered the game high in confidence, both running into the game with a string of wins behind them. Mackenzie looked to win and leapfrog Waimate in the table to reach second place. However this would be a difficult challenge for both sides. The last encounter was tight, Waimate winning 14-12 at home, in a nail biting fixture.
The game started, and the weather conditions signalled a slow start to the game. Overcast skies and a muddy pitch set the game up to be a very forward oriented game. Waimate were the first to score points, Bryce Shearer converting a penalty kick opportunity. The away side continued to pile pressure and had locked Mackenzie in their own 22 for much of the first half. The home side’s defence however stood strong and managed to not leak any tries and very little penalties. Only one more kickable penalty presented itself to the Waimate boys before the end of the half, which first-five again, slotted well. Just before the halftime whistle blew, Mackenzie managed a quick penalty kick of their own, leaving the halftime score at 3-6 to Waimate, who were in control of the game, dominating possession and territory.
The second half panned out differently however and within four minutes of the restart, Mackenzie turned the game on it’s head. The big Mackenzie winger scored after Mackenzie turned down a three point opportunity for a tap which in the end, paid off. The successful conversion made the score 10-6 to the home side.
The game swung to both ends with both teams fighting hard for the win. Physical breakdowns and running rugby made for great watching. It seemed that Waimate were beginning to control the game once again but unfortunately three, three point penalty kick opportunities were missed, leaving the home side to rue their missed opportunities.
Mackenzie were awarded a penalty kick of their own, giving them the opportunity to slip more than seven points ahead, almost confirming the win, this opportunity was taken. The score read 13-6 with only minutes to play. Could Waimate draw close or even snatch a win?
Hopes of a recovery were soon crushed, Mackenzie had men overlapping to the right of the field and scored well, breaking Waimate hearts and earning the home side a well deserved win. 18-6 the score.
Rainbow Dairy’s man of the match was hooker Trev Malloy, who again put on an impressive performance.
Next week Waimate play Harlequins at home. An important must win game, the boys will look to make amends for this loss. Hope to see you all there.
U16 v Waitaki Boys 12 – 18 (Loss)
Waimate U16’s hosted Waitaki Boys on Saturday as the season started getting down to the business end.
The locals started with a hiss and a roar, scoring a try within the first five minutes and showing no signs that their disrupted season or missing players were going to slow them down. Any feelings that this was going to be one-way traffic were premature however, as the visitors quickly ground their way back into the match and the errors which have been a symptom of Waimate’s season began to reappear.
The Waitaki boys were playing well and most of the traffic was one-way, only some resolute defence preventing the score blowing out. A couple of second half injuries piled the pressure on for the hosts as their lack of depth was exposed and only a late try by Bailey Broughton kept the score respectable finishing at 18-12 to Waitaki Boys.
A big game from George Morgan and Myles White up front were among the few highlights for Waimate who must now look to regroup and rediscover their earlier form as finals footy looms.