Waimate still in race for 2nd spot despite loss to Temuka

Tom Dwyer on the charge

The race for second place will go down to the final round of the Hamersley Cup.

Temuka’s second win of the season over Waimate in an intense encounter sees them sit second spot, four points clear but not safe, with the last round robin games to be played..

Defending champions Celtic are the runaway winners in the round robin on 58 points, while Temuka have 46, Waimate, 42 and Harlequins 41.

On Saturday the Magpies will have a tough task against the unbeaten Celtic side while Waimate have the comparative comfort of taking on Old Boys, so it may well come down to bonus points.

If either side slip up it could well open the door for Harlequins if they collect a four try bonus point against Mackenzie.

The big advantage of second spot is that under the rules, the loser of play-off between one and two gets a valuable second life while the match-up between the third and fourth placed teams is sudden death.

Also since the grand final system has been introduced no team that has finished third or fourth has ever won three games on the trot to hold the Hamersley Cup aloft.

On Saturday it was a last minute penalty that sealed a 25-22 win for Temuka over Waimate at Manchester Park.

In Waimate the Magpies deserved their win as the hosts struggled to find their rhythm.

A try with only a couple of minutes left on the clock to centre Jared Matthews got Waimate back in the game.

Halfback Theo Davidson missed the conversion but got another opportunity due to Temuka’s antics as he tried to slot the first.

The second time he made no mistake according to the referee’s assistants, to tie the game, but not everyone was sold on the fact it went over.

Waimate then tried to run the ball back from the kick-off but a couple of mistakes handed Temuka the match winning penalty on full time.

For Temuka centre Tarleni Tai was a stand-out  while in the forwards big blindside  Afioae Maiava impressed with 18-year-old Adam Mathewson solid on debut at lock.

For Waimate Matthews was superb, after a six week absence for injury, while fullback Dan Patterson was very tidy at the back.

Senior B

Waimate played well despite losing 3 – 17 to top of the table Temuka and were unlucky not to be a lot closer.