Wonderful Waimate stay alive in Hamersley Cup semi-final race

Substitute front rower Red Taupo became the unlikely hero for Waimate when he grabbed a bonus point try in the 79th minute to keep his side alive in the Hamersley Cup.

Waimate have ensured the fight for the semi-final spots in the senior rugby competition will go down to the final round robin game.

A superb final 20 minutes saw Waimate not only stealing a 28-20 win over Pleasant Point but remain a chance of making the top four on Saturday.

Taupo went over to the delight of the vocal home town supporters, who knew the importance of the fourth try, that for much of the game looked an unlikely scenario.

The win tied them with Harlequins in fourth place after the Quins were well beaten 39-3 by Celtic.

With one game left of the regular season. Waimate will need to keep their giant killing run alive when they head to Temuka on Saturday to face the second placed Magpies.

Harlequins are also not likely to have it all their own way against Old Boys in their final game, but will be favoured to win making Waimate’s a must.

Should Waimate and Harlequins end the regular season tied the spot will go to the team with the superior points differential, and they have beaten each other once this season, and a calculator could be needed.

In Waimate it was all Pleasant Point for 60 minutes but Waimate came to life when it really mattered.

Point wing Max Morris went in at the corner early and fullback Shay Moseby added a second after a breakout from their own 22,

After 25 minutes Waimate prop went over over after a good build-up to make halftime 10-7.

Early in the second half Point first five Brad Tegelaars went straight through the Waimate defence and added the conversion, then a penalty to have his side cruising at 20-7.

With 20 minutes left Waimate then needed to score three tries and overhaul the Mud Dogs to keep their slim semi-final chances alive.

The game then burst into life with Mosese Aho sprinting down the wing to score and then lock Don Lolo stretching out to score and first five Shane Airey converting both to sneak into the lead.

Waimate however needed another try and threw everything at Pleasant Point, who finally succumbed after some desperate defence.

For Point prop Ben Hewitson and lock Luke Brice had big games, especially when their side were on top.

Waimate’s pack were beaten up for 60 minutes but then burst into life with Lolo outstanding and well supported by front rowers Connor McCormack and Tokoma’ata Fakatava.

In the backs the midfield of Miles Medlicott and Jared Matthews defended well keeping Point’s key man Kevin Moore quiet, while both also having good moments on attack.

Aho had an excellent day in the pack and then on the wing.