Wakatipu suffer southern spanking
Wakatipu’s club rugby season didn’t quite end as the team would have liked, suffering a 71-7 spanking at the hands of Southern Region competition winner Clutha.
Coming off a 13-10 win over Arrowtown last weekend in the Central Otago final, Wakatipu had a chance to add to its historic season and cap it off in style.
It didn’t go according to plan, and coach Justin Pewhairangi was disappointed with the ‘‘good hiding’’ handed out at the Queenstown Recreation Ground on Saturday.
‘‘There’s no other way to put it really,’’ Pewhairangi said.
‘‘Clutha played some good rugby, so hats off to them.’’
Visiting fullback Tyler Bichan was the star, grabbing a hat trick in the 11 tries to one romp in front of a large crowd.
An injury-depleted Wakatipu hung in the game until just after halftime, when ‘‘the wheels fell off’’, Pewhairangi said.
‘‘We knew they were going to be good. We knew we were going to struggle. It was just one of those games.’’
Juan Giuliano scored the home side’s lone try, while prop Luke Crofts and replacement Toi Rob- erts were Wakatipu’s best.
The Clutha win was its third Countrywide title on the trot, going through this season unbeaten and beating Crescent 60-12 in its club final last weekend.
It was pleasing for coach Ben Keach and assistant coach Rym Geary.
‘‘We totally didn’t expect that,’’ Geary said.
‘‘You take every seriously don’t you?
‘‘That’s just the way we approached it.’’
Experience in how to ‘‘cope’’ with getting up for another a big match after winning a final was also key, Geary said.
Wakatipu was exposed in the backs, where aside from Bichan, centre Rhys Harrold bagged a double adding to the side’s 900 points across 17 matches this season.
‘‘[We’ve] just got a great culture and a good group of guys that just want to play for each other,’’ Geary said.
(Tyler Bichan 3, Rhys Harrold 2, Robin Fesilafai, Daniel Miller, Pete Harvey, Max Pennell, Kane Teunissen, Joe Laban tries; Harrold 6 con, Teunissen 1 con, Rym Geary 1 con) beat (Juan Giuliano try; Logan Briggs con). Halftime: 24-7.
Clutha (in red), in the Otago Country Rugby match against Wakatipu at Queenstown on Saturday, where the South Otago visitors took out the third successive victory.