Wakatipu suf­fer south­ern spank­ing

Central Otago Mirror - - CLASSIFIEDS - RHYS CHAM­BER­LAIN Clutha 71 Wakatipu 7

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.

game

(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.

DEB­O­RAH KEACH

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.

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