Clutha spanks Wakatipu team
Clutha rewrote Otago Country rugby history at Queenstown last Saturday, by becoming the first team to win the Countrywide banner three times in a row, with a 71-7 massacre of Wakatipu.
The home side’s discipline let them down early, giving away offensive penalties, which allowed Clutha to clear their lines.
Clutha was first to score with fullback Tyler Bichan finishingoff a tidy backline move to score near the posts. Rhys Harrold converted to give the away side the start they wanted.
Harrold crashed over the line for his side’s second try, which he converted, enhancing Clutha’s confidence. Bichan and Harrold each scored another try before halftime as the Clutha backline started to gain ascendancy, giving the Clutha side a 24-0 lead. Replacement centre Juan Giuliano crossed the line and gave his side something to smile about at the halftime break; 24-7 to Clutha.
The second began roughly the same as the first with Wakatipu hard on attack but they couldn’t crack the tough Clutha defence.
Wakatipu’s continued infringing saw first five Logan Begs sent to the naughty chair for 10 minutes. Soon after, Clutha prop Daniel Miller carried three defenders over the line with him to score Clutha’s first of the second spell.
Clutha winger Robin Fesilafai snaffled an intercept and ran the best part of 85 metres to score. This try looked to dent the home side’s confidence and their heads dropped.
Hooker Max Pennell scored the next try. Wakatipu couldn’t win a trick from here on in and the Clutha side ran riot.
Tyler Bichan completed his hat trick shortly after.
Replacement prop Joe Laban scored next after some outstanding passing between the forwards.
Winger Kane Teunissen’s try was scored after a backline move, which he converted.
Right on fulltime, replacement lock Pete Harvey got the ball 20m out and scored. Rym Geary converted to send the travelling Clutha faithful into raptures as the final whistle sounded. A huge result and one that will be remembered for years to come.
Wakatipu dominated central this season. They had key players missing through injury and unavailability, and although outclassed, still gave it everything.