Clutha spanks Wakatipu team

Clutha Leader - - GOLDEN YEARS - RUGBY COR­RE­SPON­DENT

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.

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