So close and yet so far
Paremata-Plimmerton’s Senior 1 side left everything they had on Hataitai Park on Saturday but came up short in the Ed Chaney Cup final against Wellington.
First-five Blake Neve had a penalty from 50 metres to win it on full-time but he did not have the distance, and his side went down 15-13.
The scoreline was indicative of a titanic struggle, with individual errors, missed kicks at goal and botched lineouts the difference.
Pare-Plimm coach Alphonso Parsons said that though his charges were gutted, it would still go down as a season to remember.
‘‘We turned our season around after Wellington taught us a lesson [by 30 points, in round two]. We sat down, had a serious talk and the boys’ attitude changed, they trained harder and we went on to win six in a row. My goal was top four, so I think we’ve over-achieved.’’
Parsons said 90 per cent of the squad would be back in 2013, with players from outside the club likely to come in to bolster the ranks.
‘‘We already have plans in place and we are going to focus on getting stronger. The confidence is there.’’
Though it was a team effort all year, Neve, No 8 Tane McMillanParata and hooker James Shearing were among the standouts.
With a strong win at their backs in the second half, and dominance at scrum- time and in the rucks and mauls, the signs were good for the dozens of Mata fans who had made the trip from Porirua. But Wellington’s defence proved decisive, Parsons said.
‘‘We did try to use that wind but we didn’t execute. We had opportunities, but Wellington conceded the least number of points this season, and you can see why.’’
Hard yards: Paremata-Plimmerton winger Blake Atatagi typified the effort by his side on Saturday, in a heartbreaking Ed Chaney Cup final loss.