Waitohi cel­e­brate af­ter thrilling fi­nal

Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough - - OUT & ABOUT - MAR­TYN VERCOE

It was an emo­tional and re­ward­ing oc­ca­sion for the Waitohi Rugby com­mu­nity at Lansdowne Park last week­end when their se­nior side lift the cov­eted Wad­sco Marl­bor­ough Sub Union Tro­phy.

It was a mas­sive achieve­ment for the Pic­ton club and one they richly de­served af­ter im­prov­ing ev­ery week of the com­pe­ti­tion and hold­ing their nerve in the fi­nal to pip a gal­lant Ren­wick side by a sin­gle point.

Waitohi had some ob­vi­ous mo­ti­va­tions, in­clud­ing play­ing for the mem­ory of the late Bevan Moody but they also mixed that pas­sion with some smart de­ci­sion-mak­ing to nail the key mo­ments of the fi­nal.

They have some re­ally talented play­ers that have come into the dis­trict this sea­son who have team up with their core of lo­cal Pic­ton lads to form a good combo.

For Ren­wick, it’s a bit­ter pill to swal­low as they have ar­guably been the best team all sea­son lead­ing up to the fi­nal but again de´ja` vu struck and they fell at the last hur­dle again as they did last sea­son.

Rugby can be a game of inches and that was ev­i­dent again in this fi­nal with Ren­wick be­ing about as close as you can get to win­ning a fi­nal with­out get­ting the spoils.

You have to fell for the Green Ma­chine as they played well plus they have done a great job as a club to get their side to this po­si­tion.

I know what it feels like to lose fi­nals and it isn’t fun but they will be back and they have a re­ally good chance to ce­ment them­selves as the top team in Marl­bor­ough for a few years to come.

Mod­ern tech­nol­ogy is great. I was able to watch the Wad­sco Marl­bor­ough Sub Union Tro­phy Fi­nal from my ho­tel room in St Cyprian in France via the Tas­man Rugby Face­book’s live feed which started at 5am lo­cal time here in France.

I’m over man­ag­ing the New Zealand Un­der-20 side at the World Cup in South­ern France.

We play three pool games and then semi­fi­nals and fi­nals across three cities; Per­pig­nan, Nar­bonne and Beziers.

In the team are two fel­low Mako lads; Le­ices­ter Fain­gaanuku and Jamie Spowart who both have starred in our team first up wins over Ja­pan and Wales.

I’m re­ally en­joy­ing some French cul­ture and their love for the game of rugby. They love a good scrum in this coun­try, with that be­ing a mas­sive fo­cus for them.

Lastly, con­grat­u­la­tions to Mark Tag­gert who was this week’s Dodson St Cheers to Vol­un­teers voucher win­ner.

PHOTO: RICKY WIL­SON/STUFF

Waitohi cel­e­brates a hard-fought win af­ter the fi­nal whis­tle af­ter edg­ing out Ren­wick 20-19 in the club rugby fi­nal.

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