Val­ley close to scor­ing up­set win

Piako Post - - SPORT - HEARTLAND RUGBY

Thames Val­ley turned on an out­stand­ing dis­play of wet weather rugby in their Heartland Cham­pi­onship match against Wan­ganui at Paeroa last Satur­day.

Un­for­tu­nately the Swamp foxes missed a last minute penalty kick which en­abled Wan­ganui to hang on for a 21-19 vic­tory.

It was a heart break­ing re­sult for Thames Val­ley who outscored the Meads Cup hold­ers by three tries to two.

The Thames Val­ley for­ward pack was dom­i­nant for much of the game and provided a strong chal­lenge for Wan­ganui’s de­fence when­ever they were close to their line.

In fact the Val­ley’s three tries all came after pres­sure from well ex­e­cuted pick and go move­ments.

By con­trast he Wan­ganui tries came from one lapse on de­fence by Thames Val­ley and a charged down kick.

Thames Val­ley were ahead 12-8 at half time but lost their lead 10 min­utes into the sec­ond half when Wan­ganui charged down a clear­ing kick by Jar­rod Goodall to go on to score a con­verted try.

Mid-way through the half the Swamp foxes re­gained the lead with a con­verted try of their own fol­low­ing a pow­er­ful scrum deep in Wan­ganui ter­ri­tory.

Down 15-19 Wan­ganui ral­lied and although they did not se­ri­ously threaten the Thames Val­ley goal line they did man­age to kick two penalty goals to re­gain the lead.

With the last phase of the game bring­ing the cru­cial penalty at­tempt the home crowd fell silent in an­tic­i­pa­tion of an his­toric vic­tory but it was not to be.

The Val­ley for­wards played with such skill and unity of pur­pose that it would be un­fair to sin­gle any­one out – the whole pack de­served high recog­ni­tion.

The for­wards were well sup­ported by the backs who tack­led ef­fec­tively and han­dled the wet ball skil­fully.

The Thames Val­ley tries were scored by Aaron Car­rol, Ge­orge Le­lenoa and Rory Moloney with Jar­rod Goodall adding two con­ver­sions.

Wan­ganui named for­mer Co­bras and Thames Val­ley rep­re­sen­ta­tive Bryn Hud­son as their player of the match.

This Satur­day, the Thames Val­ley Heartland rugby team travel to Levin to take on Horowhenua-Kapiti who have al­ready had wins over North Otago and Poverty Bay at the top end of the com­pe­ti­tion.

PHIL WALTER/GETTY IM­AGES

Ge­orge Si­apso Le­lenoa goes for a run against Wan­ganui.

PHIL WALTER/GETTY IM­AGES

Lance Eas­ton is tack­led by his Wan­ganui op­po­nents.

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