Valley close to scoring upset win
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.
George Siapso Lelenoa goes for a run against Wanganui.
Lance Easton is tackled by his Wanganui opponents.