Mid Can­ter­bury de­fence too strong

Piako Post - - GARDENING - HEART­LAND RUGBY

Mid Can­ter­bury de­feated Thames Val­ley 25-16 in the Heart­land Cham­pi­onship rugby match played at Paeroa last Satur­day.

The two teams bat­tled away in a fairly even con­test but Mid Can­ter­bury had the edge with a very strong de­fence which the Swamp Foxes found dif­fi­cult to pen­e­trate.

The cru­cial mo­ment came just be­fore half time when Thames Val­ley were ahead 9-8 and hot on at­tack but the vis­it­ing first fiveeighth gained an in­ter­cept and ran the length of the field to score a try.

The try was con­verted to give Mid Can­ter­bury a half time lead of 15-9.

With their tails in the air, Mid Can­ter­bury opened the sec­ond half strongly and quickly scored 10 more points made up of a penalty goal and a con­verted try.

Even though they were be­hind by 16 points, Thames Val­ley mounted sev­eral strong at­tacks with player of the day, Brett Ranga fea­tur­ing promi­nently.

Fol­low­ing three con­sec­u­tive five me­tre scrums Alex Bradley went over for a try be­tween the posts which Chris Doak con­verted.

Thames Val­ley were well and truly back in the game and there were still 20 min­utes to play.

Re­place­ment five-eighth, Beau Hamil­ton missed a handy penalty goal but the Mid Can­ter­bury de­fence held true as they main­tained a high level of ac­cu­racy with their tack­ling.

How­ever the tackle of the match was made by Alex Bradley as he sent Mid Can­ter­bury for­ward-re­place­ment Matt Bent­ley fly­ing back­wards in a huge hit much to the de­light of the crowd.

There was no fur­ther scor­ing in the match and Thames Val­ley even turned down a penalty at­tempt (that would have given them a bonus point) in favour of try­ing to score a try which they al­most did in the fi­nal move of the game.

Be­sides a try to ‘‘Birth­day boy’’ Alex Bradley Chris Doak kicked three penalty goals and one con­ver­sion.

Thames Val­ley now line sev­enth on the points ta­ble and next Satur­day they play West Coast at Grey­mouth – West Coast are one point be­hind so both teams are com­pet­ing for the bet­ter play off po­si­tion.

Thames Val­ley’s fi­nal game of the reg­u­lar sea­son be­fore the semi-fi­nals is against Poverty Bay and it has now been trans­ferred to Te Aroha on Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 14.

WAI­HOU RUGBY CLUB

Thames No.8 Alex Bradley goes for a run with team mates Sam McCa­hon (left) in sup­port.

WAI­HOU RUGBY CLUB

Thames Val­ley half­back Jonty Wood about to clear the ball against Mid Can­ter­bury.

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