Mid Can­ter­bury suf­fer first loss

Selwyn and Ashburton Outlook - - MOTORING - ERIN TASKER

Mid Can­ter­bury had a for­get­table day at the of­fice in Oa­maru on Sat­ur­day, los­ing 35-21 to North Otago in week two of rugby’s Heart­land Cham­pi­onship.

The Mid Can­ter­bury Ham­mers did mount a late come­back against a North Otago side which was down to 13 men af­ter two late yel­low-cards, but ac­cord­ing to co­coach Craig Dun­lea, the dam­age had al­ready been done.

‘‘I’m still try­ing to work out what went wrong,’’ Dun­lea said.

‘‘We started all right but then we gave away a stupid in­ter­cept try and it was like it rocked the guys and we never re­ally re­cov­ered un­til we got into the sheds at half time.’’

Dun­lea said Mid Can­ter­bury never got into their shapes and pat­terns.

‘‘We’ve just got to work out our men­tal ap­pli­ca­tion around that side of it and get back in there and carry on,’’ Dun­lea said.

‘‘It’s all down to us now and get­ting the top two inches right, and work on that.’’

The two yel­low cards against the Old Golds late in the game gave the Ham­mers a sniff, land­ing a penalty and scor­ing a try, to close the gap but the hosts held on.

For North Otago first-five Dan Lewis had a su­perb game, scor­ing 21 points in­clud­ing two tries, while full­back Josh Buchan also played very well, and up front vet­eran prop Ralph Dar­ling led well.

Mid Can­ter­bury’s stand­out was full­back Jared Per­ci­val, but over­all it was a dis­ap­point­ing per­for­mance, and Dun­lea was hop­ing his side would learn from it head­ing into this week­end’s clash against South Can­ter­bury in Ash­bur­ton. The Hanan Shield will go on the line in that match.

Af­ter two rounds, un­beaten Wan­ganui and Horowhen­u­aKapiti are shap­ing up as the sides to beat with nine points. Buller is cur­rently third on eight points, with South Can­ter­bury on seven, while Mid Can­ter­bury, Thames Val­ley and North Otago have six points.

Mean­while, in the South Is­land premier­ship, Can­ter­bury Coun­try took on Can­ter­bury Metro and lost 43-36.

Can­ter­bury Coun­try’s tries were scored by Max Lum, Harry Kirk, Tim Mur­ga­troyd, Mark Mait­land and Harry Pankhurst, while Brook Re­tal­lick landed four con­ver­sions and a penalty.

Can­ter­bury Coun­try has the bye this week­end, be­fore tak­ing on Otago Coun­try in Bal­clutha on Septem­ber 16.

SUP­PLIED/PHIL JANSSEN

Chris­tian Vainerere takes on the de­fence as North Otago beat Mid Can­ter­bury 31-25.

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