Semi­fi­nals beckon

South Waikato News - - COMPETITION 2010 -

Waikato are third on the ITM Cup lad­der af­ter a big win on Fri­day night.

The red, yel­low and blacks, scored five tries to two, thump­ing Otago 41-15 at Waikato Sta­dium.

First five-eighth Don­ald scored two of the tries within two min­utes of each other in the fi­nal quar­ter and to­talled 23 points with a flaw­less goal-kick­ing dis­play.

Hav­ing jumped two places last week, Don­ald last night passed Bruce Rei­hana to be­come the fifth high­est scorer for Waikato.

This time the Waikato for­wards were equally flaw­less in what has been a trou­bled area for the Mooloo men – the li­ne­outs – and de­mol­ished Otago at scrum time.

Again it was not a per­fect dis­play from Waikato. They found them­selves un­der pres­sure in the mid­dle of the first 40 min­utes and let in two tries in the first seven min­utes of the sec­ond spell. And there were times when they gave away pos­ses­sion af­ter some stun­ning work to get it and build phases.

But in the last two weeks they have re­dis­cov­ered their try-scor­ing abil­ity which bodes well for the fi­nal two matches of the round robin against Manawatu next Thurs­day and Can­ter­bury back in Hamil­ton the fol­low­ing week.

‘‘I thought there were some pretty out­stand­ing bits of play in there,’’ Waikato head coach Chris Gibbes said.

‘‘I think it is prob­a­bly epit­o­mised by the im­pact the bench made and the whole team.

‘‘It was tough go­ing there for a lit­tle while in that first half and we didn’t quite seem to get out of our own ter­ri­tory [for a while] but I thought the boys ground that out and fought their way through it pretty well, so over­all I’m pretty happy,’’ he said.

Photo: WAIKATO TIMES

WEL­COME BACK: Mils Mu­lian­ina scores a try on his re­turn to Waikato colours.

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