Semis drama backs fi­nals tri­umph

South Waikato News - - SPORT - By CAITLIN WAL­LACE

It was all ‘‘ hang­ing by a thread’’ for the SURF 13th grade rugby team but they came out on top to win the Kukri Trust Cup.

The year 12 and 13 Toko­roa team won a place in the Waikato Grass­roots Trust com­pe­ti­tion fi­nal against Hamil­ton Marist.

Coach Hamish Al­lan said the game was tough but the boys won the cup with a 36-26 re­sult.

But the team almost lost it all when a com­plaint was made against them after their semi­fi­nal game.

Their chance at the cup was all but gone when coach Hamish Al­lan was told by of­fi­cials they were out.

Al­lan said a com­plaint was made by their Te Awa­mutu op­po­nents based on player el­i­gi­bil­ity.

‘‘I don’t go like that. I’d rather play kids who turn up ev­ery time,’’ he said.

After much con­vinc­ing, the 26-player team gained a sec­ond chance to re­play the game against Te Awa­mutu.

‘‘When you have to play that game again, it plays on you men­tally . . . for them to lose it on a com­plaint it was gut­ting,’’ he said.

Al­lan said they put ev­ery ounce of ef­fort into that game and smashed it with a 58-12 re­sult.

And their sec­ond chance proved worth it, he said.

The re-match was not the only strug­gle for the team.

A ‘‘raft’’ of chal­lenges tested their strength.

In the same week of the re­match, the team played three games in the space of six days.

‘‘It was drain­ing for the play­ers and half of the boys had to play a league game as well,’’ he said.

How­ever it was all worth it to reach the fi­nal at Waikato Sta­dium.

And it took a few in­spi­ra­tional words from Toko­roa-born wider Waikato ITM Cup player Re­gan Ware.

‘‘The kids had a chance to hear his story and how tough it was . . . he said all the hard work was worth it when you’re out there play­ing at the sta­dium,’’ Al­lan said.

Pulled to­gether: The South Waikato SURF 13th grade rugby team had their strug­gles but came out with the Kukri Trust Cup.

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