Semis drama backs finals triumph
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.