Waikanae end Paraparaumu’s run
‘‘They really wanted it, and they got it.’’
Paraparaumu’s stranglehold on Horowhenua-Kapiti rugby is over, after their rivals from up the road wrestled the silverware off them.
Waikanae took their first Horowhenua-Kapiti premier rugby title since 2009 with an 11-6 win over Paraparaumu in Saturday’s final.
It ended Paraparaumu’s 1820-day grip on the Ramsbottom Cup. A win would have given them a sixth straight title.
In a contest dominated by two excellent defences, Waikanae replacement winger Lincoln Timoteo scored the only try of the match to gave his side their first lead, 8-6, with about 10 minutes left.
First-five-eighth Ethan Reti kicked a penalty to put Waikanae up by five, and they held off a late Paraparaumu salvo to take the title.
Coach Simon Fifield said celebrations started after the match in the Waikanae clubrooms.
‘‘It went pretty late into the night. We started celebrating again about 11 the next morning. We haven’t had massive numbers after games, but everyone was there on Saturday night.’’
The first half passed ‘‘really quickly’’ for Fifield, with neither side looking like scoring a try.
Timoteo’s try sparked excited celebrations on the Waikanae bench, and they held on.
‘‘I think it meant so much to the guys to dominate the last 10 minutes,’’ Fifield said. ’’They really wanted it, and they got it.’’
Some in the club were relieved the eight-year drought had been broken.
‘‘They wondered if we were going to get there. I’m still very stoked and proud of what the boys achieved. It’s been a long time between drinks ... to knock the Paraparaumu boys off is fantastic for the club.’’
Paraparaumu player-coach Garry Phelps said losing a final was always a bitter pill to swallow, but there was ‘‘bugger all in it’’.
‘‘The boys responded well to the unfortunate way it happened. It was tight, and the game could’ve gone either way.
‘‘The game was in the balance right until the end ... we just left our run too late.
‘‘It’s never good to lose one but we need to celebrate the effort the boys made to get there.’’
The focus now shifts to the H-K rep season. Three Paraparaumu players and seven Waikanae players have been picked in coach Chris Wilton’s initial Heartland Championship squad.
Paraparaumu lock Ryan Shelford has been named captain.
The season proper begins when H-K face North Otago at home on August 26.
Waikanae’s Gavin Levave surges upfield during his side’s 11-6 grand final win over Paraparaumu.