Fi­nal count­down for country clubs

Marlborough Midweek - - FRONT PAGE - MAR­TYN VERCOE

Be­ing in a grand fi­nal is why you play or are in­volved in footy, they are an awe­some event to be part of and one you have to em­brace and en­joy.

It’s a funny thing be­cause, as a player or coach, you want to be as fo­cused as pos­si­ble on the match it­self but the at­mos­phere is also some­thing to take in.

A great as­pect of this sea­son’s Wad­sco Marl­bor­ough Sub Union fi­nal is that it is two country teams who are en­joy­ing the big dance. Both these clubs, Ren­wick and Waitohi, have worked re­ally hard off the field through­out their whole clubs to make their top side as com­pet­i­tive as pos­si­ble, it starts at com­mit­tee level and you can see with both these clubs all their mem­bers from their ju­niors right up to their past play­ers are en­gaged in their ef­forts.

I hope, win or lose this week­end, each club is proud of their ef­forts over the course of the sea­son.

When it comes to the match it­self, I’m strug­gling to pick a win­ner. Both sides are peak­ing at ex­actly the right time and both have strengths right across the park. Again, I think the bounce of the ball and goal kick­ing will de­cide the fi­nal

Ren­wick will need to bury the demons of los­ing last year’s fi­nal - it’s his­tory. This is a dif­fer­ent year and they should be go­ing into the match con­fi­dent in their abil­ity. They aren’t a one-trick pony, they show unity on and off the field and you can tell it would mean a mas­sive amount to them if they can bring home the sil­ver­ware.

Waitohi are in a very sim­i­lar boat. They also have good depth and tal­ent across the park, they play for each other and they have man­aged to win when it counts this sea­son. They too are a pas­sion­ate club who have their own mo­ti­va­tions to win on the big stage and will not leave any­thing on the field.

I men­tioned ear­lier in this col­umn about how im­por­tant club mem­bers are. Al­most all these peo­ple in our re­gion are vol­un­teers who do an amaz­ing com­mu­nity ser­vice for our sport.

At Tas­man Rugby we have teamed up with Dod­son St Beer again in 2018 to run our Dod­son St Cheers for Vol­un­teers. Each week a lo­cal rugby vol­un­teers wins a gift voucher to Dod­son St as re­ward for their out­stand­ing con­tri­bu­tions.

So far in 2018 Awa­tere’s Michelle Ren­ner and MBC Old Boys Bar­ney Ruf­fell have been our weekly winners.

SCOTT HAMMOND/FAIR­FAX NZ

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