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PGG Wrightson Division 1 - Update
Waihora is one of the teams to watch in the PGG Wrightson Combined competition this season.
Not only are they unbeaten, but they are playing an attractive brand of rugby and are showing the character associated with teams on the rise.
Last season’s Coleman Shield winners in the Ellesmere competition, Waihora has built on their success and look to be one of the teams to beat this season.
Coach Kahu Carey says that having the bulk of last season’s squad back is a huge plus and one of the reasons why the team has started so well this season.
“I think we worked out that we have 14 players this season who have played four seasons of senior rugby or more. Obviously with that sort of experience on board, we haven’t had to start from scratch this season.”
Most of these players have worked their way up through the grades at Waihora, taking a few heavy losses early in their senior careers and learning from it.
“You can’t put a measure on that sort of experience,” Kahu says. “The players also enjoyed winning silverware last season and so naturally want some more of it.”
Wins in the last two weeks against Oxford (18-0) and Hornby (31-8) have given the Tai Tapu faithful more cause for optimism. Still, more challenging tests loom.
“We have Collegiate this weekend and then homes matches against Southern and Lincoln.”
The Lincoln match is shaping to be one of the games of the competition. After beating the red and blacks last season in the final of the Coleman Shield, Waihora knows that it can beat its great nemesis.
“We have never beaten then in the combined competition and so that is going to be a real challenge for us,” Kahu says
“The rivalry is of course intense. The guys mostly know each other, while the stalwarts of the respective clubs are also always running in to each other and discussing which team is going to win.”
Kahu says that there is enormous potential within his side and as yet the team is not playing to its full potential. “We know that there is a lot for us to work on, despite the fact that we have been winning matches.”
Country lock Tom Broughton is perhaps Waihora’s best player this season. He gives them much needed fire power, while he also provides them with quality possession and leadership.
With the club celebrating its centennial in 2013, there is much to look forward to at Waihora. What would they give, however, to add the PGG Wrightsons Country title to their Coleman Shield success of last season?
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