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Luisetti Seeds Division 1 Final This Weekend - Methven v Waihora
This Saturday Waihora has the opportunity to go one step further than last year and win the Luisetti Seeds Combined Country competition.
Last season the Tai Tapu-based club was narrowly piped by Lincoln on their home turf, a kick by star Mark Maitland that would have won them the game, missing in the last moments.
Waihora has been on something of a roll since then: while they only just made it to this weekend’s final, they did win the Coleman Shield in Ellesmere last season, beating Lincoln in their semi-final, while they have arguably been the form team in the Luisetti Seeds Combined Country competition this year.
Waihora travel to Methven to play the final. They reached the final in dramatic circumstances after their semi-final against Oxford at Tai Tapu last weekend was tied 8-8 after regular time and then 13-13 after extra time. The teams could not be separated on tries scored (two) or the fact that the teams (did not) meet in pool play and eventually it came down to points differential, in which Waihora prevailed. “Oxford was really good about it,” Waihora manager David Miller says. “While it was disappointing that one team had to lose, both teams had their opportunities throughout the match.” If the points differential had been the same it would have, literally, come down to the toss of a coin. Both teams agreed that this would have been undesirable. Thankfully that did not happen.
Waihora’s attention now turns to the final. Still without their star, the injured Mark Maitland, a number of their squad have what might be described as mid-season niggles. As a result, their management are unsure who they will field. Regardless, they will be extremely motivated to claim Country glory.
“The guys were obviously extremely disappointed with the narrow loss in last season’s final and so the returning players are delighted that they will get another shot at it,” Miller says.
Well captained by hooker Angus McKenzie, Waihora has been very successful in not only the seniors, but in the Colts grade during the last few seasons. The club’s emphasis on this grade is now paying rich dividends in the depth being created.
Methven made the final with a 29-20 win over the sportingly gallant Burnham Dunsandel/Irwell side.
While much of the attention in Country rugby will be on Waihora’s final against Methven in Mid Canterbury, there are a number of other matches at venues around the province to keep all rugby fans happy this weekend.
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