Colt Pureau on the attack for Red Star against Carterton earlier this season. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV
By Jake Beleski
The Masterton Red Star Rugby Club has completed stage one of its quest to get back into the premier division of Wairarapa-Bush rugby.
The table-topping premier reserve team are unbeaten after 11 matches, and have picked up 10 bonus points along the way.
Co-coach Brent McGlashan said they wanted to win the division and then the promotion-relegation fixture against the bottom team from the premier division.
“It’s been awesome — this is our goal so it’s where we’re trying to get to.
“We want to win the division and then get to the promotion-relegation game.”
Judging from the performances they have put forward to date, there could be no argument if they were to make it into the premier division for next season.
They have racked up 593 points in their 11 matches, while only conceding 78.
Their closest margin of victory was 15 points — a 46-31 win over Greytown earlier in the season.
Twice, they have gone within three points of cracking 100.
Their efforts on defence were just as pleasing as their ability to run in tries, McGlashan said.
“For us it’s actually playing as a team — the boys just want to play for each other.
“It’s a good team environment and our defence has been awesome — it’s something we’ve really been working hard at.”
This weekend, the premier reserve division splits into top four, middle four, and bottom four, with each team playing the others in their group once before the top two teams go straight into a final.
Red Star will be up against Puketoi, Martinborough and Tuhirangi in the top four, with each of those teams having won nine of their 11 matches.
They will take on Puketoi first-up, a team they beat 25-7 earlier in the season.
Although getting to the promotion-relegation match was “always in the back of our minds”, they know there is still plenty of work to do.
“We’ve got to get there first, and plenty of teams have tripped over on the way, so we have to make sure we get there and then have a really good crack at it,” McGlashan said.
“All points are back to zero, so we have to keep winning.”