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Coasties’ hard work paying off

East Coast [red and white] are unbeaten in the senior reserves championship. PHOTO/FILE

RUGBY — RYAN CUP SENIOR RESERVES FINAL

CHRIS COGDALE
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Just making the senior reserves Ryan Cup final has been a significant achievement for East Coast.

After several years of struggling near the bottom of the grade, a few old heads got together with former Wairarapa-Bush coach Richie Robertson and hatched a plan to revitalise the team.

“I had been a pretty frustrated person the past three years and have watched numbers dwindle, and how hopeless they were, and they weren’t any help for the ‘A’ team,” Richie Robertson said.

Tonight, the unbeaten Coasties will tackle defending champions Greytown in the final at Trust House Memorial Park with no spectators.

The Coasties are a good mix of youth and experience, with three 18-year-old backs, a few players in their 20s, and veterans, such as Quentin Robertson [45], TJ Karaitiana [42], who were instrumental in rebuilding the team, and Mike Peacock [49].

Richie Robertson said: “We’ve come a long way. Now we’re a good side and the As have been taking the odd one up and sent some down when they need refreshing.

“They’ve loved it when the players have come down and had a hard workout in a meaningful team. They’ve helped us, and we’ve helped them.”

Greytown will be a tough nut to crack. Apart from a surprise 17-18 loss to Gladstone, they have been unbeaten and have scored 284 points [an average of 47] and conceded just 57 points over their six games.

Richie Robertson expected a difficult task and said he would be happy if his team gave a good account if themselves. The game will kick off at 7pm.

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