Wairarapa-Bush No 8 Christopher Raymond claiming a lineout in Saturday’s game. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV
Wairarapa-Bush’s 32-6 defeat by Horowhenua-Kapiti in their PGG Wrightson Trophy fixture at Westpac Stadium on Saturday highlighted the gulf between what was acceptable at club and representative level.
That’s the word from head coach Joe Harwood who said the game highlighted how bad habits developed on the club scene could impact on a game against better quality opposition.
For instance, Wairarapa-Bush turned over possession probably up to a dozen times at Westpac because of the ball not being properly protected as players went into contact.
And there were numerous occasions when the ball carrier looked to beat a tackle rather than move possession on to unmarked players outside him.
“You have to be a lot more clinical in rep games. Every scoring chance wasted there can come back and bite you in the end.
“Possession can be a lot harder to get and you don’t want to waste it.”
Harwood was happy though with the competitiveness of Wairarapa-Bush in most areas and particularly in the first half where he noted they had 65-70 per cent of the ball and trailed by just four points at the break.
“That first 40 minutes was encouraging, and really it was only in the last 20 that the score blew out,” Harwood said. “The defence got a bit shaky then and that didn’t help.”
Saturday’s loss is very unlikely to lead to major changes in the make-up of the Wairarapa-Bush squad for their next “friendly” against Hawke’s Bay on June 4.
Harwood said the game would give those who took the field against Horowhenua-Kapiti the chance to show they had learned from the mistakes they made there.
“The main objective is to show progress and hopefully we can do that.”