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Coach pleased with team’s efforts in heavy going

Monique Kloeg, with ball, captained Wai-Bush in their clash with Poverty Bay. PHOTOS/FILE


Poverty Bay 10
Wairarapa-Bush 0

Cassie Haeata packed down in the front row against Poverty Bay.

Wairarapa-Bush women’s coach Scott Collins is satisfied with the team’s first hit out in the unofficial North Island Heartland campaign despite going down to Poverty Bay Turangi Mana Wahine in atrocious conditions at Whitmore Park, Napier, on Sunday.

Poverty Bay scored two tries, the first in the first half, with the second coming with time almost up, in what Collins described as a ding-dong battle.

“Our girls really stood up and gave a good nudge at it.

“There was variable weather, it was showery, there was a bit of sunshine, and heavy rain for a period.

“Poverty Bay were a big heavy team, and it kind of fell into their laps, and it was good conditions for a team like them,” said Collins, who was rapt with how his team played.

“Our players worked really hard on the day, and for a lot of them it’s probably the best game they’ve had from their own admission.”

The game was also the first for several weeks for Wai-Bush, after a brief break since their pre-season build-up, whereas Poverty Bay were coming off three games, including a narrow loss to King Country in a Heartland clash.

The team were also hit by some late withdrawals, with players pulling out on the eve of the match because of illness.

Most of the Wai-Bush side fronted for the Wairarapa Wahine Toa in the Manawatu premier women’s championship, with the inclusion of several players now based in Wellington and Palmerston North.

“We have a few extras with university students from Wellington and Palmerston North returning to play for their province.

“It’s a bit of a mix with four from Palmy and one from Welly at the moment, and there are a few others who couldn’t play for the club team because of commitments to other sports.”

Former Dutch international prop Annemieke van Vliet also returned to the side after the completion of the Manawatu Cyclone’s Farah Palmer Cup programme.

Wai-Bush will play all but East Coast and Horowhenua-Kapiti in their Heartland campaign.

Their next outing is against Thames Valley Vixens in Te Aroha, as a curtain-raiser to the Heartland Championship fixture between the two provinces on Saturday, September 10.

That will be followed with another away game against King Country in Turangi, while their only home game will be against Whanganui on September 24 at Trust House Memorial Park.

In other rugby news, the Wairarapa-Bush Barbarians, effectively a ‘B’ side were outclassed 51-7 by the Whanganui Development team in a match played at Memorial Park on Saturday.

Captain Jared Hawkins scored the home side’s only try in a disappointing effort.

Chris Cogdale
Chris Cogdale
Chris “Coggie” Cogdale has extensive knowledge of sport in Wairarapa having covered it for more than 30 years, including radio for 28 years. He has been the sports guru at the Wairarapa Times-Age since 2019.

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