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Wairarapa ready for Hawke’s Bay backlash

Post Office Hotel Wairarapa coach Neil Perry expects a backlash from a wounded Hawke’s Bay in their second-round Furlong Cup clash at Nelson Park, Napier, over the weekend.

Hawke’s Bay made a woeful start to the representative season, losing on the first innings to Manawatu in the first round two weeks ago and then being thumped by an innings in losing the Hawke Cup to Canterbury Country last weekend.

Perry believes that the result against Manawatu has thrown the Furlong Cup, which doubles as the Zone Two Hawke Cup elimination series, wide open, and that Hawke’s Bay will be hurting after giving up the challenge trophy so meekly.

“It’s a tough place to go to Hawke’s Bay, and despite their recent results we know they’re a very good and strong district that will wish to bounce back and they’ll come and hit us hard,” Perry said.

In contrast, Wairarapa made a confident start to the Furlong Cup with a crushing first-innings win over Whanganui, a result built on two outstanding individual performances.

The first was a brilliant 160 by captain Jared van Deventer, the third-highest representative score by a Wairarapa representative player, and the second was the Wairarapa record of nine wickets for 26 runs by medium-fast bowler Seth Rance.

Perry knows that Hawke’s Bay will be several steps up from Whanganui, however. He said his team are relishing the challenge and were well prepared for any backlash.

“We know that, we’re expecting that, and we also expect to play some good cricket in return, and we’ll see what happens.

“We’ve got people who are performing, we’ve been training well, we’re focussed and disciplined and just looking forward to playing some good cricket.”

There are four changes to the side that dominated Whanganui. Hard-hitting all-rounder Jaco Vorster and left-arm spinner Roshan Sugathan are out with broken fingers, while opening batter Robbie Anderson and veteran medium-slow bowler Pete Sigvertsen are unavailable with work commitments.

Opening batter Jake Jonas comes into the side after returning from university in Christchurch, where he has been in good form, scoring a century for his Burnside West Christchurch University club.

The Central Districts age-group rep has fond memories of Nelson Park, having held off a barrage of short-pitched bowling in scoring 70 not out in more than four hours, as Wairarapa denied Hawke’s Bay an outright victory the last time the two sides met at the venue two years ago.

Left-arm spinner Quinn Childs also returns after missing last season, the experienced Jeremy Anderson steps into the middle order, and promising Rathkeale medium pacer James Church will make his representative debut.

Rance’s appearance could be his last for Wairarapa this season before returning to the Central Stags, and Perry is determined to make the most of the former Black Cap’s experience, saying that his influence cannot be underestimated.

“Having Seth in the ranks is always fantastic. He gives everybody confidence, and he just has a way with the younger players. He really helps the bowling group to focus on what’s important, it doesn’t matter what’s happening.”

Play is to start at 10.30am tomorrow and Sunday.

Wairarapa team from: Jared van Deventer [captain], Jake Jonas, Cole Freeman, Jack Forrester, Nathan Elliott, Jeremy Anderson, Samuel Payne, Seth Rance, Trey Bidois, Angus Jaspers, Quinn Childs, James Church.

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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