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Dalefield relish home advantage againstxxxx Victorians

MEN

Dalefield vs Victoria – 2.15pm

Some key players will return for Farriers Dalefield for the second round of the Wellington men’s premier championship this afternoon, but the team will still not be at full strength.

Experienced strikers Rowan Yeo and Hamish Finlayson are back after missing last Saturday’s 2-0 loss to Harbour City; however, key defender Graeme Murrell remains doubtful after suffering a head knock a couple of weeks ago, and Daniel van Woerkom is out with covid. Black Stick centurion Dane Lett is also away, playing in the International Pro-League in Christchurch.

Assistant coach-player Benedict van Woerkom, who is also on the injured list, said the return of Yeo and Finlayson will bring an edge to the attack, and Murrell if cleared to play, adds solidity to the defence.

The unavailability of key players opens the door for NZ under-18 squad member Cohen Scott to make his premiership debut. Benedict van Woerkom predicts a big future for the talented Wairarapa College student, who is also a promising rugby player, saying that he has a good sound hockey brain and will be a good addition.

Playing at the Trust House Wairarapa hockey complex for the first time this season, Dalefield should go in as favourites against Victoria, who, like the home side, suffered a first-up loss [2-0 to Hutt United], and Benedict van Woerkom is not taking the visitors lightly.

“Vic are never an easy one, and their goalkeeper Max Ruffle I know for a fact he always gets up when he plays Dalefield,” he said.

WOMEN

Dalefield vs Victoria – 12.30pm

Getting the basics right is the focus for Farriers Dalefield women’s player-co-coach Katherine Reisima heading into this afternoon’s second-round match against a useful Victoria team at Clareville.

Dalefield started the season with a 4-3 loss to Harbour City, with three of the opposition goals coming in the second and third quarters when Dalefield dropped their level of effort.

“Our basics let us down, like if you can’t trap a ball cleanly, it bounces off and gives them a chance to get it, and it was just a messy game, and we are better than that,” Reisima said of last weekend’s effort.

“We need to improve on our basics, like trapping and receiving and also moving to the ball, because we just got caught a bit stationary, and we probably have to try and keep our energy levels up.”

Reisima expects sharp improvement, though, from her experienced squad and said that because of the cutthroat nature of the competition with a straight final between the top two teams, every game and every goal counts.

Reisima expects a tough battle with the nuggety Victoria side, who suffered a 4-0 loss to Hutt United in their first round.

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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