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Heartland rugby deferred

Vesi Luatua on the charge for Wai-Bush in the final Heartland warmup against Wellington Samoans. PHOTOS/FILE

Sports fixtures put on ice

COVID-19

CHRIS COGDALE
[email protected]

RUGBY

Farriers Wairarapa-Bush will wait another week to kick off their Heartland Championship campaign.

Wai-Bush were to host West Coast to,orrow in the championship’s opening round, but that was postponed after the country’s move to covid-19 Alert Level 4 on Wednesday.

Wai-Bush chief executive officer Tony Hargood confirmed that the West Coast fixture would be played as the last round on October 16.

Assuming there are no extensions to the covid alert levels, Wai-Bush will start the championship with away games – to King Country in Te Kuiti on August 28, followed by Horowhenua-Kapiti in Levin.

They will end the round-robin with two home games against Mid-Canterbury and West Coast.

The Meads Cup and Lochore Cup semifinals will now be held over Labour Weekend, with the finals to be played on the last weekend of October.

Wai-Bush head coach Mark Rutene is philosophical about the deferment and said it made sense given that all the travel arrangements for the championship had been made.

“Obviously, we wanted to get out there and play this weekend, but it is what it is,” he said.

“We were starting to build momentum, and we trained last night [Tuesday].

“We basically had our full squad there for the first time, and who knows when we will get to train again. It could be next week some time.”

The postponed start of the championship is further frustration for supporters of the Heartland provinces and comes after the cancellation of the 2020 Heartland season.

Hargood also advised that there will be no community rugby this weekend throughout New Zealand, resulting in the postponement of all Wai-Bush JAB finals and secondary school finals.

NETBALL

All netball at Colombo Road has been cancelled until at least tomorrow.

Tonight’s  netball games at the Trust House Wairarapa Netball Centre will not go ahead.

Netball Wairarapa general manager Scott Cottier said they are monitoring the situation closely to see if the games can be played tomorrow.

“We are currently planning for all possibilities if we come out of level four by Saturday. However, this would need to be level two or lower for the last round of netball to be played.”

The semifinals are scheduled for August 27-28, with the final on September 4.

HOCKEY

The Hockey Wairarapa facility at Clareville is closed and all training sessions this week are cancelled.

All college games and tonight’s primary games have been postponed, and Sunday’s Under-13 and Under-15 programmes will only go ahead if there is a drop to alert level two or level one on Saturday.

FOOTBALL

All Capital Football senior and youth football, which includes Wairarapa Knockout Cup games and Wairarapa junior football, have been postponed this weekend,

A decision on what games can be played at a later date will be made after Capital Football have liaised with the respective councils around ground availability.

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