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Rathkeale end 13-year drought against Waicol

Sam Matthewson scoring for Rathkeale in their match against Waicol on Saturday. PHOTO/SUPPLIED



Rathkeale College have won their traditional annual clash with Wairarapa College for the first time in 13 years with an outstanding 32-14 triumph.

Waicol had the better of the early exchanges on Saturday in front of a big crowd on their home ground and built steady pressure on the Rathkeale line.

Resolute Rathkeale defence saw off the early challenge, and then the momentum swung around the 15-minute mark.

After numerous raids by Rathkeale on the Waicol line, they eventually settled for three points with a Will Cole penalty getting the visitors on the board.

Rathkeale were the first to dot down with a well-taken try to fleet-footed winger Jayden Webb-Milner. Another Cole penalty moments form halftime extended Rathkeale’s lead to 11-0.

Eleven points was not a huge margin, but Waicol certainly played like it was, as some panic set in trying to run the ball from everywhere only to came up with errors in their half.

The home side’s efforts to go through Rathkeale with their big midfield of Honor Mita and Hayden Copper were also unsuccessful as the visitors’ defence held firm.

Rathkeale made Waicol pay for their errors with another try after 60 minutes to make the score 18-0 and extinguish any hope of a comeback by the home side.

Webb-Milner then grabbed his second five-pointer after taking a high ball and scooting away untouched. Another try to impressive replacement centre Sam Mathewson blew the score out to 32-0 with 10 minutes to play.

Waicol scored two consolation tries to Tua Toilolo and Tama Bartlett to bring more respect to the score at 32-14, but this was a dominant performance by a Rathkeale side who were fitter and faster than their much larger counterparts.

Rathkeale won the NR Stuart Family Cup for the first time since 2007 and breathed fire into the rivalry between Wairarapa’s top two rugby schools.

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