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Tough hurdle for U20s

Wairarapa-Bush have a tough hurdle to conquer if they are to win the Hurricanes Heartland Under-20 Championship in Bulls this weekend.

Wai-Bush and Whanganui clash at 12pm tomorrow in the battle of the two first-round victors, with the winners to take out the title. However, the Chris Senior-coached team go into the game at a severe disadvantage, having had no game last week after Horowhenua-Kapiti defaulted, whereas Whanganui strolled to a 48-7 win over Poverty Bay.

“We’ve got a pretty good team, but without playing on Saturday, who knows,” Senior said.

“You have a good team on paper, but what are they like together though? It could be a good thing because you’re fresh and you’re pumped, but at the same time, it’s putting those things together on the day.

“We’ve got the talent to do it, but it will be interesting how we go, and not having a game is the only downfall.”

Senior’s squad includes several players who impressed through the premier club competition.

Marist winger Hayden Cooper, Carterton’s English first-five Ben Alvis, and flying Martinborough winger Conall Doyle are players Senior believes have good futures, adding that there are some hard robust forwards in Martinborough lock JJ Gillies and the Masterton Red Star pair Mataio Kelly and Junior Falesui “who are brutal with the ball in hand”.

“We’ve got the talent in the region, and if we don’t win it this year, we’ll put things in place to make sure we can win it in the future,” Senior added

Wai-Bush back up against Poverty Bay at 10.30am Sunday.

The Hurricanes Heartland U20 squad will be named after the two days of play.

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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