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Rusty Wairarapa falls short

Wairarapa 2
Tasman 3

A late comeback wasn’t enough for Wairarapa to salvage something from their opening game at the National Tier Two Women’s Championship in Hamilton.

Wairarapa went into Sunday’s game rusty having not had any full training sessions, and although most of the team played for the Wellington Championhip winning Dalefield side, player-coach Katherine Reisima felt other factors played a big part in the loss.

“To a degree, not expected because you obviously expect to do better, but eight or nine of us from Dalefield have played together but then you’re introducing five or six new players and it was just a bit of a helter skelter first half, a different turf, very hot and not knowing players made a bit of a difference, having not trained together or played together you could definitely tell,” Reisima said.

Wairarapa’s lack of cohesion showed in the first half although Tasman were unable to convert chances into goals, but three strikes within eight minutes in the third period gave the South Island side a handy advantage entering the final quarter.

The three-goal deficit proved too tough to pull back, although goals to captain Reese Robertson after 48 minutes and Maddie Taylor after 60 minutes, added some respectability to the score.

Although not getting the result she wanted, Reisima was rapt with the character shown by her players.

“To go into the last quarter 3-0 down and to fight back and not just say that’s it and hang our heads, I’m really proud of the girls for staying in it,” she said.

“There was a bit of nerves, and we probably didn’t look after the ball enough and were a bit panicky and gave it away and they attacked at us wave after wave and we were probably lucky not to go down in the first half but unfortunately in the third quarter they got three pretty good goals. They played good hockey Tasman and you can’t take it away from them.”

Wairarapa suffered a blow before the tournament started with the loss of goalkeeper Annemieke van Vliet, who suffered a concussion playing for the Wairarapa-Bush women’s rugby team in their 46-14 loss to King Country on Saturday.

Waikato schoolgirl Holly Landon was called into the team for Sunday’s game, and will more than likely play a bigger role with Reisima reckoning van Vliet’s availability is a wait-and-see proposition.

“She’s pretty adamant she wants to come up and play but at the end of the day her health comes first and there’s no pressure from us but she would need to get clearance from a doctor, so we’re not pressing it.”

Next up today at 11.15am Wairarapa play defending champions Southland, who were beaten by Taranaki in a shootout, and went down 1-0 to Waikato yesterday.

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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