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Wairarapa team well off the pace



Selector Tanya Wheeler combined with Makaia Campbell for the Wairarapa women’s two wins at the intercentre nationals. PHOTO/FILE



Wairarapa failed to fire at the intercentre nationals played in Christchurch last weekend.

The men were sixth of seven teams in their section, recording only one victory in the round-robin format and the women were well off the pace, losing all five fixtures to finish sixth and last.

The men started promisingly with a 2-1 win over Marlborough, but that was as good as it got as they fell to a 3-0 defeat to Counties-Manukau, and 2-1 losses to West Coast, Bay of Plenty, and section runners-up Taranaki, and a 2.5-0.5 defeat to section winners Central Otago.

The pairs and fours both had two wins and four losses, while the singles had a win, a draw, and four defeats.

Although disappointed with the results, men’s selector Lester Dee felt the four were unlucky in some games, with three of their losses by only one bowl. 

He was, however, pleased with some of the individual performances. 

“I felt Matt Day played pretty well. He was at three in the fours for three games, and then he played the last few rounds of singles, and Gavin Hamlyn was as steady as ever,” Dee said.

“Everyone contributed, but the scores didn’t reflect that. It was  a good bunch of guys, and there was a good team spirit.”

The women’s only wins came from Makaia Campbell and selector Tanya Wheeler in the pairs in the opening two rounds over Whanganui and South Otago. Wairarapa were then whitewashed 3-0 by Canterbury, Bay of Plenty, and Central Otago.

Wheeler said the team failed to live up to expectations but felt the poor performance reflected the lack of player depth and top-quality greens in Wairarapa. 

“The one thing I would say as being one of the bowlers who travels around and plays in lots of places, I think where we struggle is that our greens are not comparative to the competitive greens we always play on in these competitions,” Wheeler said. 

“The greens weren’t available for enough time for practice, and they were super quick, and I wouldn’t say everybody, but we just really struggled.

“We’re going to have to come up with a better plan, like training outside Wairarapa or trying to get a green up to standard.”

Wheeler also felt that the team having been spread over two greens, with singles and pairs at one venue and the fours at another, did not help with team dynamics. 

 Wellington beat Southland 2-1 to win the men’s title, and Nelson edged Auckland 2-1 in the women’s decider. 


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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