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Whanganui too slick for Wai-Bush

Wairarapa-Bush 17
Whanganui 40

Whanganui were too slick and polished for Wairarapa-Bush in a North Island Heartland Championship game at Trust House Memorial Park on Saturday.

The home side made the early running, jumping out to a 12–0 lead in the first 15 minutes, but the visitors slowly began to assert dominance of possession and spread the ball wide to their elusive wingers Alice Ireton and Paris Munro, with both dotted down to give Whanganui a 19–17 halftime lead.

Another three converted tries in the second spell, all long-range efforts, including one started from their own goal line, wrapped up a deserved win for the young Whanganui side.

While Munro capped an outstanding game with 25 points from three tries and five conversions, the standout for the visitors was young openside flanker Anehera Hamahona, who forced numerous turnovers and was a constant threat with the ball in hand.

For Wai-Bush, there was no harder worker than No. 8 Paige Walker, who made several punishing runs, including one 45m charge where she brushed aside four or five would-be tacklers before being pulled down just short of the try line.

Halfback Kate Donald, in only her second game in the role, prop Annemieke van Vliet, lock Gracie Donaldson, first-five Lisa Te Moananui, and hooker Bridget Gavigan were other standouts in a Wai-Bush side that never gave up.

Wai-Bush host Thames Valley in the third round on Saturday.

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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