Lady Pam Lochore … among thousands watching virtual semifinal. PHOTO/GETTY IMAGES

RUGBY

CHRIS COGDALE
chris.cogdale@age.co.nz

Wairarapa-Bush rugby fans turned out in force to watch their beloved team upset Auckland in Sunday’s 1985 virtual ‘NPC semifinal’.

Wai-Bush chief executive officer Tony Hargood said there were more than 4400 views of the game, which was ‘played live’ on the union’s Facebook page.

They included Lady Pam Lochore, who sent a text to Hargood after the game to say, ‘Well done’, and that she and her family had a great time picking the team.

The green and reds overcame a slow start and a 15-point deficit to score a six-try, 34-30 victory over the then Ranfurly Shield holders.

Going by some of the comments posted during the game, one could’ve thought they were on the sidelines at Memorial Park in the 1980s.

“Buck Anderson’s having a massive game,” one fan said.

“Smash him Marty [Berry],” another said.

Then, there were: “Huge ‘D’ from Greg [Karaitiana]”; “Get behind the kicker… cheating Auckland… offside”; “Good on ya Bob [referee Francis], keep giving yellows.”

Mark Benton, who only kicked two from seven attempts at goal in a ‘fun game’ even felt the wrath of a parochial crowd “Bucket’s having an off-day, change to Berry”; “Somebody make the call and get Benton off”; “Bucket’s having a [night]mare.”

And finally: “Is anyone else starting to sit on the edge of their seats?” and “See you at the ‘Gravel Pit’.”

Wai-Bush will now play 1985 NPC runners-up Canterbury in a virtual final to be played at Lancaster Park, Christchurch, at 7.30pm on Saturday.



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