Tipene Haira makes a strong run against Mid Canterbury. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV

RUGBY

CHRIS COGDALE
chris.cogdale@age.co.nz

Farriers Wairarapa-Bush must rely on other results to go their way to have any chance of qualifying for one of the three finals in the Heartland Championship.

The Green and Reds are languishing in 10th place in the 12-team competition with only one point. If they win their remaining four games, the maximum tally they can achieve is 21 points, potentially short of a finals spot.

The top two teams will contest the Meads Cup, with the third- and fourth-placed sides to line up in the Lochore Cup final, and both are already out of reach.

However, a place in the final for a new still-to-be-named trophy for the fifth and sixth sides is achievable, although a remote prospect.

First, Wai-Bush must win all four remaining games, at home to West Coast on Saturday, away to King Country and Horowhenua-Kapiti, and at home against Ngati Porou East Coast, with bonus points.

All four are winnable, especially those against West Coast [six points], King Country [0], and East Coast [three], who are battling at the bottom of the points table.

The away game against fierce rivals Horowhenua-Kapiti [18] will prove a trickier obstacle, as they are unbeaten but have had a “soft” draw to start their campaign.

Win all four, and then Wai-Bush’s hopes would hinge on results from teams such as Poverty Bay [11], and North Otago [14]. If those two lose to some of the bottom teams, Wai-Bush might sneak into a final, but it is a long shot, at best.

Wai-Bush showed enough against Mid Canterbury that they are better than their results would indicate, and an opposing team could be on the end of a hiding in the coming weeks. Whether it will be enough is doubtful at best.



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