Cultsy's Waihi Rugby Scoop
Waihi’s premier rugby side overcame the tough road trip to Whitianga to come away with a gritty 24-8 victory over Mercury Bay. The also had to play in a different playing strip for half the game when the playing kit was left behind in Waihi following a misunderstanding between players and management. Luckily Mercury Bay supplied an alternative jersey which allowed play to start on time.
Following a few frantic phone calls, good Samaritan Rick arrived with the right jerseys for the start of the second half.
It is always a tough match to win in Whitianga and Saturday's game was no exception, the home side certainly had the best of the opening exchanges, Waihi taking a long while to settle into their game plan.
The Bay boys scored an early penalty goal before Waihi against the run of play scored an opportunist try when fullback Jesse Dodunski pounced on a loose ball and using his speed and footwork scored out wide. Reuben Meares kicked a fine side-line conversion, then soon a after a penalty goal to give Waihi a 10-3 lead after the first quarter.
Both sides were struggling to find their rhythm with many attacking opportunities being squandered through little errors. Mid fielder Ethan Seymour completed Waihi’s first half scoring when he grabbed a timely intercept to dot down under the bar giving Waihi a handy 17-3 lead at the break.
The second half started strongly for Waihi and it was in form winger Jerome Hill scoring a great individual try, breaking down the right-hand touchline and regathering his own well-judged chip kick.
Meares again converted from the side-line to keep his 100% record for the game.
The final quarter was a bit of a scrappy affair with both sides using their full quota of bench players, Mercury Bay finished the scoring with a well deserved late try, but it was Waihi who came away with the win. Jerome Hill again showed his class on the wing and shared player fo the day honours with
flanker Adrian Holmes who had a strong game in the loose.
The senior B side has another Ainsely shield challenge against Whangamata on Saturday, although going down, Waihi put up another strong performance for coach Tim Ainsley. Both sides face top of the table sides this week.
The premier side at home against Thames in an eagerly awaited clash, while the B’s are away to Hauraki North A’s.
Graeme Culton 2/7/18