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News & Editorials
Wanganui kept the Heartland Championship rugby lead today by beating King Country 22-10 at Te Kuiti. But the side had both its good and poor moments.
David Ogilvie reports:
At Te Kuiti:
Wanganui 22 (Lindsay Horrocks, Renato Tikoilosomone, Te Rangitira Waitokia tries; Steve Crosbie con, Dane Whale pen) beat King Country 10 (James Hemara try; Zane Tipping pen con).
HT: Wanganui 20-0.
That halftime score (20-0) rather sums up Wanganui’s day at Te Kuiti - superior in the first half but not so good in the second.
There was no bonus point either after three first half tries to halfback Lindsay Horrocks, No 8 Renato Tikoilosomone and wing Te Rangitira Waitokia dried up Wanganui’s well.
King Country took a measure of control in the second half, dominating possession and territory and causing Wanganui to fail to control what little good possession it managed.
But the win was gained, and that’s not usually easy on a dampish Rugby Park in Te Kuiti, especially against a team that had started the season well enough to be in third place t the start of the match.
The other unfortunate aspect was what might be a bad calf injury to experienced centre Craig Clare - a repeat of the injury he had near the end of the club season.
It was a day for the experienced payers, with captain Peter Rowe and wing Cameron Crowley rolling up their sleeves and having big days. Young locks Gavin Thornbury and Campbell Hart were also strong.
Overall the day was good enough for Wanganui to keep a championship lead, although South Canterbury crept a point closer in second pace with its big (52-28) win over Poverty Bay in Timaru.
Unofficially Wanganui has 19 points to South Canterbury’s 17, with a point to Buller - so there can be no relaxation if home advantage for playoffs is to be gained.
Wanganui plays away from home again this coming week, travelling again t the East Coast to play Poverty Bay.
South Canterbury 52 Poverty Bay 28, Mid Canterbury 42 Horowhenua-Kapiti 26, Buller 48 West Coast 0, North Otago 48 East Coast 8, Wairarapa-Bush 28 Thames Valley 18.
Wangnui 19, S Canterbury 17, Buller 16, North Otago 15, Wairarapa Bush 14, Mid Canterbury 12, King Country 11.
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