Nov 9 review

Wanderers Sports Club report

The Taylors Wanderers Sports Club had a full weekend booked for sport on Saturday with 3 cricket matches scheduled and the 7s rugby team travelling to Renwick for the second leg of the Tasman Sevens championship.

Unfortunately, weather intervened in all of the cricket games and the Premier game was abandoned when play ceased at 3pm with Wanderers at 72 for 3. Having returned to Premier status with a combined Wanderers-Motueka side, the team is still to record a victory although improving performances indicate that that it may not be too far away.

Having also entered a team in College grade made up of local Brightwater and Wakefield boys, under the captaincy of Matt Anderson, Wanderers is very keen to see the development at this level where the boys play T25 matches. This format is proving very popular, but unfortunately this game too was rained out.

The Taylors Wanderers Rugby teams departed early on Saturday to Renwick to compete in both the Men’s and Women’s championship decider, following on from the previous Saturday in Motueka, where Wanderers lost the final to Waimea Old Boys, finishing 2nd and the Women received the same placing behind the same club in their grade.

The Championship winner is declared after results of both tournaments, and WOB started the day on 22 points and Wanderers on 19 after Motueka. Renwick and Central had not travelled last week so little was known about either team, however when they defeated WOB and Marist in pool play it was obvious that the standard was higher this week.

Wanderers first game was against Central and both teams scored 3 tries each but thanks to Tayne Lockwood’s two conversions Wanderers were successful 19-15.

The second game saw Nelson College accounted for 52-0 in an excellent display of 7s by the entire squad, again complemented by fine goal kicking from Lockwood and Jake Berthelsen.

The final pool game against Kahurangi started in a similar fashion to the Nelson College match and Wanderers ran out to an early 15-0 lead, before a break away by Kahurangi closed the gap to 15-7 then two quick tries after halftime had them in the lead 17-15 with two minutes to play. A try to Lockwood, and his inevitable conversion saw Wanderers through to the final 22-17, where they met long standing rivals, WOB in the semi-final.

Playing very good 7s rugby, Wanderers avenged the Motueka loss with two tries in each half; Steve Soper and Fletcher Matthews in the first half, then Jake Berthelsen and Chris Halaufia in the second, to the solitary try by WOB for the 24-5 victory.

Renwick defeated Kahurangi in the other semi, then played WOB for 3rd place. A loss here for WOB would have resulted in Wanderers winning the championship outright, but in a dramatic finish WOB scored after full time to clinch 3rd place and 17 additional points to finish on 39.

The final was another good contest, with Wanderers scoring first through Tayne Lockwood but Renwick just had the little extra polish and scored 3 good tries for the 15-5 victory, and for the second consecutive week Wanderers had to settle for 2nd and 19 more points, which amounted to a total of 38, and by virtue of a solitary point WOB were Tasman Sevens champions for the season.

The Wanderers team of Tone Vaka, Steve Soper, Jayden Woolley, Jake Berthelsen, Graeme Urqhart, Fletcher Matthews, Tayne Lockwood, Nino Peniamino, Bobby Palmer, Justin Barr, Chris Halaufia and Naki Saumaki, represented the club well and showed very positive signs for the next season.

With only 5 teams entered in the Women’s championship, play followed a round robin format and Taylors Wanderers started with a 50-0 win over Marist, then followed with a narrow loss to Riwaka 14-17. However undeterred by that loss Wanderers bounced back and defeated WOB 19-14 in an excellent match. This resulted in a three-way tie at the end of pool play, with Riwaka, Wanderers and WOB all equal on 10 points. On countback unfortunately Riwaka were eliminated and Wanderers and WOB progressed to the final.

In this match Wanderers suffered a couple of crucial injuries and although right in the match at half time at 15-14, finally succumbed 32-14 to repeat their placing from Motueka and securing 2nd place in the championship, behind their nemesis WOB.

Outstanding performers for the day were Rebecca Kersten who contributed 45 points, closely followed by Michelle Curry with a special mention of the continued development of 16-year-old Scarlet Powell, who improves with every match. The entire group played well as a team and like the Men’s team, show extremely positive signs for the future.

The Wanderers team contained Rebecca Kersten, Tamara Silcock, Michelle Curry, Tessa Silcock, Shakia-Lee Biggs, Mili Mills, Amelia Hammett, Molly Inman, Scarlet Powell, Meika Newman and Nikita McMaster

In the awards ceremony congratulations and thanks were expressed to TRU for another well-run tournament and special thanks and a presentation was made to Jo Maclean in recognition of her excellent service to Tasman rugby over the past 8 years, wishing her success for her future.