Wairarapa News : July 13th 2011
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ROMANOS From the ashes of defeat 34 Wise moves for Tui Slippery: Martinborough's Toby Rowland, left, and Tomasi Kedrabuka for Carterton can't hold onto the ball during Saturday's Tui Cup semifinal. Carterton won 12-10. Also pictured is Martinborough prop Wilbur Davies. By WALT DICKSON Tactical nous and a helping of good fortune have guided Carterton to the Tui Cup rugby grand final. The defending champions ground out a 12-10 win over Martinborough in atrocious conditions in the semi- final on Saturday. Coach Steve Hurley says the result could have gone either way with Martinborough probably having the better of the game. But through the boot of fullback Jared Nyssen, who kicked four penalties from four attempts, the home team prevailed. Although Carterton is aiming for back-to-back Wairarapa-Bush titles, Hurley says that could not have been further from their minds when the season kicked off in March. Numerous defections -- back to Pioneer -- plus several retirements meant it was a vastly different Carterton that took the field in 2011. We've probably only really had about 18 to 20 players in the squad, so we have had to think very care- fully about how we have done things this year,'' Hurley said. We studied the draw carefully and have made decisions around that, which I think has made a big differ- ence in getting us to the final.'' But having got this far, Hurley is making no predictions as to how Saturday's big game will pan out. Obviously we'll be playing to win, but it's been that sort of season where we just can't predict what is going to happen.'' Of all the changes in personnel from last year, the most significant was the retirement of inspirational leader Joe Harwood. But Hurley said the team had been lucky to have a leadership group which included Dylan Higginson, Johnny McFadzean and Mike Wakefield, who had filled the breach superbly. I've called them the three wise men and they have been awesome.'' Last weekend's melee in the mud was tailor-made for the wise men'' who together made key, yet subtle, decisions on the field that proved the difference between the two teams. Another player who had a big impact was experienced campaigner Tomasi Kedrabuka, whose height and all-round mobility were invaluable. Tight win gets team to finals GRAND FINALS Women finals -- Eketahuna v North, No 1, 11.15am. Hodder Steffert Cup -- Eketahuna v Pioneer, No 1, 1.15pm. Tui Cup -- Carterton v Gladstone, No 1, 3pm. Senior Reserve Ryan Cup -- Pioneer v MRS, No 3, 2.45pm. Senior Reserves Plate -- Presidents Cup -- East Coast v Carterton, No 2, 12.45pm. It will be a match of contrast- ing styles when Gladstone lines up against Carterton in Saturday's Wairarapa-Bush club rugby grand final. While Carterton will back themselves in the tight exchanges, Gladstone will be looking for every opportunity to unleash their attacking arsenal out wide. It's a key difference in the two sides that Gladstone coach Steve Thompson hopes will bring them home. Gladstone won through to the final with a thrilling last- gasp penalty goal, beating East Coast at Whareama last weekend. There is every suggestion that this weekend will again go down to the wire. Gladstone led 8-6 going into the final minutes, but when Dan Porter slotted his third penalty for East Coast it looked as if it was game over for the visitors. From the restart, however, they were awarded a penalty and up stepped Jon Bailey who duly kicked the match- winner. Thompson said he always backed his side to beat East Coast, although he never anticipated it would be so nail-bitingly close. Gladstone started the strongest and after a brilliant try from outstanding halfback Inia Katia and a Jon Bailey penalty, led 8-nil. East Coast gained the upper hand in the second half and Dan Porter closed the gap to two points with a brace of penalties. With the final whistle beckoning, Gladstone was hanging on, only to have their hopes seemingly dashed when Porter kicked his third penalty. But despair turned to ecstasy when, from the restart, Gladstone was awarded a penalty and Bailey did the rest. In the plate semifinals rep flanker Johan Van Vliet scored two tries for Eketahuna who beat Greytown 22-10, while Pion- eer defeated Featherston 43-12.
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