Article from Waitaki Herald
Old Boys have claimed the Citizens Shield after defeating Valley 20 to 13 in the premier club final on Saturday.
The closely contended match had either team able to win but some handling errors by Valley were cashed in by Old Boys.
Old Boys coach Lemi Masoe said the team was pleased with the win. redeeming themselves from the their finals loss last year to Maheno Rugby Club.
“We didn’t make it through last year and the boys didn‘t want to feel that pain again.” Masoe said.
Both teams forwards packs and back rows were “throwing everything into it” so the game was extremely tight in the final 40 minutes,he said.
Masoe said all players stepped up to the occasion but gave specific credit to Una Ufa. Soni Tongotongo and Manulua Taiti.
He gave credit to the Valley forwards pack which gave the Old Boys alot of trouble.
Masoe said the team would take the “see how it goes” approach for next year noting that defending the title was a difficult position to be in but every year was a different story, he said.
Valley Rugby Club coach Mike Mavor said the game had been pretty even through out but a couple of mistakes by Valley in the second half were punished, resulting in a try from Old Boys that snatched away any chance of victory.
“It does leave a bit of a sore taste in your mouth but we don‘t like to think what if?”
Mavor said after the team played into the wind in the first half they realised it was more of a factor than they had anticipated.
“In the second half’ we were within two points. One more advance and we would have had it.”
He said he was “extremely proud” of the entire squad who were asked to give their all. and in the end they did give their all. he said.
Although every player had played well, the pack had performed “outstandingly”.
Mavor made speciﬁc mention to number eight Jake Greenslade, Sam Sturgess and Scott Cunningham who he said made a huge impact.
Looking forward to the next season Mavor hoped to keep most of the team together.
Valley Rugby Club faced Kurow Rugby Club at Whitestone Contracting Stadium on Saturday for the Burns Shield final.
Kurow walked away with victory winning comfortably 21 to 5.