Wanderers has won its first major senior rugby title in more than 60 years when it lifted the Tasman Trophy at Jubilee Park today.
Taylor’s Contracting Wanderers dominated large chucks of the game and were deserved winners on the back to two spectacular second half tries to Jesse Pitman and Sione Holani.
It is the club’s first major division one club rugby title in decades and what made it even sweeter was that it came against arch rivals, Star & Garter Waimea Old Boys.
Waimea had been unbeaten all year heading into the game and were favourites after winning the last two Car Company Nelson Bays club rugby finals against the same opposition.
But Wanderers played smart and hard rugby.
Captain Trael Joass says the plan was to pressure the hosts and “put them in a position they hadn’t been all year”.
With the wind at their backs in the first half, Waimea didn’t take full advantage. A late try giving them a 8-0 lead at the break.
“We thought it was a 26 point wind so we were happy at half time,” says Trael.
Waimea threatened on several occasions in the second half but it was really all Wanderers. A try in the corner to Jesse Pitman tied the game up at 8-8 after an earlier penalty goal to the visitors.
Waimea took the lead again half way through the second half, thanks to a quick-thinking dropped goal from Waimea’s halfback.
But in the final ten minutes Wanderers continued to press and finally midfielder Holani broke through the Waimea defence and scored a spectacular try as his team mates swarmed him. After the successful conversion Wanderers took a 15-11 lead, which they were able to defend until the full time whistle.
Trael says the win was a huge relief for his side. “It’s been a long time coming and we’ve had pressure all week from the supporters. But it’s awesome for the boys and awesome for the club. We’re got a great thing going here.”