Wanderers prop Drew Petelo watched last year’s Nelson Bays division one rugby final with a dislocated shoulder – this year he scored two tries to help his team repeat history. Wanderers beat Marist 19-17 in a tense final at Trafalgar Park on Saturday.
The top qualifiers overcame an early 10-0 deficit thanks to their loose head prop who scored the team’s first and last tries of the game.
“I feel like if you paid to see that final, you got your money’s worth,” Drew says.
“I don’t have anything left in the tank – I’m out on my feet, but it feels so good.”
Drew says sitting on the sidelines for almost all of last season thanks to a shoulder injury made the win sweet.
“To be on the sidelines last year wasn’t a great feeling but this group of men worked hard and we deserved it.”
The forwards had to go with seven men for 10 minutes before halftime. Their goal line was under constant threat, but they held firm.
“We just said to each other that everyone has to dig deep and that’s what happened. It’s nothing new to us.”
Captain Jesse Pitman described the game as entertaining.
“We never felt like we were on the back-foot, we believed we always had enough points in us,” Jesse says.
“It’s much more satisfying to win it this year. Last year it felt like a relief to finally win it after being in two finals with Waimea and coming up short. It feels like we proved a point.”
He said he was delighted for Drew to have a performance like he produced.
“Drew is the kind of team mate you want.
“You turn up for training and he’s out there doing his broncos, he puts in the work and thoroughly deserves it.
“I hope he gets picked up for (Tasman) Griffins – I’m sure he will, he’s a top bloke.”
In other finals, Marist scored a late try to beat Motueka High School 27-25 in the women’s final while top division two team all season, Collingwood, confirmed their dominance with a 15-8 win over Riwaka.