Battle of Trafalgar: Our game of the Century

1
1996

For the first time ever, our two top rugby teams will play each other in the final of the region’s top club rugby competition.

Taylor’s Contracting Wanderers – the pride of Brightwater and Wakefield – will meet Star & Garter Waimea Old Boys, the Richmond-based rugby powerhouse, at Trafalgar Park this Saturday.

The game is shaping up to be the biggest local rugby game the Waimea region has ever seen and the clubs and players are encouraging their fans to support the teams in huge numbers.

Waimea president Duane Whiting says several bus loads of supporters will be driven to the ground from Jubilee Park and he hopes for “several hundred” red and white clad fans.

Wanderers have the chance to win their first senior rugby title since the 1955 and club manager Diane Drogemuller says that’s not lost on the club with supporters encouraged to dress in blue and gold and bring their voices. “It’s a huge game for our club and for our community. Most of us have never seen Wanderers win a senior final. Let’s hope we can all say we have this time next week.”

Waimea last won a title in 2002 when the likes of Mark Milne, Dion Mytton and Graham Ching were all still running around, and the side’s current captain James Lowe says Waimea aren’t there to finish second. “This is huge. We’ve come a long way this year and it’s good to be here now. We didn’t go all this way just to win a semi-final,” says James.

Wanderers captain Jesse Pitman, who is filling in for Todd Bavin, was well aware of the game’s significance. “The support out there is just unreal. They just peak off it. The community is like nowhere else I’ve been and it’d mean the world to the whole of Brightwater,” says Jesse. “When I came to the club they told me they wanted a championship by 2014. It was a three year plan so hopefully we can sort that out a year earlier than expected.”

The big game is on Saturday, Trafalgar Park at 3pm.

A curtain raiser, the division three final, will be played between Marist and Rangers from 1:15pm.