NELSON, NEW ZEALAND - April 9: Division 1 Club Rugby Kahurangi v Waimea Old Boys at Sports Park on April 9, 2016 in Motueka, New Zealand. (Photo by: Chris Symes/Shuttersport Limited)

Waimea notch first win of the year

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Waimea Old Boys secured its first win of 2016, with a hard-fought victory over Kahurangi in Motueka on Saturday.

The 29-22 win comes on the back of a 70-point loss to Wanderers the week before and will give the club a massive lift as it progresses through its “development year”.

Kahurangi started the better of the two sides, scoring the first try of the game but Star & Garter Waimea then went to work with tries coming from Jake McLachlan, Jeff Lepa and Bailey Scott before the half time break. Midfielder Connor Trathen scored Waimea’s fourth try shortly into the second half.

Waimea co coach Mark Milne says he was “well pleased” with the performance and the win.

“It’s important, as we go through this phase, if you can nibble a win, it’s good for the confidence. All the hard work going in, it’s good to get a reward for it. That’s the key for a young group.”

Kahurangi rested several of its key players against the previously winless Waimea but substituted them on at half time.

“They obviously got a rev up at half time and dominated parts of the second half to come back at us but in saying that we scored reasonably quickly after half time and stretched the lead and we were bloody unlucky not to score again.”

Mark says it was the perfect turnaround from a heavy defeat the week before.

“The boys were pretty happy, now doubt about that, but in saying that we haven’t been down.

“So, after the game on Saturday it wasn’t over the top elation or anything like that, but it was an opportunity to sing our song for the first time this year.”

This Saturday, Waimea are back at Jubilee Park, where it will host traditional rival Stoke.

Mark says it will be another tough battle.

“Jeez, it doesn’t get any easier. They will be gunning for us. They probably see us a good opportunity to get a victory. They have a reasonable squad this year too. They have a bit of firepower so it will be a ding-dong battle.”

Mark says he is pretty keen for the team to “rectify” its last performance at Jubilee Park, against Wanderers.

“It’s important to play well at home.”

Waimea Old Boys v Stoke kicks off at Jubilee Park in Richmond at 3pm this Saturday.