Back in the winners circle, Waimea Old Boys coach Mark Milne praised his side for their lift in intensity during their 40-12 win over Harlequins at Jubilee Park on Saturday.
It was just the bounce back the team needed after they conceded more than 60 points in their last game against Waitohi.
“The guys did well and lifted when they needed to,” Mark says.
“Most importantly we got the five competition points and we are back into it.”
With no Jeff Lepa or Troy Mangan at the back of the forwards, it was up to those who remained to step up.
Mark says every one of them did.
“It was a much better effort from us, something we can build on.”
The scrums were good all day, while first-five Dylan Fletcher scored 20 points.
A James Lash 40 metre dash for the try line on the stroke of halftime saw Waimea Old Boys lead the visitors 21-5.
While Harlequins cut into that lead with a penalty try for an early tackle to open the second half, the home team ran away in the last 25 minutes.
When the game opened up, the Waimea forwards found space and easy metres on the fringes.
Harlequins tried to attack at every opportunity but rarely did it gain them points.
Waimea’s line speed on defence was also another key factor in nullifying the Harlequins attack.
Mark says the return of Cailan Gibson, as well as Ben and Tim Coman, was invaluable.
“They made a difference for us just with their experience and skill,” he says.
Waimea will travel to Renwick this weekend looking for five competition points to try and force their way into the top four during the final round.
“We’ve embraced the challenges of travelling during this tournament and I think it’ll be a great contest against Renwick who are always tough to beat at home,” says Mark.