Marist players celebrate their 15-14 senior rugby semi-final win over Nelson at Trafalgar Park on Saturday. Photo: Evan Barnes/Shuttersport.

James Hawkey helps kick Marist to rugby final

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James Hawkey’s move from Timaru to Nelson is one game away from the perfect finish.

James kicked the go-ahead penalty goal for Marist with 12 minutes remaining in their 15-14 senior club rugby semi-final win over Nelson on Saturday at Trafalgar Park.

James left Timaru’s Marist alumni, Celtic for greener pastures and more opportunity at the start of the season.

Whether it’s been at 10 or 12, the former Timaru Boys’ High School captain has proved a valuable asset to Marist.

The men in green were able to turn around a defeat to Nelson two weeks ago.

Nelson veteran Andrew Goodman had the chance to setup a rematch of the Tasman Trophy final, but his injury time penalty goal did not have the legs into a strong breeze.

Hawkey says the finals berth was sweet success.

“I definitely think we deserve to be there, we’ve been second most of the season and this was our fifth time playing Nelson (this season) and we’ve only beaten them once, but it’s always been close.”

James says he tried to calm his nerves and go through the process with his kick for goal.

“The last few weeks I’ve had a few shaky kicks so I just tried to focus on getting the job done.”

He says the wind helped ensure the result.

“Goody can land a kick from that distance normally do the wind had a lot to do with it.”

James says a similar effort from his team this Saturday will have them go close to hoisting the silverware.

“Wanderers have quality players who have stood up all year but we have the ability to do it.”

Wanderers eased past Waimea Old Boys 38-6 and will be keen to go one step further than their runners-up finish in the Tasman Trophy earlier this season.