Waimea Combined will look for a full 70 minute performance after starting and finishing strongly despite a 52-21 loss to Christchurch Boys' High School in Christchurch on Saturday. Photo File/Shuttersport.

Waimea Combined take positives from loss

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Waimea Combined co-coach Glenn Grant is taking heart from a promising start to his team’s UC Championship campaign despite a 52-21 loss to rugby powerhouse Christchurch Boys’ High School in Christchurch, on Saturday.

There is no tougher start to a campaign than a trip to Christchurch to take on the multiple-time national champions but Glenn was pleased with what he saw.

“I really thought we started strongly and pinned them in their own half for the first 20 minutes.”

Lock Joe Sharland crashed over for a converted try to give the visitors a deserved 7-0 lead.

“For a brief period, after the way we started I thought we might be on to do something special.”

The middle of the match belonged to the home team though.

Their superior size and some poor tackling cost the inexperienced team.

“The score blew out a bit, we didn’t tackle as well as we would have liked, yet that’s what happens when you play a top side. We aren’t the biggest team, we’re going to try to be fit and fast and use our speed around the park.We surprised a few teams last year with how well we played and we are hoping to do the same again.”

The speed in the backline was one of the big strengths of Waimea Combined’s debut season in the competition and Glenn hoped it would be there again. Tries to enigmatic fullback Matt Stevenson and No 10 Justin Barr earned some late respectability in the score.

Glenn praised No 8 Caleb Delany and hooker Jake Goeddert for their enterprise throughout the game.

“We had a bad middle of the game but there are positives there and some work-ons,” Glenn says.