Country rugby finalists found
by Kent Caddick
Waihora and Rakaia will contest this year’s Canterbury Country rugby final after wins in the semifinals over the weekend.
Waihora were pushed to the limit by Prebbleton in their semi at Tai Tapu before holding on to take a 22–15 win and earn the right to host the final this coming weekend.
Prebbleton took the early lead in the match at Rhodes Domain with George Wigley slotting a penalty after three minutes.
Waihora took some time to get into its work, but on the quarter hour mark, prop James Cummings crashed over for a try, which was converted by Harrison Kirk.
Prebbleton closed the gap with another penalty before Waihora winger Kees Duyvestyn scored out wide to give his side a 12–6 lead. Another penalty to Prebbleton closed the gap to 12–9 at the halftime break.
Ten minutes into the second half and Prebbleton were on level terms with Wigley slotting a penalty.
Greg Mitchell secures the lineout ball for Prebbleton
The visitors then took the lead on the back of another penalty midway through the spell.
With 10 minutes left in the match, Waihora retook the lead after William Hurst plunged over for a try after a lineout drive.
Kirk converted and added another penalty a few minutes later to give Waihora the lead, 22–15, which it held to full-time.
In the other semifinal this year’s surprise package Springston, playing in division one for the first time, couldn’t keep the fairytale alive as it went down to Rakaia, 16–28, in the match played in Rakaia.
Springston will now meet Prebbleton in the playoff for third and fourth this Saturday, with the match to be played in Prebbleton.
Meanwhile, Darfield will contest the Bowl final after a narrow 26–24 win over Lincoln and will travel to Rangiora on Saturday to meet Saracens, who upset defending champions Southbridge, 22–21 over the weekend.