Waimea Old Boys score late to clinch top spot
The E’stel Tasman Trophy final series has arrived and what a round robin we have had. At the end of Saturday we had the 8th place team only a win away from a semi-final spot. I am sure the coaches, players and supporters from Kahurangi, Nelson, East Coast and Central are all reviewing the game that was lost at the last minute or an opportunity not taken.
In my opinion the quality of any competition is measured when any team can win. On Saturday afternoon we had the last place team Renwick beating the then top of the table Marist. What a competition!
The E’stel Tasman Trophy is our premier rugby competition in the region. The quality of the rugby is first class. I was speaking to Brendon O’Connor, a true Waimea Old Boys rugby fan, on Saturday afternoon and he believes the rugby was the best he had seen for many a year.
It is also where the Mako selectors make their decisions around player selection as player performance is closely viewed in person and layer on video.
The highlights this year have been the international flavour at East Coast, the large number of talented young players in the competition, the physicality of the games and most importantly the quality of rugby.
I measure this by the bonus points secured by the top four teams – in 2019 this group secured 26 bonus points. This means teams are scoring tries and matches are close.
Every year the club competition throws up that player who is destined for higher honours. It was only three years ago that Shannon Frizzell and Ethan Blackadder were dominating on the club front. Shannon is now an All Black, Ethan is getting starts with the Crusaders.
Last year Jack Grooby’s form in club rugby secured a Mitre 10 contract and an injury replacement opportunity at the Blues this year.
The young players to watch from this year’s E’stel Tasman Trophy are Campbell Morgan-Parata (WOB first five), Sam Moli (Marist hooker), Fetuli Paea (Waitohi outside back), Saia Takai (Waitohi halfback) and Declan Smith (Stoke halfback).
I encourage all out stakeholders to make their way to either Jubilee Park or Trafalgar Park to watch what will be two breath taking semi-finals. Both games will be at 3pm
- Waimea Old Boys v Waitohi – Jubilee Park.
- Marist v Wanderers - Trafalgar Park.
The E’stel Tasman Trophy Grand Final will be played on June 8 at Trafalgar Park.