Waimea OB win dramatic 100-minute final
By Jonty Dine [Nelson App]
It again took more than 80 minutes to separate the sides, but this time it was Waimea prevailing in a scintillating Nelson sub-union final.
The unprecedented rivalry that is Waimea vs Marist in 2019 wrote another thrilling chapter in the saga at Trafalgar Park this afternoon with Waimea crowned the Car Company Nelson Bays Rugby Champions.
For the third consecutive time this season, the teams were all square after regulation time.
With the scores locked at 20-all at full time, the sides were sent to an extra twenty minutes to declare a victor, WOB prevailing 25-23.
It came down to a moment of magic from lock Lee Mcbrydie who produced a spectacular chip and chase to score the match winner for Waimea.
Skipper Ben Eder says his fellow lock’s effort proved the pivotal moment in what was an epic encounter.
“Lee’s a bit of a legend, he started out with the B’s a few years ago as a winger so he’s still got a little bit of that in him.”
Ben says players from both sides gave it everything and it could not be a more fitting end to the season.
“So much credit to the Marist boys, what a final!”
Ben says the uncanny trio of drawn finishes this season comes down to two very evenly matched teams.
“It’s just that passion to win and epitomises what club rugby is about.”
Marist suffered a cruel loss early on as halfback Cleve Barrell was struck down with a serious knee injury.
Campbell Parata opened the scoring off the boot before a Marist mistake opened the gate for the visitors.
The green machine failed to tidy up a high ball as Erenimo Tau pounced on the loose possession and had far too much speed for the cover as he went in for the first try of the final.
Hopo Taufa responded for Marist on the back of a midfield break by Lote Saulekaleka as Waimea winger Daniel Monaghan was sent to the bin for a professional foul.
With Marist looking to take advantage, Michael Stringer committed another deliberate knock down reducing Waimea to 13 men.
Waimea survived till halftime and Monaghan then made up for his earlier transgression with a spectacular acrobatic dive in the right corner to get the second half scoring underway.
Shannon Frizell was brought off the bench for Marist and the All Black looked to get involved early but as testament to Waimea’s defence, Marist opted to take a shot while hot on attack despite still trailing by 12.
The green machine started to get a roll on and Frizell proved too powerful close to the chalk as he went over for a crucial try to bring Marist within two.
Parata pushed it back out to five with seven to go before Jamie Spowart evened the honours with a superb piece of individual brilliance.
After attracting the attention of several Waimea defenders, the fleet footed fullback put Rahiri Witehira into space and the centre did the rest, drawing the last man to put Spowart in and tie the scoreboard at 20-20.
As the siren sounded, Spowart pushed his conversion to the right as the sides prepared for twenty minutes of play.
Frizell started to show his All Blacks credentials with some big plays in the first stint of extra time.
His pilfer put Marist deep inside Waimea territory and Spowart put Marist in front with his second penalty.
Parata hit the post from 45 out to see Marist take the advantage into the second period.
Just as Marist looked as if it would repeat its Tasman Trophy victory there was another twist in the tale.
Moving into halfback, James Lash produced a brilliant ball for lock Mcbrydie, who chipped over Spowart and regathered in a superb display of skill.
Marist hammered away as the clock wound down, but Waimea barely gave them an inch, eventually turning the ball over and sealing a famous victory.
Marist captain Jacob Norris says it was a hard loss to swallow but couldn't fault the efforts of his men.
“That’s just finals footy, win some lose some.”
Waimea Old Boys 25 (Mo Tau, Daniel Monaghan, Ben Eder, tries, Campbell Morgan-Parata 2 cons, 2 pen) def Marist 23 (Hopa Taufa, Shannon Frizell, Jamie Spowart tries, Spowart 2 pen 1 con)