North Otago lock Dave Simpson goes on the charge during the
Meads Cup final against Wanganui at Whitestone Contracting
Stadium in Oamaru on Saturday. Team-mates in support are
Ross Hay (right) and Ben Patston, while Wanganui defenders
are Darren Munro (left) and Denning Tyrell. The referee is
Shelden Eden-Whaitiri. Photo by Craig Baxter.
If it was the final chapter in the lengthy career of Ross
Hay, then it was a memorable way to go out.
The tough North Otago flanker had, as is so often the case,
plenty of blood showing from a tough 80 minutes on Saturday.
But it is an act with the boot which may be his last effort
for North Otago.
With time all but up and captain Luke Herden having dotted
down under the posts from an intercept try, Hay strolled up
to kick the conversion.
While it was not the prettiest of kicks, he banged it over
for the icing on the cake in North Otago's emphatic 39-18
Hay said afterwards he could not remember the last time he
kicked for goal.
"Probably under-5s or something. It wasn't the prettiest of
kicks but it went over. That was the main thing," Hay said.
"It was a hard game, though. Wanganui really came out firing
but it was always going to be like that. That first 10
minutes they really came at us.
"But we had trust in what we were doing and we just had to
get a bit more direct . . . getting some phases going and
just move on from there."
Hay said he knew if the side stuck to its game plan then it
would be hard to beat.
He said solid work by the tight five allowed the loose
forwards and backs plenty of room.
As for coming back next year, Hay (30) said he doubted he
would add to his 126 caps.
"I might play club rugby but that will be about it," he said,
as he hugged his son Charlie on the sideline after the game.
Hay was part of a dominant North Otago loose forward trio
which had the better of the highly rated Wanganui unit.
No 8 Tevita Fifita had a whale of a game and had his side on
the front foot. Not far behind was blindside flanker Josh
Collier, while lock Dave Simpson was busy throughout.