Good run to final ends in loss

It was a bridge too far on Saturday for the Taieri colts side, which went down 24-9 to Dunedin in the competition final.

The side had caused something of an upset in the semifinals with a 20-3 defeat of the top-qualifying Southern side.

It looked as if a win was a possibility for a while on Saturday, as Taieri went out to a 6-0 lead and was then up 9-5.

But the Dunedin forwards soon got on top and came away with the game.

Taieri coach Erik Va'afusuaga said the side might well have put everything into the victory over Southern last week and simply run out of steam against Dunedin.

Taieri also suffered from not being able to have the same inside back division from the past couple of weeks.

Ben Miller had to fly to Melbourne for an Aussie Rules contract and was unable to delay the trip, and Will Cosgrove was ruled ineligible because he had been on the bench for the premier side in a semifinal last month.

The coach said the changes were always going to upset the team but full credit had to go to Dunedin, which played well and did not let Taieri back into the game.

The Taieri forwards never threw in the towel and players such as Connor Jenkins, Riley McDowell, Ethan Harrex and first five-eighth Alex Chapman played well.

It was the first time Taieri had made a colts final for at least 15 years and Va'afusuaga said the side should have gained plenty of confidence from the run to the final this year.

It was an excellent effort and with most of the side young enough to play for the colts side next year, the future looked promising.

It has been a good year for Taieri all round. The premier side won the title, and the premier 2 and colts teams both reached their finals.