Super start to 2024 season

The Waikiwi Rugby Club is celebrating its 125th season this year and it has been an action-packed winter so far.

The club has a senior team, a president’s grade team and 13 primary school aged junior teams.

The Waikiwi Senior team is one of the 11 clubs in the division two C.J. Soper Trophy competition. The coaching team this year consists of former Waikiwi players Kiel McPhee, Matt Telfer and Cody Oughton.

Hooker Kyle McKenzie and first five Shawn Henderson are the team’s co-captains with plenty of loud support from loose forward Juan Kyle.

A couple of top Waikiwi players the team have dropped down in the presidents grade team include lock Nick McLeary.

The seniors still have plenty of experienced players with props Kyle McKenzie and Jono Van’t Wout having each played more than 100 games.

Waikiwi have won six of their eight games so far and earned six bonus points to sit third on the points table behind Riverton and Midlands.

The five players who made their debuts in the first game were hooker Peter Connell, No 8 Chalton Karauria and outside backs Matthew Brame, Leevai Tawhara and Logan Nicholson. Waikiwi were beaten on their home ground at Donovan Park 30-18 that day by Midlands.

Fullback Nicholson starred in the 39-26 win over DLS at Drummond. The following week Josh Campbell played his 100th game for the club and lock Josh Mackie was in his 50th when they beat Wakatipu B 39-15 in Queenstown. Both teams threw the ball around in the perfect playing conditions and scored some quality team tries.

The 48-5 win over Mataura in a weeknight game ahead of duck-shooting weekend was followed by a 43-13 win at home over Bush Pirates.

During Waikiwi’s 125th anniversary weekend celebrations the team put on their best performance of the year to win 54-24 over Mossburn. The supporters who packed the sidelines for the junior and senior games witnessed some fantastic team tries.

It was an excellent weekend for the club with the clubrooms full with past and present players, sponsors and supporters.

Utility back Michael Henderson played in his 100th game for Waikiwi in the 26-3 over Waiau Star in Tuatapere. Waikiwi had to knuckle down and work hard for this sixth win in a row against the rugged Waiau men.

After a week off for King’s Birthday weekend, the Waikiwi team met their match at Donovan against the table-topping Riverton team. After a plucky performance, the visitors had earned a 24-10 victory.

Waikiwi will start their next two games as warm favourites against Collegiate at Lindisfarne this Saturday and then at home the following week against Otautau Ohai Nightcaps.

Waikiwi’s social team is in the presidents grade with five other clubs. Waikiwi are going strong despite a couple of close losses to the Marist Bluff combined team. The veterans’ next game is against Albion in Gore on Saturday at 1.15pm.

Waikiwi has 13 junior teams: year 7&8, year 6, two year 5, two year 4, two year 3 and five Rippa teams.