Kurow achieves goal of going back-to-back

You could not have scripted it better if you tried.

A fairy-tale era for Kurow has been unleashed as the defending Citizens Shield champion went back to back, beating Old Boys 36-28 in the North Otago premier final on Saturday.

The Red Devils won the Citizens Shield for the first time in 39 years last season, and it is the first time in 45 years the club has won consecutive championships.

It was a blistering final with what appeared to be the majority of the Waitaki Valley town making its way to Whitestone Contracting Stadium in Oamaru to roar Kurow from the rooftops and get its side home.

Captain Josh Reid said winning consecutive titles was the goal at the start of the year.

"Just happy," Reid said after the match.

"It’s our 125th next year, and all we wanted was that shield sitting at the 125th."

Kurow had an air of composure among the team as it ran out on to the field.

"I think we had more pressure on us last year just to get the hoodoo off our backs and I think this year the team was a lot more relaxed coming into the final."

Much of the praise this year has gone to Kurow’s star-studded backline of Hayden Parker, who slotted a drop goal in the 78th minute to seal victory, Matt Faddes and Hayden Todd.

But it has been the wily men up front who have put in the hard yards to get the team into the right place, and Reid was a shining example, quick over the ball at the breakdown to win multiple penalties and a brutal defender.

"When it’s time to stand up, guys in the team know when to stand up.

"They know how to get things done. I’m proud of the forwards, proud of the whole team."

Kurow players and coaches celebrate winning consecutive Citizens Shield finals in Oamaru on...
Kurow players and coaches celebrate winning consecutive Citizens Shield finals in Oamaru on Saturday. PHOTO: REBECCA RYAN
The Waitaki Valley was painted red last week, sheep were dressed up and video messages sent, and that support made its way to Oamaru.

The club had some "diehard" supporters, Reid said.

"These supporters are the guys who went to every game years ago when Kurow was struggling to put 15 on the paddock and they’d turn up every week. This is very special."

Old Boys also received massive support with vocal fans in the stands and video messages from Tongan internationals Malakai Fekitoa, Israel Folau and Charles Piutau.

Kurow made it a fitting send-off for head coach Tim Anderson who is stepping down after five years at the top. The club wanted to get the job done for him, Reid said.

"You just couldn’t find a more passionate guy. He almost puts his rugby coaching before his work."

It was a thrilling final and each team had its moments.

Parker was faultless with the boot, kicking three conversions, four penalties and a drop goal, and he scored a try. Todd also scored twice.

Old Boys fullback Inoke Fisilau was strong, slotting three penalties and two conversions. Mataitini Feke, Manulua Taiti — best on the park for Old Boys — and Mone Samate scored for the Oamaru club.

Old Boys had an impressive game, one of their best this season, making for a great match.

In the president’s grade final, Union went back to back, claiming the Burns Shield with a 27-12 win over Kurow B.

 

Citizens Shield final

The scores

Kurow                                              36
Hayden Todd 2, Hayden Parker tries; Parker 3 con, 4 pen, drop goal 

Old Boys                                          28
Mataitini Feke, Manulua Taiti, Mone Samate tries; Inoke Fisilau 2 con, 3 pen 

Halftime: Kurow 20-13.

 

 

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