Robertson chasing second title with Wyndham

Casey Anthony
Casey Anthony
Casey Robertson will be provided with another opportunity to add to her impressive rugby CV tomorrow.

Robertson is in her third season coaching Wyndham in Southland's division one club competition.

She has the opportunity tomorrow to make it two titles during that time after Wyndham won in 2016.

Wyndham will take on Midlands in this year's decider at Wyndham.

It is a coaching domain traditionally dominated by males, but it does not faze Robertson or the Wyndham team.

Robertson has carved out one of the more impressive rugby careers by a Southlander - male or female.

She played 10 years for the Black Ferns before retiring in 2014 because of a back injury.

The No8 played in four World Cups for New Zealand, winning three of them.

While very much a Southlander, the majority of her career was spent playing for Canterbury before she returned home to work on the family farm near Wyndham.

Robertson is pleased to now give back through her coaching duties, while also keeping a keen eye on the next generation of female players coming through.

Included is Alena Saili, who was recently named in the Back Ferns after previously representing New Zealand in sevens.

"I first came across her [Saili] when she was probably 13, and I was helping out Southland Girls' [High School].

"It is great to see how she has progressed. It shows that you can be recognised from places like Southland."

As for tomorrow's final, Robertson suggests Wyndham will need to lift to knock over Midlands, despite many having Wyndham as favourite.

Wyndham finished top of the table after the round-robin phase of the season but just squeaked past Edendale 20-18 in a nail-bitting semifinal.

Midlands toppled Waikaka 20-10 in the other semifinal which has set up a central Southland versus eastern Southland showdown.

Wyndham's field traditionally cuts up at this time of the year, but Robertson feels it will lend itself to a good game tomorrow.

"We haven't had a lot of rain. The field is in good nick; there will be no problems there," Robertson said.

Midlands has been a big improver this season and now finds itself one win away from a club title.

It would be a good response for the Winton-based club which has had its troubles in recent years.

Midlands was the beaten finalist in the premier competition in 2009 when it lost 13-9 to Star at Rugby Park.

However, after that, the club struggled to foot it in premier and dropped down to division one. Midlands lost players as a result, but it has slowly built up its playing stocks, both in terms of numbers and quality.

Coach Dayna Cunningham knows there is plenty at stake tomorrow.

"We are just trying to treat it as another game.

"We are just preparing as we always do," he said.

In section A of division two, Blues B is in search of an unbeaten season when it takes on Star B in the final at Blues.

In section B, Tokanui will host Drummond-Limehills-Star, despite Tokanui losing its semifinal to Woodlands.

Woodlands was deemed to have fielded ineligible players.

In the division three final, Otautau and Bluff will clash in what is expected to be an intriguing showdown.

 - Logan Savory

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