Wyndham wins at home

Wyndham Rugby Club celebrates its win over Midlands Rugby Club at Wyndham in the Division 1...
Wyndham Rugby Club celebrates its win over Midlands Rugby Club at Wyndham in the Division 1 semifinal on Saturday afternoon. Photo: Kayla Hodge
Through mud, sweat and torrential rain Wyndham hung on in the dying minutes to win its first  rugby final on home soil.

Wyndham beat Midlands 13-10 in a torrid battle in the division one final on Saturday.

It was a shaky start to the game as handling errors crept in from both sides.

Once the nerves settled, both teams found their rhythm and began to find some flow.

Midlands attacked hard at the line and spent most of the first 10 minutes deep inside Wyndham’s half.

Midlands flanker Tim Boys did a power of work clearing out the Wyndham defence at the breakdown.

When Wyndham put the ball into space and gave its backline the opportunity to run, it created options.

Wyndham was the first over the chalk when winger Phillip Norman dotted down.

Wyndham’s winger Michael Robinson was strong off the tee, converting the try and slotting another penalty soon after.

Wyndham coach Casey Robertson said she thought her "team made their mark everywhere on the field".

"I just think we played really well — once we strung a few phases together it was good."

Midlands scored a try right on half time which was converted by first five-eighth Ben McKerchar.

Wyndham went into the break leading 10-7.

As the rain came down and the ground became muddy, it was a battle against the weather for both sides in the second half.

Both side’s goal kickers converted penalties and Wyndham led 13-10 for most of the second half.

In the last 10 minutes, Midlands looked threatening and strung five-plus phases together deep in Wyndham’s territory but the defence held off the strong Midlands attack.

"The way we defended in those last 10 minutes was just amazing."I’m so proud of the boys for that big effort," Robertson said.

As the final whistle blew, the crowd erupted in cheers and car horns sounded as Wyndham secured the trophy.

Wyndham won the final two years ago, for the first time in about 30 years, Robertson said.

"Having the big community support that came out for us today has been great.

"It’s been so good to win at home."

To make the day even better for Wyndham the club also won the president’s grade final, 32-11 over Blues.

In the division two competition Blues capped off a remarkable season with its 37-14 final win over Star, taking its 2018 record to 17 straight victories.

In section B of division two Drummond-Limehills-Star toppled Tokanui 19-5.

Bluff made the trip to Otautau and scored an 18-3 victory to claim the 2018 division three title.

- Kayla Hodge

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