Varsity will come back better next year

Peter McIntyre
Peter McIntyre
Watch out next year.

That is the message from University coach Peter McIntyre.

His side was outplayed in the club final by Taieri.

The Eels set up their 40-26 victory with a devastating first half-hour.

They ran in five tries and led 33-0.

McIntyre was obviously disappointed, but perhaps not surprised.

The defending champion was rebuilding this season after a host of departures.

Some of the young men who lined up for the final on Saturday are bound to have more opportunities ahead.

"I’m super proud of the guys," McIntyre said.

"They are a special group of young men. Taieri blitzed us in the first 20 minutes but we were able to regather some momentum at stages and put some points on the board.

"Time was a killer for us in the end. But I’m extremely proud of where we’ve come from considering the players we lost from last year.

"We have a lot of first-years in this side and I think we’ll be far stronger for it.

"Most of these guys will be hanging around for 2021. I think we’ll come back and these guys will remember this day.

"Hopefully, we can get into another final and reverse what happened today."

That is effectively what Taieri did. It was defeated by University in last year’s final.

That memory helped power the Eels in that first half-hour.

Taieri coach David Hunter said the team had been waiting for a performance like that all year.

"We’ve been threatening to do that to teams and we picked a good day to do it, to be fair."

"We learnt a lot from last year and there was no way we were going to be back on our heels early on."

Taieri trailed University 33-3 at halftime in the final last year, but fought back to level it 33-all, before eventually losing 38-33.

It hurt a lot at the time, but less so now.


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