It was a game full of positives despite the loss in Wyndham Rugby Club’s first hit-out in Rugby Southland’s premier grade competition in Wyndham on Saturday, coach Casey McEwan says.
Wyndham made the step up to the premier grade after winning division one last season.
Playing in front of a vocal home crowd, Braven UltraScan-Redan Valley Engineering Wyndham lost to Blues Rugby Club, of Invercargill, 43-12.
McEwan said there were a lot of positives to take out of the game.
“The score didn’t really reflect the game in the end. The boys stood up to that next level of footy,” McEwan said.
He was impressed with the side’s self-belief and effort.
“I thought across the park it was a big team effort.”
Blues came out firing, taking a 17-5 lead within the first 20 minutes.
Wyndham fullback Hayden Diack nabbed the team’s first try.
Despite Blues’ strong start, Wyndham’s defence stood up against the test, keeping Blues scoreless for the last 20 minutes of the first half.
However, Blues scored early in the second half and held a 43-5 lead halfway through.
McEwan said Blues were a little faster at ruck time compared with Wyndham.
“They just found a couple of holes in us,” he said.
Wyndham attacked hard in the last 10 minutes, spending most of its time in the opposition 22.
Hard work paid off when replacement lock Cameron Parkinson scored a late try under the posts which was met with a roaring cheer by the home crowd.
Wyndham would assess the weekend’s performance at training.
“We’ll go from there and then build again for Star this weekend.”
Wyndham will play Star at home again on Saturday.
“It’ll be another rough battle – similar sort of game to this week,” McEwan predicted.
- In the other matches, Edendale put up a great fight against Woodlands but lost 12-7 at home.
- Riversdale lost to Star 70-5 in Riversdale, while Waikaka lost to Pirates Old Boys 57-0 at home.
- Eastern Northern Barbarians were triumphant, beating 2018 division one runner-up Midlands 35-3 in Winton.