Waikaka division 1 team on the rise

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The Waikaka Rugby Club has transformed a lot in the past year and the results of all the hard work will be on show at the Waikaka Club Day on Saturday.
Waikaka Rugby Club spokesman Craig Winsloe said the division 1 team was rebuilding this season.
A mostly new side started the season with only nine players returning from 2015.
Winsloe believed the side was full of youth at the start of the season, but had begun to build with experience.
‘‘In recent weeks, the players have begun gelling a bit more and they are becoming a lot more competitive coming into the second round of competition,’’ Winsloe said.
An example of this improvement was their second match of the season against Edendale.
The two sides’ first encounter at the start of the season saw Edendale coming out well on top with a 49-17 victory.
However, the rematch on May 28 was a much closer affair, with the home side only narrowly beating Waikawa 17-15.
Winsloe said this kind of performance showed the growth of the side throughout the season.
He was impressed with the way the team challenged Edendale, which was one of the top sides in the division 1 competition this year.
‘‘The game was a great benchmark for the young players to aspire to and see where they are now at,’’ he said.
In recent weeks, Waikaka has had a busier schedule than normal.
It played last Tuesday night against Waikiwi as the team had to play catch up after the game had previously been delayed due to poor conditions.
Waikaka achieved an emphatic victory at the Gore Showgrounds, winning 36-8.
‘‘The match against Waikiwi was a very positive and encouraging sign after the match earlier in the year,’’ Winsloe said.
In that match, Waikaka lost 28-22.
The side was a young one with most in their early 20s and coming into senior level for a tough new experience.
Winsloe believed there were several quality players with some having played in age grade representative teams and likely to make other rep teams in the future.
He also said the top side was not the only strength within the club, as the B grade team (division 1 presidents grade) also had a relatively young side.
The younger players kept the few older ones on their toes, he said.
Winsloe said it was great for the club to be able to maintain two teams, as it was extremely important for the club’s depth.
‘‘It is the committee’s main and key goal to strive for the two teams,’’ he said.
The club also had a few schoolaged sides, which Winsloe hoped would keep the club building. – The Waikaka Transport Waikaka White Star division 1 team takes on Winton Middle Pub Midlands this Saturday from 1.30pm during the club day. – 12.15pm: The Eastern Concrete Waikaka White Star division 1 presidents team takes on Hokonui Kitchen and Joinery Pioneer at 12.15pm on Saturday.