Wyndham reverses fortune in wet

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A 44-7 hiding by the team it played in the last round-robin game of the competition later worked in Wyndham’s favour.

In the Southland-wide division one rugby final on Saturday Wyndham beat Edendale 26-10 to reverse its fortunes and win the Ack Soper Shield.

The score was locked at 10-10 at halftime.

Edendale dominated the first 20 minutes and was ahead 10-0 before Wyndham clawed its way back into the game with a penalty and try close to the end of the half.

Wyndham came out firing in the second half and was ahead 19-10 three minutes from the final whistle, through the boot of Michael Robinson .

Phase after phase, the Wyndham forwards kept possession of the ball and was over the line when the ball popped backwards for Dean Rabbidge, who dotted it down close to the corner flag.

Wyndham coach Jimmy Sinclair said losing to Edendale earlier was probably the “best thing to happen to us”.

The team had been coasting until the loss.

“It was probably bit of a reality check.

“It was good to get a kick in the teeth like that.

“It worked out well.”

The secret of the team’s win was a solid forward pack performance with some strategic kicking, he said.

“We kicked for the corners and then when we were in their half we managed to hang on to it for long periods of time.”

The plan was to shut down the Edendale backs.

“We played to our strengths.”

Edendale coach Matt Richards said after his team’s great start to the game the second half did not go well.

“Wyndham went to work, they just retained the ball, retained possession and worked phases and milked penalties,” Richards said.

The Wyndham defence was very sound and Edendale struggled on the soggy ground.

“We just couldn’t get the ball and when we did we couldn’t make the most of it.”

Beating Wyndham two weeks earlier did not help.

“We hadn’t beaten them for four years and the boys were really up for that … That in hindsight wasn’t a good thing, because they were obviously hurting from that.”