Canterbury Claim Honours at Regional Championship
Canterbury 3 1 19 6 8 44
Otago 2 0 12 2 0 12
Best 3. Ryan Sullivan, 2. Matt Crighton, 1. Reyne Westbury
Tthe RIOT came out of the blocks firing and got the jump on the Cobras, kicking the first two goals of the game. An upset was brewing, until the locals settled and gained the asendency. Otago failed to score in the second half as they tired and denied their forwards of quick ball movement.
Wellington 4 7 31 7 10 52
Otago 1 1 7 1 2 8
Best 3. Reyne Westbury, 2. Waylon Baker, 1. Richy Faimalo
The main interest here was to gauge how good was the Wellington team. They showed that they were more than competitive, moving the ball fluently and spreading the opposition with positional kicking. The RIOT were gallant, but with a lack of depth on the bench and some unfit ring-ins, they were never going to match the Wellington powerhouse.
The junior game never materialised and the Canterbury Barbarians failed to make an appearance, so after a long lunch break, it was down to business to decide the championship.
Canterbury 0 3 3 1 5 11 3 8 26 6 10 46
Wellington 1 3 9 3 6 24 3 10 28 5 10 40
Best 3. M Crighton, 2. R Faimalo, 1. R Sullivan
With such a close result, one can always look back on pivotal moments that changed the course of the game. The Cobra's first goal game from a long bomb that bounced just in front of the behind line, only to see the ball do an off break that caught everyone off guard and saw it sail through for a goal. This sparked the Cobras into action, enabling them to kick 4 unanswered goals from 5-minutes into the third quarter to 10-minutes into the last. Then there was a long bomb from Wellington that looked set to be a goal in the third quarter, only to see a Cantab defender get a finger to the ball. This was a goal-less quarter for the Tigers. In the last , however, with a breeze assisting the Cobras, a long bomb from the 50-m line just made it over the line before a lunging Tiger marked the ball. it was a contorversial moment, but the goal umpire was in perfect position to make the correct call. The last 10-minutes of the game had everything. Players were going down injured as they threw everything at each contest. The ball see-sawed from one end to the other. Wellington made a late play with consecutive goals to bring them within 5-points with 5-minutes to go. It looked like their superior speed was going to take the game way from Canterbury, who had opened up a 16-point lead. Welingon played attacking football, using the centre corridor, but the wiley Cobra defence, led by Matt Crighton, picked off the ball at will. This ensured the ball stayed n the Cobra's attacking area, a long way from wellington's goal.
Well done to both teams on a great game. This augers well for future contests and the relevance of regional football.
MVP votes: Matt Crighton 5, Ryan //sullivan, Reyne Westbury 4, R Faimalo 3