Waikato club rugby

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Melville 11 (Sam Toa try; Jonnie Te Ruki penalty, Toa penalty) Hamilton Old Boys 6 (Jonty Rae 2 penalties).

In front of an estimated crowd of 3500, Melville secured its first Waikato club rugby championship in 35 years, with a tense 11-6 win over Hamilton Old Boys at FMG Stadium Waikato.

RugbyClub2Melville came into the match as the form team of the season, having lost just two of their 19 games, but Old Boys had timed their run nicely which included an upset of Hautapu in the semi-finals.

Early in the match both teams showed their intent to play the game openly, but the commitment on defence meant that chances at both ends were limited.

Midway through the first half Melville hit the front with a penalty from Jonnie Te Ruki before Jonty Rae replied with a penalty soon after. As the first 40 minutes drew to a close Sam Toa kicked a simple three points to give Melville a 6-3 at the halftime break.

After a long period on attack it was Toa again who featured, as he crossed for the only try of the match in the 57th minute to extend the Melville lead to eight.

Rae narrowed the gap for Old Boys with his second penalty which put his side within one score of a possible win. Old Boys then spent most of the final five minutes hard on attack but the courageous Melville defence was able to hang on and their first Waikato Breweries Shield title since 1981 was secured.

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