The Waikato season is now in full swing with the campaigns of our six representative teams now well underway.
All teams are off to a positive start with the highlight being the Waikato Mitre 10 Cup team’s 26-15 Ranfurly Shield win over North Harbour at FMG Stadium Waikato. This shield defence was the 100th Ranfurly Shield match that Waikato has been involved in, so it was great the boys were able to mark the occasion with a good result.
The day was also a celebration of junior rugby in the province with the popular 13th grade final (won by Kihikihi 29-10 over Hamilton Marist) followed by the annual Junior Rugby March Past. It was awesome to see all of our clubs represented and in the stands to watch the main game.
The Harbour win came after a tough first up loss to Tasman in Blenheim, but the narrow defeat was not a bad effort against one of the better teams in the competition over the last few years. The Waikato team have shown they are keen to play a positive brand of rugby so the rest of the season looks promising for Mooloo fans.
The Waikato Women’s team, competing in the newly named Farah Palmer Cup, are four games into their season. They started with a loss to Counties Manukau but bounced back to beat North Harbour the following week.
A narrow loss away to Wellington in Week 3 was another setback but again the girls responded well to win comfortably against Bay of Plenty. With two games remaining they are still right in contention to make the top four.
Waikato Development, the feeder team to the Mitre 10 Cup, started with a 24-21 win over Auckland Colts and followed that up with a narrow loss to Counties Manukau.
The Waikato Juniors (Under 19) are off to a strong start with a big 40-12 win over Counties Manukau followed by a hard fought 15-3 win over Taranaki. The team is now well placed to earn a good seeding for the Jock Hobbs Memorial National U19 Tournament which is coming up in Taupo in mid-September.
Waikato Under 16s also got their campaign underway with a solid win, beating neighbours King Country 38-0.
And finally, the Waikato Roller Mills (Primary Schools) has started their pre-season with a bang, comfortably beating Taranaki and a Hamilton Boys’ High U55kg side in pre-season, and are looking sharp ahead of their tournament in late September.
The next couple of months promises to deliver plenty of action for all of our teams in red, yellow and black, and we would love to have your support at as many games as possible.