Te Anau has a flying start

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Te Anau’s Sam Wairau has a runaway try after an intercept during the match against Midlands last weekend. Photos: Julie Walls
The Te Anau Senior club rugby team before the first game of the 2020 season.

THE Te Anau Senior Rugby team are flying high in the Division One Ack Soper Shield this season.

Te Anau players enjoyed their time in the Southland Premier Club Competition last season, where coach Dale Wairau believes helped expose the playing talent of rural communities.

Te Anau is making the most of the six-team team Division One competition this year. It has won four of its six games and is second behind Midlands.

Te Anau has three of its scheduled nine round-robin games still to play.

Close losses to Edendale, 22-19, and Riversdale, 24-22, show the closeness of the division. Te Anau has beaten both of last year’s finalists Midlands 41-16 and Wyndham 19-17.

The five Wairau brothers, lock Nathan and openside James, and the three utility backs Isaac, Sam, and young Levi combined to score four of their team’s six tries last weekend in its top of the table clash against Midlands.

Prop Kane Prentice played his 100th game for the club earlier this season against Waikaka. Fellow forwards Tom Scanlan and Grant Taylor are the team’s co-captains.

Te Anau also has a large leadership group consisting of Niumaia Bari, Kane Prentice, Brodie Walker, Tyrone Prentice, Jordan Maher and Sam Wairau.

Te Anau has a good balance of youth and experience, and a solid forward pack.

Te Anau has a strong following in its junior grades and the club fields seven primary school-aged teams.

The club has loyal supporters and a strong committee. A new bus was sourced for the senior team to use this season.

Te Anau has a trip to Wyndham this Saturday for its round seven match at 3pm. If it can win this match, it will be very well placed to contest the final on August 15.

Te Anau Senior Team 2020:
Patrick Clegg, Shane Johnston, Tom Scanlan, Niumaia Bari, Nathan Wairau, Grant Taylor, James Wairau, Kane Prentice, Levi Wairau, Jordan Maher, Brodie Walker, Raine Collins, Jake Hamer, Sam Wairau, Isaac Wairau, Tyler Hammer, Stephen Clegg, Rusiate Vuruya, Sam McIntosh, Jacob Robertson, Fine Mahina, Tyrone Prentice.

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