THE future looks bright for the Waikiwi Rugby Club with 28 registered players in its Senior team, plus a Presidents’ Grade team and 10 junior teams.
The Senior team is one of eight clubs in the Division One competition. Heading into the last round-robin game this Saturday, Waikiwi is one of three teams still in with a chance of winning the Gerald Dermody Shield.
Waikiwi is second equal with Tokanui but due to losing 32-27 to Tokanui earlier in the season, Waikiwi now needs to earn more competition points from its game against Pioneer this Saturday than Tokanui earns from its game against Albion.
Beating Pioneer in Gore won’t be easy whereas Tokanui should account for an Albion team which had only won one game this season.
Whatever the outcome; Waikiwi would have improved on its position in the competition last year.
Waikiwi has won four of its seven games so far for coach Shaun Taane. Last week Waikiwi knocked the defending champion Mossburn out of finals contention with a 31-14 win at Donovan Park.
The Presidents’ Grade team has won two of its five games; the highlight of the season was scoring a long-range try in the last play of the game to beat Star 24-22 a fortnight ago.
There were two sad moments for Waikiwi in July, with the passing of club legends Ron Pasco and Ray Horner. Pasco was a great supporter of Waikiwi for many years, a tireless worker and convener of Waikiwi schoolboy rugby. Waikiwi provided a guard of honour at the funeral for life member Ray Homer.
The Waikiwi juniors field one A Grade Under-13 team, one B Grade Under-11 team, two Under-10 teams, two C Grade Under-9 teams and an Under 8 team. There is also two Under-7 Rippa teams and an Under-6 team.
Waikiwi has a very experienced team. Hooker Michael Campbell and locks Nick McCleary (captain) and Dave Wilson have all played more than 150 games for the club.
Wing Matthew Moynihan had played 140 games, while prop Jono Van’t Wout would likely bring up his century next year.
Openside flanker Ryan Munro played his 100th game this season, while another key player in recent seasons, first five-eighth Shawn Henderson, earned his 50th game blazer.
Halfback Josh Campbell, Ben Maw, Steve Willis, Kyle McKenzie and Mike Henderson have also all played more than 50 games for the club.