Midlands club ‘in a good space’

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Midlands players in action in a game against Te Anau recently. Photo: Julie Walls

THE Midlands Rugby Club is fielding two senior teams this year and both have a solid support base ensuring a jovial time is had in the clubrooms.

2019 was a big season for Midlands with Life Member Blair Vining providing plenty of inspiration and motivation around the club.

Midlands won the Division One final at Wyndham and become the inaugural holders of the Ack Soper Shield.

Coach Dayna Cunningham said the momentum Vining helped create was still there and things were going well at the club.

“The younger fellas are coming through, the clubrooms are full, we’re definitely in a good space.”

With two games remaining, Midlands is on top of the table but Cunningham said the competition was tight.

“You’ve definitely got to be on your game each week, they’re all tough games.”

Invaluable front rowers Campbell and Lachie Wood are playing full games almost every week and dynamic lock Jo Robins is the star of the team.

The former Canterbury under-19 player showed his pace and skills in general play during Midlands’ 20-19 win against Riversdale in Winton last week.

Another standout player in that match was midfielder Crete Waaka, each time the rangy centre touched the ball he either broke the line or offloaded in the tackle.

Midlands led 17-7 at half-time but soon after the resumption a tackle went wrong and legs were lifted well above the horizontal and Waaka was sent off. Riversdale scored the next two tries to take the lead but Midlands kicked a goal for a deserved win.

No 8 Sam Brame has the captaincy again this season, and fellow loose forward, Aaron Watson, from Canterbury, and flanker Juan Kyle helped do the bulk of the mahi [work] before Tim Watt rolled off the bench.

Utility Henry Earland was aiming for the Southland team but broke his leg preseason. Young freshman Jack Keen has stepped into the playmaker role which has helped limit the damage.

Midlands has nine primary school teams, and also contributes to the two Central under-14 teams and two Central under-15 teams.

Midlands senior players are refereeing the junior C and B Grade games again this season.

This effort was much appreciated by the Central clubs, junior coaches, parents and the children.

Midlands has its Club Day this Saturday, with the senior teams playing Wyndham and Woodlands B respectively.

Midlands 2020
Stewart Thomson, Campbell Wood, Lachie Wood, J Goodman, J Robins, A Watson, Ashleigh Harrison, Sam Brame, Juan Kyle, Tim Watt, Ryan Shaw, Quinn Robins. Stu Brown, Sam Wheely, Noah Waaka, Crete Waaka, Henry Earland, Ben McKercher. Matthew Brame, Mathew Sutton, Jack Maguire, Noah Waaka, Aaron McDowall, Rowan Guise, S Dodunski, C Commerer, Joel Maguire.
Coaches: Dayna Cunningham and Mark Tree.
Managers: Derek Cowie and J Campbell. Physio: Sam McDowall.

Midlands B: M Foy, P Thomson, R Laverlock, J Stevens, J Olly, L McMaster, P Stirling, C Dyer, M Brame, J Stirling, K Knarston, A Norman, M Sutton, J Hunter, B Foy, D Toole, A Hamilton, L Sullivan, C Drake, J O’Sullivan, L Cuthbert.
Coaches: D Wheely and F Gordon.
Managers: C Tait and H Harris.

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