Varsity A stumble at semi-final hurdle

Massey’s Varsity A rugby team weren’t able to continue the defence of the Hankins Shield as they fell to Kia Toa, 22-27.

After winning the premier competition last year and qualifying top of the league going into the semi-finals, Varsity A’s gave an underwhelming performance that saw their opposition take advantage of simple mistakes and poor defence.

Club Committee member, Ben Koch admits that to see the team play as they did was a let-down.

“It’s one of those things where you look at it and think ‘We’ve been playing so well across the whole season and then we went out and played like that’ so it was disappointing. It certainly wasn’t the best game they’ve played.”

Koch credits Kia Toa on their winning performance but feels Varsity played nowhere near their true potential.

“Kia Toa are one of those sides that if you’re going to beat them, you’ve got to knock them out in the first couple of rounds. They were a lot better than they were the week before but it’s still disappointing because Varsity are a lot better than how they performed and we know that.”

Koch says that there were glimpses of their recent form throughout the game but speculates that a lack of focus brought about their demise.

“There were patches when Varsity had the ball in hand and I thought ‘They look really good’ then there were patches that were just really ordinary. Whether it was a case of taking our mind off the game for those crucial patches, I’m not entirely sure.”

Despite the loss, Koch says the club is happy with the achievements made throughout the season and attributes the success to the new coach, Scott Lewis.

“It highlights how good of a job the new coach [Scott Lewis] has done. He was a player for a number of years and the club has really supported him through coaching courses to ensure that he was confident going into the season.”

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