PLENTY OF SUPPORT: Kaikoura’s Liam O’Donoghue, with the ball, attempts to shrug clear of a Harlequins tackler during their division two rugby semifinal on Saturday at Takahanga Domain. The Cray Coasters won 37-0 to book a place in the final.EMMA DANGERFIELD
Whale Watch Kaikoura will meet Moutere in the division two rugby final on Saturday after both sides scored convincing semifinal wins at the weekend.
Kaikoura will kick off the decider as strong favourites after racking up 37 unanswered points against BNZ Partners Harlequins at Takahanga Domain, Eddie Nolan scoring a brace of tries.
The Cray Coasters have been in superb form all season, their 14-from-14 winning record in the round-robin matches a testament to their consistency. They have scored over 100 points more than their final opponents, and conceded over 100 less. With an average winning score of around 46-10 Kaikoura have swept all before them, especially at home.
But the final will be played in Blenheim, kickoff is at 1pm on Saturday at Lansdowne Park, and Moutere are a tough opponent.
In their first meeting, played in Kaikoura, Moutere led 7-5 at halftime when the match was called off following an injury to the referee. The Cray Coasters won the replayed fixure in Seddon 23-8, then beat the Magpies on their home turf 34-25.
Last Saturday Moutere downed Woodbourne Tavern Renwick 32-20 at Lansdowne Park to book their final berth. Moses Funaki, Makea Tupa, Grant Dunn and Jamie Findlay were Moutere’s tryscorers while Jordan Newman, who has kicked consistently well for the Magpies this season, banged over two conversions and two penalties.
Kaikoura 37 (Eddie Nolan 2, Kauahi Ngapora, Chris Young, Fraser Seddon tries, Myles Hamilton 3 con, 2 pen) Harlequins 0.
Moutere 32 (Moses Funaki, Makea Tupa, Grant Dunn, Jamie Findlay tries, Jordan Newman 3 con, 2 pen) Renwick 20 (Evan Wadsworth, Layton Ward tries, Stephen Patchett 2 con, 2 pen).