Despite finishing third in the Bayleys Southern Northern Districts Competition, the Waipu Premiers were left wanting at the end of the season.
The side managed 10 wins, but sat 28 points behind first-placed Old Boys Marist after 18 fixtures.
“Our goal was to make the semi-finals, so although we achieved that, but not being in the final was a bitter pill to swallow,” premiers coach Mark Wells says.
The competition consisted of 10 teams including Otamatea, who finished fifth, and Wellsford who came fourth, just one point behind Waipu.
The team has improved since Mark started coaching three years ago.
“When I took over we were last in the standings,” he says.
“We had two mid-table finishes in the next two years, coming sixth and fifth, and the natural progression was to make the top four, which we achieved.”
Mark says the winners, Old Boys Marist, were stacked with talented rep players, while Mid-Northern has had plenty of years together, making top spot a difficult ask.
“No excuses though, they were certainly better than us and very well coached so I tip my hat to them,” he says.
Mark says rugby in Waipu is getting stronger with more players joining and a community atmosphere prevalent within the club.
“We have a very forward thinking committee, and with 140 years behind us, 140 more is looking promising.”
In the Bayley’s Division One competition, Tomarata finished seventh out of eight teams, winning just two of their 14 matches.