Rugby: West Coast show true potential

By Matt Kersten of the Greymouth Star

West Coast finally showed what they were capable of in their Heartland Championship match against South Canterbury on Saturday, beating the fourth placed team 19-12.

The weather prevented Coast posting a higher score at Rugby Park, Greymouth, but instead of playing for points the hosts showed discipline and kept the ball tight to graft out a victory.

South Canterbury threatened to come back in the second half after Coast first five-eighth Phil Thomson was sinbinned for using no arms in a monster of a tackle on wing Liam Edwards, who would later go on to dot down in the corner just before Thomson was allowed to come back on to the field.

However, Coast had accumulated enough of a lead through penalties and a try earlier on to get a win.

West Coast's tactical kicking in the first half was crucial to them taking the lead at half-time. In contrast, South Canterbury barely used a strong wind sweeping diagonally across Rugby Park in their favour in the second half.

Coast's set piece was much better this week, with centre Luke Hughes given more chances to run the ball than in previous games.

His straight running usually helped him over the gain line, and allowed quick ball for the likes of lock Brad Houston to pick and go quickly, and halfback Dave Woods to swing play in the opposite direction.

Coast opened with two penalties after gaining the upper hand early in the game, but South Canterbury first five-eighth Rick McKenna responded 24 minutes into the first half by slicing through the Coast defence and passing wide to fullback Jarred Trevathen from a scrum set piece.

Houston added to last weekend's brace by forcing his way over from a ruck 5m out, following a patient forward surge by West Coast to reclaim the lead for his side at 13-7 with the conversion.

Second five Sean McClure extended that buffer with two penalties before Thomson was yellow carded, leading to Edwards' try.

South Canterbury threatened late in the match but were not able to break through when Coast had a full compliment of players on the field.

Scorers

West Coast 19 (B Houston try; S McClure 3 pens, con; P Thomson pen), South Canterbury 12 (J Trevathen, L Edwards tries; Trevathen con).

GRS lb

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