A West Coast side so depleted by injury and unavailability that coach Anthony Lawry was forced to place himself on the reserve bench pulled off an upset 35-30 win over Wairarapa-Bush in their Lochore Cup rugby match at Masterton today. The Coasters completely outplayed a hapless home team throughout most of the first half and went to the break with a commanding 25-10 lead.
Several positional changes saw Wairarapa-Bush lift their effort several notches in the second spell and when they reduced the West Coast advantage to 28-24 victory was within sight. But West Coast’s weathered the storm for a thoroughly deserved win.
Halfback and captain James Ferguson was outstanding for West Coast and others to impress were No.8 Mark De Goldi, flanker Simon Bourke and wingers Luke Hughes and Maleli Mudu. Wairarapa-Bush had few standouts with only flanker Joss Tua-Davidson, replacement lock Tomasi Kedrabuka and winger Jesse McGilvary enhancing their reputations.
Luke Hughes, Brad Houston, Sam Hannan and Simon Bourke scored tries for West Coast and Hughes kicked three penalties and three conversions. Jesse McGilvary, two, and Mana Faraimo scored tries for Wairarapa-Bush and Jeremy Te Huia kicked three penalties and three conversions.