East Coast snatch first Heartland crown
Sat, 27 Oct 2012 3:26p.m.
East Coast fought back from a 24-point deficit to beat Wanganui 29-27 in a thrilling Heartland Championship rugby final at Ruatoria.
Trailing 27-3 with 25 minutes remaining, the hosts stormed across for four late tries on Saturday to reverse the result of last year's Meads Cup final and secure their first title.
History looked set to repeat as the visitors opened up a 20-3 halftime lead courtesy of tries to lock Nick Cranston and second five-eighth Rhema Sagote.
They continued to dominate after halftime and when fullback Asalemo Malo's try allowed winger Nick Harding to slot a third conversion, the result seemed inevitable.
However, East Coast found their second wind to cross through centre Tau Moeke, prop Ziggy Fisiihoi and reserve back Mike King - all converted by first five-eighth John Semple - to reduce the deficit to just three points with 4min remaining.
Fullback Verdon Bartlett put his side ahead for the first time with 1min on the clock, prompting a premature crowd invasion at Whakarua Park.
Moments later the top qualifiers were confirmed as champions over a Wanganui team who have reached the final in seven Heartland Championships but prevailed in just three of them.
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28/10/2012 5:52:27 p.m.
Geoff Meade wrote:
Ngarimu On that clip your face says it all. Well done mate.
28/10/2012 1:16:50 p.m.
Makarika ki Poneke wrote:
The Coast with the Most
27/10/2012 6:53:54 p.m.
THATS F##KING GREAT !!!, WELL DONE EAST COAST. PRIMO WIN !!!!
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