Waikato have ended their up and down ITM Cup season with a solid 29-12 win over Bay of Plenty at Waikato Stadium tonight.
Coming into the match following a thumping last week, Waikato showed good heart through what was a very scrappy rugby match. Both sides turned over far too much possession, but it was the Mooloos who took advantage, scoring four tries which included a second trip over the line for Hame Faiva in successive matches.
Returning from injury, Declan O’Donnell struggled to get his hands on the ball throughout much of the game, but when he did he took full advantage, scoring in the corner.
O’Donnell’s knee may well be examined post game, after the winger appeared to have tweaked his injury again following the try but played on for the full 80 minutes.
It was a solid outing for the returning Ben Tameifuna as well.
Waikato will no doubt be disappointed with their season despite tonight’s victory, falling short of the semi finals after too many unexpected poor results, including a few big losses against Canterbury, Taranaki, and Auckland.
The much talked about Damian McKenzie had a mixed season, but has shown some real signs of his talent which has been widely regarded as potentially world class.
But a win tonight for Waikato, and it’s back to the drawing board for Johnny Walters and his coaching team.