Kendall Blues’ defeat of Hastings League debutantes Laurieton Hotel Stingrays provided excellent entertainment at Laurieton Oval in May, 2017.
The strength of numbers and enthusiasm of the crowd, you would be forgiven for thinking this was a grand final match and not the first game of the 2017 Hastings League season.
Kendall’s vast experience lasted the distance and they ran away with the game 54-14.
The match was a heavy, physical one and there were a few injuries.
Before the match the teams held a minute’s silence honouring much-loved and respected league stalwart Kevin Moore who passed away in April.
Kendall’s Sean Minns put the first points on the scoreboard with a try, converted by Tamati Wigman.
Laurieton quickly answered when Ben Ramsey crossed the line and Martin Gordon converted.
Also scoring for Laurieton were the other Ramsey lads Michael and Justin.
In the Kendall camp Tamati Wigman was outstanding, scoring three tries and kicking seven goals. Blayne Lambert-Bignell scored two tries and also getting in on the scoring action with one each – Arnold Turnbull, captain coach Beau Kettle, Luke White and Alex Pearce.
Kettle was immensely impressed by how the Kendall Blues played. Assistant coach Dustin Prosser was happy the Blues played to their match plan.
“We have strength all over the field and have been training our players to keep within their corridors so there’s no crossing over of skill to leave gaps elsewhere,” Prosser said.
Laurieton coach Brett Farnsworth said the Stingrays will be looking at their injury toll, working on their match fitness, continue to gain experience and learn about their own style of play as a newly formed team.
Tribute was played to the young Camden Haven Eagles players who started the rugby league action with their junior games at Laurieton to kick off the day.
Next week the Kendall Blues head to Lake Cathie to take on the newly fused club Boardriders/Raiders team and kick off is at 4pm.
Laurieton Stingrays play another home game, against the Long Flat Dragons.