How was that not a try?: Wakatipu’s James Valentine ‘scores’ a try against Alexandra, however the ref ruled he’d been held up

Ironically, a bizarre no-try call indirectly helped galvanise the Wakatipu Premiers rugby team last Saturday and prepare them for two big challenges ahead.

Waka being 14-5 down at halftime against defending champs Alexandra wasn’t helped by halfback James Valentine having an apparently legitimate try rubbed out by the ref.

However, following a spray from coach Jordan Manihera — frustrated his team’s decision making and discipline had let them down — they
piled on 19 unanswered second-half points to win 24-14.

‘‘We just played to the standard we can actually play, which is good,’’ he says.

‘‘With that second 40, we’re start ing to find our rhythm now so we’ve just got to capitalise on that and do that each week.’’

Charging: Wakatipu’s Tom Ria in action against Alexandra last Saturday

That starts this afternoon with a home game against a strong Cromwell side whom they only edged 19-17 in the first round.

The following weekend they travel to Wānaka for a White Horse Cup challenge against undefeated Upper Clutha — the only team they’ve lost to this season.

‘‘We’re really fired up to make Wakatipu great again,’’ Manihera says, ‘‘and another positive, the women and the Wanderers also had really strong wins on Saturday, so the club’s heading in the right direction.’’

Arrowtown, who lost 41-22 to Maniototo in Ranfurly last weekend, are away to Alex today.

● Wakatipu host Cromwell at Queenstown Rec Ground this Saturday, kick-off 2.30pm; Arrowtown v Alexandra in Alexandra, 2.30pm.

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