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Summit Electrical Whanganui Under 20’s prepare for back-to-back in Palmy

By Jared Smith

It is a unique weekend for these young players who are reaching adult representative rugby level – having go 80 minutes on back-to-back days.

The second and third rounds of the Under 20 HYC Heartland Series will be hosted at the Massey University grounds in Palmerston North this Saturday and Sunday, with Summit Electrical Whanganui in strong position to lift the crown.

A rip-roaring start by their talented backline against carry-over champions Horowhenua-Kapiti U20 at Cooks Gardens led to a 39-15 win for maximum points last Saturday.

They will now front up against the other top contender in Wairarapa Bush this Saturday, before backing up 24 hours later against Poverty Bay.

Coach Duane Brown ran a lot of his bench on early with a comfortable 32-3 lead against Horowhenua-Kapiti, and those players getting some extra minutes under their belts could prove useful given the quick 24 hour turnaround between this weekend’s games.

“It’s a funny comp, you can only have your registered 22, then you have to apply for dispensation,” said Brown.

“We’ll run a similar team, all the boys are available.

‘We’ll defintially give it a good crack – hopefully we can get them out wide again.

“Give them a little space on that edge, and they can turn it around.

“There’s just a bit of defensive stuff to work on.”

Industrious flanker Rongomai McLean-Wanoa was unavailable for the opening game but returns this weekend, while a slight tweaking on the backline will likely see try-scorer Lafo Takiari Ah Ching moved into the starting XV.

Wairarapa Bush got the win over Poverty Bay in the first round, likewise getting out to a comfortable lead that the underdogs could not make up.