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Whanganui RFU

Mid Canterbury

Whanganui RFU

Heartland Championship September 25, 2021 @ 2:30 pm Ashburton

Mid Canterbury v Whanganui RFU

  • Saturday 25 September 2021 @ 2:30 pm
  • Heartland Championship 
  • Ashburton
34
Played
20
Won
0
Drawn
14
Lost

Previous meetings

06 Sep 56 2:30 pm Representative Mid Canterbury v Whanganui RFU 16 - 09
19 Jul 58 2:30 pm Representative Whanganui RFU v Mid Canterbury 14 - 16
31 Aug 60 2:30 pm Representative Mid Canterbury v Whanganui RFU 11 - 10
02 Sep 78 2:30 pm Representative Whanganui RFU v Mid Canterbury 23 - 06
20 Jul 83 2:30 pm Representative Whanganui RFU v Mid Canterbury 10 - 19
27 Jul 85 2:30 pm NPC Div2 Mid Canterbury v Whanganui RFU 09 - 12
30 Jul 86 2:30 pm NPC Div2 Whanganui RFU v Mid Canterbury 10 - 09
27 Jun 87 2:30 pm NPC Div2 Whanganui RFU v Mid Canterbury 12 - 23
12 Sep 90 2:30 pm NPC Div2 Whanganui RFU v Mid Canterbury 42 - 16
15 Aug 92 2:30 pm NPC Div3 Mid Canterbury v Whanganui RFU 06 - 22
11 Sep 93 2:30 pm NPC Div3 Whanganui RFU v Mid Canterbury 36 - 24
13 Aug 94 2:30 pm NPC Div3 Mid Canterbury v Whanganui RFU 19 - 24
09 Oct 94 2:30 pm NPC Div3 Whanganui RFU v Mid Canterbury 13 - 22
12 Oct 96 2:30 pm NPC Div3 Whanganui RFU v Mid Canterbury 47 - 10
11 Sep 99 2:30 pm NPC Div2 Mid Canterbury v Whanganui RFU 19 - 13
23 Sep 00 2:30 pm NPC Div2 Whanganui RFU v Mid Canterbury 22 - 19
06 Oct 01 2:30 pm NPC Div2 Mid Canterbury v Whanganui RFU 21 - 20
23 Sep 06 2:30 pm Heartland Championship - Meads Cup Whanganui RFU v Mid Canterbury 46 - 08
14 Oct 06 2:30 pm Heartland Championship (S/F) Meads Cup Whanganui RFU v Mid Canterbury 30 - 17
22 Sep 07 2:30 pm Heartland Championship - Meads Cup Mid Canterbury v Whanganui RFU 21 - 19
13 Oct 07 2:30 pm Heartland Championship (S/F) Meads Cup Mid Canterbury v Whanganui RFU 12 - 18
20 Sep 08 2:30 pm Heartland Championship Whanganui RFU v Mid Canterbury 43 - 12
25 Oct 08 2:30 pm Meads Cup Final Whanganui RFU v Mid Canterbury 27 - 12
10 Oct 09 2:30 pm Heartland Championship - Meads Cup Mid Canterbury v Whanganui RFU 23 - 14
31 Oct 09 2:30 pm Meads Cup Final Mid Canterbury v Whanganui RFU 13 - 34
16 Oct 10 5:00 pm Heartland Championship Whanganui RFU v Mid Canterbury 29 - 03
27 Aug 11 5:00 pm Heartland Championship Whanganui RFU v Mid Canterbury 23 - 26
01 Oct 11 5:00 pm Heartland Championship (S/F) Meads Cup Whanganui RFU v Mid Canterbury 32 - 22
25 Aug 12 5:00 pm Heartland Championship Mid Canterbury v Whanganui RFU 23 - 24
13 Sep 14 5:00 pm Heartland Championship Mid Canterbury v Whanganui RFU 30 - 14
29 Aug 15 5:00 pm Heartland Championship Whanganui RFU v Mid Canterbury 28 - 30
17 Oct 15 5:00 pm Heartland Championship (S/F) Meads Cup Mid Canterbury v Whanganui RFU 11 - 26
23 Sep 17 2:30 pm Heartland Championship Mid Canterbury v Whanganui RFU 40 - 39
15 Sep 18 2:30 pm Heartland Championship Whanganui RFU v Mid Canterbury 30 - 12

By Jared Smith

Even a team which won by 53 points can stand a little tinkering as Steelform Whanganui has changed direction at pivot and on the bench for the trip to Ashburton this weekend.

After the 65-12 demolition of Poverty Bay at Cooks Gardens to lead the Bunnings Heartland Championship table, Whanganui face a tougher prospect from a potentially resurgent Mid Canterbury.

The two unions have not met since 2018, as the proud Cantabrians – two-time Meads Cup winners and one-time Lochore Cup holders – endured a horror 2019 to miss the post-season playoffs for the first time in Heartland rugby.

However, in last year’s Covid-affected season for the hastily arranged Hanan Shield Challenge Series, Mid Canterbury showed signs of recovery – getting wins over Buller and 2019 Meads champions North Otago, while holding the eventual series winners South Canterbury to a draw.

The 2021 squad’s confidence will be high after travelling up to Te Kuiti and getting a big 53-25 win over King Country last weekend.

“They’ve got a strong looking team – some pretty powerful players across the park,” said Whanganui coach Jason Caskey about the turnaround.

“Might have got the cheque book out and got a few players.”

After the wide open attack against Poverty Bay in good weather at Cooks Gardens, Caskey is expecting heavy rain and north-easterlies at the Ashburton Showgrounds, and so is preparing the side for more of an arm-wrestle, where needing a functioning set-piece and smart territory kicking will come back into vogue.

Every three pointer could prove crucial.

 “We’ve got to be prepared for that option.

“It’s a game that’s not conducive to throwing the ball around willy nilly.”

Running the cutter will be Craig Clare, as the former Highlander returns to the starting lineup in a swap with Dane Whale, despite a strong performance last weekend with seven goals from eight attempts in a 16-point haul for his 50th match.

Likewise, on the bench, younger brother Ben Whale makes way for returning loose forward Kieran Hussey, while barnstorming reserve back Timoci Seruwalu is replaced by Ethan Robinson.

[caption id="attachment_11069" align="aligncenter" width="2560"] 10 Ethan Robinson. Wanganui Car Centre Kaierau vs Settlers Honey Ngamatapouri. Wanganui Car Centre Kaierau vs Settlers Honey Ngamatapouri.[/caption]

“It was more of a case that most guys played well pre-season. It’s giving guys an opportunity early,” said Caskey.

“I don’t think there’s a lot between most guys – to be fair.

“Dane’s played well, it’s giving Craig an opportunity – having a look at what suits best.”

In his return to the Heartland setup, the dogged Hussey had a strong preseason, while Robinson’s all-round playmaking skills with the passing, kicking, and communication could be better suited to this style of match, rather than Seruwalu’s crash-bash.

Caskey confirmed that Whale is also the quasi-reserve halfback, a role he performed briefly against Poverty Bay, with Whanganui not having their usual depth in behind the veteran Lindsay Horrocks.

Both deputy Cameron Davies, a logger, and the versatile utility back Tyler Rogers-Holden, shepherd, have had to withdraw due to work commitments after Level 3-4 saw the season extended nearly a month.

“With the [Covid] delay, the circumstances, it was a bit too tough, they had too much on,” said Caskey.

“A hard decision for them both. But their employers were hit in the pocket a bit, and I think they wanted to help out.”

A couple of the other squad members may have to miss a specific game here-and-there due to previously arranged plans before the lockdown delay, but Caskey said the rest were all committed right through to November and hopefully a Meads final appearance.

The side flies out to Christchurch on Friday before kickoff on Saturday at 2.30pm.

The Whanganui team is: