Harding Cup 2009 – A 5WWCT Rugby Win.
Over the weekend of 5-6 September 2009, the North Island Territorial Force Battalions competed for the Harding Cup in rugby, netball, golf and a teams RFL event. This year’s event was held at the Devonport Naval Base in Auckland, and hosted by 3 Auckland and Northland Battalion Group. LTCOL Chris Powell, CO of 3 Auck North, opened the Harding Cup on Saturday 5th Sep.
5WWCT win the Harding Cup '09 (AW-09-0922-8).
RUGBY BY SSGT NEPIA, TWO, 5 WWCT BN GP
The 5 Wellington West Coast and Taranaki Battalion Group (5WWCT) Rugby team prepared well leading up to the competition, with a warm up game against a local Senior Reserves team. This game was invaluable, allowing us to build on our game plan and to solidify the players and positions within the team. Our most notable and inspirational players were our NZ Army reps, PTE Tim Ewing-Jarvie and SPR Tane Langdon-Lane, both recently returned from a rugby tournament, and L/Cpl Sione To’ia, a NZ past Army rep.
5 WWCT Vs 3 Auck Nth Regt
We drew our old nemesis 3 Auck Nth for our first game; the winner going forward to the final. While we are always in awe of them, we went into the game with confidence stemming from our build-up game a week earlier.
The game started well for us, with only some small handling errors marring our overall efforts. In the first half, 3 Auck Nth scored first through a penalty and we replied through a try. By halftime, the score was 5–3 to us. In the second half, the Aucks came out firing, scoring a try in the latter part of the game. However, we kept overall control of the game, winning by 12 – 8.
5 WWCT Vs 7 WnHb
Our tough first game left the team fatigued and with some injuries (RSM – Torn bicep, Pte Glover – Rotator Cuff and later L/Cpl Parsons (with concussion)). A quick team reorg saw the inclusion of our Manager, SSgt Duncan Fairweather, a veteran of past Harding Cup games.
The game started evenly for both teams, with the stalemate broken by 5 WWC. 7 Bn quickly replied, scoring twice. From there we were on the back foot, scoring to stay alive in the game. Our injury rate brought the RSM and Pte Glover back to the field, injuries and all. Some nifty goal kicking from Pte Ewing-Jarvie levelled the score, and the game went full time at a 19-all draw.
As game ending in a draw, it was announced an additional 10 minutes each way would be played. No more subs were allowed; if players fell by the wayside, a drop off system similar to that used in touch rugby would occur. After some inspirational words from the Team Captain and WO2 Solly Vaetoru, the game restarted.
The tension on the sidelines was just as dramatic - L/Cpl Parsons and his consussion was eventually stretchered off to hospital. Much to our relief , he was released later and rejoined the team.
In the first period of extra time, 5 WWCT scored twice to lead 12–nil. 7 Bn responded with a try in the second period. We closed out the game with a try in the corner winning 100 minutes of exciting, rugged, hard hitting, tension filled rugby 17–5.
After the game, the Referee commented that ‘This is the best game I have refereed in my life. There was no quarter asked, nor given and the team with the most mettle would prevail.’
Special thanks must go to the team’s Management Staff including Cpl Rhonda Magill (Team Strapper), Mr Jimmy Kupa and WO1 Lance Nukunuku.
The Battalion also thanks our senior squad members (WO1 Ken Macrae, WO2 Solly Vaetoru, SSgt’s Terence Teweri and Duncan Fairweather) and our sideline support led by the Commanding Officer and our Netball girls.
This was another hard and challenging year for the 5 WWCT Netball Team. We started our five trial games on 9 Aug 09, playing the first two games in Wanganui, one each in Stratford One and New Plymouth, and the last game back in Wanganui. Our team of 12 was named from the 16 players after the last trial game – thanks to all who played and supported us over this period.
Our first game of the 2009 Harding Cup was against 6 Hauraki Regiment. All the girls played extremely well as a team, and gave us a win of 29-21.
Game Two was 7 WNHB Regiment, again a well-played game which gave us another great result of 38-9.
In the Finals, our last game was against the Hosts, 3 Auck Nth. All 4 quarters were very close, with the scoreboard tied at 24-24 in the last 30 seconds of play. 3 Auck Nth managed to get in one last goal, winning 25-24.
Special thanks go out to the team - PTEs Cath Ward and Sarah McClaughlin, Spr Claire Kirby, LCPLs Nes Cosgrove, Trish Cottier, and Genna Capper, CPL Sarah Cosgrove and Rachel Gibb, and Megan Cosgrove and Nick Torrey for all their hard work and commitment they put into this year’s Harding Cup.
Sideline support was great from our Team Manager CAPT Bruce Page, Mrs Donna Ristic, CPL Debbie Wilson, and from everyone else involved.
For more information about Army Reserve sporting activities contact your local Army Reserve Unit. Find out more at Army Reserve Units NZ Wide