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22 Feb 2018 12:05
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  •   Home > News > Sports > Rugby

    Wanganui defend Meads Cup Heartland crown

    Wanganui win the Meads Cup for a sixth time, pulling clear in the second half of the final to see off Heartland Championship rivals Horowhenua-Kapiti.

    Wanganui remain the benchmark team in Heartland Championship rugby after beating Horowhenua-Kapitia 30-14 in the final of the Meads Cup in Levin.

    The visitors were too clinical for the top qualifiers in a lively clash of two lower North Island neighbours at Levin Domain, leading 10-3 at halftime and ultimately scoring three tries to one.

    Victory makes Wanganui the first team to win three successive Meads Cup finals in the 12-year history of the semi-professional Heartland Championship.

    Remarkably, it was the 10th time they had reached the final and the sixth time they had won it.

    In 2014, they won the second-tier Lochore Cup.

    It was just the second loss of the season for Horowhenua Kapiti, who are still to claim any Heartland Championship silverware despite four visits to the final.

    Centre Kaveni Dabenaise gave Wanganui a sixth-minute lead they were to never relinquish.

    Craig Clare's conversion and two penalties put them 13-3 up soon after halftime before home town first five-eighth James So'oialo slotted two penalties to reduce the margin to four points entering the final quarter.

    Wingers Samu Kubunavanua and Cameron Crowley scored tries to effectively make the result safe for Wanganui, capped off by a dropped goal from Dane Whale.


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