Above: Brett Goodin in action for Coastal in a recent match against Old Boys, that saw him play his 200th Premier match. His experience in the final will be invaluable.
Taranaki’s Premier club rugby final will be between Coastal and New Plymouth Old Boys after both teams won their respective semi-finals on Saturday.
Coastal, who lost last year’s final to Tukapa, justified their top seeding by beating Clifton 17-10 at Rahotu, while in a repeat of the 2016 final, Old Boys were too good for Tukapa at Sanders Park, triumphing 26-13.
Both semi-finals were played in front of large crowds.
Playing with the wind in the first half, Coastal scored an early try to prop Liam Hurley to give the home side early dominance. Captain Jeremy Newell dotted down late in the first half to give them a 17-7 lead at the break against a spirited Clifton side.
Clifton first five-eighth Beaudien Waaka scored his team’s only try.
Clifton dominated the opening exchanges of the second spell, a penalty goal by Waaka brought them to within striking distance.
But that completed the scoring, as torrential rain fell and even the lights had to be turned on to improve the visibility.
Tukapa’s dreams of a three-peat of championships came to an end as Old Boys scored two tries in each half to win by a comfortable margin.
Old Boys had a 13-5 lead at the interval and proved far more efficient and threatening with the ball.
First five-eighth Daniel Waite and wing Jackson Carrington both scored a brace each for the winners.
Tukapa’s Daniel Bernet scored a late try but time prevented a late comeback.
The result overturned the earlier rounds of the competition, when Tukapa beat Old Boys twice.
The final will take place at the TET Stadium, Inglewood, on July 14 kicking off at 2:45pm.
In the other finals, that will also be at Inglewood next Saturday, Coastal meet Southern in Division One, Coastal will square off with Inglewood in Division Two, neighbours Toko clash with Stratford/Eltham for the Division Three title and in the Colts final Spotswood United play New Plymouth Old Boys.