Plains Rangers were on tour at the weekend, with both the men's and women's teams away at Taupo. The clubs arranged that both games could be played on the Saturday, so everyone could enjoy the occasion. In fact all four of Taupo's teams were playing at home that day, so it was quite a festival.
The women's game was quite wind affected and the strong home team had a 12 – 0 win. Rangers worked hard to deal with the onslaught, with both centre backs Laura Powick and player of the day Tara Edwards doing lots of chasing back and cleaning up, as well as being in the wars. Others to impress were winger Zahara Magee, forward Mishka Barry and defender Emma Bradnock.
The men's game was a hard fought affair too. Despite having to call in three Edgecumbe College players so they could field a team, Rangers played some great football in the first half, setting up a number of chances. Sam Christieson went close twice and Petir Gray was always dangerous coming through from the midfield. Late in the half, though, Taupo scored from right in front of goal, with the Rangers defenders calling out for offside. Then to add insult to injury Taupo were awarded a penalty, but keeper Christian Wetting pulled off a brilliant save from a well hit shot.
The second half became quite a battle, with Taupo being pulled up for a lot of fouls as they sought to cope with the Rangers passing game and the threat of Petir Gray in particular in the midfield. The home team made sure of the win with ten minutes to go, scoring after a good move. Taupo 2 Plains Rangers 0.
Player-coach Wetting was especially pleased with the attitude, grit and the good football produced by his players. Bon Magee and Kaleb Muggeridge slotted into the team well in their debuts. Veteran Barrie Hawkes was named player of the day and Carl Imlig was also in top form in defence.
This Saturday Rangers men are home to Rotorua United, while on Sunday the women are home to Te Puke.