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I enjoyed reading about the upcoming final that year and can recall that day I thought Woodlands had won it...but
Woodlands were at the top of the table that season and played 4th place team, Marist and the other semi final was between 2nd Place team, Hawkes and 3rd Place - Mataura.
Murray Brown and Paul Cosgrove were the coaches of the newly formed rugby club - Hawkes. This club was the amalgamation of Pirates Rugby Club and Old Boys Rugby Club.
With their key player, Daniel Pinn out due to concussion against Marist - the Hawkes would be disappointed that they would not be able to field their strongest team.
Mataura with the likes of Phil Taylor, Keni Fisalau, Aaron Kumara and Ricky Heaps in the backs, and the powerful front row of Brett Roberts, Paul Roberts and talented hooker Tai Leota. Their loosies, Albert Tau, Andy Currie and Uhilla Mafi complement the talented team.
Eastern Hawkes: Dennis Thompson (Calvin Claridge), Dai Katsuna, Anthony Lafaghi, Shane Erskine, Calvin Claridge (Mark Fairweather), Bryan Milne, Jamie Whelan, Stu Harvey, Dion Bates, David Hall, Steve Jackson, Brendon Timmins, Chris Thompson, Jason Tehuia, Chris Frisby, Mark Protton, Denis Thompson, Cane Irvine, Neville Gawn, Quinton Hibbs, Troy Wilmshurst.
Mataura: Craig Marshall, Matthew Turnbull, Phil Taylor, Keni Fisalau, Duncan McAlister, Aaron Kumaru, Ricky Heaps, Albert Tau, Andy Curry, Uhilla Mafi, Andy Mitchell, Martin Turnbull, Brett Roberts, Tai Leota, Paul Roberts, John Dickie, Vaughan Murphy, Shane Brown, Cliff Waithape, Nathan Edwards, Mark Noko.
The other semi finalist was Woodlands and coach Lex Chisholm said Marist were lucky to beat them in the first round and he was looking forward to an epic battle the two other semifinalists were:
Woodlands: Elgan O'Donnell, Richard Stordart, Jason Dermody, Aaron Frisby, Nathan Cunningham, Danny Crengle, Johnathon Duffy, Brent McKenzie, Ashley Barron, Jason Peak, Karl Sylvester, Callum Harper, Stacey McNaught, Ross Armstrong, Sam Riley, Brent Shepherd (Captain), Rob Everett, Roger Newell, Aaron Dempsey, Jason Rutledge, Brendon Duffy, Shay Tipu, Greg Munro, Rob Everett, Richard Gray.
Marist: Pilate Fili, Tom Cregan, Hayden Martine, Terry Ngu, Justin Heffernan, Damon Templeton, Simon Lee, Brendon Nally (captain), Jeremy Winders, Iona Sipa, Greg Ballantyne, Nathan Burgess, Jason Rickard, Dennis Hika, Mike Hayes, Pita Lloyd, Shane Ripley, Trent Frew, Kevin Silcock, Hoani McDonald, Matt Bedow, Doug MacDougall, Sam O'Reilly.
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