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The Wairarapa secondary schools division one competition kicked off this week in a round which saw easy victories for all winning teams as they tried to secure early points in the 2012 season. The opening round has split the table early into the teams who will be competetive for the title and those at risk of not making the cut when the division splits in July.
Chanel 1st XI got their season off to a perfect start with a 25-1 drubbing of a ten man Bideford team, the largest scoreline the competition has ever seen. This puts last years runners-up firmly at the top of the table on goal difference and confirms them as real contenders for the title this year, while Bideford will struggle to avoid relegation. Bideford fans were reminded of the 2010 horror season in this performance, where they didn't have enough possesion to put any pressure on the Chanel defence, until a second half goal against the run of play.
Wai Col 2nd XI made a solid start in their title defence with a convincing 16-0 win over the Chanel development XI, another team from the second division in 2011. This sends a strong message to all other teams that they are still the team to beat this season.
Rathkeale Rovers were also held scoreless and suffered a 10-0 defeat at the hands of Kurinui 1st XI who could be capable of causing a few upsets this year and putting pressure on the Masterton colleges.
The two other Rathkeale teams were easy victors in their opening matches, both over non-school teams. Blitz held Rathkeale United to a 3-0 half time lead, but a lack of fitness and game time together meant this extende to 9-1 by the final whistle, and made United the only away team to get any competition points this round. The 2nd XI beat LWR 7-1 and will look to keep pressure on the other top school teams in the division.
Round 2 promices to be much closer, with Bideford playing Blitz, a team captained by former Bideford member Alex Davis and both teams looking for their first win, and Kurinui 1st XI hosting Rathkeale 2nd XI, both teams who want to prove this will not be a two-horse race.
Chanel 1st XI 25 - 1 Bideford 1st XI
Kurinui College 1st XI 10 - 0 Rathkeale Rovers
Rathkeale 2nd XI 7 - 1 LWR
Wairarapa College 2nd XI 16 - 0 Chanel Development XI
Blitz 1 - 9 Rathkeale United