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Hawkins Division 1 - Burnside Champions
Trust was what won Burnside the Hawkins Trophy final at Rugby Park on Sunday, its co-coach Peter Manson says. In a gripping match, Burnside beat Sydenham 21-16.
“It was about the players backing each other when a tackle had to be made,” Peter says. “Everyone had to have trust in the defensive systems that we put in place. That’s the sort of thing you develop at pre-season camps.”
Sydenham had the better of Burnside in the first quarter although it was unable to make the most of its opportunities. Burnside then had perhaps its best period of the match – number eight Billy Thompson scoring and Kieran Lindsay kicking the conversion and a penalty.
Lindsay then went from hero to villain when he spread the ball wide and found Jonny McNicoll who ran 40 meters to score. “It’s something that we talked about at half-time,” Peter says. “We had to be tighter. Sydenham had an opportunity and they took it with both hands.”
There was only one score in the second half: Lindsay made a strong burst and, after the ball had moved through several pairs of Burnside hands, Mike Davis scored.
“It was fitting, really,” Peter says. “Mike has played a lot of rugby and had had a number of injuries. He has had a great season and deserved to score the winning try.”
While Sydenham had its chances (McNicoll went close again) Burnside was able to play error-free rugby and essentially it closed the game down. It was Burnside’s first Hawkins Trophy win since 2006 and there were ecstatic scenes in the stand when the final whistle went.
“It was a bit of a roller-coaster wasn’t it,” Peter said after the match. “We drew inspiration from watching our Division 3 side take its chance against Christchurch in its final yesterday. They were probably the under-dog but they did themselves proud and won their Trophy.”
Peter says he knew his team had the experience and composure to win the final. “When I woke up this morning I looked at our team-sheet and I thought about the experience in our side. I knew we could win it.”
Peter says that winning the Trophy final on the same day as Peter Gibson played his 100th Division 1 match was particularly special.
Having won the Hawkins Cup-Trophy double (and lost only two competition games all year), Burnside is the undisputed king of this grade in 2012.
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