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PGG Wrightson Canterbury Country Rugby - Division 1 Competitions Update
Glenmark showed that it means business in the North Canterbury competition with a resounding 66-0 win against Saracens last weekend to retain the Deans Shield.
Glenmark of course retained its Country title with a good win against Lincoln away from home the weekend before last and some might have thought that it would still be suffering a collective hang-over. Yet it proved anything but with a convincing display against Saracens.
The question now will be whether any club will be able to live with this Glenmark side that is chock full of confidence as well as ability.
Two of the sides most likely to compete with Glenmark – Kaiapoi and Oxford – met last weekend, Kaiapoi running out narrow 17-13 winners.
This was always going to be one of the most interesting matches of the competition: Kaiapoi had played well the previous week, drawing 19-19 with Southbridge and ending up equal third in the Country competition. Oxford on the other hand is a side that has improved as the season has continued but been affected by various unavailabilities for different reasons.
With Kaiapoi having won that match, they will once again be the side most likely to topple the mighty Glenmark. Although they were beaten by them in the semi-finals of the Country competition, they will still favour their chances of striking the old enemy on an off day. Ashley meanwhile had the bye last weekend.
While it might have been expected that Glenmark would be off its game last weekend, the reverse might have been thought off at Southbridge where the home side took on a hurting Lincoln side.
Lincoln did not front in the Country final and they may have been forgiven for not being as enthusiastic last weekend as they might have been otherwise. Against them was a Southbridge side that has been one of the successes of the Country competition, finishing third equal after drawing with Kaiapoi 19-19 recently.
As it turned out, Lincoln beat Southbridge 20-8 in a gutsy performance. It showed that they had successfully managed to refocus during the build-up and put the disappointment of the final well and truly behind them.
In other matches in Ellesmere last weekend, Darfield (who may be the team to watch) beat Prebbleton 26-3 and Hornby beat Burnham 14-13. Reigning Coleman Shield holders Waihora had the bye.
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