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PGG Wrightson Canterbury Country Rugby - Division 1 Competitions Update

16 Jul 2009

LincolnIt was business as usual for Lincoln on the field last weekend although Darfield showed its Ellesmere credentials with a 29-14 win against Southbridge.

Lincoln has stepped up a gear in the Coleman Shield and although some have suggested that their reign as one of the best clubs in Country rugby is over, thoughts of their demise (to paraphrase Oscar Wilde) are pre-mature.

Against Prebbleton they showed that on their day they can be one of the most exciting teams to watch. Their 53-3 win was on the face of it impressive, but it was more the way that their win was achieved that stood out.

It was an emotional day for the Lincoln club. With the death during the week of club legend Ray Fowler, the players wore black armbands and there was a minute’s silence before the match to mark Ray’s passing.

“It was special that Ray’s wife Helen and his daughter Debbie were at the game on Saturday and that they came back to the clubrooms after the game,” Lincoln coach Bob Kerr says.

Bob says that Lincoln/Prebbleton games were normally tight affairs and that he was therefore surprised with the way his side was able to score so many points.

“To be fair to them, Prebbleton is a young side this season and it has also had a number of injuries. They will be back as a force again.”

One of the stars for Lincoln was Dale Eathorne. The talented back scored 28 points and ensured that the recent retirement of Ross Soper (and his accurate goal-kicking) has not been felt as much as it might have been otherwise.

While many are suggesting that it will be Lincoln and Waihora that compete in the final for the Coleman Shield this season, don’t rule out Darfield.

The red and blues may not have been expected to beat Southbridge last weekend, although the manner of their win also suggests a team nicely building.

“Darfield is a good side and like us they have only really lost to Glenmark in recent weeks,” Bob Kerr says.

Bob says that he would not like to make a comment on whether Darfield or Waihora are the teams to beat in Ellesmere this season. “Waihora may not have beaten Burnham by as much as they would have liked at the weekend but they are still the reigning champions.” Hornby had the bye last weekend.

In North Canterbury rugby it was also business as usual last weekend. The main game saw Glenmark continue on their merry way, beating Oxford 32-17 to retain the Deans Shield. As it stands you would get long odds on the boys from Omihi being beaten this season.

Last Saturday Kaiapoi beat Ashley 27-11 away from home, although they also will know that greater challenges await them. Saracens had the bye.

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