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Country Colts Final
Waihora and Springston will meet this weekend at Tai Tapu in the Combined Country Colts final.
This competition has been this season one of the best in Canterbury rugby and this finale between these two close rivals promises to be a real cliff-hanger.
Waihora has not lost a match all season and made the final with a 23-15 win against the Leeston Old Boys side last weekend. Co-coach Brent Lewis (who is coaching the side with former Lincoln player Jason Payne) says that his side is looking forward to the final.
“We played pretty well against Saracens, although there are still plenty of things for us to improve on going into the final this weekend.”
Stand-outs for Waihora have included their number eight Taylor Lowe, who has led the side well. Liam Richardson is another player who has been a stand-out.
“Although we beat Springston in the round-robin, we know that finals rugby is different,” Brent says.
The Waihora team is made up of some locals, but like Springston, it has a number of Lincoln University students in its line-up. “I would expect at least four of our guys to be playing senior rugby next season,” Brent says.
Springston enters the final as the reigning champions, having beaten Darfield in the final last season. They made this season’s final after some controversy after drawing 16-16 with Saracens.
“With the scores tied at 16-16 the referee called the match a draw and we didn’t play extra time,” Springston coach Malcolm Powell says. “There was some confusion about whether extra time should be played or whether it came down to tries scored and yellow and red cards.”
As it turned out, Springston was ahead in most areas, having scored two tries to Saracens one and the North Canterbury club having had a red and yellow card. It was therefore Springston that went through to the final.
Malcolm says that his side is also looking forward to the final. “Waihora deserve to be the top qualifiers as they have not lost a game. We are just hoping that the game that they do lose is the final.”
Malcolm says that his side has suffered a number of injuries this season, the most damaging being to their midfielder Rihi Brown. “He is a big bruising centre and he’s got a shoulder injury that has seen him miss the last two weeks.” Springston will however soldier on and Malcolm says that they are looking forward to attempting to defend their title at Tai Tapu this weekend.
“The Colts competition has been a really good one this season and we are hopeful that we can put on a really good final on Saturday and hopefully come out on top.”
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