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Luietti Seeds Division 1 - Semi Finals Time
Glenmark’s three-year domination of the Luisetti Seeds Combined Country Cup has come to an end.
An 18-13 loss against Methven on Saturday, the team Glenmark beat in last year’s final, broke their three-year run as champions.
Lincoln, the only other side to have held the combined cup, showed their finals class by beating Kaiapoi 25-7 at Kaiapoi.
After an indifferent season, Lincoln used their superior forward power to outmuscle the home side’s smaller pack.
The visitors opened the scoring with a penalty in the 20th minute and never let up.
Tries to locks Junior Ailepata and Mark Stanbury ensured a 15-0 lead at half time, and Ailepata scored again soon after the break.
Wayward goal-kicking kept Kaiapoi in touch, and they sniffed a comeback when flanker Matt Etheredge scored under the posts after their best period on attack.
However, Lincoln prop Joe Moody sealed the match when he scored from a 30-metre blindside break.
Darfield showed Rakaia no mercy by dishing out a 35-0 thrashing at Rakaia.
Oxfordbattled to ensure both top qualifiers made the semi finals in their match against Ashley, but prevailed 24-20.
Despite the loss, it was Ashley’s first appearance in the combined cup playoffs since the first season.
Coach Aaron Robinson says he was sure the team had blown their chance by losing to winless Hampstead in the final round.
They were sweating on Darfield beating Burnham, and conceding no bonus points, to keep the army boys one point behind them.
Aaron says he thought they had a “one in a million” chance of getting the result.
“We were so gutted at losing to Hampstead,” he says.
“They had their confidence up and we had a few lads away, which didn’t help. That’s not much of an excuse - we just didn’t get off the bus well.”
The team also lost to lowly West Melton earlier in the season, but beat Darfield and Burnham.
Aaron says the return of former players from overseas, such as fullback and goal-kicker Ricky Jacobs, has been a boost for Ashley this season.
The club also has a division two side for the first time in several years.
“There’s some enthusiasm in the club at the moment and it’s really good,” Aaron says.
In other matches, Southbridge beat West Melton 46-20, Burnham beat Southern 22-15, Waihora beat Dunsandel-Irwell 24-18, Saracens beat Ohoka 23-12, and Hampstead beat Prebbleton 33-12.
Download Programme below for this weekends semi finals match-ups:
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