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Another Memorable Season on the Cards For Metro Rugby
Senior rugby in Metro this season promises more of the same exciting, no-holds barred competition that was such a feature of last season’s wet-plagued year.
Many fans will recall the outstanding performances of the Division 1 High School Old Boys side, while who will ever forget the almost mesmerizing extra-time Premier Colts final between University and Burnside? It was a season to remember and this year promises even better.
The Metro competition will this season kick-off on 4 April, with Division 1, 2 and the Colts competitions playing the following weekend (Easter week) as well but not any of the other senior grades.
“We just felt that, with many of the social grades especially, many of the players wanted to head off during Easter and so it didn’t make sense to play those grades on that weekend,” management committee member Gary Newell says.
Division 1 will again be made up of 11 teams this season. With Merivale and Lincoln University having separated, the students have decided to enter a team in Division 1, ensuring that the same number of teams as last season are taking part in Metro’s premier competition.
A feature of this season’s competition is that it is likely to be closely fought. There are unlikely to be any easy matches. While the traditional strengths of the competition – the likes of High School Old Boys, Christchurch and Burnside – will again be extremely competitive, other traditional clubs such as Linwood, New Brighton and Sydenham will also be worth watching this season.
Then there are the unknown packets that are the students clubs – University and Lincoln University. Under Steve Surridge the town students will be the dark horses in the competition, while how Lincoln University will get on is also one of the big questions in the senior season ahead.
With entries closing on 13 March, it is difficult to determine how many teams will be taking part this season. The same grades will, however, operate with some interesting questions remaining from last season. Will, for example, Sumner again be a powerhouse in Division 2? Will University retain their title in the Premier Colts competition?
“Metro club rugby in Canterbury is in very good heart and we are confident that we are going to have an extremely exciting year,” Gary says. “We just hope that we get better weather than what we did last season.”
With Metro having to be off the council-owned grounds by the end of August, there is undoubted pressure on the Metro administrators to ensure that the competitions run smoothly. “We can only control what we can control and we can’t control the weather and so we are looking forward to an exciting season of senior rugby,” Gary says.
The competitions taking place in the Metro competition this season are Division 1, 2 and 3, Premier Colts, Colts, Division 4, 5 and Classics.
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