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CBS Canterbury Cup - Division 1
When you represent a club such as Marist Albion you know that there are gong to be expectations to perform. This is after all the club of such great Canterbury players as Kevin Stuart, Paula Bale and Casey Laulala.
The Marist Albion side this season is a young team, but a side that with time will develop into one of the powerhouses of Canterbury club rugby once again.
“We lost 13 players from last season’s side and so we are re-developing this year,” co-coach Sean Carter says.
“That said, while some of the club stalwarts no doubt get frustrated with us for not being on top of the table, they are patient and they know that we are working to a three-year plan.”
With a large number of new players within the squad this season, you would expect that Marist Albion would gradually improve as the season continues.
“We have two big matches in the first round left and we want to maintain the momentum that we have been developing, but we are really focusing on doing well in the second round.”
Marist Albion has had a number of good performances this season already. Perhaps their best was their 18-16 loss to New Brighton.
“I really rate New Brighton and so for us to play as well as we did that day was very pleasing,” Sean says.
Rowen O’Gorman continues to shine for Marist Albion. “He is a wily old campaigner and certainly one of the best players in the competition,” Sean says. “He is a very good team player and an excellent club man and he is always a stand-out for us.”
Rowen’s form has meant that promising Southlander Matt Holloway has been forced to play hooker this season. “Matt is another player with a very big future and the fact that he is so committed to the club shows his passion.”
Dan Keenan is yet another player who has stood out for Marist Albion this season. Although he has missed the last two weeks with a groin strain, he is also one of the best players in CBS Canterbury Metro Division 1.
The beauty of this Marist Albion side is the mix between the experienced and inexperienced. For example, back-up hooker Sialonga Leota is straight out of the St Thomas’ first XV and a player with a very bright future.
“The guys really get on great on and off the field and they are a pleasure to coach,” Sean says. “We aim to continually improve and if we can stay together for a couple of seasons, we will have a bright future.”
Marist Albion takes on High School Old Boys before meeting University in the last round of the first round. Winning these two matches would give Marist Albion plenty of momentum going into the second round.
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