SBS Bank Hawkins

CBS Canterbury Division 1

11 Jun 2009

AshYou know that a side is on the right track when a draw is viewed as a loss. That is the case with Burnside, which drew 22-22 with Lincoln University last weekend but which as a unit was far from happy with its performance.

“We are disappointed,” co-coach Steve Ellis said after the match, his frustration more than obvious.

“At the moment we are under-performing as a side and we know that we have to be more accurate.”

Burnside did not play that badly against what is this season a pretty decent Lincoln University side. While they may not have been as accurate as they would have liked, they showed plenty of character to come back from 15-22 down with only 10 minutes remaining.

“While we did indeed show some character, our mistake-level was too high. We need to control the ball more and do the basics better.”

Steve Ellis is of course a coach with a fine pedigree. He also knows that his team is rebuilding and that it is chock full of young players who have enormous promise.

“Although we are not too happy right now, we are looking forward to playing (still unbeaten) Christchurch next weekend. It is a game that we have been targeting and it is I am sure a match that we will be up for.”

Despite not being as successful on the field as they would have liked this season, there have been a number of top individual performers for Burnside.

Loose forward Ash Parker is likely to be in Canterbury’s Air New Zealand Cup squad and he usually has an impact in any match that he is involved in.

“Our front-row is also going very well,” Steve says. “They should all be in the Canterbury side this season. While we would be disappointed to lose them, we accept that that is the end result of them playing well.”

Although Burnside might not currently be clicking the way that their coaching staff might like, there is always the second round to look forward to.

“We know that if we play well we can beat anyone on our day,” Steve says. “The second round presents a very real opportunity for us to improve and to do the basics that we have been failing to do so far this season.”

In four weeks Tom Taylor (one of the most promising players in Canterbury) will return from New Zealand under-20 duty. “He’s been a big loss for us. He’s a mature, composed footballer with a great brain on him. He adds plenty to our side.”

While Burnside may not be the dominant force in Metro rugby that they used to be, there is so much potential and talent in their ranks that it is only a matter of time before they once again taste championship glory.

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