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CBS Canterbury Division 1
While Christchurch remains the team to beat in the CBS Canterbury Trophy, keep an eye on New Brighton.
The Seasiders have lost just two matches all season and although they were upset by High School Old Boys the week before last, at full-strength they are capable of beating any team in the competition.
Last Saturday they beat an improved Shirley side 42-20 and although it was a decent win, there was still room for improvement according to their coach Steve Crotty.
“We played well in patches. We scored some good tries, although we were ill-disciplined at the breakdown and that cost us. We gave away 15 points in penalties.”
So far in the Trophy round the Seasiders have beaten Burnside and lost to High School Old Boys, before last weekend’s win against Shirley.
“We have University this weekend and then Linwood and we are of course aiming to win both matches,” Steve says. “If we can do that then we will be where we want to be, which is in the semi-finals.”
Steve says that the loss to High School Old Boys the weekend before last was disappointing, although on the day Old Boys deserved their win.
“Without making excuses, we were hampered with injuries and some of the boys had the flu. We had 11 at training and so it was a challenge, although credit to Old Boys they did the business on the day.”
New Brighton remains one of the most likely sides to topple the might of Christchurch. “We have been keeping an eye on them, as well as the other teams in the competition. They are obviously the side to beat.”
New Brighton has lost Tyson Keats (with a partially dislocated shoulder), while it will not see anything of Isaac Ross or Ryan Crotty. Otherwise the side is fitter than what it was a few weeks ago.
“We are confident that when we are fully fit we are able to compete with any side in the competition. The CBS Canterbury Cup round is really just the build-up to the Trophy competition. It is what happens from here that will define the season for us and the other sides.”
Steve says that unbeaten Linwood will especially be a real challenge, although he is hopeful that his side will provide him with more consistent performances in the weeks ahead. “We know what we are capable of. We just have to go out there and do it when it counts.”
With New Brighton improving and Linwood still unbeaten, expect there to be a number of real challenges to Christchurch’s recent domination of the competition.
In other matches last weekend, Christchurch beat Sydenham 15-8, Burnside beat Marist Albion 23-20, Linwood defeated High School Old Boys 26-21, while University beat Belfast 16-13.
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