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CBS Canterbury Division 1
The CBS Canterbury Trophy stormed into life last weekend with previously unbeaten Christchurch losing and Linwood once again showing that they are one of the favoured sides in the competition this season.
Marist Albion’s 22-20 win against Christchurch was undoubtedly the shock of the season. Marist Albion co-coach Sean Carter says that he employed an unusual piece of psychology before his team took the field.
“I showed the boys an early edition of the match write-up of our game in The Press. It said that we had beaten Christchurch in a boil-over. I went through who had been the crucial players. As it turned out, it all went almost perfectly to script.”
Marist Albion had had an easier week at training; with on Tuesday night for example a few drinks and a more relaxed feel to its preparation. “As coaches we felt that we have got to the stage of the season where if we weren’t ready then we never would be and so we eased off this week and with hindsight it was the right thing to do,” Sean says.
This was a titanic match. Christchurch led 13-0 at one stage before Marist Albion came back to narrow the gap to 13-10 at half-time. The second-half was very even, although a sideline conversion by Matt Golding gave Marist Albion a 22-20 win and the upset they craved.
“The win came about after we had built some momentum in the last three matches,” Sean says. “We were of course delighted with the win.”
Christchurch has still made the CBS Canterbury Trophy however and now goes on to compete against Linwood, Burnside and High School Old Boys.
Linwood is a team that has been flying under the radar in recent weeks, although after their impressive 19-6 win against New Brighton last weekend they must be favoured to make the CBS Canterbury Trophy final.
“We are happy with the way that we are playing and we are excited about being in the final four,” their co-coach Ian Mallard says. Although they lost Jonathan Poff with a broken ankle last weekend and they have also lost a number of players to the Air New Zealand Cup squad, they remain positive and upbeat about their prospects.
“The guys are playing with confidence and as a coach that is what you are after. Adversity breeds character and we have huge character in this side.”
Ian says that although Christchurch lost last weekend they will refocus. “You learn more from your loses than your wins and I am sure that the Christchurch coaches will analyse what went wrong for them.”
In the CBS Canterbury Plate competition, the University of Canterbury, Marist Albion, Sydenham and New Brighton will battle it out. Meanwhile, Lincoln University, Shirley and Belfast will compete in the CBS Canterbury Bowl competition.
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