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Women's Division 1 Final - Sydenham v Christchurch
Sydenham will take on Christchurch in the final of the senior women’s club competition this Saturday.
The finalists reached the final in contrasting fashions last weekend, although they promise to put on one of the most exciting finals in many seasons.
Christchurch’s semi-final against University was always going to be the most even of the semi-finals as there was little between them during the round-robin.
As it turned out, Christchurch beat University 19-15 in a match that the red and black’s coach Nick Maley says was one of their best performances of the season.
“Unlike most matches we have played this season, we played well for 80 minutes and so that was pleasing.”
Nick says that the key to Christchurch’s win was their ability to get on top upfront. “It was very much a team effort, although our set piece was very good and I think that might have been the difference in the end.”
Outstanding as usual for Christchurch was their Black Fern Melissa Ruscoe. “She was class in everything that she did, while lock Kiri Mei also had a fine match.”
The stakes rise further still for Christchurch this week. They will meet a Sydenham side in the final that they were beaten 37-10 by the week before last.
“How do we beat Sydenham, you ask?” Nick says. “That’s a very good question. The key for us is to shut down their ball-runners and make sure that we don’t fall off too many tackles.”
Sydenham do indeed have a number of talented ball-runners who have been the key to their success this season. The red and blues booked their place in the final with a one-sided 106-5 win against Kaiapoi last weekend.
Sydenham will start the final as favourites, although the red and blacks will be encouraged by their performance last weekend.
“The final will be huge,” Nick says. “All I can ask of my side is that they play as well as they did last weekend. The rest will take care of itself.”
Sydenham is unbeaten this season and you would get long odds on them being beaten. Yet sometimes teams can rise to the occasion in finals rugby.
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