SBS Bank Hawkins

Metro Division 1

8 Jul 2010

HSOBSometimes club’s win competitions the season before. Although this may sound like an oxymoron a quick look through the record books would suggest that that is often the case. As reported recently, New Brighton’s success this season is in part due to the changes they made after last season. If High School Old Boys does well next season it could be due in part to their development this season.

High School Old Boys co-coach Duncan Doig says that he is in charge of a youthful squad this season and if it can stay together it will undoubtedly improve.

“I think we can do that,” he says. “These guys are young and enthusiastic and I know with more time together we will get the results that we are all after.”

Captained by Peter Chaplin this season, High School Old Boys is a club that is use to success. Although it has not achieved its pre-season goal of making the top six, it has allowed the squad to now focus on development.

“We were naturally disappointed to not make the top six,” Duncan says, “although it means that we can now develop players for the future and so that is encouraging.”

Last weekend High School Old Boys beat Belfast 17-0, which was not a bad result given that Belfast are an improved side and the awful conditions they played in.

“We played at Christchurch Boys’ and I think we were the fourth team to play on the field and so it made it difficult for both sides.”

High School Old Boys have had their fair share of injuries throughout the season, including lock Luke Romano who has been out for four weeks. “Most teams go through this at some stage of the season and so there can be no excuses,” Duncan says.

Duncan says the encouraging thing for both him and his co-coach Joe Gee is that their team has really only been convincingly beaten in two matches – against New Brighton and Burnside.   

“We have been there or thereabouts in most matches, which has been really pleasing. Our best performance of the season was against Linwood, in which we lost 32-22 but we were leading in to the second half.”

Duncan says that while it is difficult to single out individual players, he pays tribute to the way that Peter Chaplin has rallied his players on and off the field. “He has been immense and of huge value to the side.”

The side’s development has also been aided by having Crusader Adam Whitelock on board in recent weeks. “He’s a great guy on and off the field and has taught the lads a lot while he has been with us.”

Another bloke who can play a bit, clubman Rueben Thorne, has also been a regular feature at Tuesday trainings. “He’s also been wonderful at passing on information to the guys. He’s been there and done that and so the guys just soak up what he’s said.”   


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