SBS Bank Hawkins

Metro Division 1 Update

20 Jul 2010

SydenhamThe Division 1 Metro competition is heating up with a number of teams now in the hunt for top honours.

Sydenham has shown in the last two weeks that it may be the team to beat after important wins against previously unbeaten New Brighton and last year’s champions Christchurch.

The cardinal and blues started this round with a 8-7 loss to Linwood, although bounced back to beat the Seasiders 33-3 at Sydenham Park and then beat the red and blacks 21-16 after being 16-3 down at the break.

Sydenham coach Dale McLeod says that he is happy with the way his team is performing and that their recent good results are due to a number of reasons.  

“It’s really all down to the progress that we have been making as a side over the last couple of seasons,” he says. “We have tried to base this team around the quality Colts sides that we have had and of course the base that we have already had in our Division 1 side.”

Dale says that winning the DCL Shield by beating New Brighton was a huge up and it gave his side a lift.

“It was also important of course that we were able to back it up against Christchurch and I think being down 16-3 against them at half-time suggested that we were still thinking about last week’s result in the first half.”

Still, some well thought-out words at half-time from the coaches saw Sydenham come through. “It was really pleasing for us to get the win,” Dale says. “Christchurch is a top side and always tough and to beat them is special.”

While Dale says that it is too early to start talking abut Sydenham winning the Trophy this season, he does say that his side can beat anybody on its day. “The guys know that and so the aim for us now is to continually improve.”

Sydenham has been rewarded for some good team results by a number of players being selected for Canterbury and New Zealand teams. Last week hooker Paul Ngauamo and wing Telusa Veainu were named in Canterbury’s 2010 ITM squad. “That’s wonderful for the players and for the club itself as they bring back with them new ideas and plenty of confidence,” Dale says.

It also helps create a culture that encourages other players to want to play for Sydenham. “We have worked very hard on not only creating a really good family atmosphere off the field, but also developing depth within the club itself,” Dale says.“While the club was successful in the 1990s, it did not necessarily develop the depth across the board to ensure that the next lot of players were equally as successful. We are trying to avoid that happening again.”  

With the club winning the Charles Rhodes Memorial Trophy this season in the Premier Colts competition it is likely that Sydenham will go from strength to strength.

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