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Metro Division 1 - Update
Sydenham well and truly upset the Metro division one apple cart by toppling High School Old Boys 16-11 at Bob Deans on Saturday.
A determined and focused Sydenham, who went into the match with only three wins, ended the home side’s unbeaten run and took the DCL Shield.
An impressive defensive effort kept Old Boys to just one try, despite them average 38 points a game.
On the flip side, Sydenham scored two brilliant first-half tries, to prop Toby Hammond and fullback Tyrone Elkington.
However, wayward kicking kept Old Boys in the hunt.
The slip up would have been a relief to the closest teams in the chasing bunch – New Brighton, Christchurch, and University – as Old Boys, eight points clear after round seven, are now only four ahead of Brighton with Christchurch just five points adrift.
Sydenham coach John Sherratt said after the match he had spoken to his team midweek about the need to have more confidence and self-belief.
“Sometimes you always concentrate on what you can keep improving on, without actually recognising what you’re doing well,” he said.
“We always felt we weren’t too far away from just turning that corner.”
John says his side had “more bite in the tackle” against Old Boys.
“We put pressure in around that contact area, which we’ve not been doing well enough, and from there our defensive pattern came to the fore.
“We managed to get in their faces a lot more and they got flustered, which enabled our confidence to grow as well.”
The return of key players, including Crusaders squad member Tyler Bleyendaal, was also a boost.
“This first round is just about positioning yourself in that top six and just getting that confidence and momentum going into the all important second round,” John says.
In other matches, New Brighton scored five tries to halt Belfast’s winning run and Christchurch had too much firepower for Lincoln University, also getting the bonus-point try.
Linwood could not repeat their previous week’s heroics against Christchurch, losing at home to University, Marist-Albion picked up their third win of the season against win-less Shirley, and a late try inflated Burnside’s winning margin against a Sumner.
Marist-Albion captain, Rowan O’Gorman, celebrated his 150th senior game with a try.
Check out the weekly editorial on Metro division one rugby, which is published under the Metro tab of the CRFU website each Sunday around 3pm.
Visit www.crfu.co.nz/main/index.cfm/1,649,0,40,html/Game-Day to have a read.
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