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Metro Division 1 - Update
High School Old Boys have secured their first Metropolitan Cup in three years with a round spare after withstanding a spirited challenge from holders New Brighton on Saturday.
Fears of a momentum shift were quickly quashed with Old Boys’ 21-15 win at Bob Deans, and the news got even better when they heard Burnside had beaten contenders Christchurch 31-15.
They last won the Cup in 2008, and went on to win the Trophy that year also.
Old Boys raced to a 15-0 lead over New Brighton, but at the end they were desperately defending their line as the visitors pushed for the match-winning try.
Two missed one-on-one tackles in the first half proved costly for New Brighton who found themselves 10 points in arrears at the break and behind at the finish despite having the better of the second spell.
They were also missing Ryan Crotty, on duty with the Crusaders in Timaru, who starred in the previous week’s win.
New Brightoncoach Steve Crotty says the opening round loss to Sydenham, which was a game they had led comfortably, proved costly.
“The first round is the hardest round to win because you’ve got to win all your games to give yourself a chance,” he says.
“This year, our goal has been to perform credibly in the first round and make the improvements so we’re competitive in the second round.”
Last season, New Brighton stumbled after winning the Cup.
Having more depth this year has allowed Steve to rest players and keep them fresh for the top six.
“We’ve got a side this year with a number of new players, so it’s a first for them being in this position. There’s a determination for it not to happen again,” he says.
Burnside ended Christchurch’s hopes a three-try effort at home.
The visitors were restricted to five penalty goals, having found themselves outplayed in the set pieces and put off their game by Burnside’s aggressive defence.
University had their fifth straight win at Marist-Albion’s expense to join New Brighton in second spot, while Christchurch remained in fourth place.
The top six is rounded out by Sydenham, comfortable winners over Sumner, and Belfast, who pipped Linwood with a late penalty goal.
Lincoln Universitykept Shirley anchored to the foot of the table with a 27-11 win.
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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