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Hawkins Division 1
Marist Albion have tongues wagging after three rounds in the Hawkins Cup round-robin. The famous Metro club beat Christchurch 37-10 last weekend to claim the DCL Shield and at the same time make it three wins on the trot.
Marist Albion beat Sumner and Lincoln University in the first two rounds. Many would have expected them to win these matches but few would have predicted a win against Christchurch. Still, they were too strong for the red and blacks.
Led magnificently by Rowan O’Gorman, Marist Albion appeared to be hungrier and thanks to a brace of tries by winger Chris Crichton and tries to Anthony Tailua, Shayne Anderson and O’Gorman himself they got home easily at Rugby Park.
O’Gorman’s try was the most crucial: the ball pooped out the side of a maul and into the hands of the plucky loose forward who ran through several defenders to dot down besides the posts. The try gave Marist Albion a 15-3 lead and there was no turning back.
Marist Albion is joined by Sydenham and Burnside as the unbeaten sides in the competition. Burnside clawed back from being down 0-13 at half-time to upset New Brighton 17-16. Sydenham meanwhile beat Belfast 42-15, thanks largely to their forward pack and the skill of Crusader Tyler Bleyendaal.
Celebrating its 125th anniversary at the weekend, Sumner did themselves and their club proud with a plucky 25-25 draw with Lincoln University at St Leonard’s Square. The star of the day for the home side was replacement five-eight Solomona Paraki. The called-up player set up the try that gave Sumner a chance of squaring the match in injury time and then brilliantly converted it to give the seasiders a deserved share of the spoils.
This match was arguably the match of the round. Three tries were scored in the last five minutes. The occasion may have initially got to Sumner as they made a number of uncharacteristic errors in the first half and were down 0-13 at half-time as a result. In the second half Sumner were better disciplined and valued their possession won. Tries to Reece McAffrey and Josh Leszczuk gave Sumner a 18-13 lead.
Bryce Bird and Adam Dunn then scored for Lincoln University in the last five minutes before Steve McCarron crossed the line for Paraki to kick the conversion and even the spoils. A draw was a fair result given the flow of the match.
In other matches last weekend, reigning champions High School Old Boys beat Shirley 41-36 and last year’s runners-up defeated Linwood 36-20 at Ilam Fields. The early results this year suggest that the competition is wide open.
For full match coverage go to the CRFU Community Website,http://www.crfu.co.nz/main/index.cfm/1,649,0,40,html/Game-Day
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