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Sydenham and University Women Unbeaten
University Division 1 coach Ernie Goodhue is frustrated. After seven competition games his 25-strong squad remains unbeaten although untested.
The students started the season with a 37-29 win against Belfast before having the bye. A 64-0 romp against High School Old Boys and a 70-0 win against Burnside followed and were no real test.
That was followed by another week off as Linwood defaulted before perhaps their biggest challenge of the season, against country powerhouses Dunsandel/Irwell.
“We were tested against them,” Ernie admits. “They have a big forward pack, but we managed to get the ball wide in the second half (and won 38-3 in the end)”.
The frustrations continued for University. A 67-5 win against Marist-Albion was followed by a week off as Kaiapoi defaulted and then another week off due to snow.
Playing unbeaten Sydenham last weekend would have been a real test. “Still, both sides would have lost some players to the New Zealand Sevens Trials and so would not have been at full strength,” Ernie says.
University this season is without locks Kim Smith and Bridget Johnson, but it has picked up a number of talented newcomers. Forwards Rebecca Pratley and Chrissy Illston have added to the squad while Sophie Anderson has returned from overseas. Jess Hansen (daughter of Steve) has also joined her sister Whitney in the side.
Outstanding as always has been Kendra Cocksedge. The recently graduated Black Fern (she graduated with a Bachelor of Recreation Management (Sport) from Lincoln) has scored 119 points in four matches for University.
“She has been incredible this season and been a class above,” Ernie says of his talented number nine.
University has had injury issues. “Unfortunately Olivia Coady has had a hip injury and has only played one or two games for us,” Ernie explains.
Despite his frustration, Ernie says the spirit within his side is "outstanding" and attendances at practices very good. University will play Sydenham in the first game of the second round this weekend. The winner of this game will be declared the winner of the first round, as both teams were equal on points.
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