SBS Bank Hawkins

Hawkins Metro Division 1 - Update

5 Jun 2013

Steve AlfeldA few moments after their season-changing win against High School Old Boys in the Hawkins Cup last weekend (which meant they took the DCL Shield home), the Christchurch side huddled together and started singing.

The song they were singing was a club song that had re-emerged at the club’s 150th jubilee earlier in the season. The words included ‘giving the axe’, a tribute of sorts no doubt to the past

Such a song was symbolic given Christchurch’s performance. Down 7-0 after eight minutes (thanks to a Steven Gee try), it appeared only a matter of time before the competition-leaders

Yet to be fair to Christchurch they had had the better of the first five minutes and it was only through turn-over ball that High School Old Boys had managed to score.

Christchurch had three opportunities to close the gap in the first half with penalty kicks: Brook Retallick (otherwise very impressive) only managing to convert one to make the half-time score 7-3.

If the first half had been action-packed, the second half was even more gripping. A further Retallick penalty after 20 minutes was closely followed by a terrific try to one of the game’s best, openside flanker Angus Middleton. The number seven is not a big man but he was in everything and he showed terrific pace to score.

Middleton’s try changed the game. The conversion gave Christchurch the lead for the first time in the match and a new-found belief that the game could be won.

A Fletcher Smith penalty narrowed the gap, but too many mistakes, especially at the set piece, prevented High School Old Boys from getting closer. With Christchurch number eight Kieran Coll dominant, the red and blacks held on to win in the upset of the round.

Christchurch co-coach Matt Mustchin said he was not surprised with his side’s performance. “We had been building in the last three matches. We have had so many injuries but we are starting to come right.”

Mustchin said that his side’s defence had been a highlight, although what really impressed him was the attitude. “That’s something you can’t coach,” he laughed. “The guys turned up to play today and it showed.”

Outstanding for Christchurch was flanker Middleton, replacement half-back Jake Ashby and wing Yoshiaki Tsurugasaki. For High School Old Boys wing Joe Taylor had a strong first half, lock Michael Barry was prominent, while Fletcher Smith showed touches of his obvious class.

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