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Hawkins Division 1 - Semi Finals
Marist Albion will play New Brighton while High School Old Boys will meet Lincoln University in the semi-finals of the Hawkins Trophy this weekend.
Marist Albion may look back at their 31-22 loss to High School Old Boys last Saturday as a blessing in disguise as they prepare for their semi-final.
It wasn’t necessarily the loss that shocked the competition front-runners (they had lost to the same side in the first round after all) but the fact that at this level mistakes could be so ruthlessly exposed.
“We made three mistakes at crucial times and they capitalised on them and scored tries,” Marist Albion co-coach Chris Hay says. “They took their opportunities.”
“That and the fact that they were more dynamic and committed at the breakdown were the reasons for our loss. We have had a good look at the game and I know that we will be better off for it leading into this weekend.”
Marist Albion had not been beaten in the Trophy round until last weekend. Hays says his side was not under-aroused going in to the match. “The fact that they had beaten us before gave us every incentive.”
While there is plenty to work on for Marist Albion, Hays says there is also plenty to be positive about. “Our set piece was very good. We scored a push-over try and almost a second and so we were very good there.”
New Brighton is perhaps the dark horse in the semi-finals. This season they have a bigger pack then normal, while they also have a solid midfield and pace out wide.
“They have been flying under the radar this season but they are a good side and we will not be treating them lightly,” Hays says. “The great thing with the competition this season is that there is no clear favourite.”
Marist Albion has beaten New Brighton twice this season and may start favourites. New Brighton’s 36-15 performance against neighbours Linwood last weekend was however impressive, especially in the second half.
The other Hawkins Trophy semi-final also has the potential to be a classic: Hawkins Cup winners Lincoln University meet High School Old Boys. “They (High School Old Boys) will have taken plenty of confidence from beating us last weekend,” Hays says.
High School Old Boys has looked capable throughout the season of matching it with the competition’s best. At times they have faulted, such as in their first round loss to Christchurch, but they will have been galvanized by their win at the weekend. They now clearly have momentum.
Lincoln University has been the form team throughout the season. Their 37-17 win over Sydenham last weekend was a decent dress rehearsal although they will have to step up to quell High School Old Boys
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