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Hawkins Division 1 Final - New Brighton
Ron Vette, the New Brighton manager, spoke to his team before their gutsy 18-11 semi-final win against Marist Albion last weekend. His words came from the heart.
“It was an emotional pitch and it focused on the fact that the club had not won the Trophy since 1984,” New Brighton co-coach Scott Pawson says. “Ron was playing for that side and so it was a nice tie-in with the past,”
New Brighton will need to draw on more than the past if they are to beat a red hot High School Old Boys in this Sunday’s final at Rugby Park. Still, they are excited.
“After the match the coaching staff concluded that only two of our current players were born when the club last won the Trophy in 1984. We want to make history.”
Pawson says despite their gutsy semi-final win, there is much for them to improve on. “Our lineout was poor and we didn’t win too many,” he says. “We scrapped through in the normal Brighton way but we will need to be better.”
Pawson says that beating High School Old Boys twice during the season counts for nothing leading in to the final. “They were underdone when we played them. They had injuries, especially with their loose forwards, and we know they will be a different side on Sunday.”
Pawson says while New Brighton has warily been casting one eye at what High School Old Boys have been doing, their focus has of course been on their own play.
“We have lost prop Adrian Barone with a broken cheekbone. He broke it early in the semi-final and went off but he came back on and played the rest of the match. He went to hospital afterwards and will be out for a few weeks.”
Crucial in New Brighton’s quest this weekend will be outstanding number eight Aaron McCoy. “He’s played around 12 seasons for the club without Trophy success,” Pawson says. “It would be wonderful to do it for him.”
Also crucial will be former Super 15 player Lucky Mulipola. “He was outstanding last weekend and he is a vital player for us with all his experience and ability.”
New Brighton will be cheered on by a large contingent of local supporters who will make the pilgrimage to Rugby Park. “It would be wonderful for the club and the local community if we could pull this off,” Pawson says. “It would bring back a lot of memories for a lot of people if we managed to bring home the Trophy.”
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