SBS Bank Hawkins

Gala Day Planned for Competition Opener

16 Mar 2015

Uni v SumnerThe Hawkins Cup will start with a bang this season, with all 12 teams beginning their competition at the same venue on March 28. The gala day, to be held at the three grounds in the Christchurch Park complex, will see three games played at 1.30, followed by three further games at 3.15 on the same afternoon.

“We really want to begin the season with real energy and having the 12 Division 1 teams playing at the same venue will hopefully ensure that there is an enormous amount of energy and excitement,” Metro chairman Brendon Hill says.

One of the most eagerly awaited games on the opening day will undoubtedly be between last season’s Hawkins Trophy finalists, High School Old Boys and Sydenham. “Having all the teams play in the same place means that spectators can come along and watch a feast of great rugby and really begin their club season on a high,” Brendon says. While this is the first time that the gala day concept has been organised, Brendon says it can only build on the good feeling present within senior Metro rugby.

“I’m not sure if it is because we had such a warm summer, but everyone seems in good spirits and very excited about the season ahead,” Brendon says. “I keep hearing people say how much they are looking forward to this season’s competitions.”

The same clubs will field teams in Division 1 this season as last year. While it is too early to make predictions about playing numbers and team personnel, early reports suggest that registrations across the grades have been good so far. The Hawkins Division 2 and Hawkins Premier Colts competitions kick-off on April 4. All other grades begin on April 11.

An important objective for Metro rugby this season is promoting Colts rugby. “They are, of course, the senior players of tomorrow,” Brendon says. “We (Metro rugby) have been very excited by the introduction of the North Canterbury clubs into the Metro Colts competition. If we foster the Colts grades then local rugby will be in good heart for years to come. The alternative, of course, is that we have 17-year-olds playing with much older players in other grades, which is not in the best interests of anyone.”

Brendon says that his committee will again aim to be approachable and communicate effectively. “We encourage anyone who has a question, or wants some advice, to let us know. We are here to help and only a phone call away.”

With only one change on the committee (Phil Hughes from High School Old Boys has replaced Phil Kelly from the same club), Brendon says that Metro rugby should again have another bumper season. “As well as our own competitions, we have the Crusaders and the All Blacks’ campaigns to look forward to,” Brendon says. “Bring it on!”

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