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Hawkins Division 1 - Attitude the Key to Christchurch's Progress
Photo - Ken Baker Photography
The secret to a good competition, a wise sports theorist once said, was that you didn't know until the final moment of the season who was going to win it. If that is true then the Hawkins Trophy is a very good competition this season,
With one round remaining Christchurch has a two-point lead over New Brighton, followed by Lincoln University two points further back. then Sydenham, University and Linwood.
Christchurch assistant coach Terence Hunkin - in his second season with the Division 1 side - says that the turn-around in the red and blacks season has been attitudinal.
"As coaches (Terence coaches with Dwayne Prendergast) we have always known that we have the talent within our squad. It's just in recent weeks that we have got out attitude right and that is starting to pay dividends on the field."
By attitude, Terence means his side training in the right way and turning up to play on the weekend. "Our leadership group - including William Mills and Steve Alfeld - should take plenty of credit for our turn-around. They have helped set the standards."
Reinforcing Terence's point about Christchurch being talented, it should be remembered that the red and blacks made the final of the Hawkins Trophy last season and currently possess the DCL Shield and so they have been there or thereabouts in the past few seasons.
Christchurch play University this weekend in what promises to be an intriguing encounter. The students narrowly beat Christchurch last month and so the red and blacks will be looking for redemption. Yet they will be taking nothing for granted on Saturday as the competition this season is so close.
"The great thing about the competition this year is that any team can tip over any other team," Terence says. "Take Linwood's win over University last weekend, who would have thought that?"
As a result, Christchurch is determined to beat University this weekend, secure a home semi-final and continue to build some momentum leading into the last four. It is unclear at the time of writing whether Christchurch will have Crusader Ben Volavola playing for them at the weekend.
Terence says that with the club's Division 1 side doing so well and with the vast majority of the club's senior clubs in with a shot at making their finals, the spirit within the Christchurch club is strong. "We know though that we are only one poor performance away from letting it all slip," he says philosophically. "Any team in section one is able to beat us."
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