SBS Bank Hawkins

Hawkins Division 1 - Lincoln University Look to Back to Back

29 Jul 2016

Josh McKayAhead of the Division 1 Hawkins Trophy final this weekend you can look at Lincoln University’s relative youth in two ways: you might think that their inexperience might be a disadvantage when the heat goes on as it inevitably will. Alternatively, you might conclude that playing in a final is exciting and inspiring for players who have not tasted similar spoils of success before. “I’m delighted that we have made it,” co-coach John Haggart says. “We got out of jail in our semi-final. The boys showed enormous character and, for a young side, great maturity.” Lincoln University won their semi-final 36-34.

They left it late: word had initially filtered through to the New Brighton camp that they would be meeting Sydenham in the final. “They (Sydenham) had a really smart game-plan (on Saturday) and they played really well,” John, who is coaching with Dave Perrin and Ben Blair, says. “They were desperately unlucky on the day and should feel very proud of themselves.”

John, who says they are unlikely to have the bulk of the Crusaders available for the final, believes that it is difficult to compare this year’s side with last year’s. “We have about six players back from last season, which is notsurprising as we are a university side. New Brighton is a community club and so Sunday will be a clash of styles really.” John says that while the Seasiders will have plenty of support on Sunday, his side will also have its fair share. “The great thing with our club is that the different teams support each other. We will have plenty of club members there on Sunday.”

Lincoln University has had some injury niggles of late and a couple of players who have come down with the flu. “Like any club, we have depth in some positions but not so much in others,” John says. “While we do have some talent within our squad, the important thing is working as a team and playing to a consistent game-plan. We respect New Brighton and so Sunday promises to be an epic battle between the sides.” John says that his side will not do too much differently this week. “The (Hawkins) Trophy final week is a huge occasion for not only the clubs involved but Metro rugby generally. As coaches we have to ensure that our young players don’t get too overawed by the occasion and remain focused.”


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