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Hawkins Division 1 Trophy Final - Students Overcome Obstacles to Taste Hawkins Trophy Success
There was a deep satisfaction on the faces of the Lincoln University Division 1 players after their Hawkins Trophy win against New Brighton at Rugby Park last Sunday.
It wasn’t just that they had beaten the Seasiders 49- 12 to win their second Hawkins Trophy in-a-row. It was partly because this team had overcome a number of obstacles this season to win the biggest prize in Canterbury Metro rugby.
“It is quite different from last year,” star lock Hamish Dalzell said after the game. “We have a lot of new players in the squad this year. Still, having won the trophy last season we knew that we had the potential to do it if we put our minds to it.”
As it has been well-reported elsewhere, New Brighton’s chances on winning the final reduced significantly when their openside flanker and captain Billy Harmon was red-carded for a dangerous tackle midway through the first half.
To their credit, New Brighton held on for most of the first half and up until the stroke of half-time led. Yet Lincoln University pulled away in the second half and it is questionable whether New Brighton would have been able to stick with the Country students even if they had had fifteen players on the field.
Among Lincoln University’s best were: fullback Jordie Barrett (a star in the making if ever there was one); left wing Josh McKay, hooker and captain Nick Werahiko and number eight Hugo Nankivelli. This was a gutsy Hawkins Trophy win by Lincoln University. After all, New Brighton had won the Hawkins Cup this season, while the Country students were a minute or two away from being beaten by Sydenham in the semi-finals of the Hawkins Trophy the weekend before last.
Hamish paid credit to New Brighton and pointed to the fact that it was only in the last few minutes that the score had ballooned. He said it was a tough encounter and that his side had expected nothing less from a gutsy New Brighton side.
The mood in the New Brighton camp after the game was reflective. Impact player and technical advisor Alisi Tupuailei said: “It always feels disappointing when you don’t come away with a win. You are always going to get beaten when you have 14 men. We stayed in the game for as long as we could.”
Alisi said that while disappointed, collectively as a group they had achieved some of their goals this season. Alisi said that the banners on the way to the ground inspired their players and that the mood in the squad was brilliant. Alisi, now 36, said that he plans to play again next season when his team will be determined to go one step further and win the Hawkins Trophy.
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