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Game Day - Week 7
SATURDAY 14th May 2016
SCORES: Christchurch 18 New Brighton 14; Lincoln University 44 University 17; Sumner 51 HSOB 22; Linwood 34 Burnside 21; Marist Albion 36 Belfast 14; Sydenham 45 Shirley 17.
NORMAL TRANSMISSION RESUMES AS LINCOLN UNIVERSITY TAKES LEAD
The clash of the Universities, Lincoln and Canterbury, for the Hart-O’Reilly Trophy had all the makings of a rugby thriller.
University went into the Hawkins Cup seventh round match leading the metro Division One competition by a point from New Brighton with Lincoln University a further point back. But it was more of a fizzer than a thriller on Saturday with Lincoln far superior.
The rural students scored seven tries and conceded two in their 27-point win over University and with New Brighton losing by four points to fourth-placed Christchurch, Lincoln University found itself three points clear and on course for a fourth successive Hawkins Cup.
While the big boys battled it out, Sumner had one of its proudest moments in senior rugby, taking the DCL Shield for the first time in the club’s history and embarrassing High School Boys with a 29-point victory.
Old Boys were rocked from the start, down 21 points after 12min and behind by 24 at the break. Sumner was coming off three straight losses whereas Old Boys had won their last three games including wins over Cup champions Lincoln University and runner-up New Brighton.
Lincoln University’s halves combination of seasoned halfback Jack Stratton and exciting newcomer Brett Cameron tormented University which had to revamp its backline at late notice with second-five Isaac Leota not being available.
University dropped to equal second with New Brighton, which matched Christchurch two tries apiece but was unable to kick any penalties. Linwood, with wing Kalavini Leatigaga scoring a hat-trick of tries, scored its expected win against bottom-placed Burnside but it was made to work hard for its five points.
Belfast rocked Marist Albion early, leading 14-5 after 20min and 14-10 at the break, but it was swamped in the second half and was kept scoreless while conceding 26 points.
Sydenham won its fourth successive game, scoring six tries, all converted by Kieran Lindsay, against Shirley. Sydenham was in control early, having its bonus point after 31min and leading by 26 points at half-time. The Cardinals lie sixth on the table but only three points adrift of second place.
Old Boys first-five Jarred Percival is just one point shy of becoming the first player to rack up 100 points while the leading try-scorers are Linwood wing Kalavini Leatigaga and Sydenham counterpart Amanaki Nicole, both with six.
The Hawkins Medal competition is led by rival Universities halfbacks, Jack Stratton (Lincoln) and Finlay Christie (Canterbury), on nine points.
CHRISTCHURCH v NEW BRIGHTON
At Chch Park: Christchurch 18 (Cam Bailey, Hamish Kilpatrick tries; Bailey conv, 2 pen) beat New Brighton 14 (Reuben Spicer, Louis Harmon tries; Scott Davidson 2 conv). HT: 15-7. Referee: Jamie Nutbrown. Sin-bin: Inga Finau, Chris Mason (both Chch), Zeke Dyson (New Brighton).
Somehow New Brighton kept in contention throughout the second half despite being penned in its own half, and mainly inside its 22m line, and even sniffed the chance of victory with a try beckoning in the final minutes.
Not for the first time, however, the ball was spilled just as the seasiders were finding players in space on the Christchurch 22m and a relieved Christchurch was quick to kick the ball over the touch-line as time elapsed.
Christchurch had been in control for most of the game, scoring its first try after 5min and its second on the half hour to lead at the break, 15-7. But despite its field dominance in the second spell all it could manage was a penalty goal 5min after the restart.
The 18-7 advantage was reduced to 18-14 when Brighton flanker, Louis Harmon, spied open space on the Christchurch 22m as the ball was moved wide and he showed startling acceleration to sprint into the gap and score by the post after 52min.
A rash of injuries and playing into a now raging nor’wester did little to help Brighton’s cause in the second half as Christchurch turned to its sound set piece to keep the visitors under pressure.
Lineouts and scrums were taken from penalties near the Brighton line, but desperate defence, with Harmon and second-five Robbie Mulvena holding up opponents over the line, frustrated Christchurch which finally resorted to a shot at goal which missed.
The hard-hitting defence of both teams made it difficult for the backs to break the line, although Christchurch’s first try was from a sweet backline move which created space for left wing Cam Bailey, who crossed in a tackle in the corner.
The second Christchurch try was a trademark one. A penalty was kicked to the corner, the 5m lineout was won and the forwards rumbled to the line with bulky hooker Hamish Kilpatrick using his weight to the benefit of his team.
Christchurch was well led by captain and lock, Williams Mills, who warmed to his task as the game progressed. Kilpatrick was strong on the charge in the first half and No.8 Jordan Jackett shirked nothing on defence. Halfback Steve Alfeld was unruffled and centre Inga Finau as slippery as an eel.
Brighton lost its three biggest forwards – Ben Nelson, Lucas Hill and Oliver Jager – before half-time, but the bench played its part in the gutsy second-half showing. Joe Stewart and Nathan Vella both made some penetrative runs along with Ryan Newman, Ron Katonivere and Harmon.
Spicer was lively and not afraid to challenge the line and Mulvena was prominent both on attack and in defence.
Hawkins MVP: William Mills (Chch) 3, Robbie Mulvena (New Brighton) 2, Louis Harmon (New Brighton) 1.
Christchurch ended New Brighton’s unbeaten run in the premier colts competition with an emphatic 38-7 win in the curtain-raiser. Christchurch, which came into the match with a five-win, one-loss record, supplanted Brighton at the top of the table.
The Christchurch forwards set the platform by dominating the set pieces, the scrum constantly forcing Brighton to back pedal and the lineout working flawlessly and winning many Brighton throws. Christchurch led at half-time, 19-0, and doubled that score by the end, scoring six tries, four of them converted, mostly from the sideline, by wing Henry Bithray.
New Brighton had the satisfaction of scoring the last try and it featured its two best players. Blindside flanker Scotty Powell, who was used effectively at the front of the lineout, collected another throw and quick delivery to Walter Huata had the fleet-footed centre slicing through the last line of defence.
For Christchurch, loosehead prop Braiden Broughow scored the first two tries after half-time, the second from a 25m run which left four defenders sprawled on the turf. Lanky lock Will Tucker ruled the lineouts and was a force in open play and No.8 Josh Brown made many bruising runs. Johnny van der Velde was effective behind the scrum in the first half, one typical sniping run bringing him a try.
LINCOLN UNIVERSITY v UNIVERSITY
At Lincoln: Lincoln University 44 (Nick Lake 2, Jack Goodhue, Harrison Groundwater, Jack Stratton, Luke McKenna, Josh McKay tries; Brett Cameron 3 conv, pen) beat University 17 (Finlay Christie, Cam Watkins tries; Marty McKenzie 2 conv, pen). HT: 15-10. Sin-bin: Ashton Tuck (Lincoln University). Referee: Blair Barclay.
It wasn’t a case of too many chiefs and not enough Indians for Lincoln University as they piled on the points in the second half to bury University.
The only Chief on the perfect pitch was Dominic Bird, getting game time in to keep building up from a broken foot while his Super franchise has the bye.
The All Black lock wasn’t the prime target in the lineouts until Jack Powell was substituted but he set the tone with a buffeting run early, put in some telling tackles, and kept his nose to the grindstone for 80min.
Crusader Jimmy Tupou carried well for University in his 70min effort and like Bird put the team first.
Marty McKenzie was an 11th-hour call-up for University, adding more top-line professional flavour to the mix. McKenzie seemed to be everywhere at once, cutting a dashing figure from fullback, establishing his presence when he figured twice in a movement that created the first try of the match.
Livewire halfback Finlay Christie made the touchdown before going on to embellish his reputation with swift delivery and speed off the mark on the burst.
But the most startling acceleration and step came from Lincoln first-five Brett Cameron. The youngster’s efforts might not have led directly to tries, but several times he carried Lincoln deep into enemy territory and otherwise had University chasing shadows, which opened up play for others.
Jack Goodhue, with a quick flat pass from Cameron, did his knife-through-butter trick a minute or so after Christie scored for University and did it again early in the second half, putting Harrison Groundwater across.
It may or may not have been a coincidence but Goodhue’s marker was Elia Elia, normally a hooker or No.8, called in at late notice to deputise for Isaac Leota. To be fair, Elia did not look too much out of place, having his moments on attack.
For Lincoln, Jack Stratton had a big influence from halfback for 60min, not least for his well-directed powerful punting. He fired a long bullet pass on the blindside to give Nick Lake his first try and was unstoppable from 20m out for his own touchdown 15min after the break.
Shortly after that, openside flanker Luke McKenna showed outstanding pace to score Lincoln’s fifth try.
The worry for other sides to come is that Lincoln had such talented youngsters as Ere Enari and Josh McKay to call on as substitutes. When McKay dashed away for his try, he left the defence for dead.
MVP: Jack Stratton (Lincoln University) 3, Brett Cameron (Lincoln University) 2, Jack Goodhue (Lincoln University) 1.
The Lincoln University second XV set the scene for later, clearing out from University to win the second-division curtain-raiser, 33-15, after leading 14-12 at half-time.
No.8 Matt Heffernan was again a key figure for Lincoln, capping his display by grabbing a loose pass and motoring 55m for a try in the third quarter. When right wing Josh Barrett dashed across from a smart backline move the home side was in control and later a nifty move from a 5m scrum put the icing on.
Halfback Jono Schwass, hooker Alex Irvine and fullback Logan Bain were key contributors for Lincoln.
For University, centre Anthony Taite marked a decent display with a dashing solo run which almost brought him a try. Brothers Jonty (fullback) and Oscar Nesbitt (second-five) were also threatening at times.
SUMNER v HSOB
At Bob Deans: Sumner 51 (Elias Caven 2, Tom Whitely 2, Wes Mauafu, Joel Robbidge tries; Nik Cummings 5 conv 3 pen; Caven conv) beat High School Old Boys 22 (Josh Pitt, Harry Peeters, George Bridge tries; Jarred Percival conv, pen; Josh Taylor conv). HT: 34-10. Referee: Scott Cunnold. Sin-bin: Tom Crozier (Sumner).
Sumner Director of Coaching Reece Allen’s confident pre-match prediction “I’m taking home the DCL Shield tonight” proved prophetic.
Old Boys successful tenure of the Shield was to only be one match as the seaside boys comprehensively thrashed the men in white, six tries to three, and took possession of the Shield for the first time in the club’s history.
Old Boys started the game in positive fashion with the use of the nor’west wind, but must have wondered what was happening when they found themselves down by 21 points inside 12min with Sumner having turned back the tide, and with right wing Elias Caven scoring twice in 4min.
A Josh Leszczuk catch and spin gave the English import from Bristol room to move as he stood up the Old Boys defence and cantered behind the bar. Minutes later Caven brazenly intercepted an Old Boys pass as they attacked, and he ran 85m to score. From the restart, Leszczuk burst clear and put Wes Mauafu away from halfway.
Old Boys never recovered from this crushing setback and they struggled to contain the seasiders’ enthusiastic endeavours. Old Boys only real success of the first half being a strong 5m lineout drive that was turned into a try to flanker Josh Pitt.
However, this was quickly erased by effervescent Sumner halfback Tom Whitely’s first try, another import from the English Saracens club, along with centre Nathan Earl.
Whitely executed a neat one-two with Caven and went under the bar for the first of his pair for a 34-10 half-time lead.
Things got worse for Old Boys immediately following the break as Whitely, in conjunction with Mauafu, conspired for Whitely’s second try.
Old Boys consolidated for the next quarter hour, and with the advent of replacement halfback Harry Peeters, controlled this period. Peeters scored from a back of the scrum move from 5m with No.8 Kurt Polson.
Peeters’ running game was beneficial for Old Boys, but when they got into Sumner territory solid defence forced turnovers, and Sumner clearances undid all the hard work.
Old Boys centre George Bridge gave the home team’s score a modicum of respectability with an 81st min runaway try, but this was negated on full-time by replacement forward Joel Robbidge being driven across wide out. Caven converted.
First-five Nik Cummings missed only one of his nine kicks at goal, keeping the scoreboard ticking over.
For Sumner, hard-working lock Lawrence Babe was a trojan in the tight and loose exchanges, constantly harassing the opposition with his uncompromising attitude.
Halfback Whitely was in the thick of all his team’s attacking sorties, thoroughly deserving his two tries. Caven was electric with the ball in hand and was also unafraid on defence for a small man.
Mauafu and Earl were also a solid midfield that gave little room. The indomitable Leszczuk, also a former Saracens player, assisted in two tries. Spanish prop Joao Vasco Corte-Real has quickly adapted to the style required here and competed strongly.
For Old Boys, props Drew Beckley and Blair Prinsep, along with Polson and centre Bridge, were the best of well-beaten team.
Hawkins MVP: Lawrence Babe (Sumner) 3, Tom Whitely (Sumner) 2, Elias Caven (Sumner) 1.
The High School Old Boys versus Burnside premier colts Challenge Shield curtain-raiser turned into a nail-biter as Old Boys somewhat unconvincingly took the Shield off Burnside, 19-16.
Tries to Burnside No.8 Christiaan Grandieck and wing Jackson Fletcher, along with two Regan Cantwell penalties, had given the red-and-whites a deserved lead for most of the match.
The Old Boys pack were better in the set pieces, but the Burnside backs were better organised. The visitors looked more likely, and until late in the game seemed probable winners.
Apart from an early 3-0 lead from Old Boys’ fullback Angus Swale’s first penalty goal, and a superb solo try to left wing George Taylor, Burnside were in front until the 71st minute when Old Boys No.8 Kit Hutcheson scored wide out after a series of rucks to level the scores at 16-16.
A 39th min Swale penalty stole the win rather fortuitously.
Old Boys lock Sam Madden was a prolific ball winner at the front of the lineout. Burnside prop Ethan Simpson was a powerful ball-carrier and his delightful SBW back-flip offload to Fletcher for his try was a treat.
LINWOOD v BURNSIDE
At Linfield Park: Linwood 34 (Kalavini Leatigaga 3, Zac Southen, Sam Limu-Franklin, Louis Devery tries; Southen conv; Aayden Clarke conv) beat Burnside 21 (Tafesilafai Maafi 2, Foketi Puleiku tries; Luke Reihana 3 conv). HT: 17-14 (Linwood). Referee: J McAlister.
Linwood withstood a late barrage from Burnside to emerge as winners in an entertaining match at Linfield Park.
Despite being dominated in both territory and possession for the final quarter of the match, Linwood’s defence held the visitors out to secure the victory.
The loss extended Burnside’s winless streak to seven, and they remain the only team in the competition yet to register a win.
The match started brightly for Burnside though, as after 3min left wing Tafesilafai Maafi finished off a superb 50m move started by first-five James Logan.
Linwood struck back immediately though. After a great offload from No.8 Jordan Stewart, wing Kalavini Leatigaga raced down the left-hand touchline and beat the cover defence to bring the scores level.
Linwood continued to gather momentum throughout the half, with first-five Aayden Clarke’s tactical kicking keeping Burnside on the back foot.
Two more tries were scored in quick succession, including a superb individual effort from Leatigaga, who ran 50m and beat three defenders after regathering the ball from a Burnside kick.
Down 17-7 after 20min, the game looked to be getting away from Burnside. However, after gaining parity in the possession and territory stakes, they began to test the Linwood defence.
Following a sustained period of attack on the Linwood goal-line, Burnside hooker Foketi Puleiku crashed over to score, cutting Linwood’s lead to 17-14 at half-time.
Linwood struck back soon after the break though, extending their lead to 29-14
Capitalising on some soft defence, second-five Louis Devery and centre Sam Limu-Franklin both scored within the space of 10min.
The left wings from the two sides then traded tries, with Maafi scoring his second and Leatigaga his third.
Trailing 34-21 with 20min to go, Burnside refused to throw in the towel.
With their scrum exerting huge pressure on the Linwood pack, they began to dominate the territory and possession stakes. Throughout the final 20min they set up camp at the Linwood goal-line, sending wave after wave of attack at the Linwood defence.
Linwood’s defence was resolute though, forcing mistakes and running out the clock to deny Burnside an opportunity to get within striking distance.
For Linwood, left wing Leatigaga had an excellent game. Showing great pace and power, he consistently beat defenders on his way to scoring a hat-trick. Stewart was strong both in defence and attack, while Clarke controlled the game well for Linwood.
For Burnside, the pick of the backs was left wing Maafi, who made the most of his limited opportunities to pick up two tries. Centre Jared Deal also played well, his elusive running proving to be a handful for the Linwood defence.
In the forwards, lock Ben Kleinjan ran strongly on attack, while No.8 Tom Lindsay was also industrious around the field.
Hawkins MVP: Kalavini Leatigaga (Linwood) 3, Jordan Stewart (Linwood) 2, Tafesilafai Maafi (Burnside) 1.
In the division two curtain-raiser, Linwood scored seven tries to run out comfortable 45-10 winners over Belfast.
Linwood’s dominance began up front, with player-coach Tulima Fualau anchoring the strong Linwood scrum. Leading 21-5 at halftime, Linwood crossed the line four more times to put the result beyond any doubt.
For Linwood, second-five Tom Latham consistently broke tackles and got over the gain-line, while wing Tony Va’a picked up a brace of tries with some good finishing.
Prop Alex Banks was the pick of the Belfast contingent, scoring their opening try and contributing well both in attack and defence.
MARIST ALBION v BELFAST
At Sheldon Park: Marist Albion 36 (Luke Geeves, Tausinga Kautai, Hayden O’Donnell, Michael Gill, Robbie Harlow, Jacob O’Connell tries; Hagen Schulte 3 conv) beat Belfast 14 (Isei Vuluma, Charley Purkiss-McEndoo tries; Will Stevens 2 conv). HT: 10-14. Referee: Carl Johnson. Sin-bin: Hayden O’Donnell, Nathan Richards (both Marist Albion).
Marist Albion had to overcome a lack-lustre opening quarter before putting a submission hold on Belfast to run out comfortable winners.
The visitors found themselves behind 14-5 after the first 20min and down 14-10 at the break.
A half-time pep talk saw a more composed side return to the field in a switched on mode, back to the basics setting platforms to run in four second-half tries and keep the home side scoreless.
Belfast put some of their heavy defeats of recent weeks behind them and stunned the visitors with a hard-hitting first half spearheaded by flanker Frank Havea, who had a dynamic game setting up two tries with his hard, straight running splitting the defensive line.
Marist Albion opened the scoring after 10min with a standard penalty kick into the corner, lineout win and forward drive to the line with hooker Luke Greeves coming up with the try.
Belfast rocked the visitors back on their heels with a tenacious period resulting in a try to centre Isei Vuluma from a break and off load by Havea. Again 5min later Havea brushed off many would be tacklers in a storming run to set up prop Charley Purkiss-McEndoo for a try.
Wing Tausinga Kautai brought some respectability to the Marist Albion scoreboard when he crossed just before half-time following a Belfast turnover and a sharp run and clever kick from No.8 Rowan O'Gorman.
It was pretty much one-way traffic in the second half with changes from the bench and O'Gorman moving to his more familiar role of hooker. Marist Albion took the lead after 45min when halfback Hayden O'Donnell was in support of a sweeping backline movement that ended just short of the line.
Almost immediately fellow wing Michael Gill put his side in the box seat when fullback Dan Fransen entered the line to send Gill on his way.
Two yellow cards momentarily halted their progress and it was not until the 30min mark that they added to the score card when replacement halfback Robbie Harlow was on hand to dot down after a short dab by O'Gorman had come up short.
Just before time they completed their scoring with a converted try to Jacob O'Connell from a push-over scrum that had Belfast back-pedalling.
Marist Albion skipper lock Ross Kennedy was strong at lineout time and his leadership a factor in re-focusing his side. O'Gorman was his usual industrious self and received solid support from O'Connell.
From the bench, flanker Sam O'Brien impressed as a player of promise with some strong runs in the loose. First-five Hagen Schulte guided his side onto the front foot where Fransen was always a danger when he entered the line.
Belfast's Havea was always to the fore not only with his strong running and defence but his ability to effect turnovers at the breakdown. Lock Glen Kavanagh had a solid game in the tight and along with No.8 Amenatave Tukana provided their side with a good supply of lineout ball.
Behind the scrum, halfback Rhett Moore moved the ball quickly and efficiently.
Hawkins MVP: Ross Kennedy (Marist Albion) 3, Frank Havea (Belfast) 2, Hagen Schulte (Marist Albion) 1.
It was a one-horse race in the curtain-raiser between Belfast and Sydenham in a colts premier grade.
Sydenham, who opened their season with four wins followed by two losses, returned to winning form with a vengeance in putting Belfast to the sword, 79-0, after leading 41-0 at the break.
Belfast, who were affected by illness and injury, were reduced to 13 players at one point and had no answer for a slick Sydenham who ran in tries at will from all parts of the field.
Sydenham birthday boy wing, Fletcher Thompson, completed a hat-trick of tries. No.8 Inoke Mosaati had a stand-out game off the back of the scrum and lock Will Morri-White was all purpose in the tight while fullback Jack McLeod proved a dangerous runner from the back.
In difficult circumstances the Belfast loose forward trio of Kurt Moore, Jared Connor and Kelly Hutt tried valiantly.
SYDENHAM v SHIRLEY
At Sydenham Park: Sydenham 45 (Amanaki Nicole, Milford Keresoma, Josh Lindsay, Liam Smart, Jordan Stone, Anthony Tiatia tries; Kieran Lindsay 6 conv, pen) beat Shirley 17 (Oli Mills, George Akeri, Vinimoa Letiu tries; Nathan Smith conv). HT: 38-12. Referee: Chelsea Gurr.
Sydenham took control of their match with Shirley from the onset and, for the second week in a row, amassed 45 points with a bonus point after 31min. By half-time they had built up what was to prove an unassailable advantage.
Sydenham Park is earning a reputation for producing try-fests and this was no exception. Nine were scored (six by the home team) some of which were accomplished with mouth-watering skill and confidence.
Sydenham kicked off with the assistance off a moderate north-westerly breeze that by half-time had become a gusty gale, making it difficult for both sides to play assuredly.
Starting with a hiss and a roar, the Cardinals were up 14 points in 5min after tries to Milford Keresoma and Josh Lindsay both converted by Kieran Lindsay.
Shirley replied 2min later when Oli Mills scampered in for a try converted by Nathan Smith.
The sides then exchanged tries, Liam Smart crossing for the home team, converted by Lindsay, and George Akerei dotting down for the visitors.
With the wind building in intensity and astute, pin-point kicking for territory by Lindsay, Sydenham whacked two converted tries and a penalty into a scrambling and confused Shirley defence in the last 9min before the break. All were converted Lindsay.
The first, finally completed by replacement Anthony Tiatia, produced a buzz for spectators for its skill, structure and execution. A possession win on the far left, saw Sydenham move the ball quickly right with backs and forwards chipping in. Halted, a quick recycle had the ball moved back left and after a total of 12 pairs off hands (some of them twice) the ball was dotted down out wide on the left.
Amanaki Nicole collected the second when he entered the backline and Sydenham went to the break with a 38-12 lead.
Turning to face the gale, the home team quickly asserted itself and for 6min assaulted the visitor’s line, crossing twice without reward thanks to some feisty and determined effort by Shirley’s Mills.
Shirley broke out, in the 48th min, got deep into Sydenham’s red zone and Vinimoa Letiu wrong-footed the defence and sliced through for his team’s last points.
For the next 30min, the game became ho-hum as the gale wreaked havoc on tactics and player enthusiasm.
Sydenham blew a couple of tries through of lack of desperation in finishing and Shirley lacked the possession and apparent nous to give the ball a good thump down field and build from their opponent’s territory.
Replacement halfback Jordan Stone clinched the deal for his team in the 75th min with a scurrying close-in try and Lindsay’s conversion was the final scoring act.
In a Sydenham team which, for the third game running were on the wrong end of the penalty count, mainly for offences at the contact and break down, there were a lot of positives. James was outstanding in the lineouts and in his ability to sniff out and win ball at the contact and run in support of his backs was exceptional.
Lindsay, who kicked 100% for goal in testing conditions, contributed 15 points. Keresoma was busy on the wing and was a handful for the defence as he popped up in the oddest places; No.8 Scott Kelly, who left the field injured, and Tim Makaafi, from the bench, all made solid contributions.
Shirley, who did not use their second-half wind advantage effectively, had notables in Mills, a very determined character, and Akerei. He played 80min in a division two game before playing the full 80min in the main match. Letiu was a deceptive runner with limited opportunities and Smith held up well behind a beaten pack.
Hawkins MVP: Matt James (Sydenham) 3, Milford Keresoma (Sydenham) 2, Kieran Lindsay (Sydenham) 1.
Sydenham put its foot firmly on Sumner’s throat from the kick-off in the division two curtain-raiser.
Up 11 points in 9min, scoring four tries in the first half, one converted, the home team were too co-ordinated in key positions and always had the visitors under pressure.
Sydenham No.8 Moses Fesita was prominent taking the ball up and difficult to knock off his feet. He was well supported in all phases by lock Sebastian Beader and flanker Rueben Harvey.
However, Sumner’s never-say-die attitude saw them produce several solid driving mauls and hard-nosed defense. On the tick of half-time, they scored a converted try and the break came with Sydenham ahead, 25-7.
The second-half spoils were shared one converted try apiece for a 32-14 final result.
As substitutions for the division one bench removed key players from the action, the last 20min became a bit sloppy. Also the building breeze and unforced errors and turnovers began featuring.
Mike Herring finished well for the home team in the first-half and Jimmy Lim ran effectively from the back and cover defended skillfully.
Sumner loosies Wynnand Coetse and Matene Downes gave good service at the breakdown while cheeky halfback Josh Toy and right wing Tyrone Toia often put pressure on.
Points as at 14th May
HAWKINS DIVISION 2 - CUP
Challenge Shield Match - Lincoln University Retain
Lincoln University 33 v. University 15, Linwood 45 v. Belfast 10, Christchurch 12 v. HSOB 13, Burnside 18 v. Marist Albion 35, Sydenham 34 v. Sumner 17, Suburbs 23 v. New Brighton 29, Lyttelton 27 v. Shirley 12;
HAWKINS COLTS PREMIER - CUP
Challenge Shield Match - Burnside Holder
HSOB 19 v. Burnside 16, Lincoln University 48 v. University 7, Linwood 14 v. Marist Albion 69, Christchurch 38 v. New Brighton 7, Belfast 0 v. Sydenham 79, Shirley bye;
HAWKINS DIVISION 3
Challenge Shield Match - Marist Albion Beacons Retain
Suburbs 5 v. Marist Albion Beacons 64, Marist Albion 22 v. HSOB 17, Burnside 10 v. Christchurch 14, University v. Otautahi, no result received;
METRO COLTS - CUP
Challenge Shield Match – Christchurch Win
Christchurch 33 v. HSOB 7, Ashley v. New Brighton, Ashley win by Default, Lincoln University 36 v. University 17, Linwood 0 v. CBHS 2nd XV 87, Merivale Papanui 7 v. Glenmark-Cheviot 24, Marist Albion v. Burnside, no result received, Sumner bye;
METRO DIVISION 4 - CUP
Challenge Shield Match - Marist Albion Retain
Shirley W 0 v. Marist Albion 7, Suburbs S v. Lyttelton, no result received, New Brighton 39 v. Shirley 14, Belfast 72 v. Burnside 0;
METRO CLASSICS - CUP
No Games – New Round to start Next Weekend
WOMENS - CUP
Challenge Shield Match - University Holder
Lincoln v. University, no result received, Burn/Duns/Irwell 36 v. Kaiapoi 12, Linwood 5 v. Suburbs 50, Sydenham 60 v. Burnside 5, Marist Albion Default v. HSOB Win, Christchurch bye;
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