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Game Day - Week 9
SATURDAY 28th May 2016
SCORES: New Brighton 33 Linwood 7; Christchurch 45 Marist Albion 5; Sydenham 40 Burnside 5; University 17 HSOB 14; Lincoln University 25 Shirley 9; Sumner 51 Belfast 14
TOP TWO TEAMS CLASH IN HAWKINS CUP SHOWDOWN
Only New Brighton stands in the way of Lincoln University clinching the Hawkins Cup for a fourth straight year and these two fierce rivals will square off at Rugby Park next Saturday in a crunch tenth round fixture in the Metro Division One competition.
Lincoln University will take a four-point lead over New Brighton into the penultimate Cup round and the seasiders, runner-up to Lincoln for the last three years, must win if they entertain any hope of the Cup returning to their Rawhiti Domain clubrooms for the first time since 2010.
Preferably Brighton would want to deny Lincoln a bonus point but even if they don’t all might not be lost as long as they prevail. In the final round Brighton would back itself to take maximum points off Belfast where Lincoln will meet the improving Sydenham, who are third on the log, two points behind Brighton.
Both Lincoln and Brighton scored four tries in their wins over Shirley and Linwood, respectively, on Saturday, but both teams were made to work harder than the final score-line might suggest.
After 48min Shirley had narrowed Lincoln’s lead to six points and Lincoln had a player in the sin-bin. But Crusader Jack Goodhue scored a vital try as Lincoln finished stronger. New Brighton scored two of its four tries through intercepts and Linwood was right in the game until the second intercept came after 72min.
While New Brighton celebrated its club day with an important win, Burnside was unable to do so. It’s been a tough season for the 2012 Cup champion which is without a win and just a point to its name. Sydenham scored six tries, three to wing Tana Manu, and another went to veteran lock Kalave Auali’itia in what was his 200th division one game.
After back-to-back losses, University bounced back with a come-from-behind win against High School Old Boys. Old Boys led by eight points at the break, but some individual brilliance from halfback Finlay Christie inspired University to victory and equal fourth place on the table.
With University on 30 points is Christchurch, which put aside its loss to Old Boys the previous week to hammer a disappointing Marist Albion by 40 points. Linwood completes the top six and has a five-point break on seventh placed Old Boys.
Linwood has a big hurdle next Saturday against Sydenham while Old Boys have Burnside as their opponent.
Sumner wing Ross McCann scored all of his team’s three second-half tries in an emphatic win against Belfast which conceded five first-half tries through sloppy defence. Sumner first-five Nik Cumming scored twice and contributed 21 points.
Cumming became the second player after Old Boys first-five Jarred Percival to reach his century of points. Nobody has broken away on the try-scoring chart with the leaders Kalavini Leatigaga (Linwood) and Amanaki Nicole (Sydenham) both on six.
The Most Valuable Player competition for the Hawkins medal is developing into a two-horse race between fellow halfbacks, Jack Stratton (LU) and Christie (University). Both received three points on Saturday and have 12, five clear of their nearest rivals.
NEW BRIGHTON v LINWOOD
At Rawhiti: New Brighton 33 (Henare Faithfull 2, Mark Burton, Marcel Cummings-Toone tries; Scott Davidson 2 conv, 3 pen) beat Linwood 7 (Sam Limu-Franklin try; Zac Southen conv). HT: 13-0. Sin-bin: Ron Katonivere (New Brighton). Referee: Gareth Reed.
New Brighton had the street-smarts and strong defence to put Linwood away, and a couple of intercept tries sure helped.
The home side scored two more tries at the death, the last coming after referee Gareth Reed told Linwood time was up. Linwood promptly gave the ball back to Brighton and right wing Henare Faithfull gratefully accepted the chance to make it a double.
The two late tries were not converted by replacement lock Ron Katonivere, who did not threaten the sticks. Katonivere was given the duties to mark what might be his last appearance for Brighton. He is likely to return to Fiji soon.
When the going was tougher, Brighton enjoyed a fine contribution from starting hooker Nathan Vella, a strong ball-carrier. Then on the hour, Vella sprinted from the field towards the clubhouse. The call had come through that he was required by the Crusaders to be in Auckland.
Marcel Cummings-Toone was the super-sub and he scored 2min from time.
Linwood had two huge periods of sustained assault on the Brighton line, soon after the break and early in the last quarter.
Brighton’s last-ditch defence was superb the first time, then later Sam Limu-Franklin came in from centre to join the forwards, showing them how to get across the line albeit while Katonivere was in the sin-bin.
Brighton’s first of two intercept tries came after 20min with Mark Burton scoring the first and then Faithfull, in the 72nd min, grabbed a floating pass from Linwood and had the legs to burn off the opposition.
That try extended Brighton’s lead to 23-7 and sapped the spirit out of Linwood.
Scott Davidson was a key figure for Brighton, first at fullback and later at first-five, his punting keeping the home side on the front foot.
Locks Joe Stewart and Lucas Hill had big games while the loose forward trio of Aaron McCoy, Ryan Newman and Louis Harmon played crucial roles while the battle was hot.
For Linwood, loosehead prop Tyler Hansen-Kini was to the fore in the side’s purple patches and No.8 Pita Ah Sue was also penetrative. Halfback Martin Solofua was useful in the first half, kicking cleverly, spreading smartly and making the odd darting run.
MVP: Nathan Vella (New Brighton) 3, Louis Harmon (New Brighton) 2, Scott Davidson (New Brighton) 1.
New Brighton buried Belfast 70-0 in the second-division curtain-raiser after leading 36-0 at the break.
Brighton lock Taua Limoloa led the way with big breaks out of the tight stuff while centre John Vili was also strong on the burst. Both were in try-scoring mood.
For a battling Belfast, No.7 Corey McKenzie stood out while prop Alex McBratney led from the front with a powerful scrummaging display. “Birthday boy” James Sloan, now 21, enjoyed his outing at No.8.
MARIST ALBION v CHRISTCHURCH
At Edgar MacIntosh Park: Christchurch 45 (Tui Mika, Simon Forrest, Chris Mason, Kalolo Otutaha, Cam Bailey, Inga Finau, Fraser Scott tries; Bailey 5 conv) beat Marist Albion 5 (Sam O’Brien try). HT: 26-5. Sin-bin: Ross Kennedy (Marist Albion), Hamish Kilpatrick (Christchurch). Referee: James Munro.
Christchurch were too well drilled and focused for a disjointed and disappointing Marist Albion, romping to a 45-5 (seven tries to one) bonus-point victory.
The home team duffed the kick-off, booting it out on the full to provide a forecast of what was to unfold for them over the rest of the match.
Winning the restart scrum on half-way, the red-and-blacks surged into home territory. Exerting pressure, they were rewarded with 12 points in 11min via Tua Mika and Simon Forrest tries, the latter converted by Cam Bailey.
It didn’t aid Marist Albion’s situation when Ross Kennedy was despatched to the bin after 6min.
Christchurch earned a well-structured try after 19min when Bailey entered the line on his own side of half-way and punched a hole before off-loading to Etheredge who went 40m down the left. Then, a quick recycle and a number of paws later Chris Mason crossed in the right corner. Bailey converted from the sideline and the home team was starting to `wobble’.
Marist Albion registered their only points when they kicked a penalty into the corner. Reegan O’Gorman secured the line out and the resulting maul put Sam O’Brien over.
The visitors were too fast, too robust in the loose and around the fringes of the contact and at the breakdown.
Marist Albion delivered a strong maul, competitive scrum and capable lineout.
However, Christchurch negated that with speed to and capture of the loose ball, spreading it wide, keeping it in play and punishing errors with strong counter-attacking.
Operating like a wolf pack, Mika, Matt Etheredge and Gus Middleton grabbed possession, forced turnovers and moved the ball away from the combined team’s strength.
In first-half referee’s time, prop Kalolo Otutaha crashed over. Bailey converted and the break arrived with the visitors up, 26-5.
Eleven minutes into the second-half it was game, set and match as Christchurch created tries to Bailey, who stood up the defence, to Inga Finau, from a kick and chase, and to Fraser Scott who crossed unopposed after some well-timed passing. Bailey converted the last two to produce the final score.
The last 30min became a `muddle in the mud’ as both teams contrived to turn the ball over, make unforced errors, and create scoring opportunities which were not finished.
Christchurch lost their structure, started infringing at the breakdown and getting caught, being on the end of an eight to one penalty count and losing a player to the bin in injury time.
Marist Albion couldn’t lift their game or complete promising situations and the match spluttered to its end in bleak and bitterly cold conditions.
Bailey, Etheredge, Middleton and Mika were stand outs for Christchurch and created the platform and space for their mates to perform.
With limited ball and relegated to chasing their own tails, Marist Albion players who gave it their best shot were Hayden O’Donnell, O’Brien and Matt Morrison.
Hawkins MVP: Matt Etheredge (Christchurch) 3, Cam Bailey (Christchurch) 2, Gus Middleton (Christchurch) 1.
No curtain-raiser was played.
SYDENHAM v BURNSIDE
At Burnside 1: Sydenham 40 (Tana Manu 3, Milford Keresoma, Misi Lamositele, Kalave Aualiitia tries; Mitch Hunt 5 conv) beat Burnside 5 (Jared Deal try) HT: 14-0. Referee: Chelsea Gurr.
After failing to wear down Burnside’s defence in the opening quarter, Sydenham eventually found their groove to pile on six tries to one in a dominant display.
Early on, however, it was the winless Burnside who showed their pluckiness on defence as they thwarted a number of Sydenham attacking raids inside their own 22m.
Flanker Owen Murphy produced a steal for Burnside after Sydenham opted to go for a lineout after receiving an early penalty and it wasn’t long before the red-and-whites found themselves on attack.
Sydenham’s ability to turn the ball over with regularity was shown when Burnside first-five Luke Reihana opted to run it following a kicking duel between the teams.
Reihana became isolated and Sydenham spun the ball wide through their backs where Tana Manu crossed for the first try out wide after 25min.
Sharpshooter Mitch Hunt nailed the wide conversion to give his side a hard-earned 7-0 lead.
Minutes later they doubled their lead when Burnside gave other wing Milford Keresoma too much space to work with and the speed machine made them pay as he sprinted around his man to score under the posts to give his side a 14-0 cushion at the break.
Not content with their first half, Sydenham raced out of the blocks in the second spell when Misi Lamositele dished off a brilliant offload for Manu to cross for his second before Lamositele scored their fourth after he was the beneficiary of a cross-kick which was spilt backwards by Keresoma.
After a long period of play where the game was played between the two 22ms, the moment a lot of Sydenham supporters were waiting for arrived when lock Kalave Auali’itia celebrated his 200th game when he crossed following a couple of inside balls from their outside backs.
Burnside got their moment when Jared Deal pounced on a grubber by Gerard Burke for their first points after 70min before Manu completed his hat-trick after another sweeping backline move with time almost up on the clock.
Sydenham skipper Lamositele had a brilliant match. Regularly threatening with ball in hand, he got his side on the front foot on a number of occasions and his ability to offload was best exemplified when he laid one onto the chest of Manu for the wing’s second try.
Sydenham impressed out wide with wings Manu and Keresoma especially prominent throughout.
Manu crossed for three tries on the back of some good handling while Keresoma used his speed to score once and he went within a whisker of scoring another but a foot on the line and an incorrect put-down cost him.
Super boot fullback Hunt was solid at the back and he landed five of his six conversions attempts, many of which were wide out, an impressive effort in difficult kicking conditions.
For Burnside, Murphy was very strong at the breakdown as he pilfered a few turnovers while Burke was solid off the bench as his deft grubber set up the try for Deal.
Hawkins Medal (MVP): Misi Lamositele (Sydenham) 3, Tana Manu (Sydenham) 2, Mitch Hunt (Sydenham) 1.
Burnside gained their fifth win of the season when they beat Shirley, 32-7, in the division two curtain-raiser.
Michael Rasmussen was the star performer on the wing for Burnside, scoring a hat-trick, while Lance Gahan, Hamish McCormick and Edwin Elia also crossed the stripe.
Flanker Daniel Clarke was in everything for the hosts, pinching plenty of ball at breakdown time and was strong on defence.
Shirley was never in the contest and they missed the direction of playmaker Levi Inglis as they fell behind 15-0 at half-time.
UNIVERSITY v HSOB
At Ilam 1: University 17 (Finlay Christie, Matt Farrant tries; Brad Hemopo 2 conv, pen) beat High School Old Boys 14 (Nick Hyde try; Jarred Percival 3 pen). HT: 3-11. Referee: Sheldon Eden-Whaitiri.
With both sides sitting mid table and seeking a win to advance their position a tight encounter was expected and the 17-14 victory to University did not disappoint. University would have been pleased to turn around a two-game losing streak.
HSOB led, 11-3, at the break after an even half where both sides created opportunities, the difference being that the visitors nailed theirs while Varsity squandered a number of theirs with unforced errors.
It took some individual brilliance and quick thinking from Varsity halfback Finlay Christie to change the complexion of the game.
The brilliance came in the form of a 40m solo run from the base of the scrum to put his side back into the game and some quick thinking in taking a quick tap penalty and initiating an attack which culminated in a try to fullback Matt Farrant.
That gave University the lead, one they never surrendered despite a strong fight-back from HSOB.
Two penalties from Jarred Percival and a try to hooker and skipper Nick Hyde after 30min gave their side an 11-point reward for the half, the try to Hyde coming off the back of a strong run from wing Angus Blair, who was lowered short with Hyde on hand to force his way over.
The home side received something for their efforts with a penalty to Brad Hemopo on the stroke of half-time.
The try to Christie after 55min put some spark into the game and lifted his side which was again rewarded some 10min later with the Farrant try, a classic example of great support play with the ball passing through many hands.
HSOB only had another Percival penalty to show for their endeavours and try as they might in the final 10min were unable to add to their score-line.
Christie made a statement with a fine all-round game. He was not only strong with his go-forward efforts but covered well on defence under the high ball from HSOB. Second-five Hemopo was always probing the advantage line and was telling on defence when called upon. Skipper No.8 Sam Goodwin was the everywhere man, mopping up round the fringes. Hooker Elia Elia made some strong ball carries.
Nobody worked harder in the tight for HSOB than prop Blair Prinsep and he received good support from lock James Naoupu, who made some barging runs. Both wings Blair and Josh Taylor from limited opportunities showed gas and the ability to get on the outside of a defender.
Hawkins MVP: Finlay Christie (University) 3, Sam Godwin (University) 2, Blair Prinsep (HSOB) 1.
The division two curtain-raiser between University and Christchurch resulted in a comfortable 23-5 win to Christchurch after they had held a 8-0 lead at the break.
The visitors lifted their game in the second half, adding 15 points with the final try on time coming from a fine individual effort from fullback James Richards, who snapped up a loose ball to run 20m and score in the corner.
Richards always looked strong in running the ball back and first-five Sean Murray showed confidence in moving his side into good field position and in snapping over a field goal after 65min to keep the pressure on the home side. Both flankers Oakley Johnson and James Richards showed enterprise on attack.
Varsity hooker Daniel Barr led from the front and was always in the thick of it. First-five Henry Boon moved the ball quickly and efficiently to his outsides where wing Hamish Patterson was a threat with ball in hand.
LINCOLN UNIVERSITY v SHIRLEY
At Burwood Park: Lincoln University 25 (Nathan Clough 2, Anty Burnett, Harrison Groundwater tries; Brett Cameron conv, pen) beat Shirley 9 (Nathan Smith 3 pen). HT: 15-3. Referee: Carl Johnson. Sin-bin: Chris Gawler (LU).
Shirley’s inability to hang onto the ball in the first half cost them dearly as the students capitalised very quickly, turning the gifted possession into points with two simple tries to left wing Nathan Clough within 10min of the start.
The first was from a simple overlap pass from halfback Jack Stratton from a ruck turnover 10m out after 3min, and the second a rather fortuitous one, when from another turnover the visitors seemed to lose, then regain the ball off the back of one of their own players, allowing No.8 Anty Burnett to put Clough clear for his double.
Things looked a little ominous for the home team at this point with Lincoln clearly on top, but Shirley settled to their task, and with midfield backs Sean Wainui and Vinimoa Letiu and fullback Liam Timoteo willing to run, they made some inroads into Lincoln territory, only to see the ball turned over.
On 25min, another silly mistake saw the Stratton’s impeccable decision making. He allowed a perfect little pass from a ruck to Clough, who had only to hand the ball to Burnett to return the favour in the corner, and a 15-3 lead which they would carry to the break.
Shirley finished the half strongly with a big breakout led by prop Bernard Ryan and No.8 Jud Robbins which went close, only to fail through a forward pass near the line.
Shirley had competed well up front in the set pieces, but their ball protection was lacking at critical times, allowing Lincoln to escape, then punish.
From the restart, Shirley, with the benefit of an assisting southerly wind, sent the students into defence mode, and gained two more Nathan Smith penalty goals to close the gap to 15-9 after 48min, along with Lincoln prop Chris Gawler being dispatched to the sin-bin for one too many cynical transgressions.
While Gawler was sitting out his punishment Shirley had the better of the third quarter and even entertained the idea of taking the lead, maintaining the pressure until the 70th min until the experience of Lincoln second-five Jack Goodhue finally told.
Lincoln’s revitalised scrum began to take charge, and with the ball spread to Goodhue, by replacement halfback Logan Crowley, Lincoln earned a simple penalty for first-five Brett Cameron to take them beyond the seven-point danger zone.
Another penalty on 36min was spurned in favour of a lineout, which was duly won, and from an ensuing ruck big centre Harrison Groundwater benefitted from a Crowley and Goodhue break. He was driven across under the bar for Cameron to easily convert for a flattering lead.
For Lincoln, Stratton was their most important player until substituted by Crowley, who was an equal performer. Goodhue was the difference in the end, with his strength and skill putting his team in a position to win. Clough took the chances offered and lock Hugo Nankivell, usually a No.8, did the hard yards in the tight.
Shirley were given lineout possession by a sterling performance by flanker Phil Watson, who won all his ball. Prop Tawhire Wharehinga, lock Hayden Mitchell, openside Junior Taia and Robbins had busy games in the tight. In the backs, centre Wainui and fullback Timoteo attacked well.
Hawkins MVP: Jack Stratton (LU) 3, Phil Watson (Shirley) 2, Jack Goodhue (LU) 1.
No curtain-raiser was played.
SUMNER v BELFAST
At Kaiapoi Oval: Sumner 51 (Ross McCann 3, Nik Cumming 2, Marshall Suckling, Dylan Nel, Nathan Earle tries; Cumming 4 conv, pen) beat Belfast 14 (Amenatave Tukana, Rhett Moore tries; Will Stevens 2 conv). HT: 32-7. Referee: Blair Barclay. Sin-bin: Tuuta Simaile (Sumner).
Sumner took a firm grip of this game in the first quarter, racking up 17 points in as many minutes and from then it was just what the winning margin would be.
Appreciating the splendid condition of the Kaiapoi Oval, Sumner played attractively and expansively in the first half, admittedly aided by some slack Belfast defence, and a blow out seemed possible with the visitors ahead at the break, 32-7.
A sixth Sumner try inside 3min of the second half further promoted that possibility, but to Belfast’s credit it rallied on defence, putting in some big hits and upsetting Sumner’s rhythm and fluidity. Sumner was restricted to just three second-half tries, all scored by left wing Ross McCann, who proved an enthusiastic finisher.
Belfast will be disappointed at missing so many first-up tackles in the opening 40min. Sumner fullback Marshall Suckling was given too much room for the first try after 6min and Belfast’s failure to control a kick ahead led to first-five Nik Cumming running into empty space 12min later.
Belfast closed to 17-7 after 23min when powerful No.8 Amenatave Tukana drove over from 5m out after the ball was kicked to touch from a penalty.
It was deserved reward for Belfast had repeatedly challenged the line with close-in charges and the penalty came after Sumner hooker Tuuta Simaile was sin-binned for a cynical foul on his line.
But 5min later Sumner regained the initiative when Belfast conceded a tighthead on its own 22m and Sumner flanker Dylan Nel gathered the ball on the short-side and found the defence absent.
Two further tries came before the break, but Sumner went off the boil for a long period in the second half with opportunities missed by players dying with the ball. Belfast’s improved effort brought a second try after 74min when gritty little halfback Rhett Moore burrowed over.
The best of McCann’s hat-trick of tries was his second after 68min. Sumner quickly took a 22m restart and McCann collected the grubber to his wing. He linked with centre Nathan Earle on halfway and Earle drew the last defender before releasing McCann on a clear dash to the line.
Sumner was well led by captain Josh Leszczuk in the first half and lock Lawrence Babe was a valuable ball-winner in the lineouts and a reliable catcher of the kick-offs. Earle, from the Saracens club in England, gave a polished all-round display making many good decisions.
Tukana was all fire and brimstone for Belfast while flanker Frank Havea made his share of bruising tackles. Nabuka Tavenavo gave the pack extra drive when he appeared in the second half.
Hawkins MVP: Nathan Earle (Sumner) 3, Lawrence Babe (Sumner) 2, Nik Cumming (Sumner) 1.
Sumner’s division two team had plenty to celebrate in the early match on Kaiapoi No.1, beating Lyttelton for the first time since Sumner was promoted to division one in 2010. Tenth-placed Sumner overcame second-placed Lyttelton, 31-22, after leading at the break, 26-3.
Lyttelton was affected by injuries and had to call up players from lower grades but that didn’t devalue a whole-hearted Sumner effort with the scrum especially dominant. Sumner won a host of scrum penalties and lively flanker Tom Hobbs scored from a tighthead.
A 90m intercept try by fullback Callum Wisbey on the stroke of half-time proved a telling blow for Sumner. Lyttelton had the better of the second half but its cause was not helped when it had a player sent off with 10min to play.
Lyttelton scored two late tries, one close to full-time from a 85m break out which was expertly finished by wing Chris Barry.
Loose forwards Hannibal Isefo and Callum King and prop Jordan Sa were key members of the Sumner forward pack while Hobbs was strong on attack and in wresting possession at the breakdown.
Points as at 4th June
HAWKINS DIVISION 2 - CUP
Challenge Shield Match - Lincoln University Retain
Lincoln University 29 v. Suburbs 27, Burnside 32 v. Shirley 7, New Brighton 70 v. Belfast 0, Marist Albion 19 v. HSOB 22, Sydenham 8 v. Linwood 19, University 5 v. Christchurch 23, Sumner 31 v. Lyttelton 22;
HAWKINS COLTS PREMIER - CUP
Challenge Shield Match – Burnside Win
Burnside 38 v. University 14, New Brighton 5 v. Lincoln University 41, Shirley v. Sydenham, Sydenham Win by Default, HSOB 50 v. Linwood 7, Belfast v. Christchurch, Christchurch Win by Default, Marist Albion bye;
HAWKINS DIVISION 3
Challenge Shield Match - Marist Albion Beacons Retain
University 0 v. Marist Albion Beacons 27, Burnside 34 v. Otautahi 0, HSOB 18 v. Christchurch 19, Marist Albion v. Suburbs, Marist Albion Win by Default;
METRO COLTS - CUP
Challenge Shield Match - University Holder
Burnside v. University, no result received, CBHS 2nd XV 28 v. Ashley 0, New Brighton 5 v. Glenmark-Cheviot 29, Lincoln University v. Linwood, Lincoln University Win by Default, Sumner 30 v. Marist Albion 7, HSOB 19 v. Merivale Papanui 19, Christchurch bye;
METRO DIVISION 4
Challenge Shield Match - Suburbs S Retain
Belfast 19 v. Suburbs S 31, Shirley W v. Suburbs Div 3, no result received, New Brighton 12 v. Marist Albion 7, Lyttelton bye;
Challenge Shield Match - Linwood B Holder
Linwood B v. Sydenham S, no result received, Belfast M 35 v. Shirley 19, Burnside 7 v. Sumner S 34, HSOB K 24 v. Christchurch C 12;
WOMENS - CUP
Challenge Shield Match - University Retain
University 60 v. Marist Albion 5, Burnside 5 v. Burn/Duns/Irwell 60, Kaiapoi 22 v. HSOB 27, Sydenham 24 v. Linwood 5, Suburbs 19 v. Christchurch 33, Lincoln bye;
CRUSADERS SECONDARY SCHOOLS - UC CHAMPIONSHIP
St Andrew's College 10 v. Marlborough B C 10, Shirley BHS 19 v. Burnside HS 5, St Bedes College 28 v. Rangiora HS 8, Christchurch BHS 86 v. Lincoln HS 0, Nelson College v. Waimea Combined, game deferred, Roncalli College 0 v. Christs College 36, St Thomas 31 v. Ashburton College 10, Timaru BHS bye;
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