High School Old Boys have ended Sydenham’s perfect start to the Hawkins Metro Premier Competition for 2019 with a 35-29 win at Christchurch Park on Thursday night.
While University will need to stick together following another tough night, this time Christchurch getting the better of the students 53 nil in the nights second clash.
Both HSOB’s and Sydenham sides touched down four times in an entertaining match which didn’t see a difference of more than seven points until the 66th minute when Old Boys scored a try to go ahead by ten.
First-Five’s, Alex Harford for Old Boys and Jack McLeod for Sydenham exchanged penalties early on before Milford Keresoma was able to get a hand free to pop a ball out for his fullback Dan Fransen which saw Sydenham’s first try midway through the first half.
Holding a seven-point lead, Sydenham appeared to be growing in confidence and were starting to dominate at scrum time, but it was Old Boys who scored two tries in the space of four minutes through Nicholas Hyde and Jaron Chamberlain who led instead.
A frantic first ten minutes of the second half saw three tries scored and the game level, for the third time.
The ever-reliable Jarod Percival was adjudged to have lost the ball on his 22, gifting Sydenham an attacking scrum which they made the most of spinning the ball to the left where Derek Stowers managed to get the ball down in the corner.
Old Boys led again at the 53-minute mark when Harford struck a second penalty, but when Percival redeemed himself with a training field like move worked to perfection that gave Old Boys a bit of a cushion, extending their lead outside a converted try.
Old Boys looked to be in control extending their lead to 13 with just nine minutes to play before Sydenham came roaring back and scored through Sam Matenga. Despite hitting the inside of the post, the Stowers conversion went over, reducing the deficit to six and where the scoreboard would stay.
In the second game hosts Christchurch bounced back from their loss to Lincoln University by beating Canterbury University 53-Zip
The home side scoring nine tries in total, although the score line could have been even bigger with Dan Dorgan struggling to convert just one from seven attempts, although like previous weeks he’s been forced to try and add the extra 2 from wide out the majority of the time.
The physicality of Christchurch was too much for the students who struggled to contain the red-and-black forwards, and this was further highlighted when Christchurch managed to score three of their tries from 5m lineout drives.
Once again Hugh Renton was a standout for Christchurch, making his presence felt all over the park and showed some speed to race 50m down the left-hand tram lines to score in the first half.
University No.8 Matt Letoga is a player to watch. He was by far the best player in a losing side.
Image: Midfield Sports Photography
Words: Glenn Matthews