Shirley have well and truly announced themselves back in the Top 6, with a solid 15-7 victory over Marist Albion.
A try in each half ensured the Vikings looked right at home in the topflight of the Hawkins Metro Premier Competition for the first time since 2005. But it was their defensive effort in trying conditions, against one of the top attacking teams in the competition, that suggests they’re a team that could well rattle their competition.
Suia Maile grabbed the first try for Shirley before Declan McCormack replied for Marist, briefly giving his team the lead early in the second spell and the hope of celebrating Ben Enoka’s 200th game with a win, before Jud Robbins rewarded the home side for sticking to the wet weather script and denying the visitors any points for their efforts.
Two first-half intercept tries from High School Old Boys paved the way for their upset win over Christchurch at Bob Deans 27-22.
Old Boys led 24-7 at the split. Jaron Chamberlain (28 mins) and Prop, Reon Lowrey (37 mins) both scored from long-range intercepts adding to earlier penalties kicked by Jarred Percival and Lupeti Fihaki.
Christchurch finished strong and had all the ball in the final few minutes as Old Boys seemed happy to defend. The final play lasting over 30 phases on the Old Boys line before the red-and-blacks were held up over the line to signal full-time.
Crusaders Will Jordan and Tim Perry both played 40 mins for Christchurch, but their inclusion had no immediate impact, Jordan playing his half on the wing.
While Lincoln University continued on their merry way, comfortably beating New Brighton 38-7, coach Scott Pawson admitting his team “made mistakes and Lincoln are a team that will hurt you.”
However, after the loss Pawson said he still believed any of the six teams could win the competition.
Top 6: Lincoln University 5, Shirley 4, Old Boys 4, Christchurch 1, Marist 0, New Brighton 0
Sydenham started the second phase of the competition with an impressive 48-7 win against University, the second time in two weeks that the two sides have met.
Jack McLeod was a standout for Sydenham at No.10 although it was hard to single out too many of the Sydenham troops who put in a quality team performance.
Sumner and Belfast played out the lowest scoring game of the season, the Wave coming out 8-5 winners on a deteriorating field at St. Leonards.
The match was a very physical encounter with every breakdown being contested. Sumner coach Martin Field-Dodgson admitting the contest was well and truly on right up until the final whistle. Despite losing a number of times over the past few months Belfast will take plenty of confidence from the fact they’re able to compete with opposition teams and aren’t far off getting on the other side of the ledger.
A strong second half has seen Burnside get up over Linwood 15-7, making it four wins from their last six.
Linwood led 7-5 at the split, but a second half try from No.8 Christian Grandiek was the difference.
Bottom 6: Sydenham 5, Burnside 4, Sumner 4, Belfast 1, Linwood 0, University 0