Three teams remain unbeaten in the Hawkins Premier Rugby competition after Lincoln University, Sydenham and Shirley all scored their third win of the 2019 season.
New Brighton coach Scott Pawson admitted his team “probably blew it” losing 30-27 at Sydenham. Both wings for Sydenham impressed the New Brighton coach especially heaping praise on young Crusader, Leicester Faingaanuku. “He was a handful every time he touched the
A big first half from Shirley set up their 34-5 win against Belfast at Sheldon Park. The visitors scored 27 first half points and with a four-try bonus point secured appeared to take the foot off the pedal a little for the second half. Although with a three-played, three-win record they won’t be too bothered.
The match of the round was undoubtably the match-up between the defending champions, Lincoln University and Christchurch. Both sides came into the match with a perfect 10 points after collecting bonus point wins in the first fortnight of the competition.
The students had Ene Enari and Brett Cameron both on the bench and the Crusader fringe players got a 40min hit-out, both showing their class during the second half.
The 33-7 score in favour of the students probably did no justice for Christchurch who were better than the difference suggested. Ngane Punivai grabbed a brace for Lincoln while Caleb Makene, George Stratton and Nick Frost all dotted down. Tom Christie was the sole try-scorer for the visitors.
The try of the day went to Brumbies-bound Frost who received the ball on halfway. With very little room to move he tip-toed down the touchline before stepping back inside the last Christchurch defender and ran away to score untouched with three minutes to play.
The difference between the two sides being Lincoln’s ability to turn defence into attack in the blink of an eye, two of their tries starting from near halfway. Both defences were strong, despite the 33 points conceded by the red-and-blacks.
The scorers were kept busy at St. Leonards as Marist-Albion claimed a 83 -26 win against Sumner, scoring 50 second half points.
Linwood’s strong first forty set up their 43-19 win over Burnside after leading 31-12 at the break. Burnside have now suffered back-to-back losses after scoring 81 points against University in the opening round.
Old Boys bounced back from their close loss to Lincoln last week by beating University 61-17. The city students have now conceded a half century in each of their games this season as they go through a rebuilding faze. Their first half would have given them confidence as they trailed by 11 at the split, but they were unable to match it for the full 80 as Old Boys eventually overpowered them scoring 33 unanswered second half points.
Round Four will start on Thursday night with a double-header at Christchurch Park. Old Boys will meet Sydenham at 6.15pm before Christchurch host University at 7.50pm. Friday will see New Brighton host Burnside at Rawhiti Domain from 1pm while Linwood and Sumner will meet at Linfield Park. Shirley and Lincoln will meet on Saturday at Burwood Park with Marist playing host to Belfast with both games starting at 2.45pm.