Lincoln University heads a tight tussle at top-of-table

Christchurch's Nathan Evans makes a break past unimpressed Marist Albion reserves. Photo:...
Christchurch's Nathan Evans makes a break past unimpressed Marist Albion reserves. Photo: Bridgitt Robinson
Two players joining the 100 club and the title-winning exploits of their top women’s rugby side means there will be no shortage of motivation when Christchurch take on high-flying Linwood in the latest round of the Metro Premier Cup. 

A congested table, where four points cover five teams chasing champions Lincoln University, also sets up the 11th round clash at Christchurch Football Club’s headquarters on Saturday nicely.

Christchurch sit fourth, two points behind third-placed Marist Albion, who they beat 32-24 last weekend.

The accumulation of 11 bonus points has boosted their cause, likewise the ability to perform well against teams ranked around or above them.

Christchurch beat Burnside, drew with Sydenham and were not disgraced against Lincoln, losing 29-18 two rounds ago.

Ironically they struggled against lower ranked opposition, copping losses to New Brighton, High School Old Boys and Shirley.

“We just had a couple of games where we just weren’t quite there as a team,” the club’s rugby development officer Craig Dunlea said.

“We’ve blooded a lot of new guys this year, I think we’re up to 12 and you usually take a bit of a hit when it’s like that, but it’s pretty exciting seeing guys get their first (club) ties.” 

Christchurch stalwart Matt Etheredge makes his 100th appearance for the club against Linwood on...
Christchurch stalwart Matt Etheredge makes his 100th appearance for the club against Linwood on Saturday. Photo: Bridgitt Robinson
Dunlea is also looking forward to forward Matt Etheredge and William Mills making their 100th division one appearance for the club against Linwood.

Since the slip up against Shirley, Christchurch have won three from four, with Lincoln the only setback.

“Everything’s been going really well, though we’re getting near that business end of the season,” Dunlea said.

“We knew Marist would throw everything at us. They’re a dangerous side,” he said, predicting more of the same against Linwood, who sport an 8-win 2-loss record.

“They’re got a couple of new recruits and guys who have come through the grades … they’re sitting second on the table, that speaks for itself.”

Dunlea was also rapt for the women’s team, who won the premier competition by beating Lincoln University 22-14 in last weekend’s final.

“It was absolutely brilliant for them considering at the start of the year we were struggling to find them a coach,” he said of a squad mentored by Pete Manson and Ross Tarawhiti.

Cashmere Technical’s quest for a second successive unbeaten Mainland Football premiership season resumes after the champions cruised to a 7-3 triumph over Nelson Suburbs in the Chatham Cup, to set up a fourth round tie with Christchurch United next month.

They notched the opening five goals of the contest and after Josh Moffatt trimmed the deficit with a quickfire double, the favourites cranked into gear again through Declan Tyndall, whose second strike erased any prospect of a comeback by the visitors.

Nomads United are now tasked with stopping a premiership juggernaut which claimed their fourth successive title with two rounds to spare.

In the other local Chatham Cup fixture Christchurch United edged Coastal Spirit 4-3 with Oliver Colloty snaring the winner 10min from time. The Celebration Lions have an opportunity to push into the Canterbury Rugby League premiership top-four when they play the winless Papanui Tigers on Saturday.

Papanui’s struggles predictably continued last weekend when champions Linwood showed no mercy as they racked up 17 tries in a 98-6 drubbing featuring hat-tricks to Uili Uili, Zion Amituanai and Graeme Patu-Vaega’au.

Leon Jarden scored a double and racked up 15 conversions.

Celebration sit fifth with four rounds of the regular season remaining but are well within range of last year’s beaten finalists, the Northern Bulldogs, who take on table-topping unbeaten Hornby.

The Eastern Eagles, who now face a menacing clash with Linwood, had their three-game winning streak spiked by the third-placed Halswell Hornets, who won 40-12.

Hornby subdued Celebration 24-10 after the scores were level at the break while the Bulldogs secured a narrow 18-16 victory over Riccarton.

Unbeaten Marist continued their winning ways in the men’s division of Canterbury Hockey’s premier grade with a 2-1 victory over Hornby increased their lead over Harewood to seven points after the latter had to be content with a 3-3 stalemate with Avon.

Carlton Redcliffs were the big movers through seventh round action, with a 5-3 win over University boosting them from fifth to third on the ladder.

Harewood replaced Marist atop the women’s standings thanks to a 3-1 win over Avon which lifted them from third.

Marist slipped to second after drawing 1-1 with Hornby while Carlton Redcliffs dropped to third, although they were on a bye.

Champions Lincoln University suffered their first loss in the Christchurch Netball Centre premier competition when they were beaten 43-38 by University in 10th round action.

Kereru A are the only unbeaten side following a 78-21 win over Villa Maria though Lincoln still top the standings due to bonus points accrued.

 

 

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