Top-of-the-table Burnside challenge for DCL Shield

Burnside halfback and co-captain Joel Lam tries to break a tackle during his side’s 45-7 win over...
Burnside halfback and co-captain Joel Lam tries to break a tackle during his side’s 45-7 win over Christchurch. PHOTO: SIDELINE PHOTOGRAPHS
Positivity has been the theme of the season for Burnside as they lead the Christchurch Metro competition as it ticks over the halfway stage.

Burnside bounced back in style from their first loss of the season against Lincoln University two weeks ago, dispatching Christchurch 45-7 at the weekend.

“We flipped it as a real positive, taking a loss,” said co-captain Joel Lam, who scored in the win.

“To get that earlier on kind-of made it a little bit easier for us. (It) took pressure off us from being unbeaten. 

“We were four-from-four and there was a lot of talk on the street about us going unbeaten already.”

This weekend they’ll take on University of Canterbury, who currently sit fourth, in a DCL Shield challenge – University won it off HSOB last week.

“It’ll be obviously in the back of our minds, but it’s not our ultimate goal”, said Lam of the shield challenge.

The last time Burnside held the shield was in 2021 – Lam’s debut season.

“It doesn’t come around very often, but when it does, obviously everyone’s aware of what’s up for grabs”, he said.

“But I think we’re all just focused on putting out a good performance and the rest will take care of itself.”

Burnside finished 10th last season but Lam doesn’t think their position this year comes as a surprise.

“Going into the season you’re always wanting to take out the competition, so for you to believe in what you can do goes a long way.

“At the start of the season, with the team we had assembled, we all believed we could be contenders this year.”

The other matches on Saturday see a lot of crossover between the top and bottom halves of the table.

Sydenham, who were knocked off top spot after surrendering a 26-7 halftime lead to lose 35-26 to Sumner last week, will visit cellar-dwellers Christchurch, while Marist Albion host Lincoln University.

Linwood will look to make some ground on the top seven when they play Sumner, who have now won three in a row, while HSOB visit Belfast and Shirley host New Brighton.

Metro Rugby round 6
Shirley 47 Belfast 5; Sumner 35 Sydenham 26; New Brighton 50 Lincoln Uni 7; Canterbury Uni 32 HSOB 10; Marist Albion 47 Linwood 36; Burnside 45 Christchurch 7.
Round 7 (2.45pm Saturday)
Shirley v New Brighton, Burwood Park
Canterbury Uni v Burnside, Ilam Fields
Sumner v Linwood, St Leonard’s Square
Christchurch v Sydenham, Christchurch Park
Marist Albion v Lincoln Uni, Edgar MacIntosh Park
Belfast v HSOB, Sheldon Park
Burnside 25; Sydenham 22; Marist 21; UC 21; Sumner 21; HSOB 20; Lincoln Uni 20; Linwood 12; Shirley 12; New Brighton 11; Be;lfast 7; Christchurch 6