In late breaking news, it gives us great sadness to announce that Steve Comer has passed away. Steve was a long serving member in the club, with an association stretching back 56 years as a player, coach, administrator and in his latter years a stalwart supporter of the men’s Div 1 side. We offer our best wishes to his family and expect all teams to play in black armbands on Saturday in his honour.
Also, thanks to teams bringing pads and flags in with them after their 2:45 games. Can we please make sure the green container is locked at the same time so the gear in there (namely the trailer) doesn’t get taken for a joy ride!
Important Season Dates
6th May – Cocktail Themed Band Night (First day for Netball)
9th May – AGM
20th May – Club Day
27th May – Quiz Night
18th July – Team Photos
22nd July – Party Bus Trip
16th Sept – Prizegiving
Div 1 vs Linwood at Linfield 1, 2.45pm
Women vs Kaiapoi at Ilam 1, 2.45pm
Div 2 vs HSOB at Bob Deans 1, 1.00pm
Colts Prems vs Burnside at Burnside 4, 1.00pm
Tigers vs Suburbs at Ilam 2, 2.45pm
Colts Reserve vs Ashley at Loburn 1.00pm
Team – Colts Prem
Bar Manager – Meatesy
Lock Up – Grimmace
DIV 1 – COURTESY OF THE CRFU WEBSITE
At Linfield Park 4: Burnside 39 (Cam Mitchell, Mitch Cooke, James Gooding, Rex Elisara, Sean Forster tries; David Smith 3 conv, 2 pen; Jacob Saunders conv) beat University 34 (Morgyn Cowan, Sam Godwin, Nigel Gibb, Trent Tipene, Brad Hemopo, Harry Ferguson tries; Harry Millar 2 conv). HT: 15-14. Referee: James Munro. Sin-bin: Sean Forster (Burnside).
A resurgent Burnside side put the woes of a winless last season behind them with an exciting 39-34 win over University.
Under the guidance of returning coach Steve Ellis and fielding 11 players making their division one debut they would take immense satisfaction in starting the season in the best possible manner.
Burnside led for the first 70min but always had the students snapping at their heels and when centre Nigel Gibb crossed and Varsity took a 34-32 lead with 10min remaining they appeared to have taken control at the defining moment.
However, the character of this Burnside side shone through when lock James Gooding became the toast of his team when he charged over for the winning try with 1min remaining.
For the opening game of the season both sides displayed a high level of fitness and skills and with the game being played at such pace used their bench to effective use.
University out-scored the opposition in tries, six to five, but a telling factor was that the Burnside kicker David Smith was able to find the posts on a more regular basis.
Burnside were quickly into their work with a Smith penalty, and when he made a sharp break and put flanker Cam Russell over they established an early 10-0 lead. Varsity quickly replied with a try to flanker Morgyn Cowan following a strong attack on the Burnside line.
Wing Kane Findlay manufactured Burnside’s next try when he fielded a clearing kick and placed a clever chip-kick which he regathered to put replacement forward Sean Forster away. Just before half-time University blindside flanker Sam Godwin reduced the lead to 15-14 when he scored following some strong one-off running from the student pack.
From the resumption, Burnside quickly extended their lead when Gooding won good lineout ball off the top and a defensive lapse in the Varsity line saw second-five Rex Elisara cross without a hand being laid on him.
Again Varsity immediately struck back with a try to wing Trent Tipene and a reply from Burnside blindside flanker Mitch Cooke.
University’s attacking efforts gathered momentum in the final quarter with three unconverted tries to forwards Harry Ferguson and Brad Hemopo and centre Nigel Gibb. That appeared to carry them to victory before Gooding snatched the lead back for a deserved win.
First-five Smith not only contributed with his kicking for goal but distributed the ball well and was sound on defence, Elisara and Jack Lyndsay were a strong midfield combination and Findlay was eager for work. Up front, Gooding and skipper Phil Henderson were a hard-working locking duo and Cooke was effective both on attack and defence.
University skipper Godwin was his usual strong self with ball in hand and instrumental in inspiring his side to lift their game. He received good support from No.8 Hemopo. Gibb showed enterprise on attack and fullback Braydon Ennor, while receiving few opportunities, looked promising.
Won 52 – 10 over High School Old Boys – no game report
DIV 2 – COURTESY OF WALLY
The 2017 Yams season kicked off on Saturday on the Vege Patch against Belfast. Coming off a sub-par 2016, with 9 wins and 9 losses, the Yams were under pressure to deliver results early on. However, the Yams couldn’t have asked for a worst start to the season. After already losing Vice Captain and prop, Justin Raften, and utility forward, Torin Rensford, to lucrative overseas contracts, the Yams started to drop like flies before the season commenced. Star backs Henry Boon and Oscar Nesbitt both suffered foot injuries during the off-season, with the latter being season ending. However, that was the least of their worries when everyone’s worst nightmare came true in the first preseason of the year. The Yams were leading 7-5 just before halftime, courtesy of the Wallace-Verstappen combo that we’ve all come to know and love. Just minutes after taking the lead was a moment that could define the Yams season. A loose ball contest saw bodies flying and superstar halfback, Jaden Wallace, was down for the count. Clutching his left knee, there was a deathly silence as players, coaches and fans feared the worst. Carried from the paddock, hearts were in mouths and heads were in hands. Early diagnosis did not look good; two separate physiotherapists suspected a torn ACL, potentially spelling the end to Wally’s season and any chance of a playoff spot for the Yams. It would not be until day 4 that things began to brighten up. The A-word was no longer being used and the final diagnosis was torn cartilage and MCL.
With no specialist halfback for their first official fixture, the Yams faced an uphill battle. First-five Benjamin Fox put his hand up to fill some very big boots but a very small jersey. The Yams were able to absorb the early pressure from Belfast and eventually crossed over through Finnish international, Jussi Viljanen, who converted his own try. The yams scored once more before halftime through stand-in halfback, Benjamin Fox, to take a deserved 12-0 at oranges. There was no shortage of experience on the bench, with coach Jared Brixton able to call on 110 Division 1 caps for the second stanza. The tries scored in the second half were orgasmic, coming from long range with the highlights being a successful left footed chip kick from Ryan O’Sullivan and an old-fashioned pushover scrum finished off by Tom Paton. Applause must also be made to captain fantastic, Kieran Howden, who continued his 100% winning percentage whilst in charge.
Final Score 40-10
Tries: Jussi Viljanen, Benjamin Fox, Tom Paton (2), Daniel Smith (2)
Conversions: Jussi Viljanen (4/5), Jamie Newman (1/1)
Man of the Match: Jussi Viljanen
PREM COLTS – COURTESY OF NICK HARRIS
Premier colts started the season of against a big physical Linwood team at home. After an early penalty to Ryan Cookson the half back struck again with a nifty kick in behind to set up the first try to (insert here). As Linwood tired in the 2nd half Nic Adams split the defence only to be takes a metre short before quick ball resulted it a Sam Dobson try out wide. The last try occurred when Hawaiki picked up a loose ball and had to much pace for the chasing defence. Final score 22-0 with lock Hunter Harding as player of the day.
DIV 3 TIGERS – COURTESY OF SEF ERASITO
Tigers 17 Shirley 12
Tigers start the new season with a WIN!
Insert two clichés:
- Huge effort from the boys
- The forwards muscled up in front and the backs were able to bring us home
It actually was a pretty solid effort. The Tigers were down at one stage in the second half but in true battler spirit we managed to hit home with a try to Christian Tauilili with less than 10 on the clock.
The Tigers started well, crashing the ball up and spreading it wide phase after phase which eventually gave debutant Arnold “muffin” Taen an opportunity to show some razzle dazzle and score the opening try. And Tiger forward mongrel and dominance saw Logan “LT” Thompson cross over for his first of many this season. A few silly Tiger mistakes gave Shirley the chance to kick themselves closer with the scores at 10-6 at halftime.
Shirley took advantage of some slow reactions and laziness around the rack area and sneak over the line to take the lead, 12-10. There has been a lot of emphasis in the pre-season of getting up off the floor and resetting and to finish the challenge and like the true battlers the Tigers are we managed to get our S#%T together, go back to our structure, work our way down the field and score the try to win the game. There was no better display of battler-ness than last years under-21 most improved player Jeremy “Jeremy Kyle” Aitkin taking on 2 Shirley players and saving a try and getting the turnover.
The exciting part of the game is knowing that we still have a lot to work on and that the potential to be better is there. And knowing that boys are not satisfied with that win can only mean we’ll get stronger.
6 boys made their debut for the Tigers: Muffin, Colby Putnam, Harry Unsworth, Tommaso Pulejo, Tim O’Neill and Austin Cashin (They’re yet to be Christened with Tiger names). And with 5 of them under 20 they have bought the average age of the Tigers to at least a respectable 25/27.
COLTS – Jamie Leen
The Development squad had a good first outing on Saturday against Shirley. We dominated for most of the game with only a couple of mistakes leading to them to be able to get points on the board. It was good to see what we had been practising in training come off on the field for the most part. We were hot on attack with the backs running them around the field and with quick ball and numerous penalties our first try was scored. Back on attack again we got close to breaking through a few more times only to be stopped a play short due to the ball going to ground. The boys worked hard and crossed for our second try nearing half time. Late in the first half our winger was off down the sideline only to be shoulder charged by their covering defender which resulted in a red card. Sloppy play led to them scoring on half time and quickly in the second half. The boys then got stuck in and worked hard scoring 2 more tries and keeping Shirley at bay for the rest of the game leading to a somewhat convincing win for the first game of the season. Player of the day was Tihema Douglas for some outstanding running and solid defence. Final score 26 -15.