Big win to celebrate Cations Milestone.
Dean “Junior” Cations reached 300 games for New Brighton at Rawhiti Domain on Saturday and his team came to the party with a convincing 32-0 win against a struggling Shirley side.
Shirley had only won once this season, that being a single point win against Linwood three weekends ago, meanwhile New Brighton remained unbeaten through the first five rounds of the competition. New Brighton coach, Peter McLaren said that meant nothing adding “It’s a local derby so it’s going to be a tough game”. Cations played just under an hour before being replaced by Nate Ahkee who ended up scoring two tries. Robbie Mulvena, Taua Limuloa and Kieran LeBeau also crossed in the five try, bonus point win for the hosts.
Shirley started brightly with the majority of possession in the first ten minutes although the New Brighton defence was never really tested inside their defensive 22. A turnover in midfield 25 metres out from the Shirley line provided New Brighton’s first opportunity after 15 minutes and an opening try for Mulvena after the ball was spun through the backline. Paddy Smith converted from in front to give the hosts the perfect start. The New Brighton forwards looked strong constantly putting pressure on the Shirley pack at scrum time and in general play. Shirley had opportunities to score and just after the midway point in the first half they made a bust up the middle of the park leaving Ben Hanham to make a great tackle on a Shirley winger to stop their attack. Smith added a penalty to the New Brighton tally on the half hour mark to give the home side a 10 nil half time lead. New Brighton added to their lead immediately at the start of the second half. After being awarded a penalty on the 22, Brighton half back, LeBeau took a quick tap and scored in the right hand corner catching the Shirley defence napping. Smith’s conversion attempt went across the face of the goal. New Brighton then had a big five minutes midway through the half to finish the visitors off with tries to Limuloa just before the hour mark and AhKee just after it to give the competition leaders a bonus point and a 25 nil lead. Ahkee had his second five minutes from the end with another dominating forward drive after securing a line out 5 metres out.
Cations found it “A little emotional” after the game when reflecting on his career to date with New Brighton. “I’ve played here since I could walk” he said. “It means everything this club. It’s about Family and Brotherhood” He thanked his family at the clubrooms after receiving a special silver mug commemorating his achievement from Senior coach Scott Pawson. “Without them I wouldn’t be here and able to train on a Tuesday and a Thursday” Those who thought his New Brighton career might be coming to an end were mistaken “I will play as long as the body allows, and right now it feels pretty good”
NEW BRIGHTON 32 (AhKee 2, Mulvena, Limuloa, LeBeau Tries, Smith 2 Con 1 Pen) SHIRLEY 0.
The Colts Premiers continued their unbeaten start to the season with a tough win against Old Boys 30-28 on Old Boys Club Day. The Under 20 colts were beaten 14-47 but Christchurch Boys High Second XV and the Division Four side had a tense 15-12 win against Suburbs at Rawhiti Domain to continue their good season to date.