Home vs Christchurch
Round 28th July 2017 - 2.45 Venue : Rawhiti
Result : 11 - 33
At Rawhiti: Christchurch 33 (Matt Kottier, Dallas McLeod, Henry Scott, Hamish Kilpatrick tries; Dan Dorgan 2 conv, 3 pen) beat New Brighton 11 (Ryan Newman try; Stefan Moir 2 pen). HT: 8-11. Sin-bin: Chris Mason (Christchurch). Referee: James Munro.
New Brighton, with their huge injury list lengthened by three in this match, put in a gutsy effort for nearly an hour before Christchurch pulled away.
Unusually for the red-and-blacks, only one of their tries, the last, was scored through the forwards. Reserve hooker Hamish Kilpatrick forced down at the back of a driving maul to grab the bonus point a minute before full-time.
The first try for Christchurch came after 18min when the Brighton defence was stretched to the left. Matt Thatcher held his ground well to put centre Matt Kottier across.
But Brighton led at half-time through the good services of unflagging captain Ryan Newman. The No.7 found Christchurch out as he scooted around the front of a lineout to complete a set move.
The durable Newman was at the heart of a Brighton performance that had the home crowd sniffing an upset win.
It was 15min into the second half before Christchurch scored their second try, through second-five Dallas McLeod, who speared through a hole created by side-to-side pressure inside the Brighton 22m. That put the visitors on a roll.
Fullback Henry Scott capped a useful game when he crossed after 62min.
Fraser Scott had a big first half, making a lot of ground on the right wing. Dan Dorgan ran the ship smartly, kicking well out of hand and at goal.
Captain William Mills led the pack with his usual dynamism, on the carry and in the lineouts. The versatile Ethan Plaskett made an impact from hooker before being relieved by Kilpatrick in the last quarter.
In an eleventh-hour switch, Brighton played Nathan Vella at hooker and shifted Feleti Kaitu’u to No.8. The move looked to be paying off until Vella went off injured with 8min to go in the first half.
Brighton were a mixture of veterans and unheralded youngsters, all of whom gave it their best shot.
Boris van Bruchem, called into the starting side at late notice, snared a lot of good lineout ball. Kaleb Hunt-Wheeler, up from Otago Boys’ High School, showed in a relatively brief outing as a substitute that he can handle the game at senior level.
In a couple of touches of the ball, the youngster attacked the defensive line with confidence and made good metres.
Hawkins Medal (MVP): William Mills (Christchurch) 3, Dan Dorgan (Christchurch) 2, Ryan Newman (New Brighton) 1.