Away vs Christchurch
Round 1110th June 2017 - 2.45 Venue : Chch Pk 1
Result : 12 - 26
At Christchurch Park 1: Christchurch 26 (Henry Scott, Dallas McLeod, Matt Etheredge, Dan Dorgan tries; Dorgan 3 conv) beat New Brighton 12 (Feleti Kaituu, Fili Waqainabete tries; Stefan Moir conv) HT: 5-12. Referee: Carl Johnson. Sin Bin: Matthew Burleigh (New Brighton).
Smart work at the breakdown and a bit of attacking flair helped Christchurch turn their fortunes around after a slow start to their clash with New Brighton. The seasiders raced out of the blocks to lead, 12-0, after 35min but from that point onwards it was all Christchurch. New Brighton opened the scoring after 10min when hooker Feleti Kaitu’u surged over from close range before a scrappy period of play led to their second. Wing Fili Waqainabete was the beneficiary after Christchurch fumbled the ball backwards and the ball was hacked ahead. Waqainabete won the race to the loose ball and sprinted over in the corner for a deserved 12-0 lead. It was all to change, however, when Christchurch had an attacking opportunity inside New Brighton’s 22m after 35min. After winning the scrum the ball was spread right where Henry Scott crossed out wide to make it 12-5 at half-time. Good teams often strike just before and/or after half-time and Christchurch promptly did both when Matt Etheredge burrowed across at the back of a maul to level at 12-all. Where they were erratic in the first half, in the second Christchurch were emphatic with ball in hand and a good backline movement saw second-five Dallas McLeod cross untouched under the post which also saw Matthew Burleigh sin-binned for New Brighton. The seasiders looked like keeping their seven-point deficit intact while a man down as they enjoyed a decent time in possession, but it all came to nought when Dan Dorgan pounced on an errant cutout pass to run 60m to score and seal Christchurch’s 14-point victory. Dorgan was the conductor of the orchestra for the red-and-blacks as he ran the show from first-five with a solid kicking game, both in general play and at goal. His ability to sniff an intercept with New Brighton threatening to level in the last quarter ultimately sealed the game for his side. Centre Dan Koster was strong with ball in hand for Christchurch and his ability to offload to his outsides regularly saw his side on the front foot. Up front, Etheredge was strong while lock Chris Mason was in everything as he ranged wide on a few occasions. For New Brighton, midfielders Walter Huata and Alisi Tupuailei never stopped trying. They ran directly on numerous occasions with Huata in particular always looking like he could break at any time. Christchurch’s defence did a good job to contain him.
Hawkins Medal (MVP): Dan Dorgan (Christchurch) 3, Dan Koster (Christchurch) 2, Walter Huata (New Brighton) 1.