Semi Final vs HSOB
Round 022nd July 2017 - 2:45 Venue : Rawhiti Domain
Result : 24 - 3
At Rawhiti Domain: New Brighton 24 (Joe Brock, Jenkin Alaifea, Billy Harmon, Kaleb Hunter Wheeler tries; Stefan Moir 2 conv) beat High School Old Boys 3 (Mark Jackman pen). HT: 17-3.
New Brighton was better equipped in the forwards to handle the slog in the bog. Not that there was any surface water on the ground but there was mud aplenty with players hardly recognisable after 30min even by their loved ones. The winning of the game for the seasiders was in the first half. Old Boys had the southerly had their backs in that period and kept Brighton confined to its 22m for the first 10min, but their only points from their territorial dominance came from a penalty goal. Brighton’s first entry into Old Boys’ 22m produced seven points with lock Boris van Bruchem providing a clean lineout take and Canterbury flanker Billy Harmon rampaging in centre field to the line and lock Joe Brock crashing over it. The ability of Brighton to come away with points once inside the opposition’s 22m was again evident after 25min. A lineout win and some strong bursts in close quarters had the home team over the line but unable to force the ball. It did not matter. From a 5m scrum, powerfully-built No.8 Jenkin Alaifea, a former rugby league player having his first start, rumbled over and Harmon added a third try after 33min when a ball bounced forward off a Brighton knee over the line and he was first man there. Brock, whose break started the build-up to Harmon’s try, had his best game for Brighton in his short senior career. He was useful in the lineouts, effective at the breakdowns, and worked harmoniously with flankers, Harmon and captain Ryan Newman. Brock and Harmon had short second-half stints, but their presence in the first half had Brighton well on top and hooker Feleti Kaitu’u and Newman upped their work-rates when they departed. With the wind advantage, Brighton had its fourth try 5min into the second half after Brock stole an Old Boys lineout throw, Scott Davidson hoisted high and two Old Boys defenders standing under the cross-bar botched the kick. The ball was knocked forward and young second-five Kaleb Hunt-Wheeler said thank you. He will possibly never score an easier try. Stefan Moir’s conversion ended the scoring. Old Boys tried to attack but they were stymied by the wind and an enthusiastic defence for the last 35min with Brighton keeping them penned inside their own half for most of the final quarter. Ben Hanham, who was a late change at fullback, was most impressive with his handling and clearances when Old Boys applied early pressure and halfback Kieran Le Beau and Moir were equally as solid. Nobody tried harder in the Old Boys pack than captain Angus Cameron while No.8 Richard Moale showed a good turn of speed to win ball in broken play in the first half. Veteran prop Peter Chaplin relished the mud wrestle and was beavering away at the finish.
Hawkins Medal (MVP): Joe Brock (New Brighton) 3, Billy Harmon (New Brighton) 2, Ben Hanham (New Brighton) 1. Bob Schumacher