Wednesday 15th August 2018
Colts Reserve 2018 Season Report
The one thing this club has lacked in 2018 is a four letter word rhyming with duck…LUCK. The Premiers lost so many games by a few points, the Colts A team losing by one point in the semi final and Prem Reserves losing their semi by a few points.
But for the Colts Reservesit was even closer than that. In the semi final against Christchurch at Bob Deans we were up 27-17 with 20 minutes to go before Chch benefiting from a sin bin scored 3 tries to go ahead 34-27. Then right on fulltime a try under the post brought us back into the game at 34-34 meaning extra time of 20 minutes.
But it was not to be. A missed penalty and dropped pass with an open line in extra time meant the game ended at 34 all but Chch won on a count back of tries scored in the game 6 to 5. So again after 2 finals in 2016 and 2017 we are back to perennial semi finalists – 6 finals or semi finals in 6 years…or is it 7 ???.
A good year that ended with an amazing semi final. We were down on troops with only 20 players available under Metro rules, available to play in the semi final. We lost our captain and our form player Aaron Elliotwith concussion and Paddy Eliaour hard nosed number 6 with a knee injury in the first half.
Almost all our forwards had to go the 100 minutes with Jack Hydeand Josh Bulgerinspirational in their commitment and drive. Jack kept us in the game using his skill and strength to score 3 tries!! What an effort!!!. Our forwards have been a dominant force all year and with regularly only having 18 or 19 players available they got plenty of minutes - yet we used over 40 players the coaches have had well what year!!
We had 8 international players, some just for 4 or 5 games, from the Crusaders International Academyincluding 4 from the UK, 3 from the USA, one from Nambia, one from Spain, and one from Switzerland. We hope they all learned much and enjoyed their rugby. Special thanks to Cameron SteelandSam Edwards from England who played nearly all the games. If they stayed in NZ they would go far and we look forward to watching their progress.
To Jackson Lynsky-Reida big thank you for your 114 points including 6 tries at fullback. Aaron Elliot, Tim Bolton and Ferg Loffhaggen were a tower of strength in the backs and our Bedeians Nath Walkerand Jonny Lynch were cool and calm at halfback and first five. Jake Jensenwas a ball of energy at halfback too and Harry Abrahams was Mr Versatile playing at half back, first five and wing as well as a cameo appearance at loose forward. Jack Jones only 17 was a revelation at prop and Paddy Elia, the Ali boysand Nick Tibbotts must look at higher grades next year such is their ability and commitment.
We will lose over half our players going into 2019 so it will be a substantial rebuild for our coaches. But each year is a challenge and we look forward to this. The coaches are getting a little older and a little greyer but the will to provide opportunities and develop players is still there - eh guys!!!!!
The team scored over 70 tries and nearly 500 points in 13 games. We had to put up with 3 defaults, 2 cancelled Saturdays and a bye!!! But it was a very enjoyable year. Thanks to the club, supporters and parents and of course the coaches and trainers who all helped make it yet another great year of rugby for this Colts team.
Wednesday 8th August 2018
Premier Team 2018 Season Report
In many ways the Premier season commenced in Argentina, with the majority of those who travelled playing a part in our 2018 season. Unfortunately we did lose three senior players to season ending injuries on this trip however, the camaraderie built from this two week excursion is extremely valuable for HSOB Club culture. Thank you again to Ken Pope for driving this forward on a biennial basis.
In March we announced a playing roster of thirty, eleven of whom were still Colts eligible. The talent was raw but eager. It was great to have some experienced heads including; Pete Chaplin, Josh Pitt and Nick Hyde to guide our younger members although it soon became apparent that the rookies would lead the way on many occasions.
Jimmy Hema coached a structured game plan using our speed and handling skills to get to width and attack wide channels. Shape and pattern play is the modern tactic and crucial to player development. Many weren’t used to this approach and it took sometime before it became habitual.
As the season unfolded the team learnt to play with grit on occasion and finish games, the two victories over University being stand-out performances. We showed extreme courage and determination against Sumner when they were playing at their peak. That loss and one to Lincoln University were a little heart-breaking but provided vital lessons for us.
Regularly ravaged by injury we had to call on players from other club teams and we would like to acknowledge their efforts, there is massive ability and heart within the lower grades. This is evidenced by the majority of teams making semi-finals or finals and they should be congratulated for this. It is impossible to complete a full season without the assistance of other coaches and players within a club.
Our midfield took a regular battering, every time we settled on a solid combination we lost players in this area. Players such as Mat Elia, Kurt Polson and Sam Madden were called upon to fill roles which were unfamiliar to them which they did willingly and to a high standard. A number of younger players had to spend huge amounts of time on-field, Aron Einarsson & Ryan Frampton, playing 8 and 9 respectively, worked relentlessly.
Finally due some luck, courtesy of Burnside beating Shirley, we managed to make the middle four and then the plate final which we narrowly lost to Marist-Albion 30 – 33, thus ending the 2018 season in placed sixth place.
This was creditable given our youth and the adversity injuries played over our campaign. The players have displayed incredible growth this year, it is remarkable that 19 year olds like Zachary Wilson and Ewan Milnes can take the field at this level and not look at all out of their depth - the future is bright for 2019 and beyond.
Players have been rewarded with selection at the following levels; Canterbury wider training squad, Canterbury U19, Canterbury Maori, Cantab U20, Canterbury Metro, Mid Canterbury and Buller Heartland Teams. Jarred Percival also topped the Hawkins points table. For those not returning next year all the best for your future whether it’s on-field or off.
Finally we gratefully acknowledge our supporters and sponsors without whom it would be a much harder road. To all the coaching and management involved, thank you for your valuable but unpaid time, your toil is extraordinary but appreciated.