NPC Semi-Finals: 1st Division Match Reports

NPC Semi-Finals: 1st Division Match Reports

Post by Bill Tayl » Thu, 23 Oct 1997 04:00:00


Many thanks, Paul, for transferring this to rsru.   I'm sure there are a
*great* many others besides me who have much easier access to rsru than http,
and would be happy to see all your site articles published here as well!

|>     Canterbury defeated Auckland at Lancaster Park in a tense but
|>     tryless battle of attrition last night.

Yep - it was a real WC95 final!  Utterly gripping for us supporters, but
probably a disappointment for the neutrals.  Chess rugby at its best!

|>     Third Division favourites North Otago brushed Horowhenua aside by 37-7

Yep; still nothing going right for poor old Horowhenua, as I observed in
my not-Duane's summary of 2 weeks ago.

|>    Their plan was simple - to take Canterbury on up front,
|> outmuscle them there and so take the match. In this they failed.

Yes, and once again this type of failure betokens a coaching failure.
No plan B!

|> Like an old Dreadnought battleship with all engines stuck on Full Ahead and
|> a lashed rudder, they repeatedly battered themselves against the rocks
|> which were the Canterbury defence

Very cute simile!  I seem to recall saying something similiar once...   ;-)

Everyone's talking about the rigourous, inflexible and unbreakable Cantyerbury
defense.  Fair enough.  But will folks please also observe that the Dorkland
defense was also incredibly brilliant!?  It's rare indeed to hold the top
offensive NPC side tryless, after all!  Good old Merts really picked the right
time to come right with the boot!  So, "all credit to the opposition", they
treated us to a night of frustration with their inflexible defense too!
Neither side got a break on at all.  It was their defense that made us
kick for breathing space so often, and cut down our own possession time.

|>  and in the end were found wanting.

Yes; wanting a new coach, mainly.

|>    In Canterbury, Waikato and Counties we have
|> a trio capable of taking them on and beating them. Otago also look set to
|> turn a corner and step up a gear next season. All this augures well for the
|> game in New Zealand currently,

Yes indeed!  Very true and perceptive all round!   The day of the Dork is
over, and no one team seems set to dominate again.   YAY!

Finally my sig - I know I'll get a lot of flak for calling Canterbury the
current NPC champs; but after all they've beaten the actual current champs
twice, put them out of the running, and are the top-pointed team remaining.
So for this brief interegnum period, till Jonah gets his top-up of Getafix
magic potion, I will regard Canterbury as the reigning champs!

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