Glenmark and Oxford on track to qualify for quarter-Finals. Read Peter Williams's report.  Many thanks to all who made the Fundraising dinner such a great success.
North Canterbury Rugby Sub Union
Ross Dixon
North Canterbury
 , Rugby Administrator-Secretary


Ross Dixon's contact details are as follows:
Address: 18 Green Street, Rangiora, 7400
Phone: 0275 555361 or 03 310 7870
Email: ross.dixon@xtra.co.nz


By Peter Williams
Oxford’s thrilling victory over section leaders Southbridge, and Glenmark’s convincing win over West Melton, has left Glenmark at the top of a congested Section 1 table in the Luisetti Seeds combined Division 1 competition with just one Saturday of round robin play remaining before the quarter-finalists are found.
Glenmark, on 32 points, are the only team in this section who are now assured of a quarter-final spot, but they will be only too aware of the importance of beating Prebbleton at Cheviot next Saturday and thus ensuring that they will have home advantage for both quarter and semi-finals if they make it that far.
Oxford need to beat Hornby to ensure that they qualify, and if Lincoln beat Celtic, Oxford could even host a quarter-final.
Last Saturday, an intercept try to Gareth Price after just two minutes gave Oxford the best possible start. Southbridge hit back with a penalty and a converted try before Stew Dalzell squared the ledger on the cusp of half-time. Dalzell, who had an outstanding match, repeated the dose early in the second half and from that point on Oxford never looked back. With Dalzell and flanker Josh Brown leading the way, Oxford seemed to have the best of the exchanges and Sean Thompson capitalised on the territorial advantage by kicking two penalty goals to give Oxford an unassailable lead before leaking a converted try in the final move of the match. Final score: Oxford 21 Southbridge 20
Glenmark were always in control of their match against West Melton. Glenmark led 24-8 at half-time and went on to win 43-15. No 8 Sam Katoa had a particularly strong game. Andrew Zuppicich at hooker and first five Matt Daly also impressed for Glenmark and winger, Sunia Kubu, scored his customary brace of tries.
In the other Section 1 match, a second half rally by Kaiapoi almost scuttled Celtic’s play-off hopes. After trailing 5-20 at half-time, Kaiapoi narrowed the gap to 24-27 and in the closing minutes launched a prolonged attack on the Celtic line, spurning the opportunity of a very kickable penalty, but all to no avail. David Cook, Luka Tootoo, Matt Newton and Nacaneli Namata all scored for Kaiapoi with Namata having a particularly strong all-round performance. Sean Swart also impressed in the Kaiapoi backline.
Saracens much improved recent form continued when they ran out 39-5 winners over Rolleston. Saracens dominated early, especially on the left flank where fullback Josh Harrison scored two tries, and winger, Grant Broderson, one. English flanker Sam Smith notched a fourth for Saracens to lead 22 – 0 at half time.
In the second half Saracens’ domination continued with second five Nathan Reid, prop Peter Manahi and replacement second five, Reece Bennett, all scoring. The foundation for Saracens” victory was laid in the forwards where lock, Mark Smith, and hard-working captain Josh Maynard both made major contributions.

Ashley’s season of woe continued at Loburn. Methven scored after less than two minutes, at which stage Ashley’s dynamic No 8, Matt King, limped off with a calf muscle injury. By the 30th minute mark, Methven had stretched their lead to 15-3 at which point Ashley’s full-back, Toby Ashby left the field with a suspected dislocated shoulder. But just on half-time, Ashley put themselves back in the game with a sharp try to five-eighth David Woods, but in doing so, Woods tore a hamstring necessitating further adaptation to the Ashley backline. Dan Cook’s conversion, added to an earlier penalty had closed the gap to just five points. In the second half, the Ashley forward pack, led by Waimak Real Estate player of the day, Dan Middlemiss, Jamie Young and Warren Rean, started to assert some dominance. Another Dan Cook penalty and then an excellent try to Matt Rowe who showed a blistering turn of pace put Ashley ahead 18-15 and they looked likely to hang on until Methven finally conjured up another try with just minutes remaining to scrape out a 20-18 victory

Ohoka travelled south to Hampstead with a rather depleted squad. Hampstead always had the upper hand running out comfortable victors by 43-15 with Cam Brown, Jesse McAnulty and manager Shane Findlay who was pressed into service, all scoring for Ohoka.

The North Canterbury Sub Union ran a very successful fundraising evening last Friday. Initial indications are that over $18000 was raised which should ensure that a planned two-match development tour to Brisbane in early July can go ahead.
The two top teams in the Mike Greer Homes Div 2 competition, Woodend and Oxford, were involved in a high-intensity match that turned into a real nail biter. With only a minute or two left to play, Oxford scored their fifth try. A successful conversion would have put them in front by one point, but when it was waved away they had to chance their arm and conceded an injury time penalty that gave Woodend the win 31-27 even though they were outscored, five tries to three. So, by the narrowest of margins, Woodend retained their unbeaten record.
This Oxford Div 2 team has been a revelation this season. Comparative easy-beats in this grade over recent seasons, effective club recruiting and the arrival into the district of many involved with the dairy industry, has brought a new-found strength to the Oxford teams in both open grades. A number of players in their Division 2 side do have previous experience at Division 1 level which is now proving invaluable.
Ashley and Amberley have joined forces to form a team in the Combined Under 16 grade and are operating on minimal numbers. Regardless of that, they would have been heartened to record a good victory over Methven at Loburn on Saturday. Lock Fraser Lintott celebrated his 16th birthday by scoring one the combined team’s tries (see photo) It is to be hoped that this team can attract some more players to ensure  that they can meet their season’s commitments.
Three of the North Canterbury teams in the Luisetti Seeds Combined Division 1 competition have all run into a solid patch of form. Glenmark, Oxford and Saracens have all now racked up wins over three successive Saturdays. In Saracens’ case their victories have come too late to qualify for a play-off position but their confidence will be increasing ahead of the North Canterbury round just over a month awaySEE WEEKLY NEWSLETTER FOR FURTHER ITEMS
Birthday boy Fraser Lintott scores for Ashley-Amberley U16 v Methven
Kaiapoi U11.5 in post match huddle as coaches Kevin Smith and Nigel Greengrass approach
Kaiapoi's Bryn Graham is supported by Kaleb Wyber-Moorein the U11 match v Amberley. The Amberley defender is Andre Moko
Matt King secures lineout possession for Ashley against Darfield
Del Rio Mackintosh, Ashley Blue U14 about to score after charging down an Oxford clearing kick
Sunia Kubu on his way to a typical intercept try v Southbridge