This season’s rugby competitions drew to a close with the three Canterbury Sub Union finals showcasing provincial rugby at its best.
Mid Canterbury’s Watters Cup was contested by Rakaia and Methven on July 20. Rakaia were the victors, winning by 19-12 in extra time.
Luisetti Seeds’ agronomist Simon Fleetwood played hooker for the Methven team. He said it was a really tight game played in terrible conditions.
A penalty try awarded to Rakaia late in the game saw the two teams tied when the full-time whistle blew. To determine a winner, ten minutes of extra time was played with Rakaia scoring under the posts half way into extra time. Methven tried hard to come back, but to no avail.
While disappointed with the end result, Simon said it was a fantastic game to play and a great tussle between two top Mid Canterbury teams.
Peter Ayers from Luisetti Seeds presented the trophy to the captain of the Rakaia team, Jackson Dolan.
In the Ellesmere Sub Union, Southbridge and Darfield contested the Coleman Shield on July 27 in perfect conditions.
The game was played at Prebbleton and it was a dominant display by Southbridge in the first half, although Darfield hung on to be within seven points at half-time.
Darfield then scored a try early in the second half to even up the score, but Southbridge took the lead once again and held on to win by 12-7.
Simon Fleetwood watched the game and presented the Shield on behalf of Luisetti Seeds. He says Darfield have not won the Shield in its 115-year history, but came very close this year when they were held up on the try-line in the dying stages of the game.
In North Canterbury, Kaiapoi and Glenmark battled it out at the Mandeville Sports Grounds for the Luisetti Seeds Alf Hunnibel Memorial Trophy on July 27.
Glenmark were undefeated heading into the game and the team was also a joint title holder of the Luisetti Seeds Combined Canterbury Country Competition.
It had been over a decade since Kaiapoi had made the final in the North Canterbury Sub Union competition and they showed the crowd why they deserved to be there.
Glenmark led nine nil at half-time, but Kaiapoi fought back to lead 10-9 with 15 minutes of the game to go. But Glenmark’s experience shone through and the final score was 16-10.
Mark Frampton, who presented the trophy on behalf of Luisetti Seeds, says it was a great finals match between two evenly-matched sides.
Luisetti Seeds has had a long association with this trophy, as Alf Hunnibell was Richard and Max Luisetti’s grandfather.
A boot maker, Alf operated from a shop in High Street, Rangiora (now Capones Restaurant). He was Secretary and Treasurer of the North Canterbury Rugby Union and managed the senior team for 25 years (1925 to 1950). The Alf Hunnibell Memorial Trophy has been presented in North Canterbury since 1960.