26 Latest Christchurch news at www.star.kiwi Waihora’s key Wednesday August 22 2018 SELWYN TIMES Proud supporters of Rugby & Netball in Selwyn to success – inventiveness Waihora’s senior rugby team has enjoyed unprecedented success this season with a full trophy cabinet that includes the Combined Country Trophy, Ellesmere’s Coleman Shield and the Murray Cooper Shield. Sports reporter Jacob Page finds out how they achieved it WAIHORA CAPTAIN Ryan Koning believes the foundations the team’s all-conquering club rugby run started with preseason training on the polo grounds near Tai Tapu and a few beers afterwards in a shipping container. “We didn’t have changing sheds or clubrooms at the start of the year and the grounds weren’t able to be trained on so we had to get inventive,” he said. “We had a lot of really enthusiastic guys that just ripped into it despite those challenges and it really worked.” Waihora won 18 of their 20 games this season on their way to claiming the Combined Country competition and Ellesmere’s senior rugby crown, the Coleman Shield. Waihora co-coach Joff Mooar admitted like many champion teams they learnt the most from their losses – and they experienced one in their first game of the season against Saracens. “The team was so eager to get going that we played like a team would if they’d had 10 games already,” he said. “It just didn’t work.” Koning described the loss as “a good kick in the pants”. That would turn out to be the only blemish on a dominant Combined Country campaign. They wouldn’t taste defeat again until late in the Coleman Shield competition, thanks to a lacklustre 21-19 defeat to Prebbleton. “I sat in the changing rooms afterwards and a lot of heads were down,” Koning said. “But mine wasn’t. The way I looked at it, that was the best thing that could have happened to us after we’d won for so long.” Mooar agreed: “We played terribly but only lost by two points so in a way it was a good thing.” Mooar was quick to heap praise for the season on a man he had seen more than his wife over the past six months, fellow coach Terry Dalton. “Terry was someone who brought a fresh perspective to the team this year,” Mooar said. “We had a division two team for the first time and that meant there was a group of 30 to 35 CELEBRATION: Waihora celebrate their 20-10 Coleman Shield rugby triumph over Darfield. guys all training together and pushing each other for positions. “Terry also introduced video analysis, which helped a lot of the guys work on things after the fact. The running joke amongst our wives has been that we have been like each other’s other wife over the past six months.” “Terry and I have no problem expressing what we are seeing on the field. While he takes the forwards and defence and I take the backs and attack, if we see TROPHY HAUL: Waihora captain Ryan Koning with the Coleman Shield. (Right) – First-five Jonty Stuart’s playmaking was a big part of Waihora’s dominant season PHOTOS: KAREN CASEY something that can help the team, then we’ll speak up,” he said. “It works.” Mooar praised two key players in his backline for their ability to adapt and thrive throughout the campaign. First-five Jonty Stuart and mid-fielder Matt Saunders both filled vital holes in the championship team. “Jonty was new to the club, and I thought we may have to mix-and-match him and Matt at times throughout the year, but he piloted us so well around the park all year and allowed us to have Matt at centre dealing with all the traffic.” Koning said beating Darfield on their home ground to secure the Combined Country and Coleman Shield double was a great way to end the season. “The Darfield club are full of great guys and their coaching staff and overall hospitality is superb and we knew that was going to be a fitting final,” he said. Mooar said his team were now the measuring stick their rivals tried to match up to and they were happy with that. “The boys know that and embrace it, “ he said. “They see it as a challenge.” Mooar said he was eager to come back next year and replicate his brother, Brad, who has just won two Super Rugby titles as an assistant coach with the Crusaders. “You always want to go one better,” Mooar said. “It’d be great to come back next year and only lose one game or none. That’s what we’ll be aiming for.”
SELWYN TIMES Latest Christchurch news at www.star.kiwi Wednesday August 22 2018 27 • By Jacob Page BROADFIELD A will have the mental edge heading into their Selwyn netball semi-final against Lincoln A on Saturday. In a prelude to the semi-final, they beat Lincoln A 61-59 in the final round-robin game on Saturday at the Lincoln Event Centre. The win gave Broadfield A top spot but also left Lincoln A, the defending champions, in fourth meaning the two teams will do it all again this weekend, Greenpark B and Greenpark A will meet in the other semi-final after Greenpark B beat Southbridge A 50-46 and Greenpark A humbled Rolleston A 80-32. Broadfield A have beaten Lincoln A two out of three times this season, with two goals being their biggest winning margin. The other encounter ended in a draw. Broadfield A coach Yvonne Crichton-Hill said while her team lead for most of the game, they did not make the most of their turnovers. “We would get a turnover and then throw it straight back at times,” she said. “I think we got a bit excited. The margins are tight so we will need to make sure we look after the ball. Crichton-Hill praised her team’s defensive rebounds. Lincoln A coach Vanessa Robinson described her side’s performance as patchy. “We didn’t put in the type of performance we wanted over four quarters,” she said. “While our attack-end played well, we didn’t grab enough rebounds and that hurt us.” Both teams have fully fit squads to choose from with Broadfield A goal defence Georgie Bolton returning after VISION: Broadfield A’s Laura Lowe (left) looks to pass up-court. Lincoln A’s Courtney Haberfield grabs possession. PHOTOS: KAREN CASEY Broadfield A, Lincoln A to meet again in semi-final she missed the final round-robin game. Greenpark B snatched second on the ladder to set-up the all-Greenpark showdown. Greenpark A took the third spot over Lincoln A thanks to their superior goal difference. Results: Broadfield A 61, Lincoln A 59; Greenpark A 80, Rolleston A 32; Greenpark B 50, Southbridge A 46. Points: Broadfield A 17, Greenpark B 12, Greenpark A 11, Lincoln A 11, Southbridge A 9, Rolleston A 5. Sewlyn United striker nets 100 goals for college first XI • By Jacob Page SELWYN UNITED striker Declan Hickford has become the first person to score 100 goals for the St Andrew’s College first XI. The 17-year-old scored nine goals on Thursday against Rangiora High School during St Andrew’s 12-1 victory in the Canterbury schools premier football competition. The game lifted his goal total to 102 for the school, which included 43 goals this season. “It feels amazing to have achieved it. It’s such an honour,” Hickford said. “I remember my first goal for St Andrew’s in my second game so it’s been an amazing four years.” Hickford has also been a regular in Canterbury agegroup teams and is in his first season with the Selwyn United Mainland Premier League team. “The physicality is clearly something that takes time to adjust to, but also matching that with the speed of play,” he said. “Sometimes the secondary school games can be played at a friendly-type pace and that’s certainly not the case with the MPL teams.” Hickford said playing in the MPL means he has more time on the ball at secondary school level. “I’m working on my finishing skills mostly because I have more time on the ball than what I would have in the MPL,” he said. Hickford (below) wants his next individual goal to be trying to earn a scholarship to a United States college. New gymnastics academy opening in Rolleston • By Jacob Page ROLLESTON WILL get a new gymnastics facility in October. The Affinity Gymnastics Academy is set to open in the Izone Business Hub on October 15. The academy is being LEAP: Eboni Hill (left) secures possession. Tyler Rollo saves the ball from going out. Sarah Eaton (right) keeps the attack going. established as a community project in the Selwyn district by a group of individuals who share a passion for the sport. It will be open daily and offer classes for pre-school-aged children; boys and girls recreation gymnastics; rugby, strength and conditioning classes; pre-competition gymnastics and competitive gymnastics. The academy is a not-for-profit organisation affiliated to Gymnastics New Zealand. President Ryan Jones said the academy has signed a two-year lease and the premises at the hub on Izone Dr is a temporary home, with a custom-built facility close to Foster Park the desired long-term option. “I want children and families to be able to access the facility easily,” Mr Jones said. “I want them to be able to walk to it from home or come straight from school, and a facility close to Foster Park is the best way to achieve that in the long-term. We need to be realistic about how long that might take so this will give us time,” he said. Mr Jones said he wanted the entire community to use the facility, regardless of age or ability.