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SELWYN TIMES Latest Christchurch news at www.star.kiwi Wednesday September 12 2018 25 SPORTS Proud supporters of Rugby & Netball in Selwyn Canterbury Country no match for Otago B • By Jacob Page CANTERBURY Country will look to bounce back against their Otago Country counterparts on Saturday at Southbrook, after a 42-12 loss to Otago B. Just six days after beating Canterbury Metro and reclaiming the Craw Shield for the first time in 10 years, an under-strength Country team never threatened to make it two in a row, in Dunedin, on Saturday. • By Jacob Page PROMISING ROWER Ben Taylor is achieving his goals so quickly he’s having to create new ones. The 18-year-old, who lives in West Melton and competes for Avon, had an impressive world under-23 championships in Poland where his coxed four took silver. He is now in Bulgaria with the New Zealand elite team for the world championships, which got under way over the weekend, in the reserve men’s pair with Joe Wright. “It’s been an unbelievable 18 months,” he said. “I need to set new goals because I’ve achieved so many of my twoto-five year ones.” Taylor was part of the winning Maadi Cup squad in 2017 which not only brought back the top prize for the first time in the college’s history, but the Springbok Shield as well. Rowing is in Taylor’s blood, the last time the school raised the shield was when his father, With seven players out on Canterbury B duty and five out with injury, 11 of the squad were playing either their first or second game at that level. Brook Retallick, Ben Anderson (Glenmark), Tim Murgatroyd (Prebbleton), Sam Cottam (Lincoln), Mark Maitland and Harrison Kirk (Waihora) were all part of Canterbury B’s 41-21 win over Southland B. Country coach Nigel Smith said the final score flattered the hosts. Rapid rowing rise for talented teen Andrew, was in the boat 34 years ago. While Taylor is essentially injury-cover in Bulgaria he said he was still making the most of the elite environment. “It’s been very welcoming so far,” he said. “In training for the event, it’s been great to watch how some of the more experienced guys go about their business.’’ Taylor said he had a bond with top Kiwi singlesculler and fellow former St Andrew’s College rower, Robbie Manson. “Robbie has been super helpful,” he said. “He doesn’t give you a lot of help but if you ask for it, Ben Taylor he’ll make the time.” Taylor said his rapid rise had allowed him to realistically dream about being part of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. “I definitely wouldn’t have dreamed about that 18 months ago,” Taylor said. He said he wouldn’t mind what boat he was put into. “It doesn’t matter I’ve been looking at everything as an opportunity so far so I’ll try to make the best out of any situation.” “With one genuine training run during the week and the number of people out, I thought we did okay,” he said. “We spent a long time on their (try) line thanks to them getting penalised multiple times.” Smith said he felt his team earned a one-man advantage but the referee never reached into his pocket. Smith said his team lost a bit of their defensive structure and that prevented them from staying in touch on the scoreboard. • By Jacob Page THE ELLESMERE College senior girls basketball team have qualified for the national secondary schools tournament for the fourth year in a row. The team finished second at the South Island tournament at Westport and will head to the nationals at Palmerston North in three weeks. The team had previously beaten defending South Island champions Buller 88-76 which gave them qualification for single A nationals. Single A is based on the size of the school, with smaller schools competing in the single A nationals while bigger schools compete in the AA tournament. The team completed a successful campaign with an 82-70 win over Greymouth High School. They were led by Paris Nurse who finished with 20 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. Megan Ellis top-scored with 28 points, while Sam Irvine had a strong all-round game with 17 points, seven rebounds, eight assists and five steals. Year 11 student Georgia Humm managed 11 points and six rebounds. Their only loss came in their “We were down by 20 points at halftime,” he said. “We struggled with out line speed and defensive structure. “They got the ball out to the wings quite easily and we struggled to combat that.” Smith praised Springston’s Cameron Powell in his first game at No 10. “I thought he steered the ship well all things considered.” Smith said the team would need to work their lineout which opening game to eventual champions Kavanagh College from Dunedin. Coach Josh Thompson said the team was aiming to make the top-four in New Zealand after retaining most of their squad for 2017 which finished 10th. “Attack-wise, I know we have quite a few options and the girls trust each other but I think we’ll need to be tighter on defence,” he said. ON THE CHARGE: Canterbury Country lock Issy Fine makes a break during his team’s 42-12 loss to Otago B in Dunedin, on Saturday, PHOTO: OTAGO DAILY TIMES he described as shaky at best. “Our set-piece work will have to be much better than what it has been of late.” Smith said second-five Richard Catherwood was a calming influence in a hectic midfield. “We needed his leadership and drive and he certainly gave us plenty of that,” Smith said. Canterbury Country will end their season against Canterbury Maori on September 22 at Linfield Park. Ellesmere makes nationals MOVING ON: The Ellesmere College senior girls basketball team have qualified for the national tournament for the fourth straight year. PHOTO: DEAN MOWER “We gave up on average 60 points at South Island’s which is 10 more than I’d like.” Thompson said the team tried to play a more up-tempo style of basketball in 2018 in an effort to reach their national goal. “A lot of the good teams are from the North Island so if we can match it with them speedwise then we definitely have the talent to make the last four.” •More sport, p27