The Star: May 09, 2019


The Star Thursday May 9 2019



Top of the tables

League premiership

P W D L PD Pts

Hornby Panthers 4 4 0 0 76 8

Linwood Keas 4 3 0 1 56 6

Northern Bulldogs 4 2 0 2 16 4

Eastern Eagles 4 2 0 2 -4 4

Riccarton Knights 4 2 0 2 -18 4

Papanui Tigers 4 2 0 2 -35 4

Celebration Lions 4 1 0 3 -19 2

Halswell Hornets 4 0 0 4 -72 0

Metro premier rugby

P W L D BP Pts

Christchurch 6 5 1 0 4 24

Linwood 6 4 1 1 6 24

Lincoln University 6 4 2 0 7 23

Marist Albion 6 4 2 0 6 22

HSOB 6 4 2 0 6 22

Shirley 6 5 1 0 2 22

Sydenham 6 3 3 0 5 17

New Brighton 6 2 3 1 4 14

Burnside 6 2 4 0 3 11

Sumner 6 1 5 0 3 7

Belfast 6 1 5 0 2 6

University 6 0 6 0 0 0

news online at

14-year-old footballer on

top European club radar

YOUNG Christchurch United

talent Oscar Obel-Hall has

put himself in the footballing

spotlight during trials with

prominent professional clubs in

Denmark, the Netherlands and


The 14-year-old is currently

trialling with Dutch Cup finalist

Willem II after spending last

week at Danish side FC Mydtjyland

and will head to German

side Borussia Mönchengladbach

at the end of this week.

In his evaluation report, FC

Mydtjyland under-15 coach

Martin Mark said that Oscar

had left a positive impression

and that they are interested in

seeing him again.

“FC Mydtjyland wants to

follow Oscar and invite him to

a longer stay in our academy,”

wrote Mark in his reports which

pointed out the young New

Zealander’s strong physical and

technical abilities, but he need to

use those skills and his decisionmaking

at higher tempo.

The Christchurch United

player will not be surprised by

that feedback, as he said that the

intensity of the training sessions

was the biggest eye-opener.

“That was very different to

New Zealand. Every training

is basically like a first-team

training for me at Christchurch

United,” said Oscar.

The youngster has been at

Christchurch United and the

Christchurch Football Academy

since its inception in 2014 and

is developing into one of the

brightest talents at the club.

FC Mydtjyland is one of the

top clubs in Denmark and

regularly features in the Europa

League. Its academy is famous

for producing a host of Danish

internationals, as well as All

Whites captain Winston Reid,

who grew up at the club.

In spite of the higher training

intensity at Mydtjyland, Oscar

was pleased to report that he

could match the physicality and

technical skills of the professional

Danish academy players,

but noticed that his fitness levels

are not up to scratch.

These boys are really fit

because they do these intense


Obel-Hall in action for

Christchurch United and

outside the FC Mydtjyland

complex which they share

with feeder club Herning. ​

trainings every day, but for me

it is something that I need to

work on in my own time,” he


Oscar noted that scanning

the movements of other players

around him became more

important as the speed and

intensity of the play increased

but added that developing

good scanning skills may not

get enough attention back


In his evaluation report, the

FC Mydtjyland coach recognised

that young players in New

Zealand are challenged for

not being able to play regular

matches at an international

level, like his peers in Europe,

but suggested some drills to

increase his handling speed and

to analyse his own games.

UC Championship

P W L D BP Pts

Christchurch BHS 1 1 0 0 1 5

Marlborough BC 1 1 0 0 1 5

St Bede’s 1 1 0 0 1 5

St Thomas 1 1 0 0 1 5

Christ’s College 1 1 0 0 1 5

St Andrew’s 1 1 0 0 1 5

Rangiora HS 1 1 0 0 0 4

Nelson College 1 0 1 0 2 2

Shirley BHS 1 0 1 0 0 0

Lincoln Combined 1 0 1 0 0 0

Waimea Combined 1 0 1 0 0 0

Timary BHS 0 0 1 0 0 0

Mid-Canterbury 0 0 1 0 0 0

Aoraki Combined 0 0 1 0 0 0

Mainland Premier League

P W D L GD Pts

Cashmere Tech 8 7 0 1 22 21

Nelson Suburbs 9 5 1 3 8 16

Coastal Spirit 9 5 0 4 8 15

Western AFC 8 4 1 3 3 13

Nomads United 8 4 0 4 -6 12

Ferrymead Bays 8 3 1 4 -6 10

Selwyn United 8 2 1 5 -8 7

FC Twenty 11 8 0 2 6 -21 2

WHAT A week of comebacks

and sporting ecstasy . . .

Liverpool’s heroics against

Barcelona at Anfield yesterday

was the latest unlikely


The kind of expectation and

belief anything is achievable that

comes with Liverpool playing

at Anfield on Europe’s biggest

stage is akin to the same belief

the Crusaders have created for

themselves when the cards look

like they’ve turned against.

The Crusaders own an asset

very few teams in world sport

hold – the expectance to avoid

defeat when it’s sitting on their

doorstep . . . were we ever in

doubt they would find a way over

the line with time expired and

the Sharks holding a 21-14 lead?

It almost felt like a formality

when Mitchell Hunt coolly slotted

an anything but regulation

conversion straight down the


It will be hard to see Hunt

depart for the Highlanders at the

end of the season if the predictions

are true because once again

on Friday night he proved why he

is our Mr Clutch.

A comeback that certainly

wasn’t predicted came less than

24 hours later in Sumner.

Going into the sixth round

premier metro rugby match

between Sumner and four-time

defending champions Lincoln

University nobody expected the

home side to come away with

anything, let alone have the ability

to overcome a 12-point deficit

in the final 20min.

What makes the 21-19 upset

Weekend match-ups

•League premiership

(Saturday): Riccarton Knights

v Papanui Tigers 2.45pm, Crosbie

Park; Halswell Hornets v Eastern

Eagles 2.45pm, Halswell Domain;

Hornby Panthers v Celebration

Lions 2.45pm, Leslie Park; Northern

Bulldogs v Linwood Keas 2.45pm,

Murphy Park.

•Metro premier rugby

(Saturday): Sydenham v Marist

Albion 2.45pm, Sydenham Park;

University v Sumner 2.45pm,

Ilam Fields; Lincoln University v

Belfast 2.45pm, Lincoln University;

Burnside v Shirley 2.45pm, Burnside;

New Brighton v Christchurch

2.45pm, Rawhiti Domain; HSOB v

Linwood 2.45pm, Bob Deans Fields.

•UC Championship

(Saturday): Shirley BHS v Lincoln

Combined noon, Shirley BHS;

Roncalli Aoraki v Nelson noon,

Roncalli College; Marlborough BC

v St Andrew’s noon, Marlborough

BC; Waimea Combined v Mid-

Canterbury Combined noon,

Garin College; Rangiora HS v St

One-eyed Cantab

Gordon Findlater

Why do we love sport?

Comebacks and

unpredictable results


celebrated hard after their

improbable 21-19 win over

Lincoln University.

win against what was the competition’s

leading team at that point

was how poorly Sumner had

performed in the build-up

. . . the side were winless in their

first five games this season and in

recent performances has missed

more tackles in the final 20min

than they’d expect during a

whole match.

However, when expectations

are lowered or don’t exist at all

funny things can happen and

two pieces of brilliance from

English centre Alistair Crossdale

with time ticking down sent St

Leonards Park into bedlam.

St Andrew’s College also

deserve mention. The side who

seemed to have a knack for blowing

it late in 2018 got their UC

Championship off to the perfect

start on Saturday when winger

Isilei Saumaki bounced off two

Nelson College tacklers before

reaching out to place a last minute

try which was converted for a

33-31 victory.

These games are the reasons we

love sport and for those who loyally

support a team through the

tough times, it’s the moments like

these that make it worth the wait.

What a treat.

Bede’s College 1pm, Southbrook

Park; Christ’s College v St Thomas

2.30pm, Christ’s College Upper.

•Chatham Cup (Saturday):

Waimakariri United v Western

AFC 2pm, Rangiora Showgrounds;

Halswell United v Ferrymead Bays

2pm, Halswell Domain; Nomands

United v Burwood AFC 2pm, Tulett

Park; Cashmere Tech v Coastal

Spirit 2pm, Garrick Park; FC Twenty

11 v St Albans Shirley FC 2pm,

Avonhead Park; Selwyn United v

Christchurch United 6pm, Foster


•Porritt Cup men (Saturday):

University v Marist noon,

Waimakariri Hockey Turf; Southern

United v Carlton Redcliffs noon,

Marist Park; Avon v Harewood 3pm,

Waimakariri Hockey Turf; HSOB/

Burnside v Hornby 3pm.

•Porritt Cup women

(Saturday): Marist v Redcliffs

1.30pm, Waimakariri Hockey Turf;

Avon v Hornby 1.30pm, Marist

Park; HSOB/Burnside v Harewood

4.30pm; Southern United (bye).

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