The U20 Colts rugby team created history by becoming the first Lincoln University RFC team in the 21st century to win a championship grade in the Christchurch Metropolitan competition. Having consistently performed to a very high standard offensively and an even higher standard defensively throughout the season the 22 – 0 victory over Burnside was the ultimate reward for these young men.
After finishing the first round in fifth place behind University, Burnside, Belfast and Christchurch and missing two matches due to holidays the team knew that the championship round was going to be a tough assignment. It was already apparent that the teamwork shown on defence, averaging only seven points per game scored against them, was going to be one of their major advantages over the opposition.
A depleted side started the first match of the second round against University that resulted in the team’s last loss for the season 0 – 10. They came back the following week against Sumner in very heavy conditions to gain a bonus point win 24 - 7. This was followed by a cancelled round against Christchurch due to poor weather and ground conditions.
Christchurch Boys High 2nd XV came into the U20 championship round, after thrashing other 2nd XV’s in the U18 section one grade, and the match was played on a very good surface at Sudeley Park in Irwell. In a strenuous and physical match the team ended up victorious 15 – 7. The final round robin match was a clinical display off scintillating rugby and try scoring against Linwood where the team won 54 – 3.
The team travelled to Belfast for the semi final and struggled for parity in the first half being down 12 – 20 at the break. Strong teamwork and an increase in the level of intensity saw Lincoln overcome their deficit and then proceed to win 38 – 20 to secure a finals berth against Burnside.
After a good build up during the week the team assembled at Burnside Park ready to execute a simple yet accurate game plan with the only difference from previous weeks being a greater emphasis on offensive defence. A tight battle in the forwards ensued and it was not until mid way through the first half that a clean break in the midfield allowed Guy Linton to stretch his legs and go fifty metres for Lincoln’s first try. Kevin Harris converted and the team re-set and continued to build more pressure.
Numerous Burnside line outs were picked off by Lincoln which gave the team a great platform to base their attack from. This again led to a well worked try that resulted Guy’s second for the day and took the students to a 12 – 0 lead at half time. The second half had Lincoln commanding the match and the final tries to Jason Taiaroa and Rupert Yortt took the score out to 22 – 0 and victory to Lincoln University.
The team would like to thank Mike Lay at Dunsandel/Irwell RFC for the generous use of their grounds during the season, Burnside RFC for hosting the final and all the friends and supporters that helped motivate the team to success.