Dips in form from the top two sides have left this weekend’s UC Championship semi-finals wide open.
A fortnight ago Christchurch Boys’ High School and Christ’s College stood out as the two clear favourites in the competition.
However, CBHS’ 33-35 loss to Rangiora High School earlier this month and Christ’s 15-20 loss to Timaru Boys’ High School on Saturday have signalled the favourites can triumph.
This Saturday Christ’s host St Bede’s College while CBHS will be looking for redemption when they host Rangiora in the other semi-final.
CBHS captain Louie Chapman believes playing Rangiora again will provide extra motivation for the defending champions.
“We know they’re a great side and they showed that when they knocked us over,” said Chapman.
“They’re a really physical team . . . they came in with a full head of steam and that’s probably why they won the match.”
It’s not just a spot in the UC Championship final that is at stake for CBHS and Rangiora. The do or die game will see the Moascar Cup – New Zealand’s equivalent of the Ranfurly Shield – up for grabs. The Trust Bank Cup – the South Island equivalent – which Rangiora won from CBHS will also be up for grabs.
Chapman pointed towards defence as a work on this week as his side look to turn the tables on the result 12 days ago.
“If you let in 35 points against any team like we did against Rangiora you’re going to have a tough time beating them,” said Chapman.
Going off round-robin results the semi-final between Christ’s and St Bede’s should be just as intriguing. When the two teams met in June Christ’s narrowly took the spoils 23-17.
Both matches at CBHS and Christ’s kick off at 2.45pm.