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Sydenham Top in Women's Rugby
It is semi-finals time in women’s senior club rugby with Sydenham the raging hot favourite to defend its title.
The red and blues showed last weekend that they are currently the best club team in Canterbury with a 37-10 win against Christchurch at Christchurch Park.
This was always going to be one of the biggest matches of the competition this season. While Sydenham had beat Christchurch in the first round, the reality is that it is only these two sides and University that are capable of winning the championship this season.
Saturday therefore was to a large degree a barometer of where the teams were at and who had the upper hand leading into the semi-finals this weekend.
As it turned out it was Sydenham that showed that it is near on unbeatable. “Our girls were really anxious leading into the match as we knew what a good side Christchurch is,” Sydenham superstar Amiria Marsh says.
“We have had a number of easy matches so far this season and so we were really looking forward to this match, which promised to be one of the toughest of the season. That’s how it turned out to be.”
The key to Sydenham’s win was in its ability to break the line and off-load. “When you play a side as good as Christchurch you know that they are going to be physical and so it’s so important to take your chances,” Amiria says. “Luckily we were able to do that.”
Amiria (who is of course in the Black Ferns) says that Christchurch has a couple of game-breakers and that it is always fun playing against some of your best mates.
“Players like Melissa Ruscoe will always be a real threat and so we knew that we had to shut them down whenever they got the ball.”
Sydenham now take on Kaiapoi in one semi-final this weekend, while Christchurch plays University in the other. Sydenham will be hot favourites to make the final and to defend their title, while the other semi-final should be closer. On recent form University may be favoured, although Christchurch should not be written off.
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