Burnside and Sydenham finalists
Burnside and Sydenham will clash for Christchurch club rugby supremecy next Sunday after both had comfortable semifinal wins today.
Last year's finalists, High School Old Boys and University, couldn't repeat last year's achievements, falling one game short.
Burnside beat defending champions HSOB 28-15 at Burnside Park, while Sydenham ended the students' season with a 40-13 trouncing at Ilam.
Sydenham looked the better side throughout the first spell, but led just 14-8 at the break.
But the introduction of Nasi Manu at halftime helped turn Sydenham's control of the match into domination.
Ironically it was two of Manu, never scored, but two of his namesakes did. Brother and hard working openside Neila dotted down once and unrelated winger Tana Manu scored late in the match once Uni's spirit had been broken.
Josh Lindsay, Jonny McNicholl and Tumama Tu'ulua scored the other tried for Sydenham while Tyler Bleyendaal scored 20 points.
University were shorthanded in terms of top talent with a number of players absent or unavailable through injury and struggled throughout.
Patrick Osborne scored a brilliant individual try from a typically bullish run, dragging a number of Sydenham players across the line with him while skipper Matt Moulds scored Uni's second five-pointer.
A strong first half performance laid the foundation for Burnside in their 28-15 win over High School Old Boys at Burnside Park.
Burnside showed they meant business early when they added a penalty through Kieran Lindsay before prop Fred Burke barged over after they built consistent pressure in the HSOB 22.
After Stephan van Gruting trimmed the deficit to five, Burnside upped their game in the dying stages of the first half and, after declining two easy penalty attempts and a number of phases, number eight Nathan Iro crashed over to give them a deserved 18-3 lead at the break.
HSOB breathed life into the contest when Steve Gee slipped out of a tackle on a 25 metre run down the left touchline to close the gap to 10 before Burnside added a penalty through Lindsay.
Martin Swart burst through to get HSOB within a converted try of victory with seven minutes to go but in their desperation to force the issue and snatch a thrilling win against the odds, they crumbled.
Burnside pounced on an errant pass to score in the last minute to complete their victory.
Linwood and New Brighton will meet this Saturday in the Plate final.
Linwood, who missed out on the top six have finished the season brilliantly and deserved the section one scalp of Marist Albion at South Hagley today.
They beat them 41-29 and have momentum on their side for their game against New Brighton next week.
The seasiders beat Christchurch 29-19 at Rawhiti.
Like Linwood, Shirley have finished the season much better than they started it and they will contest the Hawkins Bowl final next week after beating Sumner 36-32 in a open contest at Burwood Park.
Both sides scored four tries in the first half, but the defence finally stepped up in the second spell.
Shirley will meet Belfast who beat Lincoln University 33-13 at Sheldon Park.
Trophy semifinals - Burnside 28 HSOB 15, Sydenham 40 University 13.
Plate semifinals - Linwood 41 Marist Albion 29, New Brighton 29 Christchurch 19.
Bowl semifinals - Shirley 36 Sumner 32, Belfast 33 Lincoln Uni 13.
New Brighton 35 Lyttelton 24, Lincoln Uni 39 Burnside 18, HSOB 24 Christchurch 14, Suburbs 48 University 0, Sumner 38 Sydenham 14, Belfast 34 Linwood 12, Shirley 11 Marist Albion 9.