Lincoln University champions

05:58, Jun 15 2013

Lincoln University have their Canterbury University mates to thank for helping them win club rugby's Hawkins Cup for the first time in 32 years.

None of the Lincoln University team were alive the last time their club won the title - in 1981 - and even head coach John Haggart was barely out of short pants.

Lincoln and Marist went in to today's final round level on points and knowing if they finished equal they would share the spoils.

Lincoln University beat Linwood 36-10 today to seal the title while University's 34-29 upset win over Marist Albion ensured the Lincoln students didn't have to share the title.

At half-time in today's final round, Marist Albion were short favourites to become champions while Lincoln University were struggling to put away a plucky Linwood side.

Lincoln University led just 10-3 while Marist Albion had already scored two tries and were dominant though they did only have a 17-14 lead.


Marist Albion scored straight after the break and the title looked theirs too lose. And they did.

They made far too many errors and missed far too many tackles.

Lincoln University were far stronger in the second spell as Crusader and former New Zealand under-20 player Jordan Taufua scored a hat-trick of tries.

Meanwhile, at St Bede's College, University starved Marist Albion of possession and territory.

Two penalties to Jamie Verran and tries to skipper James Lenjtes - his second - and to the outstanding Luke Whitelock helped University pile on 20 points in 15 minutes.

Lincoln University's win was their seventh in a row.

"It's pretty cool to win the Hawkins Cup for the first time since 1981," Taufua said.

"It's great to do it with such a great bunch of guys who really give everything for each other."

New Brighton scored in the last minutes of their match with High School Old Boys to secure a 21-19 win and second place behind Lincoln University.

Marist Albion finished third and HSOB fourth.

Sydenham and Linwood round out the all-important top six who will now play for the Hawkins Trophy.

Ironically, three teams in the bottom six had wins today.

Sumner, however, were not one of them and were left agonisingly close to making the top six for the first time in their club's history.

Down 21-10 with 10 to play against Sydenham, Sumner had got word that Linwood were being well beaten at Lincoln University.

That meant Sumner needed only to gain a bonus point to secure the sixth spot and while they spent the majority of the final 10 on attack, they couldn't break Sumner's line and the score remained 21-10.

Burnside won just their third game of the season, but still have something to smile about, they took the DCL Shield off Christchurch today with their 33-26 win.

Shirley beat Belfast 30-10 in the other match.



Lincoln University 36 Linwood 10

Burnside 33 Christchurch 26

New Brighton 21 HSOB 19

University 34 Marist Albion 29

Shirley 30 Belfast 10

Sydenham 21 Sumner 10



Lincoln University 41, New Brighton 39, Marist Albion, 38, HSOB 34, Sydenham 34, Linwood 29, Sumner 28, Christchurch 26, University 25, Shirley 21, Burnside 20, Belfast 1.

(Live Matches)