Page: Winter codes buck predictable tradition
OPINION: It has been refreshing to see almost all of the South Canterbury senior sports competitions being so unpredictable this year.
In the past five years the winter codes have been pretty easy to pick.
Celtic and Harlequins for the rugby, Craighead and Harlequins for the netball, Northern Hearts in the football, Wakanui in men's hockey and St Andrews in women's hockey.
This season, with the exception of Hearts and Wakanui, all the senior competitions seem wide open.
Craighead, after 12 years of dominance under former coach Barry Tucker, have fallen back into the pack in senior netball.
While Harlequins look like the early front-runners, Old Boys ad Roncalli College A could also be genuine title contenders.
Pleasant Point, Harlequins, Celtic, Mackenzie and Waimate have all made an impression in the Hamersley Cup rugby competition.
Most expert pundits cannot pick the two finalists which is pretty good considering Celtic are going for six straight titles.
Northern Hearts look set to dominate South Canterbury football but with Hearts, West End and Pleasant Point all making the second round of the Chatham Cup, the standard of the beautiful game in the province is clearly on the rise.
Wakanui may look unstoppable in the South Canterbury men's hockey competition but Cambridge's emergence, Timaru Boys' High School's threat and the new-found goal scoring ability of Tainui have all added extra spice to the competition.
St Andrews have lost more games already this season than they did in all of last season's senior women's hockey competition.
Geraldine look like their main threats, in a competition that is more competitive, but weaker than previous years.
All the change makes for an intriguing watch on the sport fields of South Canterbury.
- The Timaru Herald