Home' Northern Outlook : June 5th 2013 Contents 35
NORTHERN OUTLOOK, JUNE 5, 2013
Coppins on top
till late shunt
COMEBACK KID: Motueka's Josh Coppins still had the pace to beat New Zealand's elite MX1 riders.
By ANDY McGECHAN
MOTUEKA'S JOSH Coppins
demolished the MX1 class at the
30th anniversary Michael Godfrey
Memorial Motocross at Waipara
over the weekend.
Coppins was making a come-
back after he retired from fulltime
motocross racing at the end of last
He said it was just to keep the
seat warm for his team's regular
MX1 class rider, Scotsman Billy
MacKenzie, who was racing in
Australia, but Coppins enjoyed
the brief comeback ride.
Coppins won four out of five
MX1 races, opting to ease up for
the fifth race and settling for a
fourth as he strived to conserve
energy ahead of the feature race.
It proved to be in vain though,
as Coppins was the victim of a
shunt from behind at the start of
the feature race.
The accident damaged his bike
and forced him to withdraw.
The 36-year-old former world
No 2, said it was not too bad'' of a
weekend considering his limited
Speed was not an issue for me,
just fitness. I felt I could pass the
other riders with ease.
It's a pity I was taken down in
the feature race but that's racing
Christchurch's Justin McDon-
ald won the feature race from
Rotorua's Michael Phillips. Waita-
kere's Ethan Martens was third.
Shield seesaw gives Oxford the win
TRY TIME: Saracens flanker Willie Kerr dives in to score after an Ollie Bithray chip and chase.
By LINDSAY KERR
ON THE CHARGE: Oxford flanker Stew
Dalzell charges at the Saracens defence.
PRESSURE MAN: Saracens winger Grant Broderson puts pressure on his
opposite Shark Prescott.
KICK CHASE: Oxford number eight
Paula Fualava unsuccessfully tries to
beat Saracens winger Ollie Bithray to
SARACENS GRABBED the
Deans Shield off Oxford with a
27-22 victory in the first round of
the Luisetti Seeds North Canter-
bury senior rugby competition on
Playing at Saracens head-
quarters, Southbrook Park, the
home team made life hard for
themselves in the final 10
minutes, as they almost threw
away a 12-point lead.
Oxford had been ahead early,
after they scored the opening try
of the match through second five
Seizing on a slow reaction from
the Saracens defence, Oxford out-
numbered their opponents to
leave Grice a clear run to the line.
Saracens were stung by the
embarrassing blunder and struck
back immediately. Winger Ollie
Bithray streaked down field to go
within 10 metres of the line,
before slipping a ball inside for
Nathan Reid to score.
Ricky Allin kicked a difficult
conversion from the sideline.
Five minutes later, Saracens
fullback Dion Jones scored when
he entered the back line and
found a gap in the Oxford defence.
The seesaw nature of the game
continued, with Oxford returning
After a strong period of attack,
Simonie Tualava was driven over
for a try but that was nullified
when Reid scored his second for
Saracens under the posts.
On the stroke of half time, Sean
Thompson pulled Oxford to within
four points with a penalty.
Ten minutes into the second
half, Saracens scored a vital
Bithray was again the insti-
gator when he dashed down the
touch line, before towing the ball
through. The often cruel bounce of
the rugby ball fooled the Oxford
defence, leaving Willie Kerr to
seize his opportunity to gather it
up and score.
Midway through the half Allin
slotted a drop goal to put Saracens
out to a 27-15 lead.
That lead then came under
serious threat as Oxford launched
themselves onto attack for the
remainder of the game. Five
minutes from time, Oxford half-
back Stu Feary dodged his way
over, and with Thomson convert-
ing, the gap closed to five points.
Oxford's attack continued but
the final whistle dashed another
serious attack they had mounted.
Hard working prop Peter
Manahi was named as Saracens
player of the day, with Feary clai-
ming the Oxford award.
Ashley's unbeaten season con-
tinued, but not before they were
given a thorough examination
Surprisingly, Kaiapoi led 9-8 at
halftime and held an advantage
for much of the second half.
With fulltime nearing, the
scores were locked at 19-19, before
Ashley got out of jail with a try on
fulltime to win 24-19.
Glenmark hammered Ohoka
63-15 at Mandeville, after leading
42-3 at halftime.
Glenmark scored six tries in the
first half and many more looked
probable in the second but a gutsy
Ohoka regrouped and refocused.
They scored three tries, before
Ohoka got off the deck and scored
two of their own.
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