Darfield’s dream run ends
by Kent Caddick
Southbridge and Rakaia will contest the Canterbury Country Combined Cup rugby final after both teams were forced to come from behind in the semi-finals on Saturday.
Darfield’s dream of a place in the final ended, along with its unbeaten run this season, when it was pipped by Rakaia in the final moments of their semi-final, while Southbridge had to come from behind to beat this year’s competition surprise package Lincoln.
Lincoln led Southbridge 16–6 at half time but the home side, last year’s beaten finalist, roared back into the match to push out to a 26–19 lead with time running out. Lincoln struck back with a try but the conversion was unsuccessful and Southbridge held on to win 26–24.
Darfield will be lamenting some poor handling in its loss to Rakaia which stole the match 27–20 in the final minute with a converted.
After trailing early on, Darfield, with tries to Kieran Meikle and Matt Deans, led 15–14 at the break.
Two early penalties had Rakaia back in front before Alex Parker forced his way over the line to even the scores up with just 10 minutes to go.
However, Darfield couldn’t add to its scoring and a last minute try to Rakaia gave it a place in the final for the first time, which it will host on Sunday.
Tim Wright on the charge for Darfield
Kieran Meikle slices through for Darfield’s first try of the match