Murchison has won back-to-back division two rugby championships, successfully beating Waimea Old Boys in Saturday’s tight division two rugby final 12-11.
Murchison scored two tries to one in the match, but also went the entire second half without scoring a point.
Murchison’s tries came courtesy of centre Bruce Andrews and halfback Sam Bradley, the latter being converted by David Gill.
Despite going the entire second 40 minutes without a point, Murchison’s resolute defence was enough to hold out Waimea Old Boys, who were gunning for a club treble with its division one side and women’s team both winning championships.
Mike Huxford, who along with co-coach D’Arcy Grooby will be stepping down, says there was not much between the sides. “Both teams wanted to win it and both teams were well prepared before the game,” says Mike. “I didn’t think the win was in the bag until the final whistle. But I thought we were the better side at the end of the day.”
Having beaten Wanderers in last year’s final as well, Mike says title number two is the sweeter. “To get two in a row is a big feat but the fact it was just so much closer and it was more competitive, so it meant more to win by just one point.”
And the result also means a lot to the community. “It’s huge for the town. There had to have been 500 people on the sidelines watching and out of that 500, 400 would have been from Murchison.”
But whether Murchison has the squad to go for three championship wins in a row is another question, as a lot of its players move in and out of town due to employment, and although he is stepping down, Mike was adamant that the core would stay together and push for another winning season. “The boys were talking about going for three in a row. But I’m stepping down. We sort of made that decision last year but got dragged back into it. But this is definitely it.”