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Mid Canterbury Combined 1st XV Isi Ula 2020 webMid Canterbury Combined 1st XV captain Isi Ula worms his way through a gap during Saturday’s UC Championship encounter with Christ’s College. Photo Heather MackenzieA late burst by Christ’s College put to bed Mid Canterbury Combined’s resistance in the UC Championship at the weekend.

Christ’s completed a resounding 54-5 win when their wing Sean Rutherford-Bradford snagged a second half hat-trick which inflated the scoreboard at Ashburton College.

Up until this point, the young Combined outfit, who are still without some key troops, competed hard and managed to rebuff the threats of the Reuben Thorne-coached Christ’s College side for significant periods.

However once Christ’s began emptying their bench in the second spell, Combined’s resolve eventually cracked with the Christchurch school running in eight tries in total.

The fixture was originally slated to have been played at Christ’s home ground, however it is understood it was moved to AshColl following heavy rain in Christchurch last week.

Combined enjoyed the better start as the home team utilised their big ball runners during the initial stages of the game.

There was early joy for the home team when star custodian Charlie Brown, lurking near the contact area, swindled a try following an attacking Mid Canterbury feed.

It would be the only cheer for Combined on the scoreboard as Christ’s proceeded to command possession courtesy of a clinical display from their pack.

Christ’s crossed the chalk in the 12th minute when play was sent down the blindside following a lineout drive with wing Matt Durant sailing to the corner untouched.

Christ’s extended their lead a few minutes later when captain Fletcher Anderson peeled away from a maul to run 20 metres to the line.

Lock Fiti Sa then finished off another raid deep in Combined territory, using his size to brush off would-be tacklers who had spent a large portion of the half defending, to charge to the line.

Although College had raced out to 21-5, they were guilty of trying to force the issue through handling errors and a lack of fluency.

When they did get their hands on the ball, Mid Canterbury made several spirited stabs into College territory, however a lack of support and ruck speed usually rubbed out these opportunities.

Probably the biggest delight for the AshColl faithful came via a crunching tackle in midfield by Otto Markeo on Christ’s fullback Sam Idiens which brought the house down.

The buzz would be short-lived though, as College landed another blow before halftime when loosehead Olly Ryan crashed over in the corner – the visitors again exploiting the five-metre channels.

A 28-5 lead at halftime stretched to 35-5 early in the second half when a relentless lineout drive marched Combined onto their line resulting in a try for hooker Jack Jones.

The encounter descended into a scrappy affair for most of the second half as Combined diffused several of Christ’s counters.

Combined also lost No. 8 Pasi Hala to injury midway through the second half.

However Christ’s finally clicked into gear thanks to their bench, with Rutherford-Bradford finishing off three chances late, one of them a superbly-taken kick and chase.

Christ’s 50-point haul included a deft goalkicking display by Nic Shearer, with the young first five boasting a success rate of more than 87 per cent in this year’s UC Championship.

The Mid Canterbury boys are back home again this weekend where they face Rangiora High School.

By Adam Burns © The Ashburton Guardian - 6 July 2020

Set oil on linen 2020.max 955x544Having recently completed his Bachelor of Fine Arts (Hons) from Massey University, Wellington-based painter Ben Lysaght returns to his home town for his first solo exhibition at the Ashburton Art Gallery. Once a Wilderness brings together a series of paintings created over the past year exploring the dilution of wild areas such as greenhouses, winter gardens and pockets of bush. Lysaght states that, for the most part, ‘wilderness’ is dead. “We still love the idea of a wilderness, an untouched land to discover…but what we are left with is manufactured wild areas. These spaces exist in stark contrast with what wilderness is supposed to mean; untouched by humans.” Through his paintings Lysaght explores the many imitations of wilderness, with a focus on botanic gardens and greenhouses. Critiquing them as Eurocentric institutions, he examines their limitations and possibilities for the wider world. “Historically they were filled with plants taken from the colonies in a grand display of power and scientific wonder. When they were first conceived, botanical gardens existed as a way to organise the plant world into a western understanding, to construct The Truth, while still demonstrating the wealth and power of the elite. The greenhouses acted as the most surreal and spectacular facet of this demonstration, while creating the illusion of being elsewhere.”

Past pupil Ben Lysaght - Once a Wilderness
Ashburton Art Gallery until Friday 31st July 2020, Open daily 10am - 4pm.

250620 SN 0057 Jasaiah Claydon Wade webJasaiah Claydon-Wade, Tuia representative and Ashburton District Council global ambassador. Photo Sue NewmanAshburton student Jasaiah Claydon-Wade is a young man going places and he credits the Tuia programme with giving him the drive to succeed in his tertiary studies.

He’s the district’s current programme member and on Thursday spoke at an Ashburton District Council meeting on the impact the programme had had, six months in, on his life.

The experiences he had gained so far had given him a new impetus and drive as he heads to Victoria University to begin studies in political science and Te Reo, he said.

His goal is to help with dispute resolution on the Treaty of Waitangi Tribunal.

The greatest impact of the programme, Claydon-Wade told councillors, was that it sparked a desire to learn more about his Maori heritage.

“I never really embraced by background previously and that’s been an inspirational journey.

“It’s been amazing to be part of a team that promotes cultural diversity.”

In his other role as the council’s cultural ambassador, he said it had been a privilege to be involved in a range of multicultural activities around the district such as the Holi colour festival, Matariki and citizenship ceremonies.

The Tuia programme is an intentional, long-term, inter-generational approach to develop the leadership capacity of young Maori in communities throughout New Zealand.

It involves mayors selecting a young Maori from their district to mentor on a one-to-one basis, to encourage and enhance leadership skills.

The young person chosen is expected to undertake and record a 100-hour community service project in their respective communities.

By Sue Newman © The Ashburton Guardian - 29 June 2020