In 2017 Christs College captured their first Rankin Cup title since 1991 when they defeated local rivals, 2-1, in a penalty shoot-out. Christs went agonisingly close to defending their title in 2018 as they fell to St Kents 1-0 in the Rankin Cup final. Still coached by former Vantage Black Sticks Joe Bartholomew the team will be looking to go one place better after what has been a challenging 2019 season for the team. They have seen two of their rival local schools in St Bedes College and St Andrews College strengthen their sides to make it that much harder for Christs College. We asked Joe Bartholomew and 2019 Captain Tim Cross some questions ahead of their 2019 Rankin Cup campaign.
Q – Have there been any challenges this year in preparation for Rankin Cup?
A – Throughout the Canterbury season we have had a number of injuries, perhaps only having the full team available 2 or 3 times. It hasn’t been ideal in terms of getting those quality minutes playing together, but a positive has meant there have been lots of opportunity for players to step up and build stronger depth in our squad.
Q – What are some of the strengths of this team?
A – We have a great culture and team environment. I’ve been really impressed with their work rate, not only in games, but trainings as well. They’re all super keen and push each other to be better. Definitely pleasing to see as a coach.
Q – How important is a good balance between sports and education?
A – Balance is important, whichever direction you pursue to be your main focus whether it be in the sporting field, academically or whatever it may be. Having that balance so that you can come out of school being a well-rounded person knowing that you’ve put in the hard yards on and off the field.
Q – What are the teams goals for Rankin Cup 2019?
A – Without looking too far ahead, we’ll be looking at getting through our pool play and taking each game as it comes
Q – How many players have you lost from 2018?
A – We’ve lost 7 players from last year
Tim Cross who has been in the squad for the sides past two Rankin Cup campaigns answered below.
Q – What are the teams goals for tournament in 2019?
A – Our team’s goal at Rankin is to execute our game plan and have fun. If we can do both of these things, it should be a great tournament.
Q – What are some of the challenges that this side has needed to overcome this year?
A – At the beginning of the season, we lost our New Zealand Under 18 player Nick Lidstone to a season-ending injury. Adjusting to playing without him has been a big change for the team but the boys have done really well.
Q – What separates your team from the others?
A – What separates our team from others is our playoff hockey experience. Christ’s College has done very well at the last two Rankin Cup tournaments and a lot of the team have played in big games and know what it takes to win.
Q – What does representing your school mean to you?
A – Representing my school is a great honour. Christ’s College hockey has a very proud legacy of producing some very good teams over the years and it has been a real privilege to have captained the 1stXI this year.
Q – What makes the Rankin Cup such a special tournament?
A – Rankin Cup is such a special tournament because you have the chance to win a national title with some of your closest friends.
2 September vs Tauranga Boys College at 8:00am
2 September vs Taupo-nui-a-Tia College at 4:20pm
3 September vs Hutt International Boys School at 12:20pm