Via Ashburton Guardian

A complete overhaul of the club and its operations and a new-look culture has played a huge part in a successful start to the 2018 season for the Ashburton Barbarians Rugby League side who are two from two and on top of their competition.

After some testing times, things seem to have taken an encouraging turn back toward the positive for the proud club and judging by the results on the paddock, things may only continue to get better.

Two weeks into the Canterbury Rugby League season, where they compete in Division One, the Barbarians have two good wins on the board including a 66-0 romp over Addington in the opening round.

“It was a huge start for the guys,” manager Matt Milne said.

“There’s some confidence among the group, but our real focus has been on getting everything right off the paddock.

“We needed to put some new structures in place and sort out the manner in which the team was expected to operate and we are building nicely toward that.”

The disappointment of losing two Grand Finals in recent years by narrow margins still probably haunts the club at times, but shaking off that disappointment and being ready to hit the ground running this year has been a key focus.

“We’ve been really strong on defence and getting the fitness levels right and they’re on the right track.

“To be good defensively, you need to be fit.”

With a strong game structure in place as well, the club is looking forward to what lies ahead for the season with some big clashes coming up against some unknown opposition.

After the overwhelming win over Addington, the Barbarians backed it up with a tough and determined win over Hornby last Saturday in which they emerged victorious 12-10.

This Saturday they get to play a match in front of their home fans when they play Marist Saints at Collegiate South on Saturday afternoon.

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