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UC Championship Round 14 Wrap

Nelson College just pip regional foes MBC in Plate semi

BY JONTY DINE [Nelson App]

Nelson College saw off a stunning comeback from Marlborough Boys today to register a thrilling 36-35 victory and book their place in the UC Championship plate final.

The hosts avenged the loss to their top of the south neighbors earlier in the season, a hat-trick to wing Ben Faingaanuku within the first fifteen minutes looking to have ended the contest early as Nelson raced to a 24-0 lead.

However, MBC stormed back in the second half to almost steal it at the death.

Nelson coach Warren Johnston says it was the "same old mistakes” that allowed MBC back into the game after a blistering start.

"We started really well but then those mistakes just crept in again.”

Nelson were running rampant early on, forwards and backs combining to produce some scintillating running rugby.

After asserting their authority, Nelson took their foot off the gas, penalties and handling errors handing momentum to Marlborough.

A yellow card to second five Vaea Tutuila right before halftime saw the visitors head into break with their tails up.

MBC fullback Keelan Murrell had a perfect day with the boot, slotting all five conversions to bring his side within one with less than five to play.

Marlborough hammered away until skipper Anton Segner snagged a pilfer for the hosts to seal it. 

"It was a great comeback from Marlborough, we knew they weren’t going to lie down so pretty pleased to get through.”

Warren says while he is happy to reclaim the Whangamoa Trophy, his troops will need to be more accurate if they are to win the plate next week.

"We need to see who we are playing first but we just need to cut out those mistakes when the pressure comes on.”

Next week College will host the winner of the second semi final between Shirley Boys and Lincoln Combined later today.

Scorers: Nelson College 36 (Faingaanuku. 3, Segner 2, Tutuila tries, Carew 3 cons) v Marlborough Boys College 35 (Chapman 2, Gane, Taylor, Moli tries, Murrell 5 cons)

Waimea Combined’s season over with Bowl semi loss

By SAMUEL JOHNSON [WCS]

Waimea Combined Schools season came to an end with a 36 - 12 loss to St. Andrews in the UC CUP Bowl semi-final on Saturday.

Waimea has struggled with the first 20 minutes of games all season, and Saturday was no different with St. Andrews scoring 22 points within the first quarter.

Waimea looked good when they did get ball in hand in the second quarter, building phases and putting St Andrews under pressure eventually freeing up space for Ryan Churchill to cross the line to put Waimea on the score sheet. Jack Hahn converted to make it 22 - 7 on half time.

Waimea then struck again 5 minutes into the second half when Jan Lammers showed his class, diving through multiple defenders to score.

Both teams threw absolutely everything at each other for the remainder of the game, with St Andrews scoring another two tries late in the second half.

Seth Brown was once again a standout with his defence and ball carries, while other notable performances were that of Ben Johnston and Michael Bolton when he ran off the bench.

Waimea Combined would like to thank all friends, family and followers for their support this season. They would also like to thank their major sponsors; Stonewood Homes, Coman Construction, Ching Contracting and Air Charter Karamea.