By Jonty Dine [Nelson Weekly / Nelson App]
Nelson College skipper Daniel Dixon stretches out to score one of his sides 13 tries against Mid Canterbury combined today. Photo: Evan Barnes/Shuttersport
A new look Nelson College side made an emphatic statement to kick off its UC Championship defence running in 13 tries in a 75-3 demolition of Mid Canterbury Combined this afternoon.
Fijian Netani Baleisomosomo was colossal for Nelson bagging a double a setting up half a dozen for his teammates while skipper Daniel Dixon was inspirational at lock.
Fielding an almost entirely new backline from 2018, the young side showed it has plenty of quality out-wide with fullback Luke Kilworth and winger Jayden Waharoa carving up the Mid Canterbury defence on multiple occasions.
Daniel says it was satisfying not to let the foot off the throat as a ruthless Nelson side scored 52 second half points.
"For a lot of the boys it was their first game so we battled away in that first 15 minutes and to pull away and put the hammer down was pretty awesome."
On a muddy Nelson College track the hosts put on an offloading clinic and scored some spectacular tries.
"It's something we work on a lot, we are not the biggest team but we like to keep the ball alive and play at pace so it was good to put a few together."
Nelson lost wing Timi Sauria to a serious looking shoulder injury early on making way for Adam Schwass to score two tries while the rest of the Nelson College bench enjoyed plenty of action.
"Everyone that came on did their role and did it pretty well," Daniel says.
Perhaps most impressive though was keeping Mid Canterbury try-less.
"Very happy with our defence, to not let them in was really good from the boys."
After butchering two early opportunities Nelson would open the scoring through flanker Charlie Perkins on the back of a break by Waharoa.
First-five Cooper Grant ran the ship superbly for Nelson and put Netani in a gaping hole as he crashed over for his first as Nelson began to dominate territory and possession.
Grant set up a third shortly after with a deft grubber behind the line which Kilworth gathered before offloading to Waharoa.
Not long after being introduced for Schwass scored to claim the bonus point before Perkins went in for his second right on the stroke of half time for a 27-3 lead.
Hunter Griffith was the first to score after the break before a rampaging break by Netani gave Schwass a second.
The flood gates then well and truly opened as Mid Canterbury started to fall off tackles and Kilworth strolled in for his first.
Dixon was next over the chalk to bring up the half century followed by another to midfielder Mac Harris.
Nelson began to make Mid Canterbury look very ordinary in defence, replacement Nelesoni Malaulau bulldozing his way over for a try on debut.
An extended delay followed as an injured Mid Canterbury player was attended to but it didn't stop the momentum as Kilworth and Netani both scored their second tries to mercifully end Mid Canterbury's misery.
Nelson College 75 (Baleisomosomo 2, Schwass 2, Perkins 2, Kilworth 2, Dixon, Griffith, Waharoa, Harris, Malaulau tries, Kilworth 5 cons) defeated Mid Canterbury Combined 3 (Ree pen)