Nelson College to host St Bede's in UC Championship Cup Final
Nelson College number 8 Taya Brown on the charge against Christs College in the UC Championship semi-final today. Photo: Evan Barnes/Shuttersport
By Jonty Dine [Nelson App]
Nelson Collge will host the UC Championship Cup final next week for the first time in over a decade.
The side booked its spot after a dramatic semi final against Christ's College today.
Nelson survived atrocious conditions, a late yellow card and an all out Christ's onslaught in the dying minutes to hold on for a famous 16-10 win.
A visibly exhausted skipper Anton Segner says it wasn't pretty, but it was incredibly tense.
"It was unreal, it got a bit personal at the end but that's what finals footy is all about, it gets into your heart and I enjoyed every minute of it."
Nelson dominated much of the game but after a slew of penalties late in the second, the fourteen man side almost let the result slip.
"We left heaps of points out there but in some ways its positive because we know how much better we can be for next week."
The captain put in a monumental performance at flanker, while Nico Barton ran the ship superbly in the wet.
Lock Daniel Dixon's incredible carries epitomised the grit and determination of the side.
After a clinical start, Nelson were awarded a kick-able penalty and Segner had no hesitation in pointing to the posts.
Nico Barton obliged to open the scoring but Christs responded moments later when Ollie Inch failed to collect an intercept attempt.
Despite the inclement conditions, Nelson would chance its arm with ball in hand and it would pay off when Daniel Rogers split open the Christs defence breaking three tackles before linking with Inch for the opening try.
Barton sparked a second just before the break as he burst between two defenders and found Ben Faigaanuku who carried the Christs cover over the chalk.
Another scintillating break by Rogers gave the hosts a chance for a third but were denied with the final pass being ruled forward as it took a handy halftime lead.
The rain was as relentless as the pressure from Nelson after oranges but despite its opportunities failed to convert to points as mistakes plagued both sides.
Tempers flared with both skippers given a warning after a stand off.
The visitors would hammer away at Nelson but the hosts were courageous on its own line.
However, after repelling the sustained attack, lock Tom Thornelly was sent to the bin.
Christs took advantage of the extra man with halfback Max Goulter sneaking his way over from the base of the scrum.
Shun Miyake nailed the conversion to bring his side within three with just over ten minutes remaining.
A game of force-back ensued and with Nelson losing territory, Segner opted to run from inside his own 22, producing an emphatic fend and linking with Taya Brown.
The break put Nelson deep inside Christ's territory where they were awarded a venality which Barton sent sailing through the uprights.
However, Christ's refused to die as it would throw everything at Nelson in the final minutes.
After multiple phases, College finally managed force the turnover to see it host next week’s final for the first time since 2007.
Segner says the side will certainly be up for the challenge.
"We will look to nail the recovery and get back on the horse."
After three stellar seasons with the first XV, he will look to cement his legacy at the College with a UC title.
"Hopefully the best memory is to come next week."
Nelson College 16 (Ollie Inch, Ben Faingaanuku tries, Niko Barton 2 pens) defeated Christ's College 10 (Goulter tries, Miyake 1 con, 1 pen).
MBC Falcons fly into UC Plate final
By Peter Jones [ Marlborough App]
The Marlborough Boys’ College First XV booked a place in the University of Canterbury Plate final with a decisive 30-13 win over St Andrew’s College in Christchurch on Saturday.
In a continuation of MBC’s late season revival, the Falcons built a 22-8 halftime lead playing into the wind, then restricted their rivals to a single second half try.
MBC’s five tries were scored by Keelan Murrell, who bagged two, Monu Moli, Lotu Solomona and Ollie Lawson, while Murrell landed a conversion and Dylan McManaway booted a late penalty.
MBC head coach Matt MacDougall said he was “really pleased with the boys”, especially in inclement weather conditions.
“”They executed the game plan perfectly. Just played good wet weather rugby. The pack just took on a big STAC pack up front and beat them up really.”
MacDougall said forwards Ollie Lawson and Bayley O’Hagan had shown the way up front, providing momentum and freeing up space for others. He also praised the work of halfback Ryan McLeod and first five Liam Duncan whose “kicking game was just superb”.
A blight on the day’s celebrations was a serious cheekbone injury to Te Ariki Peipi, the in-form hooker expected to be out for the rest of the season.
MBC have now strung five consecutive wins together since thrashing Waimea 73-7, the confidence beginning to flow through the team.
MacDougall said they had struggled against some of the bigger sides in the middle of the competition, “which knocked us a bit, and it just took that big win against Waimea before the break to get trust in what we were trying to do”.
“We also had a couple of key guys come back and now the whole side is playing with confidence, believing in everything they are doing. You can feel it throughout the whole group.”
The Falcons will meet Rangiora High School in the final this weekend, also away from home. Rangiora downed St Thomas 24-17 on Saturday to claim a place in what is effectively the fifth/sixth play-off.
A win over Rangiora would be satisfying for the MBC camp, MacDougall admitting the side’s round-robin losses to them and St Andrew’s had hurt the most.
“Rangiora are a team we would love to have another crack at, so it’s quite fitting that we play them in the final.
“I’m rapt with how we have finished the season, regardless of the result next week, but I am 100 percent confident we can get the job done, although we are on the road again next week.”
Meanwhile, Nelson College will host the UC Championship final after battling past Christ’s College 16-10 in the semi played at Nelson College on Saturday. They will meet Christchurch BHS, also in Nelson, next week after they accounted for St Bede’s College 42-32.
The UC Bowl final, for ninth and 10th, will be between Lincoln Combined and Shirley BHS.
Marlborough Boys College 30 (Tries: Keelan Murrell 2, Monu Moli, Lotu Solomona and Ollie Lawson; Con: Murrell; Pen: Dylan McManaway) defeated STAC 13.