Nelson College retain Whangamoa Cup
By Peter Jones [Marlborough Weekly / Marlborough App]
Nelson College came away with the spoils on Monday when they met traditional rivals Marlborough Boys’ College in a University of Canterbury championship clash on the MBC front field.
In a match that was closer than the final score suggests, Nelson prevailed 43-17, a couple of late tries inflating the final margin.
Nelson led 17-7 at halftime but MBC replied straight after oranges with a slick solo try to Kyren Taumoefolau which narrowed the gap to five points.
However, a lack of regular field position and quality set piece ball meant the home side were unable to take control of the match. They also suffered from a spate of handling errors, especially in the first half, which slowed their momentum.
In contrast, the visitors, expertly guided around the park by the talented inside back combination of halfback Justin Yokoyama and first five Cooper Grant ensured Nelson made the most of the chances that came their way and kept the home crowd out of the game.
They came up against some dogged MBC defence, led by loose forwards Manase Taufa and Toby McLeod, but were ultimately too good for the home side, who battled gamely until the final whistle.
Nelson got great value from strong ball carriers such as Netani Baleisomosomo, Jacob Neha-Manihera, midfielders Ollie Inch and Nic Sauira, plus hard-toiling lock Daniel Dixon and trusty fullback Luc Waterman-Thomas.
MBC head coach Matt MacDougall said his side were well in the game most of the time but admitted his charges "got a bit flustered" after Nelson upset them at lineout time.
"They stopped us getting any sort of flow and the boys got a little bit rattled. Then we started forcing stuff and rushing to go outside of our structures."
He felt the second half replacements added energy to the mix, particularly loosie Archie Schluter and winger Dom Freeth.
"Overall, our defence was generally sound, we got up off the ground, put in some big shots and tackled all day. It was just that last 20 minutes where we fell off a few."
Previously on Saturday, Waimea Combined Schools earned a famous 17 – 10 victory at Waimea College over Christchurch powerhouse St Bede’s College. Outstanding for Waimea was fullback Macca Springer however the whole team had cause to celebrate following a hard fought battle.
Nelson College 43 (Dylan Irvine, Nic Sauira 2, Jacob Neha-Manihera, Netani Baleisomosomo, Daniel Dixon tries, Cooper Grant pen, 4 con, Ethan Burt con) def Marlborough Boys’ College 17 (Viliami Napa’a, Ryan McLeod, Kyren Taumoefolau tries, Taumoefolau con). HT: 17-7 Nelson College.
Waimea Combined Schools 17 def St Bede’s College 10.