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UC Championship Wrap round 7

MBC claim notable Christ’s College scalp

By Peter Jones [Marlborough Weekly / Marlborough App]

The Marlborough Boys’ College First XV claimed their first high-profile scalp of the season on Saturday, downing Christ’s College 17-14 on the MBC front field.

In previous encounters against top sides in the University of Canterbury Championship MBC have shown early promise, but ultimately failed to deliver.

Not this time though, a superb defensive effort setting up a well-deserved victory.

MBC tore into their work from the outset and led 10-0 for much of the first half, before conceding a converted try just before the halftime whistle. Christ’s, who were second on the UC championship table, threw everything at the home side but were regularly driven back in the tackle and bettered at the breakdown.   

The second half followed a similar pattern, MBC using the ball intelligently and defending resolutely, led by outstanding performances from midfielders Jake Pacey and Tom Hobson, fullback Cam Collins, plus replacement loosie Archie Schluter and hooker Ben Dalton.

A converted try to replacement hooker Te Ariki Peipi after 60 minutes allowed MBC a 10 point lead and, although Christ’s came back at the very end to pick up a bonus point with a converted try, it was very much the home side’s day.

Head coach Matt MacDougall said, “We have had a good eight-day conversation around effort … not tactics and game shape, or worrying about the scoreboard, we have just talked about being able to come off the field and being able to say you have given your all. And that’s what they did today, especially on defence.”

“The biggest thing for me was that they kept getting off the ground and working for each other.

“The boys have showed glimpses of that sort of form … that was the fifth game this season we have led at halftime … but this time they showed they could keep it up for the full 70 minutes, and that’s what we have been looking for.”

Next week MBC meet Christchurch BHS in Christchurch.

Scores: MBC 17 (Monu Moli, Te Ariki Peipi tries, Kyren Taumoefolau 2 con, pen) def Christ’s College 14 (Sean Rutherford-Bradford, Matt Durant tries, Nic Shearer 2 con). HT: 10-7 MBC.

Christchurch Boys too efficient for Nelson College

By Jonty Dine [Nelson Weekly / Nelson App]

Nelson College’s two-year unbeaten run at home came to an end on Saturday afternoon at the hands of a ruthlessly efficient Christchurch Boys side 25-13.

The visitors scored four tries to two as Christchurch handed Nelson its first defeat at home since losing the Moascar Cup in 2018.

Nelson were starved of territory and turned over a wealth of possession which Christchurch capitalised on.

A dejected Daniel Dixon was gutted to have suffered just his second loss on the front field in three years.

“That’s tough, we are coming into business end of the season and coming up against some good teams who are just punishing us for our own mistakes.”

The Nelson skipper says turnovers and too many penalties cost them dearly.

“We have dropped two games now and we can’t afford to drop anymore if we want to finish in that top four.”

Errors would plague both sides early on, with Nelson showing plenty of heart on defence to keep Christchurch out.

The visitors would open the scoring through the boot of Ollie Curtis before a superb cover tackle from fullback Luc Waterman Thomas forced winger Will Brownie into touch as he looked assured to score. 

Nelson were finally able to string some phases together and Try scoring machine Netani Baleisomosomo powered his way over for the opening try in the 27th minute.

However, Christchurch immediately replied in stunning style with Brownie showing dazzling footwork to go in the corner where he was denied earlier.

Christchurch went in again right on the stroke of halftime as openside Jordan Saofa’i sneaked his way down the blindside for a 13-5 lead at the break.

Injuries began to mount for both teams with the physicality intensifying throughout.

Christchurch would carry its momentum into the second, scoring off a superb set piece move as Brownie exploded onto a short pass and through the Nelson line to put his team 15 ahead.

Nelson toiled away and a slick lineout move put hooker Dylan Irvine over to give the home side hope.

A Cooper Grant penalty put Nelson just seven behind but despite some furious attack late in the game, Nelson once again conceded possession and replacement Guy Jensen sealed the victory for Christchurch.

The side now faces a ten-day turnaround before they play Shirley Boys on Tuesday August 11.

Nelson College sits second on the UC Championship table thanks to a superior points differential.

"We will come back refreshed and hopefully bounce back," says Daniel.

Scorers:

Christchurch Boys 25 (Brownie 2, Saofa’i, Jensen, Curtic one con, Robbins 1 pen) def Nelson College 13 (Baleisomosomo, Irvine tries, Grant 1 pen)

Rangiora High School 22 def Waimea Combined Schools 17.