The Marlborough Boys’ College First XV celebrated their skipper’s milestone match in style on Saturday, disposing of Mid Canterbury Combined 60-12 on the college front field.
Prop Monu Moli played his 50th game for the MBC Falcons, turning in another inspirational performance, and was afterwards presented with a special commemorative cap by his brother, former MBC skipper and All Blacks prop Atu Moli.
MBC head coach Matt MacDougall said, “the game couldn’t have gone any better, Monu played the full 70 minutes and was outstanding”.
Monu’s team mates also came to the party, running in 10 tries and scoring regularly throughout.
Two youngsters caught the coach’s eye. Year 10 student Hugh Robinson made his first start at first five and made a good impression, showing “natural calmness and good distribution skills”.
Also impressing was fullback Cooper Roberts, another under-15 player. “He was a constant menace coming into the line and created several scoring opportunities with his offloading skills.”
Flanker William MacKenzie has had a fine season and turned in another blinder yesterday, creating turnovers and making tackle after tackle.
The team’s victory in the final round robin match was not enough to earn them a home semi final in next week’s Bowl play-offs. Instead they must travel to Nelson for a repeat tussle with Waimea Combined, a team they lost to 34-21 earlier in the season, a “heartbreaking” defeat that still rankles with coach MacDougall.
“Despite the fact we are away from home I’m rapt to get another chance to put the record straight against Waimea,” he said.
The other bowl semifinal sees Timaru BHS host Roncalli.
Although they have ended up in the third echelon of teams after round robin play, MBC have been on the wrong end of some narrow scorelines and have generally been highly-competitive against allcomers, with MacDougall suggesting “it’s good to know we can foot it with the top four sides”.
Scores: Marlborough Boys’ College 60 (Nase Taufa, Viliami Napa’a, Cameron Collins, Jake Pacey, Cooper Roberts, Dom Freeth, Kyren Taumoefolau, Te Ariki Peipi, Tom Hobson 2 tries, Hugh Robinson 3 con, Kyren Taumoefolau 2 con) Mid Canterbury Combined 12. HT: 26-7.
Other results: Nelson 38 St Andrew’s 24; St Bede’s 31 Timaru 24; Christchurch 38 Roncalli 0; Waimea 27 St Thomas 24; Christ’s 15 Shirley 10; Rangiora 70 Lincoln 7.
Semifinals. Cup – Christchurch v Rangiora; St Andrew’s v St Bede’s. Plate – Christ’s v St Thomas; Nelson v Shirley. Bowl – Timaru v Roncalli; MBC v Waimea.