The Marlborough Boys’ College First XV opened their 2019 University of Canterbury championship campaign in emphatic style with a 52-8 win over Mid Canterbury Combined in Ashburton on Saturday.
The MBC side, fresh from a pre-season win over Wellington College, scored their first try in the opening minute and scored regularly throughout, picking up three tries in the first half and five in the second.
They led 19-8 at halftime, then shut the Mid Canterbury side out of the game in the second spell.
MBC head coach Matt MacDougall said that while his side’s effort “wasn’t pretty, we got the win, that’s the main thing”.
“It was quite an error-ridden game, we pushed a lot of passes … probably guilty of trying to play a little early without wearing them down.”
“We scored some lovely tries, it was just that in between those moments our decision-making wasn’t the best.
“A few cobwebs, as expected, but generally we were pretty happy.”
Pick of the MBC side were open side flanker Sky Boskett-Barnes, who was “outstanding”, scoring twice and linking superbly. Fullback Keelan Murrell was another to shine, coming into the backline well and also dotting down twice. Tighthead prop Monu Moli turned in his usual strong performance as did No 8 Andre Hebberd, who slotted into the front row at prop late in the piece.
Next up for MBC is a tougher challenge, hosting St Andrew’s College on Saturday. STAC opened their campaign with a 33-31 win over the highly-rated Nelson College side, making for an intriguing clash.
“[The STAC game] is just what our boys need,” said MacDougall. “It will be a humdinger of a hit-out – the lads know we will have a massive challenge on our hands this week.”
Scorers: MBC 52 (Sky Boskett-Barnes 2, Keelan Murrell 2, Ben O’Sullivan, Te Ariki Peipi, Olly Lawson, Clyde Paewai tries, Murrell 6 con) Mid Canterbury 8. HT 19-8.
St Andrew’s College 33 Nelson College 31
St Bede’s College 47 Timaru BHS 5
Christchurch BHS 83 Roncalli Combined 0
Rangiora HS 15 Lincoln HS 0
St Thomas 43 Waimea Combined 12
Christs College 27 Shirley HS 15