The Marlborough Boys’ College First XV slumped to their third consecutive loss on Saturday, succumbing to a dogged and well-drilled Rangiora High School combination 40-26 on the college front field.
MBC, who had previously lost to St Bede’s and Nelson College, trailed by just five points at the break but were unable to take control of the match against a Rangiora outfit who were relentless and hungry throughout.
The Falcons scored the opening and closing tries of the first half, winger Ben O’Sullivan racing clear after five minutes then Tristan Taylor backing up a Lotu Solomona break to dot down just before the break. However, in between, Rangiora scored three times, their backs regularly finding holes in a porous MBC defensive line.
Trailing 14-19 at oranges, with the outcome in the balance, the home side needed to score first in the second spell but were unable to lift their game and conceded two more tries to slip behind 33-14.
Fullback Liam Duncan dotted down to provide some encouragement for the MBC fans before Rangiora flanker Caleb Griffith, a match standout, bagged his side’s sixth try to put the issue beyond doubt. Winger Dartell Rarere had the last say in the match, earning his side a bonus point, but it was pure consolation.
MBC head coach Matt MacDougall said Rangiora “were just everything we knew they would be”.
“They hung on well to every scrap [of possession] and we had a couple of guys that went out of our structure … then we started to drop off tackles and that just snowballed.
“By the time we started to play some decent footy it was just too late. There were no excuses, some of our guys looked pretty tired out there and they just out-ran us.”
Next week MBC take on Christ’s College in Christchurch.
Scores: Rangiora HS 40 (Jermaine Pepe, Del Rio MacKintosh, Josh Neilson, James Mullan, Bayce Leatherby, Caleb Griffith tries, Leatherby 5 con) MBC 26 (Liam Duncan, Dartell Rarere, Ben O’Sullivan, Tristan Taylor, Dylan McManaway 2 con, Keelan Murrell con). HT: 19-14 RHS
UC championship results: Nelson 90 Waimea 12, Roncalli 15 Mid Canterbury 10, St Thomas 22 Lincoln 19, Shirley 13 Christchurch BHS 11, St Bede’s 20 Christ’s 15.
Standings: Nelson 26, St Bede’s 24, St Andrew’s 24, CBHS 21, Rangiora 21, Christ’s 19, Lincoln 14, St Thomas 14, MBC 12, Shirley 10, Waimea 9, Roncalli 8, Timaru 5, Mid Canterbury 2.