MBC return to winner’s circle in style

MBC flanker Sky Boskett-Barnes plunges across the tryline in the early stages of Saturday’s match only to be recalled by the referee for an earlier infringement. Photo: Peter Jones.

The Marlborough Boys’ College First XV took out their frustrations on the Waimea Combined side in Saturday’s UC Championship match.

The home side ran away with a free-flowing encounter on the MBC front field, winning 73-7 and scoring 11 tries in the process.

A potent combination of hard-carrying forwards, straight running-backs and relentless, aggressive defence saw MBC race out to a 35-7 lead by halftime, an advantage they more than doubled by the final whistle.

MBC went into the match on a six-game losing run, desperate to turn their season around in the latter stages.  Of note was the fact four of the side’s leaders were forced to sit the game out. Monu Moli, Keelan Murrell, Bayley O’Hagan and Ollie Lawson were unavailable through illness and injury, meaning some of the lesser lights had to stand up.

And that they did. The side was superbly led by hooker Te Ariki Peipi, whose ball-carrying and work at the breakdown is becoming a key component.

Prop Tino Vakaloa picked up two tries but consistent hard work from all was at the heart of MBC’s forward dominance, not individual efforts.

Liam Duncan slotted into first five with aplomb, directing play well and passing accurately. Tristan Taylor’s elusive running from midfield and latterly halfback was a constant threat, while winger Ben O’Sullivan, replacement Lotu Solomona and fullback Clyde Paewai shone out wide.

Head coach Matt MacDougall said his side had, “simplified their game even more this week”.

“It was all-around defence… attack comes from the confidence you build on defence so we spent the whole week just on D. We told them to just play what’s in front of them on attack, and I think we did that consistently throughout.

“I was stoked by the way they responded and it shows on the scoreboard. I was really rapt … we also had two boys come in from the second XV [Cameron Collins and Ben Holdaway] and they stepped right up.”

MBC now have a two-week break before resuming with another home fixture, against Timaru BHS on July 27.

Three of the squad will go into camp with the Crusaders Knights – Moli, Duncan and Vakaloa.

Scores: Marlborough Boys’ College 73 (Viliami Napa’a, Tino Vakaloa 2, Ryan McLeod, Tristan Taylor 2, Clyde Paewai, Lotu Solomona, William MacKenzie, Cameron Collins, Liam Duncan tries, Dylan McManaway 9 con) Waimea Combined 7 (Mackay Springer try con). HT: 35-7.

Other scores: Nelson College 26 Christ’s College 14, Shirley 45 Mid Canterbury 0, St Thomas 38 Roncalli 0, Timaru v Lincoln postponed, Christchurch BHS 27 St Bede’s 15, St Andrew’s 17 Rangiora 10.

Standings: St Andrew’s 48, Nelson 45, St Bede’s 38, Christchurch 35, St Thomas 29, Rangiora 29, Christ’s 28, Lincoln 20, Shirley 20, MBC 18, Timaru 17, Waimea 9, Roncalli 8, Mid Canterbury 2.

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