Waitaki Boys’ High School and St Kevin’s College succumbed to Otago Boys’ and Southland Boys’ respectively on Saturday to bring an end to round-robin play in the Highlanders First XV competition.
Waitaki welcomed Southland Boys’ High to Milner Park with the hope of ending their round-robin fixtures on a high, but were unable to breach the southerners defence in the 38-3 defeat.
Southland’s opening try came through halfback Liam Howley inside the opening ten minutes.
Jarvis Wallace failed to convert and missed from a penalty moments later but centre Pedro Bezanilla’s powerful running notched the visitor’s second try of the encounter on the 15 minute mark.
Winger Shaun Henderson took on kicking duties and calmly converted before full back Matt Munro got Waitaki on the scoreboard with a well-taken penalty as the two sides headed into the sheds with a 12-3 scoreline.
Southland returned for the second half with urgency as some fluid passing culminated in a try in the corner for midfielder Blake Ryder.
Waitaki’s set pieces left a lot to be desired as Southland capitalised on possession through some poorly taken line outs.
The southerners began look menacing as fullback Jack Lewis skipped under the posts for his side’s third try of the tie, which Henderson duly converted.
Samu Tavui ‘s extensive support play was rewarded with a try, the powerful number 8 charged over the line to extend the deficit.
Powerhouse prop Shaun Stoddard then touched down for his sides final try of the contest for Henderson’s conversion to end proceedings.
Waitaki coach Ryan Barbary cited poor line-outs as the catalyst for his side’s 38-3 defeat but believes his players still have plenty to achieve ahead of their Bowl semifinal clash with Menzies College.
“Played well in first half and was reasonably happy at half time despite the mountain of possession they had,” he said.
“Second half lost a lot of line-out and fifty-fifty passes and eventually that softly handed over possession, they took advantage of with powerful carries by big men that we couldn’t physically contain,” he said.
” (I’m) proud of the boys ticker and we’ve still got opportunity to achieve a few big things this season and I’m confident we can.”
SKC had the demanding task of taking on Otago Boys’ High in Dunedin.
The home side are unbeaten and produced another sterling performance, which they’ve become synonymous with this season for a 55-3 win.
St Kevin’s coach Justin Fowler said his players performed well when in possession, but not maintaining it proved costly.
“As expected it was a difficult game against a quality side,” he said.
” We played well in spells when we were able to maintain possession but at the end of the day they had too much ball which they used well and we missed tackles which resulted in them scoring tries.
Fowler said his side struggled to contain OBHS’s speed and power.
“The difference between the two side was Otago Boys size and speed which we struggled to contain,” he said.
“Otago Boys’ played well for the most part with a strong forward pack and an impressive back-line, especially their midfield.”
“We probably dominated the last 10 minutes of the game as we looked after the ball well and we played with plenty of aggression which denied Otago Boys the ball for most of this period and we were rewarded with a try at the end of the match.”
With fifth place a certainty before heading in to Saturday’s clash, St Kevin’s will face Mt Aspiring in a home Bowl semi final at Murray Field on Saturday.
By JAMES FORD
PHOTO: BRAYDEN LINDSAY – Waitaki Boys’ High School coach Ryan Bambry said Jake Greenslade (pictured) and Logan Searle were standouts for his side against Southland Boys’ High at Milner Park on Saturday.