St Kevin’s College and Waitaki Boys’ High School had contrasting results in their Highlanders First XV clashes, with SKC toppling Mt Aspiring College 31-15 while WBHS fell to a 36-12 defeat to John McGlashan College at Milner Park on Saturday.
St Kevin’s scored on the stroke of half time to come from 7-0 behind. The lead then changed hands five times in the second half before SKC scored two converted tries in the last 10 minutes, with a bonus point try coming at the death.
Coach Justin Fowler credited his players for the gutsy effort.
“We played well today under a lot of pressure and managed to defend our line well considering the amount of possession and territory Mt Aspiring had,” he said.
“Standout performances today from captain Jacob Coghlan, midfielder Siua Ngalo and hooker Fergus Smith.”
Fowler said confidence was growing amongst his St Kevin’s side but insisted the team must perform well against Dunstan High School to ensure progression to the top eight.
“The team is quietly confident, although we are aware that we are yet to play any of the top teams,” he said.
“Our goal is to make the top eight and we need to play well next week against Dunstan to ensure that we get through.”
Despite his side taking four wins from five, Fowler said he didn’t believe recent form would affect the result of the upcoming blood match on July 4.
“I don’t think the recent form of both teams will have any influence on the interschool match,” he said.
“We have both played different teams in the competition so far and the game itself is a special occasion and anything can happen on the day.”
Waitaki Boys’ fell to their third loss of the campaign but coach Ryan Bambry also believes form will be irrelevant when his side lock horns with St Kevin’s next month.
“I think the 15 minutes before and after half time was the winning and losing of it,” he said.
“The yellow card early in the first half swung things a bit. We didn’t stick to our game plan at all.
“Going into that game (the blood match), we’ll be underdogs and we’ll relish that.”
See more photos of the Waitaki Boys’ High School match on page 14.
Highlander First XV round five results:
St Kevin’s College 31, Mt Aspiring College 15
James Hargest College 20, Central Southland College 0
Otago Boys’ High School 83, St Peter’s College 6
John McGlashan College 36, Waitaki Boys’ High School 12
Southland Boys’ High School 60, Dunstan High School 10
King’s High School 24, Menzies College 3
South Otago High School 34, Gore High School 5
By JAMES FORD
PHOTO: JAMES FORD – Meli Kolinisau in action for Waitaki Boys’ High School at Milner Park on Saturday.