St Kevin’s College registered an 8-3 victory over Menzies on a challenging surface at Murray Field to remain unbeaten in the Highlanders First XV top eight pool on Saturday.
Menzies centre Caleb Young opened the scoring to put the away side 3-0 ahead as both teams struggled in heavy conditions underfoot.
A greasy ball hindered both teams’ handling and passing as a kicking contest ensued to gain territory with the score line remaining 3-0 at the break.
SKC looked the more determined of the two sides in the second half in a battle of attrition but second five-eighth Siua Ngalo’s powerful running eventually broke the dead lock.
The usually dependable boot of Brodie Flannery was unable to convert but did offer his side some breathing space minutes later with a well taken penalty for the 8-3 win.
Coach Justin Fowler said he was pleased with his team’s performance in difficult conditions.
“We were generally happy with our efforts in the 1st half. Conditions made things very difficult and both teams made a number of mistakes,” he said.
“We put a lot of pressure on Menzies in the last 10 minutes and despite a few close calls, we were unable to convert this pressure into points
“Overall I was pretty happy with our performance. Menzies are a good wet weather side and we had to dig deep to get the win in some pretty atrocious conditions.”
Fowler praised his forwards efforts but insisted his players’ will be looking to improve their ball handling ahead of next weekend’s clash with Southland Boys’ High.
“The difference between the two sides in the end was our forward pack who got the upper hand over Menzies in the tight,” he said.
“We will be looking to improve our handling and ball security in our next game against Southland.”
“I thought Siua Ngalo was outstanding today (Saturday) in defence as was Cole Ryan. Jacob Coghlan and Filipo Veamatahau also had good games with ball in hand and in defence, It was a tough forward dominated game in very difficult conditions.”
Waitaki Boys’ will be in action against Otago Boys’ High School in their third round fixture at Milner Park on Wednesday before St Kevin’s travel to Invercargill to face Southland Boys’ and Waitaki welcome King’s on Saturday.
St Kevin’s College; Try, Siua Ngalo. Pen, Brodie Flannery.
Menzies College; Pen, Caleb Young.
By JAMES FORD