Waitaki Boys’ became the latest victims of superb passing , an explosive running game and well-rehearsed set pieces as Otago Boys’ High School’s 100 per cent record remained intact at Milner Park yesterday.
Otago Boy’s have set the standered in this year’s Highlanders First XV top eight pool and despite a valiant second half effort from Waitaki, the visitors never looked troubled for a 32-12 victory.
OBHS started well, pressuring the home side and forcing errors before prop Sione Asi’s determined drive resulted in the first try of the day inside eight minutes.
Sio Tomkinson was unable to capitalise with the conversion from an awkward angle but some quick-fire passing culminated in the next try for fellow powerhouse prop Jonah Aoina to touch down in the corner as Otago Boys’ forward pack began to look menacing. First five-eighth Sam Porter briefly took over kicking duties but to no avail.
With 25 minutes played, skilled number 8 Matt Heffernan’s extensive support play was rewarded with a try following a fine sequence of passing, but his side’s kicking woes continued with Tomkinson failing to convert.
The next two tries came in contrasting fashion as Lock Jarrell Pattison bundled over the line for a 20-0 lead before wing Mike McKay put the hammer down to dot down beneath the posts for Tomkinson to kick his first conversion of the contest, bringing the first half to an end with a 27-0 score line.
Substitute Liam Sharples crossed the line for the away side’s sixth try of the clash ten minutes in to the second period as the Waitaki faithful feared a drubbing.
Despite the deficit, Waitaki responded well and began to play with more confidence as centre Loni Fisiihoi charged down a kick for his side’s first try of the encounter, which Matt Munro converted.
Fellow centre Sitafu Vea then added Waitaki’s second try on the hour mark for a 32-12 final score.
WBHS coach Ryan Bambry said he was happy with his players’ second half display but insisted set pieces must be improved ahead on Saturday’s clash with King’s High School.
“They have an enormous pack and played the way we expected them too,” he said.
“Happy withsecond half where we showed a lot of heart but that can only get you to a certain level.
“You still have to win your set pieces and unfortunately we lost 13 of those today which is extremely high. Decided to tap everything insecond half to avoid their line-out and that enabled us to get a bit more ball which generally we used pretty well.
“King’s will target that no doubt and we must fix it in 3 days. We get that right and bring the same passion as today and we”l put ourselves in a position to win.”
Waitaki Boys’ High School 12; Tries, Loni Fisiihoi, Sitafu Vea. Con, Matt Munro.
Oatgo Boys’ High School 32; Tries, Sione Asi, Jonah Aoina, Matt Heffernan, Jarrell Pattison, Mike McKay, Liam Sharples. Con, Sio Tomkinson.
By JAMES FORD
PHOTO: JAMES FORD – Waitaki’s try scorer Loni Fisiihoi looks on as Otago Boys’ centre Sio Tomkinson makes a run at Milner Park yesterday.