Waitaki Boys’ High School and St Kevin’s College had contrasting results in their Highlander First XV top eight fixtures on Saturday.
Waitaki downed Menzies College 20-12 in Wyndham on a weighty surface, with coach Ryan Bambry saying the home side kept possession well but were punished by a clinical Waitaki.
“Tough going, very heavy conditions which didn’t allow for a lot of expansive footy,” he said.
“They starved us of possession with some pretty negative rugby but when we had it, we made it count and that was the difference really. They’re not an easy team to play, so to come away with four points was pleasing.”
Bambry will be looking for his team to improve defensively before Friday’s clash with local rivals St Kevin’s College.
“Plenty to work on as always. I wasn’t overly happy with the defence, so that will need a good touching up before Friday,” he said.
Bambry said Josh Hayward produced a standout performance, while Kieran McLea and Matt Munro put Waitaki in the right areas, and Piliu Tavake was busy on the wing.
St Kevin’s fell to a tightly contested 17-16 loss at Murray Field against John McGlashan College in fine conditions, with the visitors touching down late on to dampen Just Fowler’s side’s day.
“We played well at times and created some try scoring opportunities, which was pleasing,” said Fowler.
“Unfortunately, we had two tries not given when the boys said they dotted down and that is disappointing, but that is part of the game and we just have to deal with it.”
A lack of sustained possession gave McGlashan the opportunity to put St Kevin’s under pressure and force errors, notching four penalties throughout the tie.
“At the end of the day, we didn’t look after the ball well enough and there were too many turnovers,” he said.
“We also lacked discipline at the breakdown and on defence and we conceded a huge number of penalties. It is difficult to win games against top sides when you keep getting penalised.
“There is no doubt we were good enough to win today but it didn’t happen and it is important that in the future, we win those close games.”
Waitaki Boys’ will look to capitalise on current form when they take on St Kevin’s at the Whitestone Contacting Stadium on Friday.
Highlanders First XV top eight results:
Waitaki Boys High School 20 Menzies College 12
John McGlashan College 17 St Kevin’s College 16
Southland Boys’ High School 24 Kings High School 0
Otago Boys’ High School 71 Mt Aspiring College 0
By JAMES FORD
PHOTO: JAMES FORD – Brodie Flannery kicked three penalties and one conversion in Saturday’s clash with John McLashan College at Murray Field on Saturday.