MBC First XV looking for form reversal

MBC halfback Ryan McLeod slips over the line for a consolation try on Saturday. Photo: Peter Jones.

The Marlborough Boys’ College First XV are seeking a rapid change in fortunes coming into the final straight of the University of Canterbury championship season.

With four games remaining before the competition play-offs MBC lie in a lowly 11th position, a far cry from where they had hoped to be after such a promising pre-season campaign.

They have picked up only two wins during a frustrating season, currently sitting on a run of six consecutive defeats, the latest on Saturday when they were out-gunned 50-24 by Christchurch Boys’ High School in Blenheim.

The home side made a superb start, backs and forwards combining well to dominate the opening 10 minutes, tries to fullback Liam Duncan and midfielder Tristan Taylor giving them a promising 10-0 lead.

However, CBHS are too classy to stay out of the game for long and they came back with a vengeance. Superbly guided around the park by classy first five Oliver Lewis, they found several yawning gaps in the MBC defensive line to score five tries and take a 29-10 lead into the break.

The onslaught continued after oranges, CBHS scoring twice more before MBC picked up a couple of late touchdowns to nab a bonus point.

Best of the home side, who were without influential prop Monu Moli, were hooker Te Ariki Peipi, flanker William McKenzie, winger Lotu Solomona and Duncan.

MBC wind up their campaign with home games against Waimea Combined [12th] and then Timaru BHS [9th], before travelling to Roncalli Combined [13th] and finally St Thomas of Canterbury [7th].

All four games are well within reach of MBC, who are desperately seeking consistency throughout the full 70 minutes.

A position in the middle [5th to 8th] section of the UC championship table come play-off time is certainly not yet out of reach.

Scores: CBHS 50 (Jack Sandford, Fabian Holland, Oliver Lewis, Cameron Henderson 2, Max Hughes, Callum Simpson, Ben Hassall tries, Lewis 5 con) MBC 24 (Liam Duncan, Tristan Taylor, Dylan McManaway, Ryan McLeod tries, Keelan Murrell 2 con). HT: 29-10

Other scores: Nelson College 45 Shirley 14; Timaru BHS 67 Mid Canterbury 12; St Bede’s 28 Roncalli 0; St Andrew’s 47 Lincoln 19; St Thomas 36 Rangiora 31.

Standings: St Andrew’s 44, Nelson 40, St Bede’s 38, Christchurch 31, Christ’s 28, Rangiora 28, St Thomas 24, Lincoln 20, Timaru 17, Shirley 15, MBC 13, Waimea 9, Roncalli 8, Mid Canterbury 2.

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