1st XV v Francis Douglas Memorial College
The first white jersey fixture of the 2018 season saw us host Francis Douglas Memorial College from New Plymouth. The game also doubled as our first of the season on the Number 1 and the team were looking forward to making a statement about our home ground.
Playing with the wind at our backs, we looked to play territory and make the opposition play a lot of rugby. Our defence line was regularly tested and we were effective in our tackles. Points were accumulated through two penalties and we finished the half well, putting plenty of pressure on the opposition try line. While we didn’t come away with tries, our composure was much improved and we felt confident we had the measure of the Francis Douglas attack plan.
Heading into the wind in the second half meant we adjusted from playing territory to being more direct and playing ball in hand. We worked our way up the field well and while we gave up two penalties, we were now scoring well taken tries. Our set piece started to put the opposition under pressure and we were able to launch multiple attacks of our scrum in particular. We dominated possession stakes and as the game progressed were able to translate this into points and in the end we scored five tries to none and ended up victors 37 – 6.
The most pleasing aspect about this game was the level of patience and composure we showed when the points weren’t immediately forthcoming. Our all round game is developing well and the effort shown in training is being rewarded on the paddock.
Tries Nasser Tato, Jayden Keelan, Bryn Wilson, Flyn Yates, Tyler Laubscher
Conversions Stewart Cruden 3/5
Penalites Stewart Cruden, Ruben Love