Better second half secures Mount Aspiring win

Mount Aspiring overcame a lacklustre opening half to record a 26-7 win against Waitaki Boys’ High School in Oamaru on Saturday.

The Wanaka school remains unbeaten in the championship section of the Otago Premier School competition.

John McGlashan is also unbeaten in the same section. It was untroubled during its 40-5 win against South Otago in Balclutha. The game where the sides were set to play each other was cancelled because of Covid-19 restrictions.

In the other championship match Wakatipu High School was too strong for the Combined Coeds, winning 60-14.

There were some very one-sided matches in the premiership.

Otago Boys’ First XV demolished Dunstan 97-0 at Kettle Park and King’s destroyed Otago Boys’ Second XV 77-0 at Bishopscourt.

Southland Boys’ High School eased past St Kevin’s College 43-7 in Invercargill.

Mount Aspiring College coach Carl Schmack said his side produced a flat opening half.

It scored late to take a 12-7 lead into the break, and that proved to be a turning point.

He made some changes during the second half and his side found a better rhythm, posting 14 unanswered points.

"We turned with the wind at our backs and played a really good defensive game in that second half," Schmack said.

"We shut down everything they had and took our chances.

"And we brought a few guys on who made a difference as well.

"But Waitaki were definitely up for it — even after a midweek game which didn’t go well for them."

Waitaki Boys’ lost 90-0 to Timaru Boys’.

Prop Rhys Hughes had another strong game for Mt Aspiring. He has carried well all season and continued in that vein on Saturday.

His defence and offloads have been outstanding as well.

Utility back Ryan Schmack was sound on defence. He switched from first five-eighth to second five-eighth in the second half and adapted well, while fullback Marcus Hetherington proved elusive once again.

In next week’s top four semifinals, King’s will host Southland Boys’, while Dunstan will travel to Dunedin to take on Otago Boys’ High School.


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