Biggest test to date for MBC First XV

SAM PATCHETT
Last updated 11:01 28/05/2014
Nelson v Marlborough

GAME ON : Nelson College v Marlborough Boys' College

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NZ King Salmon Marlborough Boys' College First XV face their biggest challenge yet when they take on traditional rivals Nelson College in Blenheim tomorrow.

Not only is the match a replay of last year's Press Cup final, it is also a battle between two competition front-runners in 2014. Both sides have won all their matches in the first five rounds.

MBC escaped a strong challenge from St Thomas' with a 21-13 home win on Saturday but the defending champions are under no illusions that vast improvement is needed to conquer a Nelson College side that will be hugely motivated to avenge last year's final defeat.

Gray Cornelius, MBC head coach, said his side have gone into all matches this season as favourites but believes they will comfortably wear the underdog tag ahead of tomorrow's grudge match. Nelson College are coming off a 40-10 win over Roncalli College and have beaten traditionally strong St Bedes, Ashburton and Rangiora.

Cornelius said there has been a lift in intensity and focus within the camp ahead of the match.

Although his side had been busy working on defence and discipline this week, training sessions had not been strenuous.

"We can't really afford to train for too long because we've had a pretty full-on schedule lately.

"So we're trying to get things organised with a bit less physicality," Cornelius said.

There are just two changes to the MBC starting line-up for tomorrow's match, as Theo Robinson starts at wing with Nigel Satherley slotting into second five.

The match kicks off at 12.30 at the College front field.

Their next match is on June 7 against Asburton College in Blenheim.

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- The Marlborough Express

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