MBC aim for quick recovery against Rangiora

Last updated 10:31 06/06/2014

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NZ King Salmon Marlborough Boys' College rugby first XV are not dwelling on last week's disappointment ahead of tomorrow's Press Cup match against Rangiora High School in Blenheim.

MBC suffered their first loss of the season in heartbreaking fashion against traditional rivals Nelson College in Blenheim last Thursday, a try in the last play of the match handing the home side a 16-17 defeat.

Although MBC head coach Gray Cornelius believed his side should have won the match, he said they were taking positives from the loss.

"The boys were pretty disappointed, but we can take a lot of confidence out of it. It was a pretty young and inexperienced side that took the field against Nelson College so for those guys to compete like they did was very good."

MBC went into last week's grudge match as underdogs, but proved they too are Press Cup heavyweights by almost clinching an upset victory.

"We saw [Nelson College] as a frontrunner to the competition, so it showed we can compete with anyone in this competition if we approach games with the right mindset," explained Cornelius.

If form is anything to go by, tomorrow's opponents should not pose as big a challenge for MBC. Rangiora have notched only one victory this season, a round-three 15-13 win over Lincoln High School.

The North Canterbury side, which is coming off a sixth-round bye, lost its most recent match 25-10 to St Andrews' College.

MBC enjoyed time off this week after facing a strenuous playing schedule over recent rounds. The nine-day gap between the Nelson College and Rangiora matches is MBC's biggest break of the competition so far, and Cornelius said his charges have benefited from the longer space between games.

"Having a few days off has been good for us, so I think we're better for it."

The experienced coach said there has been little change in training this week, with his side continuing to focus on basics such as defensive work and skill levels.

There is also little alteration to the starting lineup, with the only change being the return of Curtis Pedersen-Line from concussion, who replaces Trance Poa at halfback.

The durable Nigel Satherley slots into blindside flanker, swapping with Blake Spence, who will take Satherley's place on the open side.

Tomorrow's match kicks off on the college front field at 12pm.

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- The Marlborough Express

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