Rain hinders Boys' College's training
NZ King Salmon Marlborough Boys' College rugby First XV have been forced to train indoors ahead of tomorrow's away match against Rangiora High School.
Rain in Marlborough has flooded rugby grounds around the region and head coach Gray Cornelius admitted being restricted to training in the college gym had hampered preparation.
"It isn't ideal because the things we want to work on require us to dive around and get on the ground," he said. "So it has had an effect but I guess it's going to be the same for everybody."
Cornelius said his side were hoping to have an outdoor training session on the way to Canterbury.
The conditions are perhaps even more disrupting for MBC's opposition. Canterbury has also felt the brunt of heavy rain lately, with Rangiora High School's main field closed for most of the week due to flooding. Although there were plans to move the fixture elsewhere, it was decided the match will stay at the school field, which is likely to prevent MBC from playing the expansive game that saw them run in five tries and notch up an emphatic 37-5 home win against Ashburton College last Saturday.
"There's probably going to be a bit more focus on our set piece and on our tight play, which is what we need to get better at anyway - so it's also an opportunity," said Cornelius.
Impressive prop Ty Bampton and durable lock Isaiah Miller are set to play key roles tomorrow, having a significant influence on MBC's go-forward this year, while lock Hopoate Taufa will again be central to MBC's set piece.
The only changes in tomorrow's starting line-up see Logan Murphy replace Theo Robinson on the right wing, Rayner Akurangi come into hooker for Sam Moli and Josh Holdaway start at blindside flanker ahead of the elusive Nigel Satherley.
Rangiora, who sit 11th on the table in the 15-team competition, have only notched up two wins this year. Although one of those victories came last week over Waimea College in Richmond, MBC go into the match as heavy favourites. Sitting fourth on the table, the Marlborough side's record stands at six wins and one loss halfway through Press Cup round robin play and although it is an impressive start to a fiercely-contested competition, Cornelius isn't satisfied.
"We're happy with where we're sitting. I mean, we would have liked to have seven wins, and we came very close, and we would have liked to pick up the odd bonus point with some of our wins too, but overall we're pretty happy."
Tomorrow's match starts at noon at Rangiora High School.