MBC to stick with winning plan

SAM PATCHETT
Last updated 10:36 20/06/2014

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More of the same is the catchphrase for NZ King Salmon Marlborough Boys' College rugby First XV ahead of their home Press Cup match against Lincoln High School tomorrow.

MBC have notched up their biggest winning margins of the season in the past two rounds, a 43-3 away win over Rangiora High School on Saturday and a 37-5 victory over Ashburton College in Blenheim a week earlier. MBC's persistent attitude and ability to play for the full game enabled them to notch up the victories, a large proportion of their points coming in the closing 20 minutes. The results have been welcome reward for a team that previously struggled to run in tries, with winning bonus points likely to prove crucial.

Head coach Gray Cornelius said his side had continued working on what has given them recent success and believed MBC's work ethic and positive attitude ensures further improvement is on the cards.

"As the season goes on, the team evolves its own plan and you come up with your own style of playing," said Cornelius.

"So I think we're getting to that point where we know what we're good at, and what works for us, so it's more about trying to improve."

Having recorded seven wins from eight starts this season, MBC have proved their worth as defending champions. It's no surprise they go into tomorrow's match against Lincoln as heavy favourites, but Cornelius maintained his side was not complacent or distracted by next weekend's momentous task, when MBC travel to Christchurch to take on unbeaten Christchurch Boys' High School.

"No, absolutely not. We haven't been talking about it.

"Our focus is definitely on what's in front of us on Saturday. We've had plenty of games earlier this season where we've gone in as favourites, and very nearly been tipped up, so we've learnt our lesson."

Tomorrow's opponents have struggled in this year's Press Cup. Recording just two wins against St Thomas' and Shirley Boys' High School, they are yet to win on the road, and went down 34-3 to MBC last year.

Providing the likes of MBC forwards Sekope Lopeti, Isaiah Miller and Ty Bampton create plenty of go-forward, MBC's slick backs such as TC Campbell and Zac Harrison-Jones will probably get the opportunity to put together the enterprising play that has seen the college side run in 11 tries in the past two weeks.

MBC has stuck with their in-form lineup, the only change being Curtis Pedersen-Line replacing Trance Poa at halfback.

Tomorrow's match kicks off at the college front field at midday.

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- The Marlborough Express

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