High school 1st XV skills impress Russian coach

JOHN ALEXANDER
Last updated 13:00 13/09/2011

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Russian scrum coach Darren Morris was impressed with the skills he saw when he took a coaching session with the Marlborough Boys' College First XV rugby team at Lansdowne Park in Blenheim yesterday.

Mr Morris, the former Wales and British Lions prop, put the team through a series of drills.

"They were switched on," he said later. "Their skills were fantastic, which typifies New Zealand rugby.

"What we did notice was how accurate they were in pass and catch.

"Very little ball went down in the early part of the session."

The Russian contingent were treated to a haka from the players and were presented with a College playing jersey.

College captain Kurt Schollum enjoyed the session.

"It was pretty good. He showed us some ruck techniques – hanging over the ball and keeping strong, passing skills."

Mr Morris said the set-pieces, particularly the scrum, is where his team must perform.

"As we've seen in numerous games so far in the tournament, if you haven't got a set-piece you are in trouble."

The Russian Bears team is being named today for their first World Cup match, against the United States at New Plymouth on Thursday night.

The team leave Blenheim today for New Plymouth, returning on Friday to prepare for their game against Italy at Trafalgar Park in Nelson on Tuesday.

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- The Marlborough Express

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