Semifinalists found for Press Cup
The Press Cup is about to reach its climax this weekend with the semifinalists found.
Unbeaten Christchurch Boys' High will meet St Andrew's College in one semifinal while defending champions St Bede's College will meet Nelson College - in a replay of last year's final - in the other.
Christchurch Boys' High School
Qualified: First. Section One: Seven wins. Season points: 605
Unbeaten this year, CBHS remain confident of ending St Bede's recent dominance. They beat them in pool play, and proved too good for Christ's College in their grudge match. So dominant in the past, as much as St Bede's have enjoyed their recent success, Boys' High are desperate to get back on top and are playing clever, attacking footy.
St Bede's College
Qualified: Second. Section One: Six wins, one loss. Season points:458
Have lost just twice in the past four seasons, including to CBHS this year.
St Bede's have won the past four Press Cups but they are yet to reach the dominance they showed in recent years. Having beaten Nelson in Nelson last weekend gets them back home, where they will likely prove too good for the last non-Christchurch team when they meet again this weekend.
Qualified: Third. Section One: four wins, two losses, one draw. Season points: 373
The last time Nelson College played at St Bede's, they lost last year's Press Cup final 30-12. If that wasn't fresh in their minds, losing to St Bede's again, 31-17 in Nelson last weekend, will be. They have the ability to beat St Bede's this weekend, but need lots of things to go their way. That said, being underdogs and the last Tasman team alive should spur them on.
St Andrew's College
Qualified: Fourth. Section One: three wins, three losses, one draw. Season points: 306
STAC have nothing to lose. Most will give them little chance against the well-oiled Boys' High machine. Like last season, STAC have qualified fourth, but won't want to repeat last season's semifinal loss when thumped 64-23 by St Bede's. With Richie Mo'unga controlling the backline they have a chance, but need to convert attacking opportunities and defend desperately. Boys' High won their latest meeting 53-5.
Meanwhile, the Press Plate - decided among the bottom four teams in section one - also has its semifinals this weekend. Christ's College travel to Timaru to play Roncalli while Timaru Boys' have a long away trip to Marlborough College. In section two, Waimea College and Shirley Boys' finished on top after Waimea beat St Thomas's 33-17 on Saturday and Shirley beat Ashburton College 15-8.
Waimea host Ashburton in the Press Bowl semifinal while St Thomas's are away to Shirley. Rangiora will host Nayland in the Press Shield semifinals while Lincoln host Burnside.