Timaru Boys' stay in playoff race
Timaru Boys' High School remain an outside chance to make the top four in the the Press Cup after a shaky but important 22-18 win over a well-drilled Rangiora High School.
With three minutes left it looked like a strong nor'west wind and a plucky Rangiora side might have undone TBHS, but a last-gasp try to first five Nathan McCloy secured the win and the important bonus point for four tries.
In other games Roncalli showed plenty of courage in going down to top-of-the-table Christchurch Boys' High School 25-15.
TBHS also needed St Bedes College to beat Marlborough Boys' College to grab fourth spot but Marlborough managed to survive 19-12.
Playing at Rangiora, TBHS began brightly with a try to wing James Wilson-Bishop after a good break by centre Zac Saunders.
Rangiora battled away into a stiff wind and scored with a simple blindside move between No 8 Davey Mato and halfback Craig Stockwell.
TBHS replied when No 8 Sukhwinda Bolina draw in the Rangiora wing and passed for Chris Hogan to score to make it 10-5.
Rangiora then had a period of sustained attack as they played cleverly into the wind and kept the ball in hand.
Stout TBHS defence held them up over the line three times before the pressure told and Rangiora fullback Lemuel Hill scored to tie the game.
With five minutes left in the half, TBHS turned down an easy shot at goal and it paid off when fullback Marc Rooney made an excellent solo run to score and give TBHS a 15-10 lead at the break, but it didn't look enough given the strong wind.
The second half became an arm wrestle as Rangiora played the percentages and TBHS showed plenty of determination in defence but struggled to get the ball or any territory.
Rangiora finally tied the game after stretching TBHS out wide and then a penalty gave them the lead.
But TBHS showed they only needed one opportunity and took it with McCloy's excellent try and James Hawkey slotted an important conversion.
At times TBHS made poor decisions and coughed the ball up too easily. But their superb defence got them home against the run of play.
For TBHS, lock Hamish McKay and loose forward Siua Maile played well.
McCloy impressed at times but also backed himself when better options were available.
Saunders had another strong game on attack and defence and was the standout for TBHS.
Roncalli have been a better side in the back half of the season with all their players back from injury but have also faced the better sides so have had little reward.
Roncalli started brightly and were up 10-0 courtesy of a penalty and well-taken quick tap by halfback Conor Scott that caught CBHS napping.
CBHS ground their way back into the game to lead 15-10 at halftime.
But staunch defence from Roncalli never let the competition leaders run away with the game.
Roncalli went well in the set phases with Tim Coughlan dominating the lineout at No 2 but CBHS were far more effective at the second phase.
Coughlan, lock Patrick Simpson and loosie Liam Cosgrove all had strong games while in the backs Vai Leopoamo and Willy Taylor kept the much vaunted CBHS midfield quiet.
- The Timaru Herald