Roncalli power back to win
Roncalli have pulled off a come-from-behind 23-18 win over Marlborough Boys' College to keep their slim semifinal chances alive in the Crusaders Region Schools Championship.
An excellent try to hard-running fullback Henry Scott saved the day and helped Roncalli move into the top four on Saturday. However, Roncalli face unbeaten Christchurch Boys' High School in the final round on Saturday, and would need to pull off the upset of the competition or hope Marlborough could beat St Andrew's College. The latter is a possibility, which would be a tremendous result for Roncalli.
In contrast, Timaru Boys' High School have struggled in the top eight and are yet to record a win.
They were hammered 66-3 by Christchurch Boys' High School but could get a result against Christ's College in the final round-robin game.
TBHS competed well for the first 20 minutes of the game before CBHS cut loose and were outstanding at backing each other up.
For TBHS, halfback George Lott was his gallant self, throwing his body around.
Front rower Callum Fix also impressed with ball in hand and in defence.
Flanker Josh Schreiber had his usual determined game and impressed with a high tackle count, trying to slow Christchurch Boys' High down.
At Roncalli, the home side started well and were up 6-3 on the back of two Daniel Dorgan penalties.
Roncalli then had a chance for a try when Matt Blackler made a good run but needed to offload earlier and was bundled into touch. The home side had a golden opportunity when they put a man in a gap.
However, the ball was spilled and Marlborough went the length of the field to score, with second five-eighth Adam Smith finishing off well.
Michael Dillon converted and then landed a penalty and suddenly Roncalli were struggling 13-6 down.
Marlborough scored again in the second half to move to 18-6 and Roncalli were in trouble.
A well-taken intercept by second five-eighth Ben Watson to score under the sticks against the run of play got Roncalli back into the game.
Dorgan landed the conversion but then missed two penalties to leave the home side nervous.
However, a well-constructed backline move put Scott into the gap and an excellent sideline conversion from Dorgan boosted them to 20-18.
Dorgan then relieved the pressure further with another penalty as Marlborough continued to infringe.
A desperate late attack from Marlborough was repelled and Roncalli snuck through.
Marlborough may have been a bit stiff but could not match Roncalli's passion.
While beaten at the breakdown, Roncalli managed to get enough ball to survive.
For Roncalli, centre Robbie Mulvena defended well and put in a game-saving tackle near the end.
Scott had his moments at fullback while Dorgan was calm under pressure.
Watson came up with the goods when it mattered.
Up front, Carisbrook To'omalatai was outstanding and carried the ball well while hooker Jim Bown was also in the thick of all the action.
No 7 Liam Cosgrove made several strong runs.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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