Nelson College to face St Andrew's College in tough final UC Championship round
Nelson College could potentially finish in any of the top four positions as they prepare to face St Andrew's College in Saturday's final round of the UC Championship secondary schools rugby competition.
The likely scenario is a second-place finish behind Christchurch Boys High School in the Crusaders region competition, provided they beat St Andrew's in Christchurch, with current joint leaders Timaru Boys High School, shuffling down to fourth behind Christ's College.
Timaru have the final round bye so can't improve their current standing on 56 points. Christchurch BHS are also on 56 and play 10th-placed Lincoln Combined, with currently fourth-placed Christ's due to play sixth-placed Rangiora HS.
Nelson College and Christs are both on 53 points and safe in the top four although Nelson arguably have the toughest assignment this weekend against a St Andrew's side that finished just one place out of the championship playoffs.
Nelson College produced a mighty second half defensive effort to hand Timaru their third loss of the season last Saturday so should take some confidence with them into the final round. However, St Andrew's will also be buoyant after a 19-10 win over Christs.
Meanwhile, eighth-placed Waimea Combined Schools need a bonus point win over Mid Canterbury Combined at Waimea College on Saturday to remain in the top eight.
They'll also be attempting to end a run of three straight defeats following last Saturday's disappointing 52-31 loss to St Bede's College in Christchurch. It was Waimea's worst defensive effort of the season, conceding eight tries, although in scoring five themselves, proved they have ample attacking firepower.
Mid Canterbury Combined are in 13th place with just one win from 12 games and regardless of the result, will end their season on Saturday.
Waimea can still decide their own fate and will be chasing a comprehensive performance, not only to remain in plate playoff contention, but also to even up their season's ledger at seven wins and seven losses.
Waimea Combined Schools v Mid Canterbury Combined, Waimea College, noon; Nelson College v St Andrew's College, Christchurch, noon.