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Collegiate turn on fizzer after excitement of Australian trek

collegiateNAILED: Josh Lennox, Collegiate halfback, unloads as he is hit. PHOTO/STUART MUNRO

The Wanganui Collegiate 1st XV appeared to suffer the “tour blues” when they went down narrowly to Hawera High School in the rugby clash during the annual sporting exchange at home yesterday.

Fresh from their successful tour to Melbourne to compete in the Anzac Rugby carnival, Collegiate looked a little lacklustre in going down 20-17 to Hawera.

From the outset, Hawera appeared to have Collegiate’s measure with the visiting forwards setting up their midfield backs to carve through the home side’s defence.

To be fair, Collegiate held well in defence before scoring first against the run of play when right wing Harry Symes dived over in the corner. The conversion was missed.

The Hawera midfield, particularly second five eighth Stevie-Ray Gray, made numerous breaks, looking extremely dangerous without scoring until 10 minutes before halftime.

The Hawera backline worked magic to equalise in the corner.

From there it appeared downhill for Collegiate. While they stayed within striking distance right to the final whistle, Collegiate failed to impress coach Karl Hoskin.

“We just didn’t play up to what we could have – we should have done better,” Hoskin said yesterday.

“We simply didn’t put it together on the day. There was no man-on-man moves and a lot of mistakes. As far as I’m concerned there was no player of the day for Collegiate and we will have to improve dramatically to take on New Plymouth Boys’ High next week.

“Hawera looked sharp at times, though, and their backs were dangerous. Perhaps we had the tour blues following the Easter trip to Australia.”

After winning the first match against Scotch College 87-0 on tour, Collegiate defeated their hosts Melbourne Grammar 37-0. The semifinal proved a little harder against St Kevin’s, with the score 19-19. Collegiate made the final, however, as they were first to score. Playing their brother school, Christ’s College from Christchurch, Collegiate went down 17-12 in the final.

“We didn’t play anywhere near to that standard today,” Hoskin said.

The Under-15 Collegiate rugby team fared far better, beating Hawera 27-10. The girls’ football produced the only other success during the exchange yesterday, a 2-0 victory. The boys lost 2-1.

The senior A netballers drew 23-23 with Hawera, while the Senior B side lost 32-18. The visitors took the junior A netball 31-6.

By Iain Hyndman – Wanganui Chronicle

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