High challenge for semis spot

After two narrow losses in the opening games of the Manawatu colts club competition, the Wanganui High School 1st XV have climbed into touching distance of the top four.

With three wins from five, they sit two points outside the semis spots. The season began with tight losses to Linton and Massey White before a win over Kia Toa by default. Since then, they have gone on a scoring spree, hammering Feilding Colts 75-7 and Massey Blue 27-0.

Apart from the Manawatu colts competition, the team are gearing up for a crack at the National 1st XV championship. They will face the second-ranked Wellington school for the right to play the top Super 8 side from the Hurricanes region.

“It gives us the chance to play some decent rugby sides,” director of rugby and deputy principal Chris Friedel said.

A finals appearance was the goal.

“We play with a lot of structure but, sometimes, when we play a lot of the school teams, there’s a tendency to lose that.”

Friedel said he had put several names forward for the Hurricanes’ under-18 squad.

WHS take a break from club competition this weekend and play a friendly against Massey White at home.

They also have the derby against Wanganui Collegiate on July 29, as well as inter-school matches against Hutt Valley High and a touring English side in August.

Meanwhile, the Cullinane College and Wanganui City College 1st XVs have qualified for the Manawatu secondary schools premier grade.

City College kick off the season proper against Manukura 1st XV at home this weekend while Cullinane are away to Dannevirke High 1st XV.

City College also come up against Wanganui Collegiate in an inter-school match next Wednesday.

By Zaryd Wilson – Wanganui Chronicle