Sat, May 25, 2024 2:47 PM

Barbarians earn first win


Jack Malcolm

The Waimea Combined Barbarians have their first win on the board after convincingly beating Roncalli Aoraki.

With scores locked at 19-apiece at halftime, a dominant second half saw them stretch out a 41-24 lead.

In other results from first XV rugby, Nelson College were too strong in their away game against St Bede’s, winning 27-15.

With the two teams at Motueka Sports Park trading jabs through the first 35 minutes of play, it was anyone’s game in the second half.

Roncalli had scored to end the half and even back up the scoreboard, but they weren’t able to continue that pressure after the break as the Barbarians put on an impressive performance of dominance.

Riley McCuish-Hocking thanks the crowd after the team's first win over the season. Photo: Jack Malcolm.

Controlling possession for large periods, they were able to generate pressure through attrition as the Roncalli defence tried to hold on.

The first came as the Barbarians marched their way down the field from within their own 22, the second an individual piece of brilliance on the wing by Zane Richards.

With a man to beat, Zane stepped him so effectively the defender slipped and fell as he raced around his outstretched arm to run away for a try in the corner.

That gave the Barbarians some breathing room, but they weren’t done as Riley McCuish-Hocking and Caleb Burrell both burrowed over to give their team a big lead.

It looked like Roncalli had crumbled, but the visitors would put together a late try of their own on the back of a chip and chase, but it was too little too late.

The Barbarians stormed home to take the win in front of their home fans, with captain Harry Horncastle saying it was an all around team performance.

“All the boys stood up and had a good match.

“We managed to keep it on them with good hits and good runs.”

Harry says that a good “rev up” from the coaches was what the team needed after taking their foot off the gas pedal through the latter stages of the first half.

“The first five minutes, we did what we wanted and scored a try. But they came back.

“They told us not to do any silly passes and stick to our structure.”

The team has a short break, with next weekend off for King’s Birthday, before getting stuck back into things when they travel down to Christchurch to play St Bede’s.

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